Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dungeon & Dragons Monster Manual - Hezrou Demon - Redesign

The monsters continue here on the blog with another redesign from the 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual. This time around it is a demon! The Hezrou Demon to be exact. Here is how the final concept turned out...

Hezrou Demon - Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual - Redesign
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The Hezrou Demon has been around since the very first D&D Monster Manual and I was thrilled to get a chance to give it my personal spin. After all, it is a giant fat frog demon and I am all about drawing gaint fat frog demons. Got things rolling with some thumbnails...

Hezrou Demon - Thumbnails
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

I really love these... but I can see now why they don't work for this particular monster. Man, oh man... I would have loved to flesh out option 'A' though. 'B' is also a favorite of mine. Alas, they are all too big and fat I guess and I was asked to work up some new options. Here is how my second wave of thumbnails turned out...

Hezrou Demon - Second Wave of Thumbnails
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Option 'C' was the winner, but he was not over the finish line just yet. I was asked to take that design and stand the monster up a bit. Here is how that updated thumbnail turned out...

Hezrou Demon - Revised Thumbnail
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Third times the charm and I had an approved thumbnail for the Hezrou Demon. It was now time for some drawing and to flesh out what I was beginning in the thumbnail. Here is how the final drawing of the Hezrou Demon turned out...

Hezrou Demon - Drawing
9 x 12
Pencil on Paper
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The drawing was approved with out comment and it was time to get started on the final color comp. Here is how the color version turned out...

Hezrou Demon - Final Redsign
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The color comp was approved and another monster was completed. There was some concern going into this that the Slaad are also big fat frog monsters and that the Hezrou would end up too similar. In the end all parties were confident that the two monsters looked sufficiently different and unique.

A few months back I mentioned that the Hezrou had surfaced in the mobile game, Arena of War. That game has come and gone, but the screenshots survive on the internet. Here are some of my screenshots that I had originally shared so you can see how it translated to the mobile game. All in all, I think it is a fairly good adaptation. Too bad the game didn't stick around longer...

Hezrou Demon from Dungeons & Dragons Arena of War

A HUGE THANKS to Jon Schindehette for all the monsters and direction during the design phase of 5th Edition!

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

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

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dungeon & Dragons Monster Manual - Griffon - Redesign

Back to work and back to covering the monsters from 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons that I redesigned. This time around it is the majestic chimera of a monster, the Griffon. Here is how the final concept turned out...

Griffon - Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual - Redesign
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

This time around they had a previous design they wanted to stick close to for the Griffon and I was provided a sample piece of art to base my work off of. Seems easy enough, right? Sure... here is how the thumbnail turned out for the Griffon...

Griffon - Thumbnail
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Unfortunately, I stuck too close to the provided sample and did not think for myself enough and carried over the anatomy that was not working just right. It was a great piece of art I was working from, but anatomy is one of those things that you need to nail, or fake REALLY well. It became very clear in my thumbnail that the anatomy I was working from needed some more attention. I was asked to go back and beef up and tighten up the anatomy for the Griffon. Here is how the revised version turned out...

Griffon - Revised Thumbnail
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Much better, and much more accurate to being a bird lion monster thing. Why didn't I tighten up the anatomy to begin with? I was told to follow the lines I was given and I followed... down the wrong path. Think for yourselves but make sure you still accomplish the task you are asked to do. Now that I had an approved thumbnail it was time to get drawing on paper...

Griffon - Drawing
9 x 12
Pencil on Paper
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast
Original Drawing - SOLD

The drawing came together quickly and was approved without any comment. I moved forward on the final color design...

Griffon - Final Redsign
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The color comp of the final was approved and the Griffon was taken care of. Nothing too crazy or Earth shattering about this one, just a good solid classic Griffon design. When I get around to doing one for myself you might see some crazy stuff going on, but for the client, they get classic monster.

A HUGE THANKS to Jon Schindehette for all the monsters and direction during the design phase of 5th Edition!

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, October 17, 2014

There should be a blog post here...

... but there isn't. Only a sleepy and bored Beholder holding things down while I am away from my computer. I will be back at the computer on Monday with more new monsters to fulfill all your new monster wants and needs. In the meantime here is a sleepy and bored Beholder...

Sleepy ans bored Beholder is sleepy and bored...
© 2014 Christopher Burdett 

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

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Glorkian Warrior: The Trials of Glork - Fan Art Contest

I recently took part in a fan art contest being held by the great folks over at Pixeljam Games. There was a call out for Glorkian Warrior: The Trials of Glork related art, and since I am a fan and player of the game I was more then happy to jump in and make some Glorkian art. It turns out that I took third place in the contest! Here is my winning contribution...

Glorkian Warrior: The Trials of Glork
Art by Christopher Burdett
© 2014 Pixeljam Games and James Kochalka

You can see the over winners and get info about Glorkian Warrior: The Trials of Glork over on the Pixeljam website. A BIG thanks to all involved and I am thrilled to have won myself a graphic novel! Here is a look at the original drawing that went into my piece...

Glorkian scribblings
9 x 12
Pencil on paper

That is all for another exciting Wednesday, 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, October 13, 2014

Very Near Mint volume three

I may have first mentioned VNM volume 3 way back in February of 2013 but the wait has well been worth it because VNM3 is now out in the world! I am happy to also share my contribution to this new graphic novel. I have more then once mentioned Justin Perterson's graphic novel series that includes VNM1, Uncanny VNM, and VNM2. Over the years I have taken Justin's characters and turned them into monsters and put them in harms way, and this time is no different. Here is my contribution to Very Near Mint volume 3...

