I really like H.P. Lovecraft. Who doesn’t these days, right? Which is good because Lovecraft certainly deserves respect and attention. I started reading Lovecraft in the 8th grade when I was introduced to his work by my step father. I think what appeals to me most about his stories is the overlying theme of human-kinds’ tiny, insignificant place in a savage and uncaring universe. Other “pulp” authors of the same era like Robert Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote stories with these manly, self-important, chest thumping characters who continually asserted humanities’ “rightful” place as LORD AND MASTER OF CREATION. Now don’t get me wrong, I like both of these author’s, especially Burroughs, but I have never been a fan of the idea that mankind has some divinely ordained dominion over the planet. This sentiment is much more subdued in Lovecraft’s stories, and in its place is an overwhelming sense that our species is little more than an idle, passing interest to the great chaotic forces at work in the universe. His protagonists often find themselves driven mad by these forces. Or turned into fishmen. Speaking of fishmen…
This is the first of several sketches I have been doing over the past few weeks depicting the occupants of Lovecraft’s fictional town of Innsmouth. I drew this having not read the story ” The Shadow Over Innsmouth” for several years, and so, in my mind, it doesn’t feature enough of the described characteristics of the “Innsmouth look”. Also, for some reason I felt this fishy gentleman needed to be wearing a GIGANTIC FREAKING HAT. I’m not exactly sure what I was going for with that, but there it is.
After taking a look at the story again, I went about making a sketch that incorporated more of the physical descriptions of the Innsmouth residents such as the bulging eyes and the skin turning to scales. I guess the hump on his back is meant to represent his flesh becoming more monstrous and distorted. I also tried to incorporate some 1920’s looking clothing, though admittedly without looking up many references.
This sketch was closer to what I have in mind, but he doesn’t quite look fishy enough.
These sketches are much closer to what I have in mind. I still think I need to make the faces more fish-like. After I drew these sketches, I decided to take some photographs of a friend in costume to help me with future drawings.
With these sketches, I was trying to work out in my mind what the Deep Ones themselves look like. I think the first one is the best. At any rate, that’s all for now. See you next time.