Nov 8, 2008

The Shadow Over Innsmouth: part two of eight

My traipse through sunny Innsmouth continues with the next two images and an updated version of the beach scene from the last post.

Thanks for all the comments, they were super helpful. I've decided to keep these black and white for the time being, considering I'm doing sixteen of them before the semester ends. I may work with the color in them after the fact. The cover I will be doing will be in color, though. I assume that'll be in the last batch of images I do.

Here's the updated beach scene:

I darkened the town and added white watercolor paint to bring out the windows and the highlights in the ocean. I think it's good for me to "finish" each image, let it stew for a few days, and then go back into it with fresh eyes. That's what happened with this one.

This next one is actually the second image I made for the project, in which our narrator realizes that his hotel room is exactly as insecure as he feared it might be.

This next image is from earlier in the story when the narrator uses whiskey to coax the story of Innsmouth's haunted past from its oldest citizen, the untainted Zadok Allan. Doing character-based work with pwdered graphite is a whole different challenge compared to doing the atmospheric scenery stuff, but it's loads of fun.

As always, powdered graphite and watercolor on 6x9" Arches hotpress watercolor paper. 140 lbs, I think.

Also as always, comments are hugely appreciated, especially because I'm juggling multiple pieces at once that don't have individual deadlines. If you've got suggestions, have at them! I've got some time to do edits and I want these to be as good as they can be.

Live large, blog readers. Live large.


  1. you added white highlights to the beach scene and i totally approve. It feels "resolved" now and i don't even think it needs color anymore to make it feel complete.

    also, you're making me want to read this book.

  2. these are turning out nice. the small details like the tree stumps and the pattern on the bed spread are great symbols in the images. I do feel that the third image with hobo the drunkard is still is little fuzzy in the background houses. Maybe, maybe not. I think you have reached a certain sense of crispness/not crispness which is very nice.

  3. congrats on drawn!
    your work shows improvement each time I see your blog.
    It's nice to see you do work like this. The beach scene is excellent.

    I agree with andrew, the 3rd one needs a little more oomph.

  4. My brother sent me here...Nice stuff. You got the taint, kid! A real foulness. Peace.

  5. The second and third ones need a little more oomf. And I saw you on Drawn! yesterday. Thats awesome duder!

  6. i love the texture and feel of these storyboard-drawings. And the monkey-king is cool beans!!

  7. muy bellos trabajos!


  8. I really enjoy your work Sam, I've never seen graphite dust and watercolors used together in a way quite like this.
    The atmosphere you get with these pics is perfect for the story too.


  9. i love your work, Really cool!!

  10. Hey Sam,
    Your latest work is looking really good. Seems like you found a way to combine your more traditional folky work with the more contemporary stuff. You found a really unique voice. Congrats!

  11. dude, your older work really sucked, so i can only imagine you made a pact with the devil or something, because your latest work is simply top notch.

  12. dude, these are so good, SOOO good

  13. Really intense atmosphere in these illustrations