Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Chaac - Gods and Goddesses - Process

Today I have for you the process and steps that went into making my Chaac painting that I first shared with you in February. Chaac was part of the Gods and Goddesses anthology produced by Michael Publishing, LLC. In the original post I talk a bit about how I first came to learn about Chaac while touring the Yucatan in 2014, today I will be focusing on the process of the painting. Here is how the final Chaac painting turned out...

Chaac
11 x 14 - Acrylic and pencil on board  
Original available over on my web store
© 2016 Christopher Burdett

Since this was more or less a personal piece that was going to be used for the anthology I had complete freedom to do what ever I wanted to do. This streamlined my process a little, but it still followed the same steps I always do. I started off everything, of course, with a thumbnail. Since I knew exactly what I wanted to do, the thumbnail was a digital sketch that I worked out a single compositions until it was how I wanted it, rather then the three or more options I would give to a client. Here is how the thumbnail turned out...

Chaac - Thumbnail

© 2016 Christopher Burdett

You might notice the various boxes on the image above, these are the various crop marks and bleed areas for the final image. The final art needed to be 9 x 12 with a little bleed, but I like to work at 11 x 14, so I made sure while I was working on the thumbnail that I took into account for the needs for the anthology and the my own personal needs. Now that I have everything worked out in the thumbnail it was time to create the finalized drawing...

Chaac
14 x 17 - Pencil on paper  
Original available over on my web store
© 2016 Christopher Burdett

This was a fun one to draw, but as with most things I work on these days, there was just not enough time to really linger on the drawing. I needed to get it done so I could move onto the painting. Here is the painting coming together in twelve easy steps...

Chaac - Process progression

© 2016 Christopher Burdett

Mayan Gods were described as having both animal and human characteristic. Keeping that in mind, I also wanted to pull influences from the sculptures made to represent him. I imagined a monstrous deity that was part man, part animal, and part earth or stone. I saw the sculptures in the Yucatan as more of a literal representation rather then an abstraction or iconic portrayal. Chaac is often described as having armor made of water or simply having blue armor, so I really wanted to include this element. I pulled the rest of the color and visual elements from what I witnessed in the Yucatan.

Here is an animated progression of the painting to better show the painting coming together...

Chaac - Animated progression

© 2016 Christopher Burdett

Once again, here is the final painting for Chaac...

Chaac
11 x 14 - Acrylic and pencil on board  
Original available over on my web store
© 2016 Christopher Burdett

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, December 5, 2016

Hunter in the Night: Star Wars LCG - Meditation and Mastery

I have another new Star Wars piece for you today! This time around it is the Hunter in the Night Objective Card from the recently released expansion, Meditation and Mastery. Here my piece titled, Hunter in the Night...
Hunter in the Night
Star Wars LCG - Meditation and Mastery
11 x 14 - Acrylic and pencil on board
Art Director - Taylor Ingvarsson
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

For those of you that play the game you will know that Objective Cards have art that is thin and long that runs the length of the card. As you can see above, my art does not fit to those dimensions. When I got this assignment I worked with the art director to create a piece that fulfilled production's need as well as allowed me to create a piece that was more inline with the size and shape of work that I like to create. This did mean I was creating more image then they needed, but it was allowing me to create the image I wanted to. This all may seem weird, but I needed to do this. Here is the final drawing for Hunter in the Night...
Hunter in the Night
Star Wars LCG - Meditation and Mastery
17 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Art Director - Taylor Ingvarsson
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

Here is the final production card for Hunter in the Night and you can see how much the image I created was cropped down for production's needs. I delivered to them the cropped and original versions of the image to do with as they needed. While they were getting two images for the price of one, it gave me the flexibility to make something I was much more excited about working one.

