Monday, December 11, 2017

Announcing My New Mailing List!

If you attended Illuxcon in October this is not new information, but for everyone else I have set up my very first mailing list. If you would like to be the first to hear everything that is happening in The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia as well as major updates in my art career then I strongly suggest that you sign up for my brand new mailing list!

http://blogspot.us16.list-manage2.com/subscribe?u=1d429b0ad0006488e7521f53b&id=5608c5e9fb

If you want to see things first, get special previews, secret tidbits, and find out about major advancements in the Grand Bazaar project... then you know what to do, MAILING LIST! Be the envy of your friends and enemies by signing up for this most excellent of mailing lists and be in the know on all kinds of monstery goodness. RAWR!

That is all for another exciting Monday on the blog, see you back here on Wednesday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Friday, December 8, 2017

Looking Back: Bloodspear Orc Archer - Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures

Today I am looking back at a miniature design produced for the Dungeons & Dragons miniature game ten years ago that I have neither shared nor was it ever actually made. The assignment was to design an Orc archer for the miniatures game. Ten years on, of course, we can see that the miniature was never made. Here is a look at the never produced Bloodspear Orc Archer...

Bloodspear Orc Archer
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper (multiple sheets)
© 2007 Wizards of the Coast LLC

This design was created at the same time I created the unfortunate Orc Raider. In fact I worked on a whole bunch of Orc miniatures all at the same time and only the Orc Raider saw production. The Orc Raider was easily one of the most despised miniatures I ever designed. People just did not like how the mini turned out and I got to hear all about it. I wonder if any of these other Orcs would have been looked upon better if they had been made. Here is a look at the full turnaround of the Bloodspear Orc Archer...
Bloodspear Orc Archer Turnaround
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper (multiple sheets)
© 2007 Wizards of the Coast LLC

I was really happy with how this and another archer turned out. I was really excited to work on some archers and was looking forward to seeing them as minis. Alas, that never happen. But I still have the drawings... kind of. This piece, much like ALL of the Orc minis that I designed went through a lot of revisions when it came to the face and postures. Not sure if I was misunderstanding the reference I was given, that things were changing on the production end of things as I was working on these, or that I was dealing with the fact I was doing fully rendered drawings instead of sketches as I worked on this... or all of the above. Here is a look at the various stages that the Bloodspear Orc Archer went through before being approved...

Bloodspear Orc Archer variants
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper (multiple sheets)
© 2007 Wizards of the Coast LLC

My goal with a lot of my work was to have a great looking drawing at the end of it. These minis were no exception. Unfortunately, since I was creating fully rendered drawings instead of sketches, when there were changes I did not have the time or energy to completely redraw everything. Instead I would draw new parts on new sheets of paper and then digitally composite them on and may digital edits. This left me with a single great drawing for the side and back views, a great drawing of the front that looked different than the other views, and multiple sheets of paper with a pair of legs on one, a head on another, and an arm on a third. At some point there may be a collector that is really into this and will think it is pretty cool, but I still wish I had ended up with a clean perfect final drawing of the approved front view. Oh well. At least I got to design a cool Orc archer!

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here on Monday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Krampusnacht

Last night was Krampusnacht and I couldn't let it pass without looking back to the Krampus drawing I did in 2013 for the Children of Yuletide show. I really enjoyed working on this piece and I am still really happy with how it turned out. I am actually kind of shocked I still have the original! Here is a look at Krampus in all its glory...

Krampus
18 x 24 - Pencil on paper
© 2013 Christopher Burdett

Since last night was Krampusnacht we made sure to take appropriate measures and leave alcohol in our shoes. You gotta make sure the monsters are satisfied! 

Photo by Achsa Nute

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Art of Kaladesh Book

I am still playing catch up with many things that should have been on the blog months ago. On top of everything this post was suppose to be up yesterday. I guess when you are months behind another day won't hurt. More on this another day...

Today I have for you a look at a Magic the Gathering art book that came out earlier this year. Recently the good folks at Wizard of the Coast have been making these REALLY nice art books around each Magic the Gathering wave. I have been lucky enough to to be featured in two of them, which is nice. I have a history of missing out on these types of things, they either stop be the time I show up or start after I leave. Not this time! The Kaladesh books contains a TON of the amazing art created for the two Kaladesh expansions. These books are great since you can see the art much larger than you would on the cards.

The Art of Magic the Gathering - Kaladesh

I was really happy with how my work looked in the book. Two of my pieces made it in and I could not be happier. The Salivating Gremlins got the 3/4 spread treatment and the Narnam Cobra got a half page. Not sure I have much more to say. If you have a chance to get your hands on the book I highly recommend it! Here are some images of the pages for your viewing pleasure...

