Brom started his career creating commercial illustration for clients like Coke, IBM and CNN. He was soon seduced the dark side (of illustration, that is) and shifted into working full time for TSR, creating wonderfully dark and twisted fantasy illustrations for TSR’s publications (image above). He eventually went freelance again and has continued to do fantasy illustrations for books, games and comics.
His paintings are deliberately horrific and disturbing, often featuring distorted figures with “alternate” body parts, grotesque demons, gothic fetish costuming and unnervingly bizarre implements and weapons.
The painting here is one of his milder ones, and was inspired by a trip to the Tate gallery in London and their collections of Pre-Raphaelite and other 19th Century realist paintings. (See my post on William Holman Hunt.) You can see the influence in his affection for elaborate costume and the surface textures and details of decorative objects like the hanging urn. Brom’s work also shows the influence of classic illustrators, like those mentioned in the previous two posts, as well as more contemporary fantasy illustrators like Frank Frazetta.
Brom has just completed his new project, Plucker, a 160 page illustrated novel with over 100 images. The book has its own web site.
Plucker‘s images deal with many subjects that you might find in children’s books; provided, of course, that you wanted to scar your children for life. What happens to the innocent objects of childhood when the encounter the horrors of grown-up reality? Brom knows.
You may also be able to find earlier collections of his work, Darkwerks: The Art of Brom, and Offerings. He is also featured in Fantasy Art Masters: The Best Fantasy and Science Fiction Artists Show How They Work by Dick Jude, a beautifully illustrated volume in which Brom and nine other fantasy and science fiction artists discuss their work and working techniques in detail.
6 Replies to “Brom”
Thanks for this post. I loved Brom back when I loved D&D. I used to just stop what I was doing and STARE at his images. It took me a long time to realize that the worlds his illustrations depicted were rarely as well created by TSR. Eventually, I’d make up my own game modifications based on what the art suggested, versus what really came from the company.
I don’t comment often, but I love your choice of posts and what you come up with.
–Chris of [chrisbrogan.com]
he does some beautiful veinous fleshy muscle work — wow!
Thanks, both of you, for your comments.
Yes, Brom does some images that just stop you in your tracks. I agree, Chris, that the illustrations for many things, games, books, movies, are often better than the actual thing they’re promoting.
Did you know that there are a line of miniatures for a tabletop game inspired in Brom art? Very nice, and a way to paint your own version of Brom in 3D. I think that him was more involved with actual design of the miniatures at the beginning. take a look http://www.dark-age.com/main.php
And appart from that, good Blog, a pleasure to read.
Raul, Cool. Thanks.
I love your work!…..
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