Monday, 21 October 2013

Online research: Further knowledge on the novel

Online research: Further knowledge on the novel

To make my thumbnails a more accurate reflection of what the novel is about I did some extra research on the plot, characters and the environments. On doing so I discovered that there are several different creatures in this world that the antagonist William Dyer and his expedition discovered. The two most known are:

Concept art of Elder thing

Elder Things
Described as "Six feet end to end - Like a barrel with five bulging ridges in place of staves -  In furrows between ridges are curious growths – combs or wings that fold up and spread out like fans". In context, the elder things are meant to have been the first extraterrestrial species that inhabited the earth around a billion years ago. They built huge cities on dry land and underwater with the help of the Shoggoths which are the race they created.

Concept art of Shoggoth

Described as "a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us".Creations of the Elder, they built the underwater cities for their masters. Although they could understand their masters language they were controlled hypnotically and had no real consciousness. These are the creatures that subtly feature in some of my thumbnails (tentacles) and are the explanation for any thumbnails with penguins (what they eat in the novel).

The Arctic

I also found out through my research that the author of the novel H.P. Lovecraft had almost an obsession with the Antarctic and its exploration. Biographer S.T. Joshi wrote "Lovecraft had been fascinated with the Antarctic continent since he was at least 12 years old, when he had written several small treatises on early Antarctic explorers"

Images of the arctic, Lovecraft's inspiration 

Type of mountains Lovecraft's novels were centered around
This realization made it all the more easier for me to seek inspiration. I could use this as an opportunity to study a specific type of atmosphere and note the small details about them (rocks, mist, details in snow) to make my final three thumbnails more accurate in depicting what the environment described in the novel would actually look like.


  1. Hi Ashley - just popping by to say remember to give your posts an actual title - and just to reiterate that your brief is about spaces!

  2. It may be a bit too early to get into the fine details - thumbnails are more about the general shapes. Of course, you can still think about the details, but don't get too hung up on them.

    It might be worth thinking a little more "schematically" - one of the key features of the caves is that they are actually a really old city that's fallen into ruin over many millenia, so you might want to try and convey this - look into abandoned ruins, or insert some straight lines (after all, straight lines are pretty much never found in nature, so some traces of straight lines in what looks like a cave can be surprisingly creepy). It might even be a simple matter of an unnaturally straight cave, or a subtle "crease" in the cave wall where a panel line used to be.