Monday, August 31, 2015

Numenera: Into the Deep - ANOTHER Kickstarter Monster Preview

A couple of weeks ago I had ANOTHER piece spoiled over on the Numenera: Into the Ninth World Kickstarter! As before, this piece is hot off the work station and was completed a short time prior to Gen Con. This particular freaky deaky shark critter was the first of these monsters that I created for Into the Deep. It is so new it does not even have a name, so without further ado, here is ANOTHER  Preview Monster...

Into the Deep Kickstarter Monster Preview
Numenera: Into the Deep
12 x 9 - Acrylic and pencil on board
Original - Currently not available, contact me if interested
or come see it at Illuxcon 2015 (10/21 - 10/25)!
© 2015 Monte Cook

There will be more about this critter and its companions in the fullness of time. What I can say is that this was a really excellent project. There were no art orders, I was just asked to come up with several new monsters and I was given the room to come up with a bunch of my own creations. Can't go wrong with that!
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, August 28, 2015

Fresh from the drawing table... Bear (Black)!

I have for you another drawing that is fresh from the drawing table. This time around it is a Bear (Black). The mundane monster of the letter "B" continue with BEARS! There are three bears in the original Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual and today I have the first one, the Black Bear.  I present to you my version of a Bear (Black)… 

Bear (Black)
9 x 12
Pencil on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2015 Christopher Burdett

Sad bear is sad. The life of a mundane monster can be hard, sometimes harder then that of a regular monster. This sad black bear waits in chains for some unknown fate. If it is lucky it will not find itself the victim of strange and cruel wizard experimentation. The last thing we need is a 100 foot tall sad black bear... and we know that tentacled bears are the work of druids. Hopefully this bear will find itself eating wizards and not the target of sport or being a unmotivated guard animal. Sad sad sad bear.

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, Barracuda, Basilisk, Beaver (Giant), Beetle (Giant) - Bombardier, Beetle (Giant) - Fire, Beetle (Giant) - Stag, Beetle (Giant) - Water, Brownie, Buffalo, Cerebral Parasite, Demon Type III (Glabrezu), and Demon (Manes).

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, August 26, 2015

Frenzied Ghoul - Process - Call of Cthulhu: The Thousand Young

Today I have for you a process post for a recent Call of Cthulhu piece. This time around is the Frenzied Ghoul from The Thousand Young! I first shared this piece to you in February when it was first spoiled. The set has come out and now I am overdue in sharing the process. Here is how the final Frenzied Ghoul turned out...

Frenzied Ghoul
Call of Cthulhu: The Thousand Young
11 x 14 - Acrylic, pencil, and gouache on board
Original - Currently not available, contact me if interested
or come see it at the Illuxcon Salon (10/24 - 10/25)!
© 2015 Fantasy Flight Games

The Frenzied Ghoul was one of the first pieces that I completed last year after deciding to switch from digital to traditional paint. While this offered certain challenges with handling the paint and completing the assignment, the steps I took to reach the final painting remained consistent. I started off everything with a reference photo shoot and a series of thumbnails. This assignment called for a snarling blood coated Lovecraftian Ghoul (which meant it appeared as a hairless canine biped) running around in a cave, and I was ready to make that happen. Here are how the thumbnails turned out...

Frenzied Ghoul - Thumbnails
© 2015 Fantasy Flight Games

I liked all of these directions, but I liked some more then others. They would all offer a lot of fun with lighting and shadow and loads of blood. Option "A" was the winner with a couple of notes. While production liked the the in your face grabbing nature of the Ghoul there was some concern that the Ghoul read "recoiling in fear" rather than "about to eat your face". They also wanted a little more spin on the POV. All of these things were easy to address and I sent off a new thumbnail that Incorporated the revision notes...