Hunter in the Night in handy dandy card form

I will have more info and details about this piece in the coming weeks/months when I finally get around to sharing the process for it. Until then, here are a couple image of Hunter in the Night being used as article art over on the Fantasy Flight Games website. As you can see, this piece was officially spoiled over a month ago, it has taken this long for it to finally reach the front of the blog queue!
Hunter in the Night used on the Fantasy Flight Games website

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 2, 2016

Looking Back: Unproduced "The Gambler" - Dreamblade

Today on the blog I am looking back at another Dreamblade miniature design that I have never shared before. This particular design never made it into production and was never a miniature, but the design was approved (somehow). Here is the design for the "The Gambler" which was slated to be a part of the first expansion (Baxar's War) to Dreamblade released back in 2006...

Unproduced "The Gambler"
12 x 9 - Pencil on paper
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Unlike the Genteel Husk and the "Janus Scout" by the time this piece was approved I was not unhappy with the work that I had done. While there were some rocky spots while designing it, in the end I thought it was a descent enough design. Not one of my best at the time, but descent enough. I of course could do better now and there are plenty of things I would have liked to have done differently, but that is to be expected with anything you look back on. Here is a look at how the full turnaround turned out...

Unproduced "The Gambler" Turnaround
12 x 9 - Pencil on paper (multiple sheets)
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

While I was not unhappy with the final design, the work I did leading up to it did leave some to be desired. So that I am not beating a dead horse, you can review my post on the Genteel Husk and the "Janus Scout" to get all the details. This was kind of a weird mini. The art called for a guy with a gun and a hand full of dice who needed to have 20 sided dice for eyes and clothes featuring a motif based on the playing card suites. My first design was really flat and stiff...

"The Gambler" Version 1
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Working with the art director I was able to take what I have done with the first version and rework the pose, some of the details, and breath a little more life into it. I had some things right in the first one, I just needed to be smarter about it. I think that is the lessen to be learned by all these old Dreamblade designs I am sharing - you learn and you get better over time. My second attempt at the deign was met with a lot more approval...

"The Gambler" Version 2
12 x 9 - Pencil on paper
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Unfortunately, like several of my designs that I did for Dreamblade, I had an approved design except for one element and then I would end up doing a bunch of variations and alternate versions to get that one aspect nailed down. For "The Gambler" it was the head/face. Just could not seem to get it right. It was as if I was not very good at drawing humans at the time and I was not using reference. Here are some of the alternate versions of the head that I did as I got closer and closer to the goal of an approved design...

"The Gambler" Version 3 - 8
12 x 9 - Pencil on paper with digital alterations
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

When I finally enlarged the head and made it more of a crazy monstery human guy thing we were in business. I made one last edit to get the approved design at the top of the post. This mini would not have won awards, but I think it is interesting enough and would have been neat if it had received a decent paint job. Who knows why it was never used, but I am sure there were good reason. Another gaming mystery for the ages...

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

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Forest Awareness - Star Wars - Process

This was suppose to go up yesterday, but I had a day job photo shoot I was on all day and getting this post queued up slipped through the cracks.

In May I first shared with you my Forest Awareness painting for the Star Wars LCG. Today I have for you the process and steps that went into making this painting. This is another older Star Wars piece that was finally released and now I finally am getting around to sharing the process. To start things off, here is how the final painting of Forest Awareness turned out...

Forest Awareness
Star Wars LCG - Press the Attack
14 x 11 - Acrylic and pencil on board
Art Director - Zoe Robinson
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

This piece was a straggler that was done shortly after my Ephant Mon and Wicket paintings that I have previously shared. Star Wars cards come out in six pack blocks which are built around a theme, one set per month (give or take) for six months. An entire card block worth of art is commissioned all at once, so art can take a long time to come out.You never know if your card will be in the first pack or the last pack. Then there are times when the details, names, titles, etc change in production and then you never know what is going on. It's fun that way! Like I said, this is another card I did a while back that is just recently getting an official release.

