Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Scary Monster - Learning to Draw

If you follow me on Facebook you might remember a photo I posted about a month ago. It was of a book my wife surprised me with that she found at a local flea market. It was a real find and I was delighted to now own a book I never knew existed. What is this book you ask? It is the now legendary (to me) 'How to Draw MONSTERS!" by Robert Pierce!

'How to Draw MONSTERS!" by Robert Pierce
© 1984 Field Publications

This book is just AWESOME! The six year version of me would have poured over this for hours trying to learn the correct way to draw monsters. This of course got me thinking about drawing monsters professionally and everything that I have done to improve my own skills. I wondered if there was anything I could still learn from Mr. Pierce or if I could at least have fun and celebrated the work of Mr. Pierce. I decided when time allowed I would try my hand at drawing some of the monsters in his book. First up is the 'Scary Monster'!

How to draw a Scary Monster by Robert Pierce - in six easy steps!
© 1984 Field Publications

Seemed pretty straight forward! I got to work on a Scary Monsters and this is what I came up with...

A Scary Monster - Step Seven - RAWR!
© 2012 Christopher Burdett

Please understand I have nothing but complete admiration for the works of Robert Pierce. If not for artists like him that create gateways into the art for children our world would be a diminished place. I hope none of the parties involved mind me doing this. It was a ton of fun and I look forward to doing more. If you recall my jar of pencils, you know I draw a lot and when it is for myself I try to have as much fun with it as possible... as well as try to improve and grow my abilities. If I have my way you should expect to see more tributes to Mr. Pierce's work here on the blog.

That is all for another exciting Wednesday, see you 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 27, 2012

The Project That Never Was (Part 7)

With all things there is an end and today I complete my coverage of a big project that I worked on back in 2008. The project died before it ever saw completion and the work I produced for it has remained sealed away every since. ...until NOW. Please keep in mind while I can now share my work I can not divulge any other details regarding the project. If you missed any of this series of posts, you can see them here: PART 1, PART 2, PART 3, PART 4, PART 5, PART 6, and PART 7.

To conclude things I have for you one of the first and one of the last designs that I did for this mystery project, 'Fledermaus' and 'The Lady Monster'. The little fledermaus of a guy was fun and back in 2008 working on a lady monster almost killed me, but I made it through! I just wish I had gotten the fledermaus drawing a little more symmetrical... Before I say to much, bring on the monsters...

'Fledermaus' Turnaround
© 2008 Wizards of the Coast

'The Lady Monster' Turnaround
© 2008 Wizards of the Coast

These ended with with less of a band then I had anticipated, but due to the secrecy and that fact I have stretched them out over such a long period of time I should have expected as much. It is nice to finally have them out in the world to share, though it have been three to four years since I worked on these. Better late then never!

That wraps up 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 24, 2012

Fresh from the drawing table... Lich!

I have for you another drawing that is fresh from the drawing table. This time around it is a Lich! 'L' offers up a handful of monsters to choose and with so many of the previous letters there was a clear and obvious first choice and a close runner up. While the Lizardman was a no brainer for the first time through the alphabet the undead embodiment of a super powerful wizard is the stand out monster for pass two. I present to you my version of a Lich...

Lich
© 2012 Christopher Burdett

Hard to go wrong with undead monsters, they are such an iconic and tried and true monster. The living dead have been envisioned in many ways but I think they are best served when the mind of the living is still retained in the withered dead husk. For my Lich I went with less skeleton and more fleshy like a mummy. I imagined the body being dried out during the transformation rituals and then again loosed up and made flexible with arcane ointments and alchemical liniments. The important part though is that it is an undead super wizard that seek ever more power and eternal life through death. Had a lot of fun with this one, better watch out for that +5 staff of Hurting!

My first 100 original Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual redesigns (A - Z): Aerial Servant, Ankheg, Ant (Giant), Ape (Carnivorous), Ape (Gorilla), Axe Beak, Axe Beak (version 2), Baboon, Badger, Barracuda, Basilisk, Baluchitherium, Bear (Black), Bear (Brown), Bear (Cave), Beaver (Giant), Beetle (Giant) - Bombardier, Beetle (Giant) - Boring, Beetle (Giant) - Fire, Beetle (Giant) - Rhinoceros, Beetle (Giant) - Stag, Beetle (Giant) - Water, Beholder, Black Pudding, Blink Dog, Boar (Giant), Boar (Warthog), Boar (Wild), Brain Mole, Brownie, Bugbear, Buffalo, Bulette, Carrion Crawler, Catoblepas, Cerebral Parasite, Chimera, Cockatrice, Coutal, Crab (Giant), Demon Type III (Glabrezu), Demon (Juiblex), Demon (Manes), Devil (Ice), Dragon (Red), Elemental (Earth), Ettin, Eye of the Deep, Flightless Bird, Frog (Giant), Fungi (Violet), Giant (Hill), Goblin, Golem (Flesh), Hobgoblin, Homunculus, Hydra, Imp, Intellect Devourer, Ixitxachitl, Jackal, Jacklewere, Jaguar, Ki-Rin, Kobold, Lich, Lizard (Giant), Lizardman, Manticore, Mind Flayer, Minotaur, Naga, Neo-Otygugh, Nixie, Ochre Jelly, Ogre, Owlbear, Peryton, Pixie, Purple Worm, Quasit, Ram (Giant), Roper, Rust Monster, Sahuagin, Salamander, Shambling Mound, Treant, Troglodyte, Troll, Umber Hulk, Unicorn, Vampire, Wasp (Giant), Wight, Wyvern, Xorn, Yeti, and Zombie.        

