Artist Overview: Reynold Brown


Reynold Brown is truly one of the greatest unknown film poster artist and illustrators of his time. Brown created some of the most well known film poster of 1950s and 1960s; Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), This Island Earth (1955), Attack of the 50ft Woman (1958), Black Sabbath (1963) to name a few.


William Reynold Brown was born in Los Angeles, Califonia on  October 18th 1917. Before he began his career illustrating film posters, he drew Tailspin Tommy comic strip with cartoonist Hal Forrest. At one point of his early career Brown met illustrator/artist Norman Rockwell who advised Brown to leave cartooning if he wanted to be an illustrator. Before his career in film industry, Brown was serving as an technical illustrator at North American Aviation.


Reynold Brown worked in Hollywood in the 1950s throughout 1960s. At some point in the 1960s, probably lattter half of the decade, Brown decided to withdraw from film poster and commercial illustration altogether. Back in the day commercial illustrators or film poster artists remained largely anonymous. Often times they couldn’t sign their illustrations or take/make visible credit for what they had done. Film posters were only created for marketing the picture not to promote the artist who made it. Also film posters were printed on cheap paper and colours appear in printed form more brighter than in the original painting (see comparison below).

Left: Reynold Brown’s original painting for the film “The Creature Walks Among Us” (1956). Right: Printed film poster with “tuned” colors.



After working two decades in film business, Brown became disillusioned with commercial illustration and moved to Chadron, Nebraska leaving the bright lights of Hollywood behind. While in Nebraska, Brown painted landscapes and themes of Old wild west. Reynold Brown died on 24th of August 1991. He was 73 years old.


Interesting note:

Reynold Brown worked also as an art teacher at college where young Drew Struzan was studying. (page 82, The Art of Drew Struzan by Drew Struzan & David J. Schow)



YouTube: The Man Who Drew Bug-Eyed Monsters (1994) (Parts 1-4)


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