Frenzied Ghoul - Revised thumbnail
© 2015 Fantasy Flight Games

This new thumbnail hit the mark and I was given the go ahead to move along. This of course meant it was time for me to work up a finalized drawing. Now that I am working traditionally I wanted to create my final drawings at 100% the intended size. This allowed me to become comfortable with the image at the size I would be painting it as well to insure that I was including enough detail in the drawing. In the past I have drawn larger then the final painting size and shrunk the drawing down to paint on. This allows for a nice dense drawing to work from. In contrast, I am not a fan of enlarging my drawings to then paint on. I don't like what happens with the line weight of the drawing and the density of the detail is never to my liking. This all meant I needed to start drawing larger then I typically did when working digital. Since the painting is 11x14 I am now drawing on 14x17 paper. Here is how the final drawing turned out...

Frenzied Ghoul
Call of Cthulhu: The Thousand Young
14 x 17 - Pencil on paper
Original - Currently not available, contact me if interested
or come see it at the Illuxcon Salon (10/24 - 10/25)!
© 2015 Fantasy Flight Games

The drawing was approved without comment and it was time to paint! I think this was my fourth or fifth painting last year after switching media. Not that I am still figuring some things out even today, a year ago I was very much exploring new and frightening territory. Each painting felt my my first. Here is a look at the painting coming together in all its glory...

Frenzied Ghoul - Process Progression
© 2015 Fantasy Flight Games

The photos might not give the best representation of what is actually happening on the image due to the lighting and glare, but hopefully it gives a good impression of how the image took shape.

A year ago one of the first things I would do is lay down some tonal values with marker on the mounted paper to start working up some major forms. I have since stopped doing this step. These days I just jump in with paint. You might notice a lot of pencil work once the detail begins to take shape. Up until recently I was still relying heavily on pencil in my paintings. Colored pencils are still a part of my work, there are marks I like in my work that only a pencil can provide. As my confidence with the paint has increased my reliance on the pencil to make the desired marked has lessened. The same goes with gouache, I was using a bit of gouache at the end of the paintings as a last level of detail. I no longer am using gouache in my work, I have found it an unnecessary step and can achieve the desired effects with acrylic paint and pencil.

Not sure if it is strange or expected, but I find myself working traditionally in most of the same ways I worked digitally. I lay down colors early on in a rather sloppy manor with a lot of splatter with the hopes for happy accidents. I build up the image back to front with washes getting more opaque as the details tighten. I generally work the whole image up to a certain point then focus on the background followed by the figures and foreground elements. There is of course a push and pull of the entire image as it progresses to make sure that everything is working as a whole.

Here is an animated process progression of the painting coming together to better show how the image came together. You might notice an major edit to the eye placement at the very end...

Frenzied Ghoul - Animated Process Progression
© 2015 Fantasy Flight Games

When I decided to rock a red/green palette I really didn't give it too much thought. These are the colors I would have chosen to use if I had painted this digitally, so why not make those same choices traditionally? It definitely makes the image pop! I was concerned about making the blood read as blood. Blood is a funny liquid, it rather dark and opaque and does not offer up a lot of spectacular highlight. I looked at a lot of blood to make sure I was aiming it in the right visual direction. In the end I was really happy with it.

The final painting was approved by production without comment, which was a huge relief. I am not a huge fan of revisions on a final image, but now that it is in paint I am a little more nervous about possible edits to the final image. As time has gone on, making edits to the final painting has become easier, and there is always the computer to do the heavy lifting if the changes are to major. Here again is how the final image for the Frenzied Ghoul turned out as well the final production card....

Frenzied Ghoul
Call of Cthulhu: The Thousand Young
11 x 14 - Acrylic, pencil, and gouache on board
Original - Currently not available, contact me if interested
or come see it at the Illuxcon Salon (10/24 - 10/25)!
© 2015 Fantasy Flight Games

Frenzied Ghoul in handy dandy card form - RAWR!