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 22, 2012

And the winner is...

A week ago I had a little contest in celebration of my four year anniversary of blogging and for my 500th post. The contest was to guess how many pencils were in a jar that I have been filling for the last seven years. I was really impressed with how many of you took the time to post a guess and for all the kind words, it is really appreciated! While no one was able to guess the actual amount, one person did guess within 6 of the actual number... and if you were wondering, the actual number of pencils in the jar was...

306 pencils!

And the winner is, GuĂ°mundur HarĂ°ar! The prize pack will be heading off to him very soon, congrats! Again, thanks to everyone who took part in the contest, hopefully in another four years and 500 posts you will have another chance!

I had no idea just how many pencils were in there until I counted them, and once they were all out they almost didn't fit back in. 306 seemed like a lot, but the amount didn't blow my mind until I started doing a little math. It took me about seven years to go through that many pencils, so that is about 43 pencils each year, or on average I go through a pencil every 8-9 days. I knew I drew a lot, I just didn't realize that I drew that much. This related back to my post about "What does it take?" where I first showed off the jar. I have been asked so many times about getting into the industry and being an artist and how I did it... well, I used up a pencil every 8-9 days... and this was AFTER I was already working in the industry, this was me working and trying to improve my abilities. There are no shortcuts to hard work and time.

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 20, 2012

Pathfinder: Bestiary 3

A week or so ago I was wandering through the gaming store and came upon the display for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 3. I am always drawn to big books of monster (go figure) and low and behold my name was among the real stellar lineup of contributing artists. I quickly thumbed through the pages to see which monster made it into the book and I was very pleased to see that my old friend, the Tojanida, gracing the pages...

Tojanida
© 2012 Paizo Publishing, LLC

If you have forgotten all the about the Tojanida you can read all about its misadventures in Misfit Monsters Redeemed. I was really happy to see that this critter got some extra attention and I thought it printed beautifully in the Bestiary. I hope that a copy of the book will be making its way to me soon so that I can enjoy the rest of the work in the book, it is full of eye candy!

Don't forget, you have until midnight tonight to submit your guess and to possibly win a prize package in celebrating my 4 year anniversary and 500 post on the blog! Get all your details and submit your vote HERE! No one has guessed the exact amount yet, so you still have a chance to be the one to guess or be the one to get closest! GO NOW!

That is all for another exciting Monday on the blog, see you back here on Wednesday to find out just how many pencils are in that jar and who won! 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 17, 2012

Spring Cleaning 2012

It is that time of year again, time for some spring cleaning and purging of my online galleries. In the next week I will taking a long look at my online galleries and deleting older less quality work. I started this last year and it is definitely something I would like to continue! As last year, Deviant Art will be taking the biggest hit. You do know I have a Deviant Art account, right?

Deviant Art - the purge is coming!

DA will not be the only gallery getting a once over, but fear naught... these pieces of my work will always be in my blog as a timeline of my journey as an artist. The online galleries need to stay an example of my best (better) work and to insure that, there needs to be some purging. Sorry for any inconvenience...

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 15, 2012

Nexus Ops sketches and tidbits

Looks like I have a couple more things to share with you from Nexus Ops. I hope you all have not grown tired of it over the past two week! Today I have for you a bunch of the roughs and sketches that went into fleshing out and designing the different pieces in the game. I also have some photos of my art as it appeared in various parts of the game and packaging. I could go on and on about all of these but I figured at this point it will be best to just post the sketches and let you see what could have been and how things took shape. For each of these there is a selection of quick roughs followed by the more refined sketches that lead to the art I have previously shared with you. Without further fanfare...

© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

Game information card.

The four sides of the Nexus Ops game box.

Web ad I came across in my journeys in the tubes of the Internets.

I think that about covers my involvement with Nexus Ops! It was a blast to work on and the kind of project that just not come my way often enough.

