Here’s a stunning portrait of The Monster and his Bride by celebrity cartoonist and broadcaster Feg Murray, created for his Seein’ Stars feature syndicated to newspapers in 1936. This, the original art, was found in makeup man Jack Pierce’s personal scrapbook and sold through Heritage Auctions for $2,151 in 2007.
I previously posted Murray’s portrait of Boris Karloff in Son of Frankenstein (1939). Follow this link to read about Feg Murray and hear Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi sing a duet!
The perfect likenesses suggest that Murray’s art was traced from photos, likely projected onto an art board, a common technique and a necessary expedient for someone drawing realistic portraits on a daily schedule.
Murray used a “screentone” type of art board saturated with small dots that would be made visible by applying a solvent. When photographed and reduced to publishing size, the dots would function as stippling, creating gray tones. Before the advent of computer graphics, pre-textured paper, which came in a variety of dot or crosshatch patterns, was widely used by artists in newspapers and comic books.
Murray’s elegant brushwork and judicious use of screentone shading combine to make a truly outstanding piece.