Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Last month I finished a black and white portrait of HP Lovecraft, an American horror writer. Lovecraft is known for creating the Cthulu mythos in the first half of the 20th century, over a series of related stories.

My first small sketch of the piece was to work out ideas and composition. At this point I'm not really trying to nail a likeness, just working on composition and jotting down notes. I had decided early on to do this piece in tones of grey--perhaps I was influenced by the reference photos of HP, none of which were in colour.

Once I was happy with the first rough sketch, I sat down with some reference and worked the idea up to a more finished version. I scanned the pencil sketch into Photoshop, where I inked the figure, added tones and painted "Cthulu," lurking in the background.

I also added a slight texture and tone to the gutters of the image, in an attempt to give it a sense of age similar to that of the reference photographs. I'm satisfied with the result, although part of me would like to do another version with ink and ink wash, instead of digital media. It was a fun piece to do, and came together fairly quickly. I enjoy doing portraits from reference, since it's good practice in developing observation skills and interpreting and conveying likenesses.

Thanks for stopping by. These sketches and illustration are © Chris Chuckry

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