Friday, February 27, 2015

Uber Grotesque - Process

Back in November I shared with you a piece that I produced for the Howl of Blackmane expansion of Warhammer Conquest. Today I have the process that went into creating the Uber Grotesque. So that we are all on the same page, here is how the final painting of the Uber Grotesque turned out...

Uber Grotesque
12 x 9
  Acrylic and pencil on board
© 2014 Fantasy Flight Games

I worked on this at the end of January 2014 and it was one of several "baby steps" as I moved towards transitioning from working digitally to traditionally. Little did I know when painting this that within six months I would be working completely traditionally.

As with all my work I start with thumbnails. I took some very silly selfies for reference and got started on a few concepts for how I envisioned this piece. Here are the thumbnails that made the cut...

Uber Grotesque - Tumbnails

Option "A" was the winner, but production did have some notes to tweak it. Some additional mass needed to be added and the larger curved back was incorporated. I updated the thumbnail and sent it back to production for approval...

Uber Grotesque - Updated tumbnails

This updated thumbnail was given the green light and I ready to work up the drawing. At this time I still had not made the decision to work on all my drawings at 100% the size of the final painting and simply worked on my usual sized paper. Here is how the final drawing turned out...

Uber Grotesque
Warhammer Conquest 
12 x 9
Pencil on paper
Original for sale over on my web store!
© 2014 Fantasy Flight Games

The painting went fairly smoothly. I was still very much trying to learn how to use the paint and how best to build up a painting. Not that I am still not constantly learning from each painting I work on, a year ago I was very much still fumbling and bumbling through a painting. My success seemed to be more of sheer luck then any efforts of mine. I have produced many paintings since this one and already looking back at this it feels very chaotic.

I took many process images of this piece coming together. Some of these images were actually even clear enough to share! Here is an animated process gif of the painting together. Many of the individual images were not good enough to stand on their own so I decided to just jump to the animated thingy and not share the individual images. 

Uber Grotesque - Animated process thingy

As mentioned when I first shared this piece in November, after the painting was completed I was asked to rotate the entire image to the right. This this was a traditionally painted piece I made the edits on the computer. With my years of experience painting digitally, this was an extremely quick fix. Here is how the final used version of the Uber Grotesque turned out...

Uber Grotesque
 Digital alter of final painting
© 2014 Fantasy Flight Games

Uber Grotesque in handy dandy card form (RAWR)

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, February 25, 2015

BLOG-a-versary!

Somehow I missed what day it was and overshot this by a week or so. February 17th was the anniversary of the start of this blog! Since February 17th 2009 I have been keeping this little blog chugging along. This will be the 985th post as well and I never imagined I would ever be nearing 1000 posts.

A lot has happened since Feb 17th 2009 and I hope the chronicles on this blog shed some light on those ups and downs as it pertains to my art and where my life and art intersect. We are all our own journeys with and without art, but the paths we take can be very very similar. Hopefully some of what I have shared here has and will be helpful to others. ...or at least give someone a good laugh.

Stay true to yourself and continue working as hard as you can and always try to push yourself to that next level. It just takes time and effort. All you need to do is go back to 2009 on this blog and look around at the level of work I was doing then and then jump ahead to 2014 posts. It was not magic, no tricks, no shortcuts, it was just a lot of hard work.

Here is to another year of posts on this blog and to another year of hard work and growth! Thanks to all who frequent this blog and I hope you have enjoyed seeing my journey. RAWR!

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, February 23, 2015

Frenzied Ghoul - Call of Cthulhu: The Thousand Young

And so it begins! Late last week I had a new piece spoiled over on the Fantasy Flight Games website. Not just any piece, mind you, this is the first of my work to surface since I switched to working traditionally. It is a peek at things to come and the first of what I hope will be a new chapter in my career. I present to you the Frenzied Ghoul from the new Call of Cthulhu expansion, The Thousand Young...

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 Gen Con 2015 (7/30 - 8/2)!
© 2015 Fantasy Flight Games

First, before you suggest otherwise, Ghouls in the Lovecraft universe are described as pale, mostly hairless, vaguely canine, bipeds. His universe, his rules. Second, this piece has ALL the RAWRs! Third, still trying to come to terms with just how much better they look in person compared to my digital version and what I can do about it.

I worked on this in October of last year and marked a welcome return to the Call of Cthulhu game. I have not worked on Call of Cthulhu since June of 2010... which kind of surprised me to say the least. This was a super fun piece to work on and got a lot of good input from John Tallion, who was my art director on this piece. Super happy with how it looking on the card and can not wait to see one in person. Here is how that card is going to look...

Frenzied Ghoul in handy dandy card form - RAWR!

There will be lots more about this piece when it is finally released and I share with you the process that went into it. There should be lots more news in general as more of my new traditionally painted work begins to get spoiled and released!

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, February 20, 2015

Man Monster Studies

Know your strengths and confront your weaknesses. With my currently limited down time in between client assignments I have been focusing on one of my less developed skill sets... the man monsters, Here are a pair of studies I have done recently from some newly acquired reference images. Nothing heroic or ideal about these, just monstrous and fun. One day I will try to tackle 'pretty' ...or not.

Man Monster Study #1
  9 x 12
Pencil on paper
© 2015 Christopher Burdett
Original - Currently not for sale

Man Monster Study #2
  9 x 12
Pencil on paper
© 2015 Christopher Burdett
Original - Currently not for sale

I worked on these in little bits here and there. Not the best way to focus on them, but I make the best with what I have available. These were informative, but I am definitely ready to get back to some monster drawings! Here are some process images I thought to take when I came to a stopping point...

