Sunday, May 19, 2013

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Cryptdidical Edition.

Cryptdidical brings us this highly stylized Cthulhu idol.

In his comments about the sculpt he's pretty harsh on himself, rather unnecessarily so. He's assuming that clean lines and a smooth finish equates with simple, when it's anything but. As I've mentioned before, the use of heavy surface textures can cover up a multitude of sins in the base sculpt. It's one of the reasons I like using so much texture in my own work. I'm not good enough at capturing foundational anatomy, so I fall back on imparting an impression of greater detail with surface treatments.

Conversely, a clean sculpt like this is very, very hard. There's nothing to distract the eye from small flaws in the figure's symmetry and proportions.  No, it's not perfect, but it manages to capture the identifiable form of Cthulhu with flowing forms and a few inscribed lines.  That's no small achievement.


Jason McKittrick said...

I actually like this quite a bit as well. The smooth surface almost gives the impression that its been tossed by the waves for a millennium.

CoastConFan said...

This is an excellent early style Cthulhu figure made exactly by abrasion (polishing) as seen in Neolithic cultures. BTW the Eskimo also use a similar technique to make figures out of ivory and bone. Early works don’t have to look primitive as they often have hundreds of hours of work that goes into them. They also finely polished tools and stone jewelry items.

See also cycladic idols and some Neolithic idols do an image Google on Cycladic idols or to the links and

For those of you who are really interested, this kind of idol was called a xoonon in Greek, meaning smooth or polish by scraping, see the link:

Markus said...

From personal experience, I also know how hard it can be, to make something extremely stylized. Normally I tend to make my sculpts as rich in details and as naturalistic as possible. It was really not easy when I tried to make something the opposite way. I started with a C´thulhu idol in inuit style (I couldn´t resist to sculpt various fine cracks to imitate old walrus ivory), later a slightly similar, but very different style idol which was even more stylized. At the end I made a small C´thulhu figurine, which was even more stylized, and mainly inspired by the Vogelherd cave ivory figurines. It can be really interesting to try so create something what´s totally different in style from the things you normally do.

Anonymous said...

This is amazing...simplistic and mythic all at once.