Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Droid's Task - Star Wars: It Binds All Things - Process

Back in January I shared with you The Droid's Task that I created for the It Binds All Things expansion of the Star Wars Card Game. Now that this expansion has been released the time has finally come to share the process that went into this piece. So we are all on the same page, here is how the final piece turned out...

The Droid's Task
© 2014 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

This piece needed to portray the deadly bounty hunter droid, IG-88, having a meet and greet in Jabba's Palace as it received a mission or task. There was only one logical next step... REFERENCE! I started things off with creating several tableaus based on some composition ideas that I had and used my vast collection of action figures to work out my thoughts. When it was all said and done, three of my reference images rose to the top...

Reference! Let the toys do the heavy lifting during concepts

Now that I had a starting point for my compositions I got to work on my thumbnails. There was still a bit to do to turn the reference into something usable, but they were a big help in getting this complex scene headed in the right direction. Here are how the thumbnails turned out...
The Droid's Task - Thumbnails
© 2014 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

While I liked them all, "C" was my favorite and the winner as far as Zoe and FFG were concerned. It conveyed that this scene was at Jabba's Palace and it focused heavily on IG-88 getting some sort or instructions, duty... or TASK, as it were. With an approved thumbnail it was time for a drawing...

The Droid's Task - Drawing
© 2014 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

BOOM! Drawing done and approved... time for some painting. This piece was a very odd size and I ended up making it really big so that I could get a enough height to get the detail level I prefer. In the end, the file is twenty or more inches wide. Here is a breakdown of the piece in sixteen steps...

The Droid's Task - Process steps
© 2014 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

You might notice there is a lot of editing of IG-88 towards the end and that we loose Bib Fortuna. Once the painting was finished and turned in there were several requests for revisions from FFG. First was to remove Bib (I will paint you another day my friend) he was pulling focus in the middle of the image. There was some concern IG-88 was a little beefy in all the wrong areas and that the table he was sitting at was causing his limbs to appear shorter then they are. When it was all said and done there was a bit of editing late in the game... but, it made the client happy and so it gets addressed. Here is a more thorough animated break down of the panting coming together...

The Droids' Task animated process thingy...

Always nice to work with named 'monster' characters and I am a huge Jabba fan, so getting to paint him again was fun. While all the edits were a little stressful, end the end it did make for a stronger image that was easier to read at a glance. Again, here is how the final image turned out as well as the final production card...

The Droid's Task
© 2014 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

The Droid's Task 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

Monday, July 28, 2014

Yoda - North American Championship Prize

I have only been sitting on this piece since February... but it has been a long wait none the less. Last week it was spoiled on the Fantasy Flight Games website as part of their North American Championship prizes at Gen Con in August. Here is a piece I have spent my life as an artist working toward...

Yoda
Star Wars: The Card Game National Championship Prize
12.4 x 8.9 - Digital
© 2014 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

I put a lot of myself into this piece, not just time and effort. When I share the process there will be some fun reference photos of me in a robe on my knees wielding a lightsaber. Here is an image of the final card that will be given away at Gen Con...

PRIZES!
While I would have loved to see Yoda on that backpack I don't like the idea of trying to get my hands on one... they will be super rare items.

Did I mention Gen Con? Well, I am ready for attending Gen Con and Illuxcon this summer with my brand new retractable Yoda banner! ...for all my retractable Yoda banner needs. Here is a look at the art for the banner...

Depending on the set up at Gen Con this may or may not make an appearance, but it will definitely be at Illuxcon at my table in the Showcase. RAWR, I will!

Even though it is a kinda crappy photo, here is a look at the final banner that arrived last week, all 7.5 feet of it...

Can't miss me you will...

A big THANKS to Zoe Robinson for thinking of me when this assignment came up. This piece means a lot to me.

That is all the Yoda information I have for you right now. I will have the process for this piece here on the blog most likely right after Gen Con. I will see about getting the drawing for this up before Gen Con... but if you attend Gen Con you will see it there! 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, July 25, 2014

Fresh from the drawing table... Barracuda!

I have for you another drawing that is fresh from the drawing table. This time around it is a Barracuda! Still working my way through "B", especially the mundane monsters. Nevertheless, the mundane monsters must get all the love... even when they are just a fish. They all have their place in my universe. I present to you my version of a Barracuda… 

Barracuda
© 2014 Christopher Burdett

Sometimes it just does not work out for a monster. Sometimes they just end up mounted on a wall. Sometimes they will take off someones hand before that happens. Sometimes before they end up on a wall they take someones hand off and they are beaten to death with a club. I originally was playing around with the idea of having the Barracuda in a large jar as if it was component, specimen, or food item. I knew I didn't want to have it in the water swimming around or in battle... there will be plenty of time for the when I get to the Gar (Giant) and Octopus (Giant). SO... the Barracuda gets to live out its mundane monster life on the wall in a tavern.