Man Monster Process
all images © 2015 Christopher Burdett

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, February 18, 2015

Lowdown in Highport - Process

Clearing the books and settling accounts. I am in one of those gaps where I am doing tons of work but nothing is really getting released. I am super busy with client work so I don't have much time for any personal work. This all means that there is a weird lull for new blog content... SO, I am clearing out stuff that has been sitting in the blog queue for just these kind of moments!

Today I have for you  the process that went into the very last piece that I produced for the 4th Edition volume of Dungeon Magazine. Issue 221. While this piece was released at the end of 2013 it is still fresh in my mind... it had a lot of giant insects in it and a SHRIEKER! So that we are all familiar with the piece, here is how it turned out...

Lowdown in Highport - Dungeon Magazine Issue 221
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

This piece needed to have a lot going on in it, giant centipede, giant ants, a big mechanical fire beetle, and a shrieker. In the game the players most likely will have disturbed the shrieker that would then have riled up the insect monsters. Straight forward, but lots to arrange and deal with. I started with some thumbnails to get things rolling...

Lowdown in Highport - Thumbnails
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

For me the thumbnails were fine, not great, but fine. Definitely was going to need to work out a lot in the drawing phase of the process. Thankfully, Kate Irwin, my most excellent Art Director on most of my Dungeon (and Dragon) Magazine assignments came back with a great suggestion to make the composition WAY better!

Lowdown in Highport -Thumbnail feedback
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

She took what I have already going on in thumbnail "C" and gave it a nice S curve and gave the piece a lot more movement and flow. Hands on ADs are great to help push a piece that extra bit. She sent back an updated image with the handy dandy green line and I was good to move onto the next step, DRAWING...

Lowdown in Highport
Dungeon Magazine Issue 221
9 x 12
Pencil on paper
Original for sale over on my web store!
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

With a much better thumbnail I was able to work up a much better drawing. There was a lot to deal with, but I was able to incorporate it all into one image. For me the piece was about the shrieker, fire beetle, and centipede... the ants could take a kike for all I cared, but they were in the art order.

The drawing was approved without any notes and I was ready to start painting. Here is a look at the painting coming together in twelve handy steps...

Lowdown in Highport - Process progression
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

There was some tweaks near the end to adjust the form of the fire beetle's head and mandibles, but other then that the piece came together as expected. I was a little concerned that the color and lighting structure might be a little too much... but I think it all worked out in the end. Giant purple fungi in a dark cave lite by a giant mechanical beetle full of fire, just another average day making art. So that you can get a better look at the piece coming together here is another animated progression things I like to make...

Lowdown in Highport - Animated progression thing

Like some weird magic another monster painting comes into being. Here is the final painting again for you viewing pleasure, well over a year from its original release...

Lowdown in Highport - Dungeon Magazine Issue 221
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

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, February 16, 2015

New Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, and Warhammer drawings now available!

Today seemed like a good day to release some drawings into the world. There are new drawings from my work on Star Wars, Warhammer, and Dungeons & Dragons now on my webstore! The new D&D drawings are extra special since they are from my work on the 4th Edition Monster Manuel 2 and I have NEVER shared them! (Better scanned image of them will be up later in the day, misplaced those old files) Head on over to my WEBSTORE to see all my available items AND all the following new original drawing additions... 

Armed to the Teeth
Between the Shadows - SWLCG
12 x 9
Pencil on paper
Original for sale over on my web store!
© 2015 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games
 
Knobby White Spider
Between the Shadows - SWLCG
12 x 9
Pencil on paper
Original for sale over on my web store!
© 2015 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

Heated Tempers
Age of Rebellion - Stay On Target
9 x 12
Pencil on paper
Original for sale over on my web store!
© 2015 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

Ankheg
D&D 4th Edition Monster Manual 2
11 x14
Pencil on paper
Original for sale over on my web store!
© 2008 Wizards of the Coast

  Ambush Vine
D&D 4th Edition Monster Manual 2
11 x14
Pencil on paper
Original for sale over on my web store!
© 2008 Wizards of the Coast

Gray Render
D&D 4th Edition Monster Manual 2
11 x14
Pencil on paper
Original for sale over on my web store!
© 2008 Wizards of the Coast

Will-o-Wisp
D&D 4th Edition Monster Manual 2
11 x14
Pencil on paper
Original for sale over on my web store!
© 2008 Wizards of the Coast

Uber Grotesque
Warhammer Conquest 
12 x 9
Pencil on paper
Original for sale over on my web store!
© 2014 Fantasy Flight Games
 
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, February 13, 2015

Screaming Gnasher

Sometimes things slip through the cracks and sometimes things keep getting pushed aside to make way for other things. Not sure which of these is more relevant to this piece, but this piece has been sitting around since July of 2014 without getting posted here on the blog. I am remedying this today, finally. Here is a toned paper monster from last year, the Screaming Gnasher...

Screaming Gnasher
9 x 12
Pencil on paper
© 2015 Christopher Burdett

This was a personal monster portrait study as I geared up for a lot of the toned pieces you have seen in the past few months. I created several of these portraits around this time, and most likely will do it again all too soon. They are fun, cathartic, and are building on the themes I enjoy working on. 

I took several images of this drawing coming together so that you can get a feel for how the piece developed...

All images © 2015 Christopher Burdett

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