This was an interesting one. The art order was really wide open and simply called for an Ewok doing something smart or knowledgeable in the forest. There were suggestions of the Ewok leading Rebels through the forest, hunting, tracking, etc. I talked a bit with Zoe about the direction to go with this one and we finally both agreed on an Ewok following track. Also, since the art order was open and allowed for it, I suggested that I make the Ewok a named and recognizable Ewok and I got approval to make it Teebo. With all that taken care of it was time to get to work!

Starting things of we have some thumbnails... because that is ALWAYS how I start these things off. I shot some weird selfies of myself crouching in my studio doing my best Ewok impression and then got to work. Here are how the thumbnails turned out...

Forest Awareness - Thumbnails
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

Looking at the thumbnails you know that option 'A' was the winning one. I still really like option 'B' and wonder how it would have turned out if we had gone in that direction. I liked the idea that Teebo is sniffing the air and getting his barrings on the animal that he is tracking. Oh well, what could have been. No matter, we have a finiahed painting of 'A' to look at. With a thumbnail approved, it was time to get drawing...

Forest Awareness
Star Wars LCG - Press the Attack
17 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Art Director - Zoe Robinson
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

They get no more straight forward than this. Translated the thumbnail into a finished drawing and it was approved. Added lots of details, worked out some stuff and at this point it was just a matter of getting started on the painting. Which I did. Here is the Forest Awareness coming together in 16 easy steps...

Forest Awareness - Process progression
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

This one had a little bit of an uncertain start. If you notice I was definitely going in one direction with this piece at the beginning - blue sky, a cool color scheme... and it was just not working. Hard to tell here, but it was really not working for me. It also felt odd, off, and maybe a little to similar to my Wicket piece. I wanted to do something different and something cool. I pushed the sky yellow and warmed a lot of things up and the moment I did this the painting began to come together. After this choice to go yellow the only other hurdle was to get the foot prints to work the way I wanted them to. The foot prints seemed to take way longer then they should of. Oh well... thems the breaks. Here is an animated progression of the painting to better show it coming together...

Forest Awareness - Animated process
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

As an added bonus, I happened to have taken a photo of my work space when I was finishing up this painting. Not sure if it will unlock any secrets, but if should give you an idea of how I work... or at least how a worked a couple years ago.

Forest Awareness - Work space
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

Here again is the final painting of Forest Awareness and the final production card that it was used on... 
Forest Awareness
Star Wars LCG - Press the Attack
14 x 11 - Acrylic and pencil on board
Art Director - Zoe Robinson
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games 
 
Forest Awareness in handy dandy card form

That is all for another exciting Thursday 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 28, 2016

Fortified Holding Cells: Star Wars LCG - Ancient Rivals

I have another new(ish) Star Wars piece for you today! This piece was spoiled at Gen Con with the early release of the expansion to the Star Wars Card Game, Ancient Rivals. The expansion came was released officially a short time after Gen Con and my blog schedule is finally opening up for me to share it here. Enough yammering, here my piece titled, Fortified Holding Cells...

Fortified Holding Cells
Star Wars LCG - Ancient Rivals
11 x 14 - Acrylic and pencil on board
Art Director - Taylor Ingvarsson
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

That poor unfortunate Talz. It i definitely having a bad day The Talz was on my list of Star Wars aliens and monsters I really wanted to officially paint, so this was a fun piece to receive for sure. I usually jump at any opportunity to illustrate any of the original trilogy creatures. Fun fact: while other of my completely bloodless Star Wars illustrations have been deemed too violent, this one, with splattered blood, bloody hands, and droplets of blood in mid air made it through with no comment. Here is the drawing that I did for this piece...

Fortified Holding Cells
Star Wars LCG - Ancient Rivals
17 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Art Director - Taylor Ingvarsson
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

Last, but not least here is a image of the card this painting was created for. It uses the football template so there is some lose of the image due to the chrome of the card, but the important stuff is still there. All in all, it turned out really well...