If you missed any of the current round of monsters, A - Z, you can see them here: Ant (Giant), Aerial Servant, Ape (Gorilla), Axe Beak (version 2), Baboon, Basilisk, Beetle (Giant) - Fire, Brownie, Buffalo, and Cerebral Parasite.

If you missed the first round of monsters, A - Z, you can see them here: Axebird, Bugbear, Chimera, Dragon (Red), Ettin, Frog (Giant), Goblin, Hydra, Imp, Jacklewere, Kobold, Lizardman, Manticore, Naga, Owlbear, Purple Worm, Quasit, Rust Monster, Shambling Mound, Troll, Umber Hulk, Vampire, Wasp (Giant), Xorn, Yeti, and Zombi.     

If you missed any of the second round of monsters, A-Z, you can see them here: Ankheg, Beholder, Cockatrice, Demon (Juiblex), Earth Elemental, Fungi (Violet), Giant (Hill), Hobgoblin, Intellect Devourer, Jaguar, Ki-Rin, Lich, Minotaur, Nixie, Ogre, Pixie, Roper, Sahuagin, Troglodyte, Unicorn, and Wight

If you missed any of the third round of monsters, A - Z, you can see then here: Ape (Carnivorous), Bulette, Carrion Crawler, Devil (Ice), Eye of the Deep, Flightless Bird, Golem (Flesh), Homunculus, Ixitxachitl, Jackal, Lizard (Giant), Mind Flayer, Neo-Otygugh, Ochre Jelly, Peryton, Ram (Giant), Salamander, Treant, and Wyvern.

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, July 23, 2014

Ravenous Leucrocota - Magic the Gathering Process

Today on the blog I have for you the process and steps that went into my contribution to the Journey Into Nyx expansion of Magic the Gathering, the very hungry Ravenous Leucrocota. This may be a little overdue, but there is so much to share on the blog these days that is a little wait in the queue to be posted. Here is how the final Ravenous Leucrocota turned out...

"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Magic the Gathering - Journey Into Nyx
PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE!
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The Leucrocota was not part of the Theros style guide which meant I got to design and illustrate another new monster. Since the Leucrocota is an existing mythological creature I needed to give it a unique Theros spin with a generous helping of my own monster tendencies. The art order listed the physical characteristic they wanted to see - head of a badger, haunches and tail of a lion, hooves, mouth open to the ears, bone ridges instead of teeth... and it all had to feel like a cohesive animal and not a chimera. With that in mind I got to work on some concepts...

"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Concepts
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

While these may seem similar, to me they are very different. Both designs were approved by production so in the end I did a mix of the two designs and played up elements I really liked. I also worked up several color concepts to give a range of options. All of the animals of Theros have patterning on them, which allows for lots of fun when designing. Here are how my color concepts turned out...

"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Color concepts
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Again, all options were approved and I could pick my favorite. I liked them all, but I really wanted to do the red headed option "B". In the final I pushed the neutral body grays more green, since this is a green creature. I have the creature's concept, colors, and patterning... all that is left are the thumbnails for the card itself...

"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Thumbnails
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

At the time I wanted to give them a lot of action and movement and I was just in love with "C" ... of course looking at it now... it feels a bit silly. Of well. I think I was feeling good about option "D" as well. Which is good, since option "D" was the winner! With all the pieces ready to go, it was time for some drawing and then some painting. First, was the drawing...

"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Drawing
12 x 9
colored pencil on paper
  © 2014 Wizards of the Coast
RAWR! It is a Ravenous Leucrocota! ...or at least the drawing of one. Worked out all the issues and worked up form and detail. All those folds and wrinkles gotta come from somewhere and a lot of them begin life in the drawing. All this drawing ultimately leads to even more drawing...

"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Toned drawing
12 x 9
colored pencil on toned paper
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast
The art directors never sees the toned drawing, but the line drawing was approved and I was all set to get started on the painting. This one was straight forward, but they are not always. The 'not always' will be discussed next year. Here is the Ravenous Leucrocota coming together in 14 steps...
 
"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Process steps
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Here is an animated gif of the steps for the Ravenous Leucrocota so you can see what changes a little more easily. They biggest real edit made during painting was adjusting the perspective on the mouth. Maybe it was just fine originally, but it just felt off and that means it needs to be addressed and worked on. Nothing worse then ignoring something that is bothering you and then have it brought up later by an AD or by another artist when it is too late to go anything about it.

