Friday, August 31, 2012

Pocket Monster: Charmander

Pokémon was just hitting and getting huge when I was in college and I found it all really interesting… after all it was a game centered around collecting monsters and using them in combat. I never got into the game, but in those early days I was definitely a fan. I have seen a lot of Pokémon redesigns and inspired art over the years and have always wished I had a chance to give it a try. The art style is a little cuter then my work tends to be but I always say the potential to flesh out the Pokémon into more complex creatures. For no reason I can explain and even though I in the middle of two other drawings and two paintings I found myself redesigning a Pokémon this week. This is how it turned out… 

 Charmander redesign
© 2012 Christopher Burdett

 If you follow my Facebook Fan Page or Tumblr you may have seen this critter take shape over the week. I had to steal time over meals and during breaks to get it finished and not take time away from my work that is on deadline. For some reason I kept finding myself thinking about working on this drawing. It was super fun to work on and it came together really quickly. I think I will have to find some more time to at least work on next two evolutionary steps of Charmander. Hopefully they will turn out to be as fun!

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here for more drawings and new work! Until then...

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

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Slaves of the Oba

Earlier in the month a new article in Dragon magazine #414, Slaves of the Oba, went up on the Dungeons & Dragon website and I contributed a piece to the article! Corrupted primal spirits terrorizing villagers in the Dark Sun campaign setting? Count me in! Here is how the piece turned out...

Slaves of the Oba
© 2012 Wizards of the Coast

I am a little behind in posting new work since it seems like so much hit this month as well as loads more being previewed at Gen Con. I would like to thank my friend Nicholas Rich for the impromptu reference shoot, he make a great villager who is about to meet a very unpleasant end. I had a lot of fun with this piece and it is always a joy to design and illustrate a new monster for D&D. I will have a walk through and process post for this piece in the near future. As always, I would like to thank Kate Irwin for involving me on this project and for her art direction!

That's all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday for a monster starting with the letter "C". Until then...

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

Monday, August 27, 2012

LoTR Battle of Lake-Town

For most of my life when I thought of dragons I would instantly think of Smaug. Smaug the Horrible, Smaug the Terrible, Smaug the MIGHTY! The Hobbit is a favorite of mine and I have read it several times over the years.  So when I was approached by Fantasy Flight Games to design Smaug for them and to do a series of paintings I jumped at the opportunity. When I was approached a second time to do even more paintings of Smaug, I jumped at those too! We are going to talk about the second round of Smaugs today...

If you follow the blog regularly you may have noticed from my reports from Gen Con that FFG put together a special set of LoTR cards for Gen Con 2012 and the set turned out to be the Battle of Laketown. They needed several hero pieces for Smaug and was happy to paint some more images of the big bad dragon. We were looking at a very tight turnaround for these, I was implementing a new technique on building up my paintings, and I was getting over being super sick at the Illustration Master Class... so it was a perfect storm for me to fall on my face or to do something that did not involve me falling on my face... This is what I came up with...

The Burning of Lake-Town #1 (Smaug the Terrible)
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

 The Burning of Lake-Town #2 (Smaug the Magnificent)
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

 The Burning of Lake-Town #3 (Smaug the Mighty)
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

I am really happy with how they turned out, and I am pretty sure so are the folks at FFG. I made them nice and big for me and made sure everything was where it needed to be for them. I learned a lot with these to say the least. The new technique has opened my eyes to some things and has allowed me the chance to better understand what I do as a painter. I will have a break down of the process for each of these in the near future. There will be more Smaug fun later in the year as well, but I can't say too much about that... yet. Here are some scans for the actual cards from the set so you can see how they got cropped for the game...

That is all for today, see you back here on Wednesday for some new Dungeons & Dragons work! Until then...

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

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fresh from the drawing table... Bulette!

I have for you another drawing that is fresh from the drawing table. This time around it is a Bulette (buːˈleɪ/boo-LAY)! The wily BOOLAY... or Bulette... it was hard to pass this one up that long. I have always been fan of the Bulette and its silly and weird origins even if I was not pronouncing it correctly for years. It is not a bullet... Big crazy monsters made by mad wizards are always fun and in my universe the monster is crazier because the wizard was more mad! I present to you my version of a Bulette...   
© 2012 Christopher Burdett

It may have been originally a Ultraman monster that was packaged with dinosaurs and imported to the states in the early 1970's but it has become so much more then that. To me the Bulette is darn near perfect the way it already is, but I tasked myself with the challenge to redesign all the monsters in the original Monster Manual, and that means working over even the Bulette. Since the origins of this monsters is at the hands of a mad wizard I figured I could push it even more into a completely crazy beast. If I was a mad wizard I would be sure to make my monsters as crazy as I can. Besides, I have been really wanting to draw something with a sideways mouth and the Bulette was the obvious choice! RAWR!

