Friday, March 12, 2010

Phantom of the Opera

Lon Chaney's portrayal of Erik, the Phantom of the Opera has long been a favorite of mine. I remember going to the library when you could borrow Super 8 films and watch them at home. they had a version of Phantom that actually had the hand tinted Mask of the Red Death scenes in it!! When I was eleven, my older brother bought me a Lon Chaney biography entitled Faces, Forms Films. What a treasure trove of images to draw, and I did, repeatedly! Chaney's portrayals of Wu, Quasimodo, Erik, they were all there. That book and Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine loaded me up with lots of pictures to draw from.

Musician Keith LuBrant commissioned me to do this portrait of Erik. He wanted the moment just after Christine pulled Erik's mask off, exposing his visage. He chose a somewhat blurry photo for me to work from. Keith was an excellent client, giving me his opinion on how the piece was progressing, and always encouraging me. I've always thought of this piece as being created by Keith and me. I'm very please with the way it turned out.


  1. Thanks for the kind words. Your talent is tremendous and I wish you more and more success throughout the years! You bring to life these pictures in such a unique way (and it is great to read stories about each portrait)

  2. Thanks, Keith. I appreciate your comments.

  3. Mike, I'll bet I got those same Ohio Library Circuit films!

    (The main Bal Masque scene is actually early Technicolor.)

    -Craig W.