"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Animated process
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Again, here is how the final Ravenous Leucrocota turned out as well as how the card appears in its intended home, as a card...

"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Magic the Gathering - Journey Into Nyx
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

"Ravenous Leucrocota" in handy card form

At some point between the release of the Journey into Nyx and now there was an article on the Magic the Gathering website that featured the Ravenous Leucrocota. I feel that it was misquoted in its interview and I wanted to set the record straight about the Ravenous Leucrocota views on the mater...

Original quote and corrected quote :P

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, July 22, 2014

One small victory...

Over the weekend I had some trouble with one of my images, a couple of people, and Instagram. I wrote a little blog post about it on Sunday, which got a lot of traffic and got passed around (thanks for all the comments, shares, and feedback on this). I did report the situation to Instagram and yesterday received this reply...

One small victory is still a victory...

I am now waiting for the retaliation from the individuals involved ... I am sure they will claim I had Instagram STEAL their image...

RAWR!

See you back here tomorrow for some Magic process! Until then...

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

Monday, July 21, 2014

Gamorrean Guard

Today on the blog I have for you ANOTHER new traditionally painted Star wars piece! It is like I am making a habit of this or something ...as if I am practicing ...studying ...experimenting to learn, as it were. This time around it is a Gamorrean Guard and is the largest of these Star Wars studies so far. It is also my favorite so far. I present you with my Gamorrean Guard...

"Gamorrean Guard"
  8 x 8
acrylic, pencil, and gouache on board
© 2014 Christopher Burdett

I have a new frustration ...the images, scans, and digital captures I am getting of my pieces just do not truly represent what is going on in the painting. Oh well... I could have worse problems. ...it is not like digital files loose something when they are printed out.

For this piece I started with a detail from a Star Wars drawing I did for myself last year. The Barada that started off this series of studies is also from the same drawing. I really liked how each of this monsters turned out and wanted to revisit them. Here is that drawing...

"Jabba's Gang"
11 x 14
colored pencil on toned paper
© 2013 Christopher Burdett

I will say that there is something eerily similar to how these traditional pieces are now coming together compared to how my digital work comes together. Not sure if this is just a sign that I have a very ingrained work flow and habits that transcend media, or if in fact that after years of convincing myself to the contrary that I am actually painting when I work digitally. ...or both ...neither? Some elements take longer in digital while others take longer in traditional. In both there is the same feeling that I am swirling around and around on a piece and it slowly tightens up and at some point the piece just appears in front of me. Here is the Gamorrean Guard taking shape in 16 steps...

All images © 2014 Christopher Burdett

If all these separate images are not your thing, I have for you another of those handy dandy animated progressions for you so that you can just stare at different areas and see how they develop... at least that is what I like to do...

Gamorrean Guard - Process progression


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

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What about MY name?

I had an interaction on Instagram yesterday that has required me to write this post. I was alerted by a friend to the fact that someone was using one of my paintings as their avatar. AWESOME! :) They like my image enough to use it to represent themselves online. Using an artist art as an avatar happens all the time and is common on the internet. I went and checked out this person's Instagram account and was troubled when I recognize one of their images as my own AND it had been modified by a filter, which in my opinion made it a lot worse. I checked out the image and was shocked to see this piece credited with…
"Amazing Viserion fan art from @go_sloe @go_sloe @go_sloe -- go check out his awesome #gameofthronesfanart account for more pictures like this one :D"
I will point this out specifically…"Amazing Viserion fan art from @go_sloe
I see a lot peoples names linked to this image... except mine.

@go_sloe does not give me credit either and they seem to be the originator of the uncredited posting of my work. I responded to this with a straight forward correction of ownership and creative control…
@christopherburdett: "This is not fan art from @go_sloe this is my officially licensed art that I was hired to make for the AGoT card game put out by Fantasy Flight Games. It has just had a filter put on it that makes it look worse."
My comment brought the following two replies…
@go_sloe: "@christopherburdett I obviously didn't create that, I just thought it was awesome enough to share on here never took credit for any of the art I post,,, I just appreciate good art when I see it. People don't get paid on Instagram so instead of getting pissed at @westerosian you should be happy people are enjoying your work."
@westerosian: "@christopherburdett hey now we never took credit at all, I reposted it from his account and I'm giving his account a shoutout. We do not claim credit on any if the fan art here. And I am a massive fan art supported, and I tag every single fucking artist that I see because I want to credit them (you'd see that on the majority of my posts.) and there are times where we don't know who the artist is."