If you missed any of the finished designs you can see them here: Human, Fungoid, Crystalline, Rockstrider, Lava Leaper, and Rubium Dragon.

That's all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, I hope to have a post up on Friday but with everything going on it just might now happen... but I will do my best! 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 13, 2012

4 years, 500 posts, and a CONTEST!

Two milestones for the blog this week! Not only is today my 500th post, but this up coming Friday (the 17th) will be my 4th anniversary of beginning this blog (how time flies)! I thought I would mark this special double occasion with a contest and prizes!!!

First, I just want to thank each and every person that has been to my blog in these last four years. The blog would be nothing without the people who visit it, leave comments, share links, and in general find my ramblings here to be helpful in their own artistic pursuits. It has kept me going these past four years and hopefully this is just the beginning! It is a little staggering that I have been able to reach 500 posts, to quote C3P0, "I never knew I had it in me". Again, deepest thanks to everyone that comes to the blog, could not have made it this far without your interest!

Now, what was that about a CONTEST?!?!?! It is real simple... Guess how many pencils are in this jar...

Used pencil jar. This jar contains nearly all the pencils I have used up since mid 2005 when I started working for Wizards of the Coast. Even I don't know how many are in here (yet, I will be counting them for this contest).

RULES:

1) ONE PERSON ONE GUESS.

2) Leave your guess in the comments section of this post.

3) The first person to correctly guess the number of pencils wins, if no one guesses the correct amount the first person to get closest wins.

4) I will need to be able to contact the winner, so if you do not have a blogger account make sure you leave an email address so that I can contact you.

5) DEADLINE, you have until MIDNIGHT, FEBRUARY 20th (that's the following Monday of this posting date) to submit a guess.

6) The winner will be contacted via email on or before Wednesday, February 22nd. The winner will also be announced on the blog on this date as well.

7) If something goes wrong, not my fault!

8) Don't follow the rules, don't win the prize.


PRIZES!

A selection of prints, a sketchbook, and a selection of miniature that I designed!

A closer look at the loot!

Just my way of saying thanks to you all for these exciting years on the blog. Make sure you add your guess in the comment section below for you chance to win!

See you back here on Wednesday for post 501! 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 10, 2012

Nexus Ops - Part 6: Rubium Dragon

Wrapping up the week as well as concluding my designs for the new release of Nexus Ops, I have you a dragon! Not just any dragon, but the Rubium Dragon, the biggest of the Nexus Ops creatures. It adorned the box art in the original release so I knew the dragon was important (also, it was a dragon, so that alone means it is important in this industry). I present to you, the Rubium Dragon...

Rubium Dragon
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

Rubium Dragon miniature turnaround
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

Production miniature for the Rubium Dragon
(RAWR! I am the biggest miniature of the set!)

As mentioned in my post about the Fungoid, I wanted to give a nod to the original game when I could. With the dragon, you get two nods. Like the Fungoid the dragon has multiple eyes, but most direct nod is the inclusion of the two pairs of wings. Was the original dragon a crazy insect? A misshapen mutant that still functioned? Whatever it was it had four wings and so does my dragon... big fleshy wings. As far as the color and look, I knew I wanted from the beginning to have some sort of color shift across its body, a really dramatic chroma transition. The red headed agama gave me the real world influence that I was looking for. I restraints of the project meant that if the dragon was to appear to be flying I needed to accomplish the illusion with the design. There was some brief talk of it having a clear stand as part of the mini, but apparently that was tried before and the cost and trouble was not worth it. I considered all the options of it appearing like it was just about to take off or land but I really felt that if I could have use it body to make it feel it was already in flight I would have a more interesting design and miniature... I think I may have pulled it off...

That is all for my work on Nexus Ops! Maybe I will bring you some of the drawings and extra stuff involved with the designs and game in the near future. If you missed any of the other designs you can see them here: Human, Fungoid, Crystalline, Rockstrider, Lava Leaper, and Rubium Dragon.

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here for a very special 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 8, 2012

Nexus Ops - Part 5: Lava Leaper

Keeping a week of giant Nexus Ops monsters going I have for you... another giant Nexus Ops monster! This time around it is the massive Lava Leaper. I think the same comes from some sort of ability it might have, something to do with leaping and maybe lava, but I am known to be wrong, from time to time. I present to you, the Lava Leaper...