Salivating Gremlins

Narnam Cobra

That is all for another Tuesday on the blog, see you back here on Wednesday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Friday, December 1, 2017

Looking Back: Hellborn Legionnaire - Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures

Today I am looking back at a miniature design produced for the Dungeons & Dragons miniature game ten years ago that I have neither shared nor was it ever actually made. The assignment was to design a new armored mutated demon for the miniatures game which I assumed would mean it would eventually make its way into the RPG. Ten years on, of course, we can see that neither of these things happened. Here is a look at the turnaround for the never produced Hellborn Legionnaire...

Hellborn Legionnaire (Final) Turnaround
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper (multiple sheets)
© 2007 Wizards of the Coast LLC

The assignment was fairly open ended: weird mutated demon, weird weapon, horns, misshaped body. Sounds good to me! I got to work on an initial version... back then I still had not gotten my head around thumbnails so I was still doing fully finished and rendered drawings for preliminary sketches. A lot of wasted time, but it sure did help with my speed and skill set. I do not advice this method of improvement. Here is the first version of the Hellborn Legionnaire...

Hellborn Legionnaire Versions 1
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper
© 2007 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Needless to say it did not hit the mark. I totally misunderstood the description of the new weird weapon, the body masses needed to be pushed more and made more extreme, and the horns need to be clearly on the demon's head and not look like they are part of the helmet/mask. All valid and all will help make this more interesting for sure. It would have been quicker and easier to have addressed with thumbnails, and I may have explored different avenues, but I didn't. As I have mentioned here on the blog before I was really self conscience about my skill set and abilities not too long ago and the idea of sending in sketchy concepts terrorized me. I felt like I would loss the job if I turned in a rough sketch. This is of course crazy thinking... but I did not know better and no one I was working with told me otherwise. Here is the second version of the Hellborn Legionnaire...

Hellborn Legionnaire Versions 2
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper
© 2007 Wizards of the Coast LLC

This version was very well received. Thankfully. It was approved without comment and I was given the go ahead to complete the turnaround. I love doing turnarounds and miss it a lot sometimes. Something so meditative about doing the back view, I know the silhouette and some of the major elements, but there is this huge space that I can fill with all kinds of detail. But I digress... Here is a look at the FIRST version of the turnaround for the Hellborn Legionnaire...

Hellborn Legionnaire Version 1 Turnaround
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper (multiple sheets)
© 2007 Wizards of the Coast LLC

After the turnaround was all said and done, and approved if I remember correctly, there was an issue with the design. Someone in production realized there would be a molding undercut issue if the design went into production as is. I was asked to rotate the weapon arm outward so that the piece could work in a two art mold. These things happen. It would have been nice if it was caught earlier, but it wasn't. I ended up just drawing new weapon elements and adding them onto the original drawings digitally. Here is a comparison of the two versions of the turnaround...

Hellborn Legionnaire Turnaround Comparison
© 2007 Wizards of the Coast LLC

No idea why this one never saw the light of day. It would have been a near little guy. No matter, I had fun designing it and I have the drawings to show for my time and effort. They all can't made!

That's all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here on Monday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Fretwork Colony - Infected By Art Volume 5

Last week I shared with you the process and steps that went into making the Fretwork Colony that I produced for the Kaladesh expansion to Magic the Gathering. I failed to mention that while I was at Illuxcon last month I got my hands on Infected By Art Volume 5 in which the Fretwork Colony is featured. Once again here is the Fretwork Colony...

Fretwork Colony
Magic the Gathering - Kaladesh
14 x 10.2- Digital
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast

I would like to thank again everyone involved with Infected By Art! It is an honor and pleasure to be once again included in the book. The book is beautiful and each edition keeps getting better and better. I have some images of the Fretwork Colony in the book, but please ignore the crappy quality of my images. They do the quality of the book a great disservice, but I wanted to show off the page I was on. I am already looking forward to seeing how IBA 6 turns out, I am sure it will be even better!

Fretwork Colony in Infected By Art Volume 5
Please look past the crappy photo of the page, this book is beautifully printed!

A look at the entire page that the Fretwork Colony in on.
Please look past the crappy photo of the page, this book is beautifully printed!

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Monday, November 27, 2017

Yote Arms Dealer - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

I have for you a new piece from The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia! Today's monster is the mighty Yote Arms Dealer. The Construct Guild's presence and influence at the Grand Bazaar is legendary. Those members of the Guild that give themselves wholly to the cause become known as the Yote. Where once was flesh is now metal and they serve the Guild in each of their unique ways. This Yote is a skilled in the design, construction, and selling of mechanical and bio-superior arms and limbs. If you find yourself in need of arms, then you need to seek out Yote 4734-XCY-542M.

