Monday, July 30, 2012


I'm hitting you with two pages of the week this week since it slipped my mind to post last week. This is a good week for it since we start with July and end with August.

For this first posting, I wanted to do something a little more tutorial-like. I do all my work in traditional mediums and only use computers for color separating T-shirt and poster designs. But the computer is used to lay in all the type for my books (which all of you probably know already). But in this case, I hand lettered some type so that it would look more organic and humanistic.

There is a scene at the end of the book where Victor Frankenstein is hunting down his creation. This wretched abomination destroyed everyone he's ever loved, and has pushed Victor to a mortal vendetta. He follows the monster across countries, through Russia and the desserts of the Sahara, up through the uncharted ices of the north. Victor follows close behind and can usually track him through over sized footprints and destruction. But at times, the wretch would leave a message on a rock or a tree just to make sure his pursuer doesn't give up.

One message is left carved into a tree. First of all, on a stylistic side, I wanted this tree to represent life. This is before Victor reaches the icy north, and there is still beauty surrounding him. The tree is full of life, erupting from a grassy hill and sprouting flowers itself. Not only does the wretch scar this tree with his selfish message, but Victor too, with disregard for life, sets the tree on fire in a vengeful tantrum.

The message inscribed by the wretch needs to look like bark scraped from the bark. Often times, a font will be too unified and repetitious. So I hand drew the letters myself. To do this, I finished the piece of art first. then I laid a piece of tracing paper over the art and drew the inscription onto the tracing paper over "the tree". Next step, I laid the tracing paper over illustration board and transferred this same writing onto the board using carbon paper. Then, I inked this transfer. The inked version of the inscription was scanned into the computer and laid over the artwork in the computer, using a choice of color that I felt represented fresh wood. After adding a shadow, it looks pretty good.

This version is just a mock up. The digital steps will be repeated by the designer once they get the original artwork from me. From there, she can continue to tweak it to perfection.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Here's your page of the week. In this page, we see Victor's friend Clerval, how he sees him: a joyous, optimistic and sometimes delusional individual. Childhood friends, Clerval keeps popping into the story during Victor's gloomiest times. He cares for him, get's him out of the house and shows him a good time.

As simple as this piece is, I really enjoy it because it is one of the most purest watercolors in the story. Not only is it not cluttered up with darkness and narrative visuals, the technique is also airy without a lot of detail...the truest form of watercolor.

Mind you, the type was just thrown in for demonstrative purposes and is not representative of the actual font, placement or structure. It is just there to help you visualize where text will be place in the final book.

Friday, July 13, 2012


As Victor trudges on his journey, one that has lasted a lifetime and has beaten the hell out of him, I can't help but think of my own journey illustrating Frankenstein. As he sees his quest coming to an end (to grapple with the wretch) I too see the horizon. With only 26 pages left I can see completion. Hopefully, it is much more glorious than that of Frankenstein's.

Here is your page of the week. Severed deer heads, blood and snow...all good things to share.

 "As I still pursued my journey to the northward, the snows thickened, and the cold increased in a degree almost too severe to support. The peasants were shut up in their hovels, and only a few of the most hardy ventured forth to seize the animals whom starvation had forced from their hiding-places to seek for prey. The rivers were covered with ice, and no fish could be procured; and thus I was cut off from my chief article of maintenance.

The triumph of my enemy increased with the difficulty of my labours. One inscription that he left was in these words: "Prepare! your toils only begin: wrap yourself in furs, and provide food, for we shall soon enter upon a journey where your sufferings will satisfy my everlasting hatred."

My courage and perseverance were invigorated by these scoffing words; I resolved not to fail in my purpose; and, calling on heaven to support me, I continued with unabated fervour to traverse immense deserts, until the ocean appeared at a distance, and formed the utmost boundary of the horizon. Oh! how unlike it was to the blue seas of the south! Covered with ice, it was only to be distinguished from land by its superior wildness and ruggedness. The Greeks wept for joy when they beheld the Mediterranean from the hills of Asia, and hailed with rapture the boundary of their toils. I did not weep; but I knelt down, and, with a full heart, thanked my guiding spirit for conducting me in safety to the place where I hoped, notwithstanding my adversary's gibe, to meet and grapple with him."

Friday, July 6, 2012


Another week almost slipped by without me posting the page of the week.

This is a fun one. I like all the pages with artwork containing skulls and corpses and death. Go figure. Fun stuff with stitched up hearts, bone heels and skulls with lipstick. Frankenstein begins to create the mate for the monster. But the process is not nearly as enjoyable as the first time. There is dread bearing heavily upon him. One image depicts Victor with his head pressed against the skull of the bride-to-be, concerned with his actions. This image mirrors a similar one in chapter one where he is holding the skull of his first abomination. But in that image, he looks upon the skull with hope and curiosity. He was still full of aspirations. Not anymore.

Most of this page is depicted in illustrations opposed to words. But here is the the text from the book for this page:

"In this retreat I devoted the morning to labour; but in the evening, when the weather permitted, I walked on the stony beach of the sea, to listen to the waves as they roared, and dashed at my feet. It was a monotonous, yet ever-changing scene. I thought of Switzerland; it was far different from this desolate and appalling landscape. Its hills are covered with vines, and its cottages are scattered thickly in the plains. Its fair lakes reflect a blue and gentle sky; and, when troubled by the winds, their tumult is but as the play of a lively infant, when compared to the roarings of the giant ocean.

In this manner I distributed my occupations when I first arrived; but, as I proceeded in my labour, it became every day more horrible and irksome to me. Sometimes I could not prevail on myself to enter my laboratory for several days; and at other times I toiled day and night in order to complete my work. It was indeed a filthy process in which I was engaged. During my first experiment, a kind of enthusiastic frenzy had blinded me to the horror of my employment; my mind was intently fixed on the sequel of my labour, and my eyes were shut to the horror of my proceedings. But now I went to it in cold blood, and my heart often sickened at the work of my hands.

 Thus situated, employed in the most detestable occupation, immersed in a solitude where nothing could for an instant call my attention from the actual scene in which I was engaged, my spirits became unequal; I grew restless and nervous. Every moment I feared to meet my persecutor. Sometimes I sat with my eyes fixed on the ground, fearing to raise them lest they should encounter the object which I so much dreaded to behold. I feared to wander from the sight of my fellow-creatures, lest when alone he should come to claim his companion.

In the mean time I worked on, and my labour was already considerably advanced. I looked towards its completion with a tremulous and eager hope, which I dared not trust myself to question, but which was intermixed with obscure forebodings of evil, that made my heart sicken in my bosom."