Action & Adventure Illustrations

Book cover illustration by Brad Fraunfelter for "Traders & Traitors" written by Loren K. Jones.TRADERS & TRAITORS

Second in a series of novels by Loren K. Jones, this was another assignment done for the Publisher Twilight Times Books. Brad started by collecting a multitude of reference images showing the Great Plains, gypsies, mules, and cloudscapes. The book cover was then digitally painted by hand using the reference photos as guides. The small figure standing next to the wagon was created by photographing a model and then painting the armor in detail overtop of the figure.

Book cover illustration by Brad Fraunfelter for Christopher Nuttall's book "Ragnarok", part of the trilogy.RAGNAROK

Commissioned by author Chris Nuttall, this was a cover spread done for the 3rd novel in a trilogy about an internal uprising in Nazi Germany. The title of the book, and this piece is “Ragnarok” which means the end of the world according to Norse mythology. Brad first started by collecting reference material showing war-ravaged cities, and nuclear explosions. These were used to paint the blackened city. The lone soldier was a model that Brad photographed wearing army fatigues. The lighting for the figure was set up to duplicate the glare of the nuclear blast by using a strong edge light covered with an amber colored jell.

"Clearing Storm" rigged sailing ship illustration by Brad Fraunfelter.CLEARING STORM

This was purely a personal work Brad created as a special gift for his Father.  Brad states: “My Father served in the Navy, and seemed to have a great affinity for the sea and for Seafaring, so I decided to do something different then my usual Fantasy themes. I had never painted a ship before and had no clue about its structure”. Indeed, Brad had difficulty with the initial concept sketches, because of their lack of realism, so decided to take a different approach and constructed an actual ship model. Brad purchased a detailed model of an 18th century frigate, and with the help of his wife they constructed and painted the model over several months.  The completed model was the basis of several photoshoots, which helped enormously to get a very good concept of the physical structure of the vessel. Using the model as reference, and earlier landscape photos he had taken from the area of Cape Cod Brad created the digital painting.  Brad also photographed a model which was used to create the sailors, and Captain of the ship.

"Hidden Shadows" book cover illustration by Brad Fraunfelter.HIDDEN SHADOWS

In the Spring of 2015 Brad was approached by the Publisher at Twilight Times Books to do a cover for a very different type of genre & subject matter, in that it was essentially a country landscape scene. The author had precise instructions on the details of the image - including a the structural details of a weathered cottage, and the surrounding landscape which was to be based in “Hill Valley” region of Texas. Brad used a landscape photo he had taken earlier, of a sunset in Albuquerque, New Mexico as a reference image to paint in the background landscape. First, the background was digitally painted, then the house was hand painted to match with the author’s description of a favorite painting which hung in her home. To paint the Indian character for the back cover Brad used the help of his wife to model for the hands and arms. The facial details were done with the help of references images of American Indian actresses.

"Atoms and Monsters" detective novel cover illustration by Brad Fraunfelter.ATOMS AND MONSTERS

In 2015 Brad signed up with an online freelance organization called “OutSource” that connected artists with potential clients looking for freelancers. From this website he received a reach from an author for a series of detective novels, in the style of the Pulps from the 1950’s.  To create the look of the old style pulp fiction novels Brad studied dozens of  old detective novels. He found that the artists very often used vibrant color palettes, and depicted dramatic, high-intensity action. Using the author’s detailed description of the cover concept, Brad set up a series of photoshoots using models to pose in high-action stances: The leaping wolfman was composited using first a photo of the upper body with the model’s arms outstretched, and then a 2nd shoot of the legs of the same model, while hanging suspende from a bar near the ceiling.  Brad wanted the scene to be lit with vibrant color so he used a blue gel over the studio lighting to simulate moonlight and a yellow gel over another light to simulate “street light.” The background alley was painted using several different reference photos of  dark alleys at night.

