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Concept: Elder Thing by Ito-Saith-Webb Concept: Elder Thing by Ito-Saith-Webb
The Elder Thing from the Mountains of Madness.

I really tried to refrain from looking at past drawings/paintings of the Elder Things as they are just as famous as Cthulhu to Lovecraft fans and so there is a common look. I really didn't want to emulate anyone, especially Barlowe's wonderful illustrations. I wanted my own interpretation from the descriptions which is very detailed and this many illustrations of this guy looks very similar. However, as I read the descriptions I noticed that you could read a lot into them and make assumptions so where I saw these I let them be open to interpretation so that I could create something unique but still remain true to Lovecraft . Down below are the descriptions I worked from.


"10:15 P.M. Important discovery. Orrendorf and Watkins, working underground at 9:45 with light, found monstrous barrel-shaped fossil of wholly unknown nature; probably vegetable unless overgrown specimen of unknown marine radiata. Tissue evidently preserved by mineral salts. Tough as leather, but astonishing flexibility retained in places. Marks of broken-off parts at ends and around sides. Six feet end to end, three and five-tenths feet central diameter, tapering to one foot at each end. Like a barrel with five bulging ridges in place of staves. Lateral breakages, as of thinnish stalks, are at equator in middle of these ridges. In furrows between ridges are curious growths—combs or wings that fold up and spread out like fans. All greatly damaged but one, which gives almost seven-foot wing spread. Arrangement reminds one of certain monsters of primal myth, especially fabled Elder Things in Necronomicon.

