Joe O'Reilly

Using Shelly's Words

05 Feb 2010

An excerpt from Frankenstein...

Chapter 5

It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.

How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips.

The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature. I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room and continued a long time traversing my bed-chamber, unable to compose my mind to sleep. At length lassitude succeeded to the tumult I had before endured, and I threw myself on the bed in my clothes, endeavouring to seek a few moments of forgetfulness. But it was in vain; I slept, indeed, but I was disturbed by the wildest dreams.

Frankenstein, Page 69 —This is excerpt from the book describes the monster in vivid detail, I made it my mission

Please download the PDF

Looking elsewhere for inspiration

After my first experiment I hit up a few of my favourite art blogs as they often show case work by AMAZING illustrators. Below you can see Andreas Krapf's work, he's a talented illustrator who lives in Hettstadt, Germany. His work below marries the words of The Brothers Grimm with his marvellous high quality illustrations. The text has been set to flow beautifully along side his illustrations.

View image of page or maybe view actual page.

Andreas' illustrations capture the look, and feel I've been aiming for. So I will use his work as an inspiration for by next draft, I'll create a background texture for one page on paper and scan/photograph it into a book.

Draft Two

I got my sketchbook and started to do some drawing, as this is often a great way to experiment and being faster than creating something digital it's also easier.

I positioned my illustration into the middle of two A4 pages, and added text on the right side. I then started work on the floor, wall and arch I'd planned. I opened Illustrator and imported my sketches.

I started to experiment with shapes and styles for the brick work. I used various gradients, strokes and shading techniques.

I drew out all of the bricks so I had a framework to build on.

This process wasn't working as well as I'd have liked it to. The act of styling the bricks was looking to be a tedious job I didn't want to do. I decided I couldn't do any worse trying to create the desired affect in Photoshop. And while I was in Photoshop, I thought, I might as well use my graphics tablet.

Digital Painting

I've done some very, very, limited digital painting before. So this is a kinda new area for me.


Illustration Two


Hand Study