Teenage Mutant Ninja VNM
Art by Christopher Burdett
Characters © 2014 Justin Peterson

This piece was a lot of fun to work on and I was more then thrilled to be a part of VNM3. Also nice to help a friend and live vicariously in comics through someone else. Here are some images of the piece in process...

Mutants taking shape in red and blue.

Mutants in black and white... and some gray.

If you need another reason to pick up VNM3... how about you need to get it because I am in the book as a character! There was an option in Justin's Kickstarter for VNM3 to be a character in the book and I was quick to jump on that. While enjoying your copy of VNM make sure you keep an eye out for me...

Very Near Mint 3 with special guest star... ME!

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, October 10, 2014

Dungeon & Dragons Monster Manual - Gorgon - Redesign

Concluding another week of monsters from 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons I am bringing you the redesign of the very METAL, Gorgon. It is all fun and games until a giant metal bull monster smashes in and breathes poison green gas all over you adventuring party. Here is how the final concept turned out...

Gorgon - Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual - Redesign
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Okay, I have to admit, this one was kinda hard. The Gorgon is one of those weird monsters that is kinda crazy as a stand alone idea (poison breathing metal bull) but still needs to be kinda like a real bull. I think that was what got me from the beginning, I was in a 'RAWR, MONSTER' state of mind when it needed to be in more of a 'Hey, I am bull... that is metal'. Needed to be less RAWR and more REAL. Anyway, I am getting ahead of myself... Here are how the first set of thumbnails turned out...

Gorgon - Thumbnails
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

As already mentioned, these were not cutting it for the Gorgon. I got some notes and some art direction and got a new start on a revised thumbnail. Still was fishing a little it on what this thing needed to be. Not necessarily feeling what this thing really needed to be. Here is how the revised Gorgon looked like...

Gorgon - Revised Thumbnail
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

It was better, but still not there yet. I got some more feedback and art direction (THANKS, Jon!) and after some email conversations I had a better feeling for where this thing needed to head. After some more frantic scribbling on the computer I had an updated version of the Gorgon...

Gorgon - Revised REVISED Thumbnail
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

This version hit the mark and I was given the go ahead to work up the final drawing. After having lot my way several times with this monster it was good to be finishing it up. Here is how the final drawing turned out...

Gorgon - Drawing
9 x 12
Pencil on Paper
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

It looks like I spoke to soon! Upon review of the drawing by the full team I received some notes to edit the Gorgon further. Even though this is a poison breathing giant metal bull it is still a living monster and should not appear to be made or constructed. I was asked to remove anything that looked like a rivet or element that made it look hand built. I made these changes digitally since most of the drawing was to remain the same. Here is how the revised drawing turned out...

Gorgon - Revised Drawing
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Seventh time is the charm! I had an approved drawing and it was time to move ahead to the final digital color comp of the Gorgon. Nothing like a big shiny metal animal to bust out all the specular highlights. Here is how the final color comp turned out...

  Gorgon - Final Redsign
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

This final color comp was approved and I was able to mark it off my list. While it was still a fun monster to work on, other monsters came to me much easier and quicker. Not all the monster can and should be easy and we learn from the hard one. I also learned that I did not have as much good bull reference as I thought I did.

A HUGE THANKS to Jon Schindehette for all the monsters and direction during the design phase of 5th Edition!

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, I may be taking next week off from the blog, or maybe it will be on auto pilot! Until then...

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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dungeon & Dragons Monster Manual - Flesh Golem - Redesign

Monster Manual monster redesigns continue today... I told you I did a bunch of these things... Today I have a rather humanoid monster and that is okay because it is a monster mess, which I like a lot. What is made from the bodies of the dead and hopefully will obey the will of its creator? That would the reanimated Flesh Golem! Here is how the final concept turned out...

Flesh Golem - Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual - Redesign
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Not dead, but not fully in the world of the living, the Flesh Golem is a mess of body parts where science and magic merge. I am no stranger to Flesh Golems, not only did I work on a Frankenstein TV movie in my other art life but I also redesigned the Flesh Golem for myself in 2012. When I was tasked to redesign the Flesh Golem for 5E I wanted to make sure I explored new ground as well as cover my bases with a traditional approach. I got to work on some thumbnails...

Flesh Golem - Thumbnails
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The first note from production was to loose the magic runes, there were plans for such things to be used elsewhere. If you are familiar with my work you know that 'A' and 'C' are right up my alley and I would draw stuff like this all day without complaint. I love the top heavy big beefy body shape. I knew 'B' was going to be rejected and too crazy, which it is, but it needed to be done and submitted. 'D' was the most traditional design and the most similar to what I did for myself. While sticking to the classic visual archetype I still wanted to make it feel oddly put together and kind of off. As you already know, 'D' was the winner and it was time for the drawing...

Flesh Golem - Drawing
9 x 12
Pencil on Paper
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Always nice when a monster can appear something other then instantly threatening. The switch from confused, unintelligent, sympathetic, or helpful to a threat is always really satisfying. The drawing for the Flesh Golem was approved and I was given the go ahead to work up the final color version of this drooling heap of flesh that will be as likely to rip you apart as to walk into a wall and stay there. Here is how the final color version turned out...

  Flesh Golem - Final Redsign
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Another monster was put to bed and the villagers can get there torches and pitchforks ready for a night out. While I would have loved to do the version with the three heads this is really what comes to mind when you imagine a Flesh Golem, and sometimes there really is not need to reinvent the wheel and stick close to what has been established over the last 40 years of D&D.

A HUGE THANKS to Jon Schindehette for all the monsters and direction during the design phase of 5th Edition!

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

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