Fortified Holding Cells in handy dandy card form

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 23, 2016

Volo's Guide to Monsters - Dungeons & Dragons - Part 2

Today I have the remaining two pieces that made up my contribution to Volo's Guide to Monsters, the newest gaming supplement to Dungeons & Dragons. If you missed the first three, I shared them on Monday. Here are my remaining illustrations from Volo's: the Morkoth and the Yuan-Ti Broodguard...

Morkoth
11 x 14 - Digital
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC

I think the Morkoth might be my second favorite piece from the book. How can you go wrong with all those tentacle and that nasty beaked face? The Morkoth got a visual update for the book and I was thrilled to be tasked with taking the new concept work and turning it into a finished illustration. I love that the Morkoth collects things and carries it around on their backs. One of the bits of Morkoth treasure depicted in the concept art was a chair, I thought that was hilarious and such a great idea, so I had to be sure to include a chair on the back on my Morkoth (top left corner).

Yuan-Ti Broodguard
11 x 14 - Digital
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC

The Yuan-Ti Broodguard was an interesting one, it needed to be lithe and lanky. I have mentioned a dozen plus times here on the blog, I prefer big and beefy monsters. This does not mean that I was not happy to take on the Broodguard, it just mean I had to fight some of my natural tendencies. I thought giving it some dramatic up lighting would work well for this one. Give it an additional layer of interest. Hopefully it worked.

Below are the drawings that went into these illustrations. Since I was working on five pieces and I didn't think I had the time needed to do these traditionally the painting are digital. It would have been nice to have paintings of all of these, but the final pieces did end up way better by me doing them digitally. At least there are the drawings, get them while you can, they are going fast...
Morkoth
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Yuan-Ti Broodguard
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Monday, tomorrow is a Holiday and the blog will be resting 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 21, 2016

Volo's Guide to Monsters - Dungeons & Dragons - Part 1

I am happy to be able to start sharing my contributions to Volo's Guide to Monsters, the newest gaming supplement to Dungeons & Dragons. Volo's is just the kind of project I like - Dungeons & Dragons, monsters, and getting to work with the most excellent art director, Kate Irwin. Kate assigned me some really awesome monsters and this was a really really fun assignment to work on. I produced a total of five illustrations for the book, I will be sharing three today and the last two on Wednesday. Enough yammering, here are my illustrations of the Lizardfolk, Beholder Gazer, and the Mind Flayer Tadpole...

Lizardfolk
11 x 14 - Digital
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC

I think the Lizardfolk was my favorite piece from the book. I have a soft spot for the D&D Lizardmen that goes back decades. I played a Lizardman back in 2nd Edition and after reading the section of Volo's Guide to Monsters that had the player character Lizardfolk I am ready to roll up a new one! Thrilled to have been able to create the illustration for this section of the book. I love to work on scaly lizard people.

Beholder Gazer
11 x 14 - Digital
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC
 
You can never go wrong with a Beholder of any kind. I was given a tiny little image of an old Gazer illustration and was told to flesh it out and make it cool. I can totally do that! There ended up being two version of the drawing for this one since the first one was found to be a little questionable when it came to the eye stalks. You can see both drawings below and I will go into more detail about this when I share the process and step later.
 
Mind Flayer Tadpole
9.1 x 10.1 - Digital
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Last but not least of these is the Mind Flayer Tadpole. This was the perfect opportunity for me to do a self portrait of myself in a D&D assignment. I have some fun photo reference to share for this one that involve me and a kneaded eraser on my face as a stand in for the tadpole.

Below are the drawings that went into these illustrations. Since I was working on five pieces and I didn't think I had the time needed to do these traditionally the painting are digital. It would have been nice to have paintings of all of these, but the final pieces did end up way better by me doing them digitally. At least there are the drawings, get them while you can, they are going fast...

Lizardfolk
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Art Director - Kate Irwin
Original - SOLD
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC
 
Beholder Gazer (Final Version)
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC
 
Beholder Gazer (Original Version)
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC
 
Mind Flayer Tadpole
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Art Director - Kate Irwin
Original - SOLD
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC

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