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 next week for NEW WORK and NEW DRAGONS! Until then...

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

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gen Con 2012 - Wrap up

I am back and have survived another exciting and adventurous Gen Con. I am still getting unpacked and settled as well as getting on top of my deadlines, so today's post is going to be quick. If you missed any of my posts from Gen Con you can see the here: DAY 0, DAY 1, DAY 2, DAY 3, and DAY 4. I realized after returning I didn't take nearly enough photos of other artists in their booths... need to work on that next year. Speaking of next year, I will be returning to Gen Con 2013, so I hope to see you there!

I have for you a couple more sketches I did at the con as well as some photos from the travels home. Gen Con is one of the only times I will just about draw anything. Since I am usually so busy with client work or my own work I don't take on private commissions, but since I am a captive audience at the con I find myself drawing all kinds of interesting things...

 An ox / scorpion hybrid that represent birth year and astrological sign.... RAWR!

A little pony, lobster, and Madagascar cockroach mix. I ended up doing an additional drawing of this one too, but somehow forgot to get a picture of it. RAWR! 

Out layover on the way south was in Washington DC. Got to see the sights at a distance.

Not usually out on the tarmac with the planes at an airport this big... but I guess this is how they roll here.


I love taking pictures of clouds up in the air. These new space phones make it so easy to get great reference images. Just makes me wish I had one a few years back when I flew around a spectacular storm.

I think that just about wraps up all that I can share from Gen Con. I know I am probably missing 75% of what went on... but that is why you attend, so you can experience it all! I will be returning to normal blog operations on Friday and I will start sharing next week all the new work that is now available! RAWR!

That is all for today, 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:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gen Con 2012 - Day 4

Gen Con 2012 Day 4... it all comes to an end. The exhibit hall on Day 4 is open two hours shorter so there is a frantic air to the hall as people try to see everything they missed, make last minute purchases, and prepare for their travels home. It was all a blur to tell you the truth, the previous very full days have left me rather exhausted and kinda in a fog of con overload. Don't get me wrong, it was all well worth it and I am still having a great time. I don't want it all to end, but not sure I have the ability to keep going.... to me, that is the sign of a good con. Not much more I can add to all this... so bring on the photos...

I was hoping some of my work done for Privateer Press was going to emerge at Gen Con. Sadly, it did not, so I will have to wait another day to share that news.

 Chris Seaman did a AMAZING job on his D&D Mighty Mugg. SO COOL!

The wife got herself a painting by Ralph Horsley that we have both had our eye on for awhile.

 By Day 4 the booth has changed a bit.

 Still doing lots of drawings and sketches...

 ...and sketches and drawings.

 Got to see a piece I will have in the next set of Legends of the Five Rings! The set had an exclusive launch at the Con and I got to see one of the three pieces I have in the set. We will have to wait two months to see the rest and for more news on these. The photo does not do this card justice, really happy with how it looks.

 Art director dance party at my booth!
...or not.
Jon and Andrew just happened to stop by at the same time at the booth.

 Everybody loves sketches in their sketchbooks! RAWR!

 Sketching at the con really makes you speed up and work on your impromptu drawing chops. 

And then all at once... it was over. Goodbye Gen Con 2012, you were super fun and I hope that my experiences there echo through the year ahead. I am already signed up for having a booth again in the Artist Alley in 2013, so make your calendars and I will see you there! RAWR!

It guess I need to get my head around returning to normal non con life. Lots to do and lots catch up on waiting for me back in Florida. A lot of new work was announced and shared at Gen Con and I will be sharing it all with you here on the blog very soon! I will also review my Gen Con photos and see if I missed anything fun to share. Time to begin our journey home with a couple flights and several hours in airports...

That is all for today, see you back here next time for more blog fun and more art adventures! Until then...

