Nov 5, 2008

The Shadow Over Innsmouth: part one of eight

The first two images for The Shadow Over Innsmouth, or rather, two of the images created for The Shadow Over Innsmouth, as these are the oldest and newest images I've made. They just happened to be the ones I touched up first. I skewed the time period back a bit so it would be more fun to draw. Also, the time period wasn't terribly necessary to the story. Like the rest of the project, these were done in powdered graphite and around around 6x9" on hot press watercolor paper.

The first image being a citizen of Innsmouth, and something of a dandy. The second image being the creatures leaving the sea and descending upon the town. I'm still toying around with whether or not I want to add some color to these, as although they were created with the intention of being black and white, a little color might do them good. A super speedy pass yielded the following.

Not exactly what I want, but is it something to pursue? I'm hoping you could tell me.


  1. I think the addition of color is a pretty good idea. I like where it's headed, anyway.

    Also I like the word dandy.

  2. i'm with andrew. i like the areas where you've added paint to sharpen things up and provide a nice contrast with the fuzzier graphite. um... the color is pretty cool. are you adding it digitally or in REAL LIFE? just curious.

  3. hey Sam, it's exciting to see a great start to the book. I think you could definitely experiment some more with color, but at the same time I like the integrity of the black and white. What is strong about the 2nd version is you pushed the darker values more and I think thats important in this scene, some combination of the 2 versions could be good to try, for example if you left the town dark and brought back a few of the lighter tones in the ocean, just a thought.

  4. Dude the stuff looks great. I like the addition of subtle color. It just feels right, just keep it all muted or "colorful grays" as I like to call it. Can't wait to see the finish!


  5. I think if you were to do color, you should keep it very minimal. i dont really think they need it though. the sea scene is really beautiful

  6. On a literary note, Neil Gaiman has a collection of short stories called "Smoke and Mirrors". One story, Shoggoth's Old Peculiar takes place in Innsmouth. Your illustrations could apply to that story as well since it is very much a tip of the hat to H.P. Lovecraft.

  7. Thanks for all the comments, everyone. I think I'm going to keep these in black and white for the time being, mostly because of time constraints. I am, however, going back into the individual pieces and trying to add some more depth. In the next update, I'll have two more images as well as a reworked version of the ocean scene over there.

    The cover image and back cover will be in color, though, so your comments about that are really helpful.

    Andrew/Diego - he can also be referred to as a gentle-fop.

    Ellen - color is digital. I'm going to be adding some more of those little paint highlights, but doing too much paint in real life is silly, because in real life it's a really different tone than the rest of the whites, but scans nicely in greyscale.

    Annika - great, great help. I pretty much worked today on exactly what you suggested and it looks a lot beter.

    Dustin - Hey man, thanks! I know exactly what you mean by colorful grays (I'm using them a lot in a similar project), and if I end up applying color to these after the semester's over, that phrase will be in the front of my mind.

    Cam - thanks bud. Subtlety's the word on these ones.

    Dignin - I haven't read Smoke and Mirror, but I've heard all about it. Once I get through the collected Lovecraft volume I picked up, I'll go right for it.

  8. i was thinking more of a dandy-fop

  9. you never tell me how you feel anymore

  10. Wow! Amazing artwork to one of my all time favorite Lovecraft stories. They look beautiful in black and white.