Okay, let me break down how this is incorrect and how they are uniformed about their actions, the effect they are having, and how they are stealing from me.

1) Just to be clear, I was not "pissed" at anyone at the time I posted the original comment. It was a straight forward statement of ownership. Maybe they assume anger on my end because they realize they have done something inappropriate?

2) They claim to not have taken credit. Let us take a look at the repost credit…
"Amazing Viserion fan art from @go_sloe"
"go check out his awesome #gameofthronesfanart account for more pictures like this one".
If they are not claiming credit they have completely muddied the water on who this image belongs to. By not crediting me they separate me from my art and by giving no credit, credit is given to them by others who don't know any better. They have created a wall between the viewer and myself as the creator. How "obvious" it may or may not be that they are not the originator is questionable and now that a second party has claimed, "Amazing Viserion fan art from @go_sloe", it is now linked to go_sloe by future viewers.

3) Then there was this statement, "People don't get paid on Instagram". Not getting paid has NEVER been a valid excuse for theft. By separating me from my work they HAVE effected me financially. I have a web store where you can buy prints of this piece. As a hired artist for Fantasy Flight Games I am allowed to sell prints of this piece. By not crediting me, the viewer can not go to my website or blog where links to my web store can be found and where my prints can be purchased. This uncredited posting of my image received hundreds more 'likes' then when I posted it and was seen by who knows how many more. Even if just one of these people had been interested in buying a print, now they can't. By posting my work without credit they have stolen the opportunity for me to sell my work, which helps me to continue working in this industry. People who download music, books, or movies without paying for them for personal use are not "getting paid" either, and this is still very much stealing from the content creator. By taking my work and reposting it without credit you are stealing my work from me and are using it for your own personal gain.

4) "you should be happy people are enjoying your work" … HILARIOUS! If I tell the power company I am enjoying the electricity they send to my house or the bank that I am enjoying all the money they loaned me to buy my house but I am not going to pay them… well, you don't have to use your imagination to know what the outcome will be. I can not pay my bills and live as an artist with my income consisting of people enjoying my work. Sadly, this is the real world and goods and services need to be exchanged for money to purchase other goods and services. I am passionate about the art that I make, but it is WORK and I was hired to make it. When someone takes my work and severs my ownership from it, it does not matter how many people like or don't like it. I would rather my art not be seen then seen without proper credit.

The dragon in question...

5) "I tag every single fucking artist that I see because I want to credit them (you'd see that on the majority of my posts.) and there are times where we don't know who the artist is." Way to up the conversation by dropping the F bomb. Anyway… I commend you on giving credit, …but giving credit to the WRONG person is still a problem. If you don't know who the artist is, DO NOT POST THE ART. PERIOD. It is theft. PERIOD. Google has some amazing easy to use image search features that allow you to quickly track images down. Also, my name and two of my URLs are ON THE IMAGE. There was no work to do… my info was on the image. You could have used either to track me down and get any and all of my links to give me credit. It was right there in front of you and you ignored it. …of course that great filter that was added to the image makes it a lot harder to read.

6) You took MY image. This image was not from the FFG website. This image was not a scan of the card from the game. This was MY image which came from my blog, website, Facebook, Deviant Art page, etc and it has my name and URLs on it. You came to me, took it, MODIFIED IT, reposted it, and then did not give me credit. Even if you were just google searching and came across the image it links back to my sites and as mentioned above, it has my links on the image. Effort was made to NOT credit me.


7) I have been working in the game industry for over 9 years and I have been working as a professional artist for over 15 years. I have spent decades of my art and skill set. I have sacrificed a lot to be where I am today to make the work I have the opportunity to make. You disrespect me and the time and effort I have put into being the artist I am by taking my work. I have worked on movies, television shows, music videos, and all types of games. If I can not support myself and family with my art then I will have to stop and do something else. By stealing art from those that create it you undermine the very thing you claim to be a fan of. Stealing artist's work contributes to them leaving the industry for work that pays better and offers more security. My job is to make art of the things you are a fan of… your job is NOT being a fan.

8) Ignorance is not and has never been an excuse.

A little comparison.

I hope this educates you. If this makes me the big bad mean artist, then so be it. The theft of art is rampant, but it can be stopped and controlled. Give credit where credit is due… ALL THE TIME. Being too hard or difficult is no excuse. "Sorry officer, I stole that car because it was just too hard to buy one…"

That is all for an unexpected Sunday post, see you back here on Monday for new Star Wars work! Until then...

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