Monday, December 12, 2011

My life as a crappy artist - High Priest

You of course remember the High Priest from episode 21, Peace Out, from season 4 of Angel, right? Any good Angel fan would, right? I barely recall the dang thing and I designed it. So that everyone is on the same page, this is High Priest...

Well, if it isn't the friendliest little hell beast that I ever did meet! Give the folks at home a nice little, 'RAWR!'.

I was able to find some time to take a fresh pass at another monster that I designed while working on Joss Whedon's Angel series. This time around the High Priest was the lucky winner. Here are some of my original designs for the High Priest from 2003...

Uh, yeah. Not scary enough, how about I make the neck a little longer... yeah, that's the ticket...
© 2003 Almost Human

If that one is not bad enough, here are some full body studies I think I did first to get my head around the character. I think I should have stopped before I had gotten any closer...

I would like to imagine that the one on the left actually becomes two dimensional as it nears the bottom of his dress/robe/tube suit thing. How freaky would that have been? Turns to a profile and the lower part of his body disappears since it only has height and width but no depth... totally freaky!
© 2003 Almost Human

As I mentioned in my post about the Keeper of the Name, these two like to hang out in some hell dimension keeping the name of the Woman (I will talk about her another day) safe. The High Priest is an evolved version of the Centaur Bugs (I will talk about them another day), a crazy mixed up monster that was one of our real successes on Angel. I had to take what we had come up for the Centaur Bugs and advance it a couple millions year ahead in it's monster evolution. I basically had to make it bipedal and more human in appearance... and it appears I was barely up for that task. I really should not be so hard on myself, it was eight years ago after all and I was a different person then... but my work offers such an easy target. All that aside, here is something... newer, for the design of the High Priest...

Taking the High Priest back!
© 2011 Christopher Burdett

I wonder if I could have drawn the High Priest like this eight years ago if I would have ever left Los Angeles for greener pastures. Of course, if I had not left I would not have had the opportunities to grow and improve that I have had in Florida. I surprised myself with this redesign and I am really happy with how it turned out. It came together really quickly and really easily which is still a little unnerving!

But that is not all for the High Priest! I have a couple more photos of the happiest widdle hell beast of them all! As a side note, the actor portraying the High Priest also was Karg from the live action Masters of the Universe movie. So that makes me like two to three degrees away from everyone on Star Trek Voyager...

OH HAI! Can I offer you some hand crafted jewelery? They are all made by hand, by hell beasts!

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:


  1. Haha, this is great! I'm always of the opinion that artists should save a few scraps from the past to remind us how far we've come =)

  2. Thanks! :)

    I keep everything and I might remind myself a bit too often :P Which results in me wanting to redraw everything I have done.