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

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gen Con 2012 - Day 3

DAY 3 of Gen Con 2012! The big day! Looking back at yesterday it is all a bit of a blur... the con was PACKED and there was always a constant stream of folks coming by. I did SO many drawings and signed a lot of stuff. Fun times! I think I got away from the table for two quick breaks and to stretch my legs and navigating the hordes in the hall was tricky. A lot of con announcements were made and a lot of new products can now be talked about, including somethings I have been working on. Here are some highlights of the day, but starting things off is an image I forgot to post as part of Friday, Day 2...

I had a shirt made for the con and I wore it on Friday... it got the point across... 

The new Lord of the Rings 'Battle of Lake-town' print on demand expansion was premiered at the con and put on display. I have three new Smaug pieces in the set including the front of the package! RAWR! 

The new Star Wars RPG from Fantasy Flight Games was also announced! I happened to work on this as well and some of my art was spoiled as part of the announcement! So look for that coming to the blog in the near future... RAWR!

Wil Wheaton stopped by artist alley and the booth early in the day. He and I have a con history... but he does not know it... because I was working in costume... but that is a story for another day...

Sketchbook monster! 

And another monster!

...and another.

AND another monster.... RAWR!

They just kept coming!

Play mats were not overlooked!

I got my copy of the LotR expansion! 

 We followed the trail of the great tentacled one to lead us to madness... and dinner...

That is all for Day 3, there was more of course... so much more, but there is never enough time and some stories are best saved for later. Getting ready for the last day of the con, but not looking forward to everything coming to an end. See you back here tomorrow to see how Day 4 comes together!

That is all for another exciting day on the blog, see you back here tomorrow! Until then...

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

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Gen Con 2012 - Day 2

Day 2 was an outstandingly fun day at the Gen Con. Very well could be the most fun I have had at Gen Con to date. Got to meet a lot of folks, have some great chats with artists and art directors, and see a lot of my new work finally get released or get spoiled. Lots to share on the blog in the coming weeks! I think I will let the pictures do the talking...

Andy has been demoing Nexus Ops, it was great to see all the minis I designed out of the box getting used... RAWR!

More sketchbook sketches!

Looking to my right, further into the artist alley, as I sit in my booth... SO much great work to see! 

Looking to my left out into the exhibit hall... SO much to see!

Ralph's new hat was a huge hit!

Standing in one corner of the exhibit hall you get a feel for just how huge Gen Con is and how much there is to see and do.

Still not sure why R2D2 kept shouting 'exterminate' at me and trying to hit me with his toilet plunger.

 Even MORE sketchbook sketches.... RAWR!

Handed off my zombie Mighty Mugg and got a super cool wooden button!

The art awards was super fun and a lot of great art was acknowledged and celebrated.

 I was confronted by the giant ghost of Lincoln's head at the end of the night.

That is all for Day 2, sadly words and pictures can't come close to capturing the fun and adventure that was had. We are getting ready for the day 3, Saturday and looking forward to what it brings. I should be back tomorrow with more pics of my 2012 Gen Con adventures! 

Thanks is all for today, see you back here tomorrow! Until then...

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

Friday, August 17, 2012

Gen Con 2012 - Day 1

GEN CON 2012 DAY 1! We got the booth all finished up just in time for the hordes of rabid gamers to invade the exhibit hall. The day just seemed to fly by with loads of people passing by, chatting, and checking out all the wears. Got to meet a lot of new people, catch up with some folks from last year, and in general have a fun filled day. Here are some images from the day and some highlights of the comings and goings...

 The booth is all ready! RAWR!

Aaron Miller is super excited about having his picture taken at his booth.

A dragon monster sketch in creatura libri 3! RAWR!

Ran into some unexpected friends in the Fantasy Flight Games booth... more on these new monster miniatures soon! 

Behind our back drop in the legendary Todd Lockwood and the hordes of gamers.

Across from us in the legendary Ralph Horsley (not pictured). We were set up next to Ralph last year and happy to do so again this year.

Loth... giving away free hugs...

 The evil lizards are going to a good home!

 SUPER AWESOME dinner with friends and colleges! Fun times and SO MUCH FOOD! NOMS!

The evening wrapped up with hanging out and drinks and was a really great first day for Gen Con. Looking forward to day two, hope to see you out there!

That's all for Day 1, see you back here tomorrow (hopefully) for Day 2! Until then...

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