I have definitely learned about about painting in the last year. I look forward to sharing the pieces I am finishing now, but as always, by the time I get to share these newest pieces I will wish I could share a whole different assortment of paintings. I am sure I will have a look at more of my paint journey very soon here on the blog!

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, August 24, 2015

Great Old One - Miniature

A couple of years ago I was approached to license one of my monster images for a Kickstarter being run by the good folks over at RAFM for a new line of Cthulhu miniatures they were working on. My Great Old One painting became a featured piece for their Kickstarter and eventually became a stretch goal add on as an actual miniature. In the fullness of time an image has surfaced of that miniature...

Great Old One Miniature

RAWR! I love miniatures and I love miniatures of my monster even more. Here is the original Great Old One piece that this miniature is based on. Hard to believe it has been five years since I created this one, how time flies...

Great Old One
12.8 x 12.5 - Digital
© 2010 Christopher Burdett

Not a bad translation of my painting if I do say so myself. I look forward to getting my hands on one of my own. Be sure to check out the rest of the really cool miniatures that RAFM is working on.

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, August 21, 2015

Fresh from the drawing table... Beaver (Giant)!

I have for you another drawing that is fresh from the drawing table. This time around it is a Beaver (Giant)! I back to working on the remaining "B" monsters... till I need another break. While there are a lot of mundane "B" monsters remaining I am trying to give them a twist whenever possible. Case in point, a Giant Beaver that is a little bit more then just a really larger version of the mundane counterpart. I present to you my version of a Beaver (Giant)… 

Beaver (Giant)
9 x 12
Pencil on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2015 Christopher Burdett

Say what you will about massive animals, but I think I would much rather tangle with a beaver the size of a car instead of a man sized beaver with a spear and shield that looks you in the eye before running you though. Not sure if wizards had something to do with all this mess with the highly intelligent bipedal tool using beavers, but I highly suspect it. Of course, crazier things have just naturally happened in the realms, so who knows. What I do know is that you need to stay on these guys good side and give their dens and wide berth.

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, Barracuda, Basilisk, Beetle (Giant) - Bombardier, Beetle (Giant) - Fire, Beetle (Giant) - Stag, Beetle (Giant) - Water, Brownie, Buffalo, Cerebral Parasite, Demon Type III (Glabrezu), and Demon (Manes).

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, August 19, 2015

creatura libri 5 Sketchbook - NOW AVAILABLE!

creatura libri 5, my 2015 sketchbook is now Just  for purchase! Head on over to my store to get your hands on your very own copy! It is available with and without an original sketch on the first page. 32 new pages that are just crammed full of 50+ monsters! RAWR!


A mighty helping of both client and personal monsters!
Including the line drawings for all of my released Magic the Gathering Cards!

Just look at all those monsters! You know you need one of these to be complete!

Supplies are limited so don't miss your chance to get your hands on one of these monster filled books. I will have copies of creatura libri 5 on hand at Space Coast Comic Con and Illuxcon.  Don't forget to pick up a copy of my other sketchbooks too!

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, August 17, 2015

Numenera: Into the Deep - Kickstarter Monster Preview

A week or so ago I had a piece spoiled over on the Numenera: Into the Ninth World Kickstarter and I am happy to now announce that I am working on the upcoming Numerera book, Into the Deep! This is hot off the work station too. I completed this particular monster just before leaving for Gen Con and now it is out in the world scuttling around doing monster things. It is so new it does not even have a name, so without further ado, here is Preview Monster...

Into the Deep Kickstarter Monster Preview
Numenera: Into the Deep
12 x 9 - Acrylic and pencil on board
Original - Currently not available, contact me if interested
or come see it at Illuxcon 2015 (10/21 - 10/25)!
© 2015 Monte Cook

There will be more about this critter and its companions in the fullness of time. What I can say is that this was a really excellent project. There were no art orders, I was just asked to come up with several new monsters and I was given the room to come up with a bunch of my own creations. Can't go wrong with that!

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