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dead Cthulhu waits dreaming by GregStevens dead Cthulhu waits dreaming by GregStevens
"ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."

"In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming."

I am re-reading some short stories by H. P. Lovecraft recently, and had forgotten how compelling some of his eerie and suggestive descriptions are. It's amazing how much he gets away with through innuendo and suggestion, like a monster that looks scarier in the shadows because every person fills in the details with their own worst nightmares.

Technical Details:

Painted with a Wacom table using Corel Painter 11.

I have been having a lot of fun lately creating textures by applying photomanipulation and distortion effects to individual layers after performing a more standard "paint." I can paint a figure on a layer (e.g. Cthulhu), create a copy of the layer, reduce the saturation to zero, increase the contrast, then overlay it on the original as a gel, smudge the background, merge them together, then draw over them with photo "burn" and "dodge" to create texture lines, then copy the layer again, use the "sketch" effect to extract outlines, overlay that on the original as a gel or "darken" layer, use distortion "confusion" or "marbling rake" to texturize areas, and so on and so on and so on.

I'm a big fan of this technique, it allows me to start by doing a completely original painting, but then create a very complex and textured effect as the end result as well.

Other Lovecraft-Related Work:

Add a Comment:
 
:iconbrian-oconnell:
Brian-OConnell Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Terrifying!
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:icontritonyx:
Tritonyx Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice. :)
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:iconpinkgothic:
pinkgothic Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, amazing texture!
Reply
:iconalizadeh-art:
Alizadeh-Art Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
instant feature in my group man,,cheers
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:icongregstevens:
GregStevens Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconalizadeh-art:
Alizadeh-Art Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
my pleasure man.
Reply
:iconfallonkali:
fallonkali Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2011
I truly like your textures. And your interpretation of Lovecraft is quite well done. I truly admire that you did not skimp on the surrounding area, the background fits the vision almost perfectly.

I do see that there is a disruption on the flow of the Cthulhu where the wing and the chest meet. The chest seems to become flat and does not quite fit with the other lines of the creature. Also the head could use more detail and a bit more definition. As for the floor, it seems to be on a steep incline, this does not seem intentional and does cause a disturbance in the piece.
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:icongregstevens:
GregStevens Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for your feedback!
Reply
:iconix-ansasi:
IX-Ansasi Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011  Student General Artist
scary good work! Love how you managed to give Cthulu this kind of "shapelesness". Real nightmare stuff!
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:icongregstevens:
GregStevens Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:icontruewill:
truewill Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I like that it looks almost skeletal. Nicely done!
Reply
:icongregstevens:
GregStevens Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! I was definitely trying to convey "dead thing", which I think not enough people focus on when portraying Cthulhu.
Reply
:icontruewill:
truewill Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I kept thinking about this, and came back and favorited it. Hopefully it will not haunt my dreams!
Reply
:icongregstevens:
GregStevens Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, thank you very much.


...and if it DOES haunt your dreams, well, then I guess I will take that as a compliment, as well. LOL
Reply
:iconsub-divisions:
Sub-divisions Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Professional General Artist
amazing
Reply
:icongregstevens:
GregStevens Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconsub-divisions:
Sub-divisions Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Professional General Artist
:D
Reply
:iconjfgemini107:
JFGemini107 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Interesting side shot of the Great Old One. I never read Lovecraft, but I've seen depictions of some of the horrors, and some of them really freak me out. Here Cthulhu actually looks peaceful.
Reply
:icongregstevens:
GregStevens Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Reading Lovecraft is VERY interesting: you have to bear in mind, it was written 80-100 years ago, so it's a style of writing you really have to get into. But it has a flavor all its own.

There is one description that a lot of people use as the basis of their Cthulhu art: a description of a bas-relief "artifact" that an explorer finds in connection with the horrific "demomnic" Cult of Cthulhu. In that image, he is crouching on an alter with claws showing and looking menacing. That's what a lot of people draw. But, there are so many descriptions in the various stories, I decided to just have him chillin' in his stone temple.

I still included the ancient writing on the stones around him, though.
Reply
:iconjfgemini107:
JFGemini107 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I've noticed that a lot of the Cthulhu pics are of a front shot. What I also find different about yours is how you used gray instead of the usual green or yellow I see when people draw R'yleh.

By the way, what's your favorite of the Lovecraftian horrors?
Reply
:icongregstevens:
GregStevens Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, I'm going through them all again now -- the last time I read them was a very long time ago. So I kind of want to finish re-reading them before I say for sure. :-)

So far I've finished "At the Mountains of Madness" and "The Call of Cthulhu". Both are fantastic.

I'm working my way through the collection, "The Essential H.P. Lovecraft Collection". 99 cents on Kindle, by the way. Woo hoo. LOL
Reply
:iconwightravenexperiment:
wightravenexperiment Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is excellent! Cthulu doesn't look exactly like he(?) is actually in the setting, but maybe that's what you were intending. Very good. Lovecraft was an amazing writer.
Reply
:icongregstevens:
GregStevens Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for the compliment!

If the reason he doesn't look like he's in the setting is because of the colors, then I definitely was trying to make him look "otherworldly" and perhaps with a faint luminescence.

On the other hand, if he doesn't look like he's in the setting because the shadows or shading are wrong, then that's probably just because I need practice with that. LOL! I admit it. :-)
Reply
:iconwightravenexperiment:
wightravenexperiment Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's the shading and shadows, but I think pretty much everyone has problems with that at one point or another. Often, I just give up and not shade at all, 'cause I'm lazy like that.
Reply
:icongregstevens:
GregStevens Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:-)
Reply
:iconkikinrj:
KikinRJ Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
This is truly wonderful
Reply
:icongregstevens:
GregStevens Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much!
Reply
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August 11, 2011
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