"What Lies Above" book cover illustration by Brad Fraunfelter.WHAT LIES ABOVE

This job was commissioned by an author that had connected with Brad from an oursourcing website on the Internet. The setting of the story was a post-apocalyptic environment where the surface of the Earth had been decimated, and was being ruled by tyrants. Young warriors, trained by an underground government, were sent to the surface to destroy them. Brad used reference photos of ancient mediterranean cities to create the look of the desert mecca. Brad did a photoshoot of a model in a Robin Hood costume and then modified and repainted it to look more like the garb of an assasin. The studio lighting was set up to simulate the warm glow of a setting sun. Reference photos of rugged, western landscapes were used to help paint the background.

"Metal Moon" book cover illustration by Brad Fraunfelter.METAL MOON

In 2014 Brad gained the acquaintance of an author and war vet Richard Sullivan, who was looking for an artist to do the cover of his fiction story set during the Vietnam War.  After giving a vividly detailed description of the cover concept, complete with make and model of vehicles and weaponry, Brad sketched out the concept. Brad’s wife served as the model for the body of the main character. Then the face was altered to give it Taiwanese features. The model held a cardboard tube instead of the grenade launcher, and the grenade launcher was later painted in. The two background soldiers were painted freehand, and the helicopter was painted using reference photos from this time period. The rotors of the helicopter were made to look like they were swiftly spinning by giving them a motion blur in Photoshop. As a note, the helicopter, fighter jets, weapons and garments all reflect the authentic equipment used during the Vietnam War.

"Class Fives — Origins" book cover illustration by Brad Fraunfelter.CLASS FIVES — ORIGINS

In 2015 Brad registered his skills with an online freelance website called, a company which connects creative talent with clients looking for artists. Brad received a reach from this website from a new author looking to produce a book cover about a modern day team of superheros called “Class Fives”. “Class Fives - Origins” was to be the first in a series of sequels by author Jon H. Thompson. Using actual army camouflage fatigues purchased from an Army Surplus store Brad modeled for the main character, taking photos using the self timer mechanism on his camera.  Brad also modeled for each one of the Russian “Spetsnaz” (special operations ) soldiers in the scene, setting up the studio lighting to simulate the environment of the outdoor scene.

Book cover illustration by Brad Fraunfelter for Jon Thompson's "Class Fives - Development", the second in a series of books.CLASS FIVES – DEVELOPMENT

Book number two in an ongoing series of novels about contemporary super heroes, this was commissioned by the author Jon Thompson. Brad purchased an authentic model of a “Chinook” helicopter and assembled and painted it.  Then he suspended it from thread and photographed it from a low angle looking upwards. A small flashlight was used to help light the interior of the helicopter. Brad carefully posed two models and photographed them from a similar low angle, looking upwards. The figure hanging from the plane was shot at very close range to get a feeling of heightened perspective. The background was painted with the aide of some of Brad’s own cloud photos as reference.

"Chosen of the Valkyries" book cover illustration by Brad Fraunfelter.CHOSEN OF THE VALKYRIES

This was the second in a series of novels by author Chris Nuttall about a resistive uprising within Nazi Germany. Brad had worked previously on the author’s “Schooled in Magic” series, and the author commissioned him personally to work on this new set of books. This was essentially a composite of stock photos what were digitally repainted and layered together. The main building was a stock photo of the German “Reichstag” building which was painted over heavily, and made to look  partly demolished and war torn. The three soldiers were stock images of American soldiers, which had their uniforms repainted to look like Nazi SS uniforms. The dark, grimy foreground was an image of mud, downloaded from This image then was heavily warped in Photoshop to give it a dramatic perspective.

"Love's Labors Lost" book cover illustration by Brad Fraunfelter.LOVE'S LABORS LOST

This book cover is one of a 15 book “Schooled in Magic” series, commissioned by Twilight Times Books, for author Chris Nuttall. Brad purchased a beautiful “Maid Marion” costume from a costume shop, and his wife, wearing the costume,  modeled for the body and arms, whereas the face was created with the help of a stock photo reference. The pattern for the door was created with the help of the website:, which offers free downloads of a multitude of textures and patterns.