If you would like read the thoughts of
Eustis Pettcok - Construct Guild Scribe, Cog level 7, regarding this monster then head on over the The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDaila blog!

Yote Arms Dealer
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2017 Christopher Burdett

Yote Arms Dealer - Drawing  
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper 
© 2017 Christopher Burdett

Here are all the other completed monster for The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia: Aberrant Stilter, Belled Kreep, Corrupted Knight, Dight-Kin, Eau-de-nil Elder, Ethra VanDalia, Footman, Gray Wanderer, Gullet, Humgruffin Mother, Irritated Girasol, Judicator, Kiplorbic Animal Dealer,
Lammergeier Transport, Myopic Riflemen, Nimsbane Curse Victim, Ophiomornous Bureaucrat, Petrous Blacksmith, Quincaillerie, Saint Marque, Smokestack, Thrice, Uncanny Scribe, Virulent Artificer, Xandrell Tree, Yote Arms Dealer, and Zombic Spore.
 
As an added bonus I have for you some images of the line work and rendering process of this piece so that you can get a better idea of it taking shape... 


Yote Arms Dealer - Process © 2017 Christopher Burdett

That is all for another exciting Monday on the blog, see you back here on Wednesday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Fretwork Colony - Kaladesh - PROCESS

Today I have for you an overdue post about the process and steps that went into a Magic the Gathering piece of mine that I first shared with you way back in September of 2016, the Fretwork Colony. This was a challenging one and took a bit of work to figure out and make work in the end. To start things off, here is how the final art for Fretwork Colony out...

Fretwork Colony
Magic the Gathering - Kaladesh
14 x 10.2- Digital
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast

Thumbnails of course start things off. This piece needed to show two very different things. One being a swarm of very small insect monsters that I got to design and the second being their effect on very large structures like buildings. For some this might be second nature, but for me, it takes some time and thought on how best to construct a scene that is both large and small. Much like when a monster is actually made up of lots of smaller elements to make a greater whole, I need to put my thinking cap on and plan it all out well ahead of time. Thankfully, the more you do the easier it gets. Funny how that is. After weighing my options I decided to go in the direction of having two element, a foreground closeup an a background effect, composition rather than trying to show all of the action on one continuous plane. Here are how the thumbnails turned out...

Fretwork Colony - Thumbnails
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast

Option "D" was the winner this time around and looking back at them now it seems to have the best balance of elements, some nice overlap, and reads the best left to right. Sometimes looking back at these thumbnails I am curious about what could have been with other options, but this time I think it was best that "D" was the winner. Now that I had an approved thumbnail it was time to get the finalized drawing worked up. Here is how the final drawing turned out...

Fretwork Colony - Drawing
Kaladesh
17 x 14 - Pencil on paper
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast

There is sometimes a weird limbo I find myself in when it comes to working on the drawing and thinking ahead to the painting. How much detail should I put in? What is too much? What is a waste of time and will be lost to the painting process? Do I REALLY need to draw every single little bug monsters or will it all come together when I am painting? In the end I draw it all and hope for the best. I want to have a nice drawing at the end of things and over the years I have learned that the drawing is as important to the painting as everything else, if not more. Also, here is the tonal study for this piece...

Fretwork Colony - Toned drawing
Kaladesh
14 x 11 - Pencil on paper
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast

The drawing was approved without comment and it was time to get started on the painting. Layer separation and easy readability was very important on this one and there was a lot of adjusting and futzing that went on while I worked on this one. In just 18 easy steps, you too can have a digital painting... or not...

Fretwork Colony - Process progression
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast

While the step by step might now show it, there was a lot of adjusting that went on during the creation of this piece. Making sure the background felt like it was in the distance AND still readable was very important. The viewer needed to see the bugs destroying the building, but it also need to be back other there and not pulling too much from the foreground and the details. I also needed to make sure the insects in the foreground were clear, interesting, and read well. You can see how their chroma and details changed as I worked on this piece. Making sure they popped off the metal roof they are on was important. Here is an animated progression of this piece coming together so that you can better see each step layering to create the final painting...

Fretwork Colony - Animated process progression
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast

Of the three pieces that I did for Kaladesh this was my least favorite. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against this piece and I think it was successful. I prefer the other two pieces more when it comes down to it. The other two are more in my wheelhouse regarding subject matter and over all feel. This one challenged me, which is a good thing, and so the process was a little more involved and so skews my view of the piece. They all can't be your favorites and that does not make them bad or that there is anything wrong with them.

Again, here is the finished Fretwork Colony painting and the final production card...

Fretwork Colony
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast

Fretwork Colony in handy dandy card form.

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com