"Objects are eight feet long all over. Six-foot, five-ridged barrel torso three and five-tenths feet central diameter, one foot end diameters. Dark gray, flexible, and infinitely tough. Seven-foot membranous wings of same color, found folded, spread out of furrows between ridges. Wing framework tubular or glandular, of lighter gray, with orifices at wing tips. Spread wings have serrated edge. Around equator, one at central apex of each of the five vertical, stave-like ridges are five systems of light gray flexible arms or tentacles found tightly folded to torso but expansible to maximum length of over three feet. Like arms of primitive crinoid. Single stalks three inches diameter branch after six inches into five substalks, each of which branches after eight inches into small, tapering tentacles or tendrils, giving each stalk a total of twenty-five tentacles.
"At top of torso blunt, bulbous neck of lighter gray, with gill-like suggestions, holds yellowish five-pointed starfish-shaped apparent head covered with three-inch wiry cilia of various prismatic colors. Head thick and puffy, about two feet point to point, with three-inch flexible yellowish tubes projecting from each point. Slit in exact center of top probably breathing aperture. At end of each tube is spherical expansion where yellowish membrane rolls back on handling to reveal glassy, red-irised globe, evidently an eye. Five slightly longer reddish tubes start from inner angles of starfish-shaped head and end in saclike swellings of same color which, upon pressure, open to bell-shaped orifices two inches maximum diameter and lined with sharp, white tooth like projections—probably mouths. All these tubes, cilia, and points of starfish head, found folded tightly down; tubes and points clinging to bulbous neck and torso. Flexibility surprising despite vast toughness.
"At bottom of torso, rough but dissimilarly functioning counterparts of head arrangements exist. Bulbous light-gray pseudo-neck, without gill suggestions, holds greenish five-pointed starfish arrangement. Tough, muscular arms four feet long and tapering from seven inches diameter at base to about two and five-tenths at point. To each point is attached small end of a greenish five-veined membranous triangle eight inches long and six wide at farther end. This is the paddle, fin, or pseudofoot which has made prints in rocks from a thousand million to fifty or sixty million years old. From inner angles of starfish-arrangement project two-foot reddish tubes tapering from three inches diameter at base to one at tip. Orifices at tips. All these parts infinitely tough and leathery, but extremely flexible. Four-foot arms with paddles undoubtedly used for locomotion of some sort, marine or otherwise. When moved, display suggestions of exaggerated muscularity. As found, all these projections tightly folded over pseudoneck and end of torso, corresponding to projections at other end.
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:iconjemenai:
jemenai Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2016
This is so fantastic!  I'm currently listening to the book unabridged as an audiobook and I had a very hard time picturing them from just hearing it. 
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:iconito-saith-webb:
Ito-Saith-Webb Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:iconakhnaton-ii:
Akhnaton-II Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very well done, we need more of this before the stupid movie is released.
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:iconito-saith-webb:
Ito-Saith-Webb Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Well Del Toro is  doing it or trying to do and he is a Lovecraft fan so I am sure it will be fine. Besides I have scene some of his more artsy horror films and they were very well done.  I just don't want Tom Cruise to be in it.
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:iconakhnaton-ii:
Akhnaton-II Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You see, what Lovecraft was trying to say is that the Elder Things were persons and scientists, despite their weird appearance. What's the point, if they will look humanized in the movie? Maybe Del Toro will add some romance, like Jackson did with 'Hobbit'? It is just against the author's intentions.
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:iconjemenai:
jemenai Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2016
From what I've read, back when Del Toro was originally trying to get the movie, the studio that was gonna do it was hesitant because there was going to be no romance nor any happy endings.  So I don't think Del Toro will add any of that.  At least I hope not.
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:iconakhnaton-ii:
Akhnaton-II Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I pray to Cthulhu that he won't KR Emote: Cthulhu 
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:iconcyborg450:
cyborg450 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015  Student
Have you done yig?
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:iconito-saith-webb:
Ito-Saith-Webb Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
No not yet. I haven't really had time for personal pieces lately due to other projects.
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:iconcyborg450:
cyborg450 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015  Student
Right.
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:iconmichel-le-fou:
Michel-le-fou Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015  Professional Writer
Extraordinary, a very accurate study.
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:iconito-saith-webb:
Ito-Saith-Webb Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
:)
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:iconebenila:
ebenila Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2014
You have to give it to Lovecraft -- his ability to dredge up images from nether regions of his primal brain, is unmatched in the popular literary world. Even Milton's Paradise Lost cannot compare in variety of imagery. His belief in the existence of primordial entities having plied the vast universe -- some settling deep within the Earth's interior -- may just as well have given rise to those who came long before the Titan gods of old. I have always been intrigued by the notion of highly evolved life forms having created advance planetary civilizations through out the universe, the Earth being no exception. No one knows what lies deep beneath the surface in the seas and under miles of polar ice -- still there in dormant sleep -- waiting        
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:iconito-saith-webb:
Ito-Saith-Webb Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
:)
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:iconscygon344:
scygon344 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014
interesting
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:iconito-saith-webb:
Ito-Saith-Webb Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks
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:iconnofbar:
nofbar Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014
I've never seen such a detailed analysis of an Elder Thing.  This looks like a plate from a textbook on alien anatomy.  It's nice to see an imagining of how the things travel in space.  On the negative side, I think there's too much of "front" and "back" concepts given that Lovecraft described Elder Things as being of radial symmetry.
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:iconito-saith-webb:
Ito-Saith-Webb Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks
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:iconthereptiliangeneral:
TheReptilianGeneral Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
did this come out of a night mare you had?
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:iconito-saith-webb:
Ito-Saith-Webb Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
no
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:iconthereptiliangeneral:
TheReptilianGeneral Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
what animal class is it? mammal? reptile?
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:iconthereptiliangeneral:
TheReptilianGeneral Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
looks like it though
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:iconnicolaslferrari:
nicolaslferrari Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
It's so beautifull!!! What about to make a member of the "Great Race of Yith"?
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:iconemmetearwax:
EmmetEarwax Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Great Race of Yith - not really hostile, just secretive & uncaring. They swipe other people's bodies and stick the guy's mind in their own body ! YOU may have conversed with some Yith-possessed guy for all I know.

The Old Race, hostile & violent, but they may be all gone from earth now. It proved hostile to them, corrupting & suborning the shoggoths, colonized by other mythos races....
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:iconito-saith-webb:
Ito-Saith-Webb Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Eventually I will. I have so many "to do list" things but not enough time or energy.
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:iconartao:
artao Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2012  Professional General Artist
Excellent work!
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:iconito-saith-webb:
Ito-Saith-Webb Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks :)
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:iconhamadriyad:
Hamadriyad Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012
Very detailed!
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:iconito-saith-webb:
Ito-Saith-Webb Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
:)
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:iconemmetearwax:
EmmetEarwax Featured By Owner May 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Whether any Elder Things still remain on earth is debatable, esp. after the awful outcome of the encounter with civilized men and the Elder Ones in AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS. They still inhabit other worlds, particularly one visited by Gilman ,Keziah and Brown Jenkin, in THE DREAMS IN THE WITCH-HOUSE. just the earth has proven off-limits to them now.
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:iconito-saith-webb:
Ito-Saith-Webb Featured By Owner May 14, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I haven't read the expanded mythos yet by other authors. Sometimes I am afraid to because it would feel like it would take away from Lovecraft's work.
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:iconemmetearwax:
EmmetEarwax Featured By Owner May 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Tho I do not recall bringing up this topic, esp. at this point, I feel obligued to state that Derleth could not deal with Lovecraft's atheistic view of a cosmos innately hostile to sanity and order, let alone meaning. So Derleth called up the Elder Gods (I know of Nodens, Bast, maybe Hypnos) who are seemingly friendly to man, tho that's because when they manifest to them, they inspire reverence and awe, not horror & madness.

