Brad Krause, Milwaukee-based animator and illustrator, recently shared a few of his favorite pieces with Cream City Illustrators.
“Ehlwy Comic, page 2″
Page 2 for Lisa England and her Aurelia story she wrote about the subterranean dwellers who keep the city under the mountain working. This page introduces the living environment, work environment and, at the end of the page, the main character, Ehlwy.
A “Double-page spread” for the Ehlwy comic depicting the climax of the action, when the mother worm breaks through the tunnel, sending Ehlwy and the king tumbling.
Compared to most comic book artists, I take an inordinate amount of time with my technique, and no professional comic book artist would consider my working methods professional, because I take so long. I’m now painting instead of inking. But when I finally get back to inking, my next task is to not only improve my speed, but develop techniques that will allow me to be more flexible in my approach… being less elaborate most of the time, and allocating my more intensive work where it will mean more (like on a double-page spread!).
“Verne Theime portrait”
One of many air brush portraits I did in the early 90′s. The goal of every portrait isn’t just to capture a likeness, but to maintain that likeness while improving their appearance. For this portrait, I not only darkened his hair, but greatly reduced the “heft” of facial fat, reduced wrinkles, and thickened his hair. In all, I think I shed about 20 years off of him.
One of the first 5 paintings I did in 2012 as a return to traditional painting, including portraits of my kids and wife. This was inspired by my love of 60′s rock poster art and art nouveau. I call this “Intentional Water”, since no water would actually make these shapes as a result of natural forces.
“Ehlwy Comic, page 1″
This inside R-side page introduces the reader to then environment of Aurelia, a city of people who live inside of a hollowed-out mountain. This is a Steam Punk story, so everything is visibly mechanical. The mountain-inside-of-a-mountain has every surface developed and utilized. Simulating this amount of detail took more time than I can even estimate. But it is the first page, and it has to be an eye-opener.
“Push Me Pull You Worm”
I did this little 10″ x 10″ tempera painting ostensibly as an entry into the “100 under $100″ show at Studio Lounge. But, as usual, I spent way too much time to allow me to sell it for under $100. The goal here was to do something completely out of my imagination (I did have a caterpillar reference, though), and keep it fun and fast.
“Daredevil Cover Idea”
Jim Kreuger, comic book author, gave me some professional suggestions for breaking into the comic book industry. One of those was to concentrate on cover art, given the inordinate amount of time I spend on my inks, and he assigned me a few characters to work with. For Daredevil, he even handed me a graphic idea he had: Show Daredevil upside down, but flip the whole composition so that he is right side up, and the CITY is upside down. I needed a reason for him to be upside down, thought he should be anchored by one hand, and threw in the bad guy for fun. I built and rendered the city in 3d.
Did this in 2010, with the aim of gradually improving my inking technique after leaving all of that traditional stuff alone for 15 years. I also made a bunch of inking technique youtube videos. I use a variety of tools, but I prefer using traditional inking tools, since they give the nice, black ink finish as opposed to markers. I will use markers for technical/mechanical objects that need straight lines and even line widths.
“Saarlac Pit Angle”
My first “scene” painting in many, many years. Except for the figure, for which my very fit son Adrian posed for (and I took poor pictures of), everything in the scene is made up, using no reference at all.
“Jude In The Colleseum”
One of about 8 illustrations that I did for Lisa England for her Aurelia story, posted online in 2012-2013. I decided to back off on the heavy line work/shading technique and focus instead on detail and composition.
I collected a LOT of reference not just of tigers, but other people’s 3d creations of mechanical tigers – there are many out there. In the end, mine didn’t look anything like anyone else’s. I also acquired references for stadiums and colosseums, and even built a simplified colosseum in 3d to help me work out the perspective that I wanted. Finally, to make the very wide curves for the stands, I found out how to make a physical device for drawing large curves.
Day-to-day, I am a 3d animator, and I make animations for everything from TV commercials to industrial videos. This character was built on spec many years ago, as I was getting started as a freelance artist. He is supposed to be the physical embodiment of “Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug” abuse. The idea presented to me seemed a little silly to me at the time: Make an appealing, fun character to represent all of these bad things… for the organization whose goal is to eliminate them. Huh? But it gave me a chance to make a fun character when I didn’t have any other work coming in.
Learn more about Brad’s work at Radiance-Media.com