Friday, October 9, 2009

Frankenstein 005: FrankenLee

Part of my 100 Frankensteins Project.

When you say the name "Frankenstein," most people no doubt think of Boris Karloff. He was the actor most identified with the role, but there've been dozens of others who've played the part over the years.

Take Christopher Lee, for instance. Yep, the guy known for playing Dracula at Hammer Studios also played the Frankenstein monster.

Best known for his pasty white skin, dead eye, pea coat and Moe Howard haircut, Lee's was an interesting look and interpretation of the Monster.

I should point out that when I was a kid, I absolutely hated this version of the Monster. Actually I hated ANY Frankenstein Monster that didn't look like the awesome Karloff version. In my narrow kid mind there was one, and only one Frankenstein Monster, and any variations might as well not even exist. Fortunately as I've gotten older I've grown to appreciate the Christopher Lee version.

By the way, Universal Studios actually copyrighted the Karloff makeup used in their Frankenstein films. That's why when you see a Frankenstein movie made by some other studio, such as Hammer, the Monster looks radically different from the Karloff version.

Drawn in Photoshop on the graphic tablet. I used some splatter brushes I found on the internet for the bloody background. This was the first time I've really used any brushes like that. I'm not totally happy with the results. I quickly discovered they take practice to use properly. I may end up redoing the background.

Here's the original sketch of Mr. Lee as Frankenstein. I ended up changing the pose quite a bit in the final drawing, because I thought this one was a little too static. Also, it looks like he's conducting an orchestra.


  1. May I just say, TOTALLY AWESOME!!

    I found your blog thru the Frankensteinia Blog, and of course I squealed with delight to see ol' Chris Lee's Frankenstein. I love this piece!!
    I'm a big time Hammer fan so I love it when I find drawings from the films! Especially great ones like this!!!

  2. Wow, thanks for the compliments, Belle! Your Doo Wacka Doodles blog is pretty nifty as well. I like your "aged" book covers. I've dabbled in that as well, and had the same thought: Why am I spending all this time getting a drawing just right, so I can then make it look like it's been buried in the dirt for 30 years?


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