by Blake N. Behrens
Victor Frankenstein is a fictional character, the protagonist of the 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, written by Mary Shelley. He is the scientist who, after studying chemical processes and the decay of living beings, gains an insight into the creation of life and gives life to his own creature (often referred to as Frankenstein's monster).
While many subsequent film adaptations (notably the 1931 movie Frankenstein and the Hammer Films series starring Peter Cushing) have portrayed Frankenstein as unbalanced or insane (the prototypical "mad scientist"), the novel portrayed him as atragic figure.
In addition, the Victor Frankenstein of the novel is not a doctor, as he is typically portrayed in adaptations, but a college dropout. Nor is he a "Baron"; and no title is given to his father, either, although they are clearly a wealthy family.
I find that Dr. Frankenstein is a very interesting character because I knew very little about him. He had an assistant, Igor, and he created a monster. His physical description is so varied that I could have painted him a hundred different ways. In the end, I chose to conceal his face and play off of his work instead of his features for his portrait.
For the Dr. Frankenstein piece I wanted to create something in the campy pulp magazine art style. I ended up using water colors, which I hadn't used in quite some time, for a soft fleshy depiction of the good doctor and his monstrosity. I became very frustrated with the medium and spent more time on this project than I intended. I feel as though my painting skills have really become rusty in the last decade. Eventually I added some india ink to really define the edges and further that old pulp magazine style.
Luckily, when I showed the final piece to my lovely wife, she groaned and almost had to throw up. I guess that's a success?