Priestess of Dagon (work in progress #1)

I took some stuff from a Bouguereau painting for this one…I had a nice large reference photo for a change and want to learn some of his awesome techniques.

Priestess of Dagon, oil on panel, 9x12 inches, work in progress 08-16-08

Priestess of Dagon, oil on panel, 9x12 inches, work in progress 08-17-08

This is the first outdoor portrait-type painting I have attempted and the first with a substantial background, but I didn’t plan anything out here so it just kind of evolved as I painted it. The Lovecraftian Dagon motif wormed it’s way in at some point…originally I was just messing around studying the Bouguereau painting as I painted over some abstract experiment.

I just started learning to represent bushes and landscapes and such so I’ve been experimenting with that as I go along. Originally I took reference photos of some Goleta, California landscapes but ended up covering up most of what I painted from those.

The pyramid is going to have a somewhat evil-looking eye on it which will also be mirrored on her brooch. I’m going for a contrast between the wholesome landscape, her flaxen fair, puffy white clouds, etc., and the soon-to-be weird and creepy structures in the background, her strange brooch, and her less than happy expression. The eye symbols will be the same stylized eye used in the movie Dagon, which was based on Lovecraft’s story The Shadow Over Innsmouth.

Lovecraft is a favorite of mine and some of his influence (and that of the author Lord Dunsany and the artist Tim Kirk who, among other works, drew some wonderful illustrations for Dunsany) is creeping into another of my paintings, Dream-City #1.

Here’s the Bouguereau painting I borrowed from, my painting doesn’t look anything like it anymore but I still feel I must disclaim since I used that painting heavily as a reference for the eyes and such:

One Response to “Priestess of Dagon (work in progress #1)”

  1. Chromatic Black » Priestess of Dagon completed - Airn's oil painting blog Says:

    […] Lovecraft-inspired painting, it started out as a study of a Bouguereau painting (see initial post) but I deviated pretty completely from it except for some shading and the pose. This was another […]

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