Lava Leaper
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

Lava Leaper miniature turnaround
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

Production miniature for the Lava Leaper

I really wanted to make sure that these monsters looked and felt differently. I wanted them to be able to be distinguished from each other immediately and without any trouble, both in there illustrations and in the monochromatic miniatures. I hope I accomplished this, it is always hard to tell sometimes after being so close to a project. Every detail and nuance has been committed to memory and they begin to look as different as they do the same over time. For the Lava Leaper I looked to a very interesting little frog for the coloration. For the overall look, well, let's just say I went back to my roots for inspiration. As a side note, I really like that the Lava Leaper and Rockstrider are not placed on bases. Just something about them being free standing and to themselves that I really like.

If you missed any of the other designs you can see them here: Human, Fungoid, Crystalline, Rockstrider, Lava Leaper, and Rubium Dragon.

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday for the last and biggest of the Nexus Ops monsters! 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 6, 2012

Nexus Ops - Part 4: Rockstrider

I am devoting this week on the blog to the remaining work that I produced for the new release of the Nexus Ops board game. This second week is completely devoted to giant alien monsters with tiny humans riding them. Kicking things off I have for you an grumpy turtle! I present to you the Rockstrider...

Rockstrider
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

Rockstrider miniature turnaround
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

Production miniature for the Rockstrider
(With new and improved spiky butt!)

With all the work I produced for Nexus Ops I really tried to base aspects of the designs on real Earth animals to give the creatures a little more believability. It may just be the colors and textures, but I wanted to be sure that there was some realistic element to each one. With this particular design from the the thumbnail that started it off I had in my mind a grumpy turtle. When it came time to paint the illustration I made sure to look at a lot of images of box turtles (since I have always been fond of bx turtles and they have amazing markings) to influence the coloration and patterning on the Rockstrider. To me at least it has a grumpy turtle feel, not sure if that will necessarily be communicated to everyone that see this design, but at least I know what it is!

If you missed any of the other designs you can see them here: Human, Fungoid, Crystalline, Rockstrider, Lava Leaper, and Rubium Dragon.

See you back here on Wednesday for another GIANT MONSTER! 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 3, 2012

Nexus Ops - Part 3: Crystalline

Wrapping up this week of Nexus Ops designs I have for you another monster. If my memory serves me this critter is also a enslaved worker for the humans. Where harsh conditions prevent the Fungoid from entering the Crystalline is put to work. Made of rock and crystal the Crystalline will toil under the most harsh of conditions...

Crystalline
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games


Crystalline miniature turnaround
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

Production miniature for the Crystalline

I had a lot of fun with the Crystalline. Whenever I get to do something a little out of the norm I generally have a lot of fun seeing what I could do with it. In this case the Crystalline is made of crystal which allowed me to work with surfaces and textures I usually don't work with. Prior to this I had been really wanting to try my hand at something along these lines, funny how things work out. Needless to say I looked at a lot of reference when I came to painting the illustration and I am really happy with how this one in particular came out. I was a little surprised with how quickly it came together, but pleased none the less.

It is funny how things are cyclical, as I mentioned I had been really wanting to create a rocky kind of beast and once I was done with the Crystalline I wanted more. It just so happens that while working on these in my spare time I was reworking some of my designs from Angel. While flipping through my options I came upon the Quartz Neck demon... and well, it ended up being more then the neck that was quartz. I think I recall eluding to the fact that I had crystalline monsters on the brain...

If you missed any of the other designs you can see them here: Human, Fungoid, Crystalline, Rockstrider, Lava Leaper, and Rubium Dragon.

That is all for another exciting week of new work on the blog, see you back here next week... for another week of new work! 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 1, 2012

Nexus Ops - Part 2: Fungoid

On Monday I brought you the first of the characters I designed for the new release of Nexus Ops, the Human. Now that the Human is out of the way, that just leaves all the monsters! Today to start off the monsters, here is a really fun guy... or is it, fungi? No, now I remember, it is the Fungoid! Giant mushroom man destined for manual labor under the harsh rule of the Humans...

Fungoid
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

Fungoid miniature turnaround
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

Production miniature for the Fungoid
(they are only slightly bigger then the Humans and full of detail!)

The Fungoid was the first piece that I designed for Nexus Ops, granted I was working on them all at the same time, it was the first to be sketched out, drawn and painted. Previously to the getting this assignment I had been really wanting to working a big mushroom man, so I may have gone a little over the top with the mushrooms... or maybe not far enough... I am just thrilled with the amount of detail they were able to get in the mini and how true to the design they kept.

With all of the pieces in Nexus Ops I really wanted to give them a completely new look and feel compared to their counterparts in the first release of the game. With this in mind, I also wanted to be able to give a nod to the original game where I could, and with the Fungoid you can see this. A common motif in the original game was to give all the monsters multiple eyes, so I made a conscience effort to incorporate multiple eyes in two of the monsters.

If you missed any of the other designs you can see them here: Human, Fungoid, Crystalline, Rockstrider, Lava Leaper, and Rubium Dragon.

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

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