Derleth added that when the cosmos was young, the Elder Gods warred with the Great Old Ones, and finally chained them in various plaves. Azathoth was cast Outside, blinded and rendered mindless. Cthulhu was locked in a tomb in R'lyeh. Hastur imprisoned in the lake of Hali near Carcosa under the Seven Suns, Cthugha (appears as a tornado of fire !) at Fomalhaut, Tsathoggua in caverns deep under the earth, and so on ... This all looks like a mythology to explain why they are in such places ...

It appears that Earth is tainted in some way. It may be special to the Great Old Ones, as shoggoths ,docile and benevolent,or at least obedient, became fractious and increasingly unmanagable on earth. The Elder Ones recorded that they had to resubjugate and discipline them repeatedly. Also - there's something beyond mount Kadath in Antartica that no human mind can endure, which drove Gelman insane !
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:iconharrrypotter313:
harrrypotter313 Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2016
Would that soemthing perhaps be the Plateau of Leng, inhabited by the enigmatic "Men of Leng," and the mysterious "High Priest Not To Be Described" clothed in yellow, who lives in a shrine there?

Or perhaps it is The Peak of Eternal Day, supposedly the most holiest and evilest place on Earth? Geographically speaking, it is said to be a mountain deep in the Antarctic, ssupposedly so tall that it extends beyond the reach of the Earth's shadow, hence it's name. However, it is also said to be a place of unspeakable evil, so much so that there is no life life whatsoever in the lands surrounding it. Esqimoux who know of the mountain avoid it entirely, and caution outsiders to to do the same, for fear of what lies beyond there.
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:iconemmetearwax:
EmmetEarwax Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Eskimoes? Antartica ? I'm sorry, but it makes me think of polar bears in the Antartic.

Also, Edgar Allen Poe in his Ulalume, spoke of Mt. Yaanek at the North Pole.
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:iconmasterofhorr:
masterofhorr Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Student
That's okay..I guess.
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:iconmasterofhorr:
masterofhorr Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Student
This is an awesome pictur eby the way.
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:iconshadowfox23:
shadowfox23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I love the amount of detail, even if various artisitc liberties are taken. According to what was later discovered on the walls of the city, underwater propulsion was achieved by tentacles, similar to modern crinoids, psuedofeet(like flippers), and to a lesser extent the wings. The "major mouth" you listed is said to be for breathing, in addition to the gills and pores. It is always possible these were misinterpretations on the part of the protagonist, and I do very much enjoy the thought you put into this. good work
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:iconsomercet:
somercet Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012
Wow.
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:icongojisan:
gojisan Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2012
Great job! I have this book and this is probably one of the best descriptions of the Elder Things ever!
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:iconito-saith-webb:
Ito-Saith-Webb Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks
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:icongojisan:
gojisan Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2012
Anytime
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:iconburter1993:
burter1993 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2011
WOW! This really helps me picture them. I just got done reading the story "At the mountains of madness" and i had trouble picturing them.
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:iconajtalon:
AJTalon Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2011  Student Writer
It's a very original take on the Elder Things, and this is one of my favorite Lovecraft stories. The anatomical features are very well thought out and I like the method of propulsion underwater. Very well done.
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:iconboogeyman55:
boogeyman55 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2011
i remember that they had no reproduction organs ;D
still good pic
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:iconcthulhucultist:
CthulhuCultist Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011
Would make lovecraft proud.
Perfect interpretation, the submarine picture is the summum of visualisation.
All hails to your talent
IA Cthulhu
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:iconito-saith-webb:
Ito-Saith-Webb Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks :)
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:iconfreyad-dryden:
Freyad-Dryden Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011
Nice.
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:iconjakehunter:
jakehunter Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2011
cool
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:iconlucidifer:
Lucidifer Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2011
Fucking Elder Things...
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:iconlotg:
LotG Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome work. I heard the audiobook of the Mountains of Madness and its a great work. Have you tried Shoggoth yet?
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