Monday, December 30, 2013

Lowdown in Highport - Dungeon Magazine Issue 221

Last post of 2013! What better way to close out the year then with a new piece for Dungeon & Dragons! Today I have for you my contribution to the December issue of Dungeon Magazine - issue 221. It has a couple giant insects in it...

Lowdown in Highport - Dungeon Magazine Issue 221
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

That crazy mechanical fire beetle has real fire in it for all your real fire needs... While I love me some giant insects, I was really excited in a nerdy gamer artist kinda way to finally be asked to paint a Shrieker... that giant purple mushroom behind the insects. If you get to close to a Shrieker is starts to... well, shriek, which in turn alerts nearby monsters. In this case it seems to riled up a bunch of giant insects... better then a purple worm!

As always, I would like to extend a huge thanks to Kate Irwin for involving me on this project and for her art direction on this piece!

Looking forward to the next D&D work I get to share with you... but that will have to wait for a little while I think...

That is all for another Monday (and year) 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 27, 2013

2013 Holiday Card

A lot of the winter holidays are over or are winding down and by now, hopefully, the US Postal Service should have delivered our holiday cards... hopefully, weeks ago. While we can not send one to everybody, and your omission from the list is in no way a slight to you or your family, I can provide you with some handy dandy images of what this year's card looked like...

2013 Holiday Card outsides

2013 Holiday Card insides

If you are thinking that Krampus here looks a little familiar... you would be correct! I was surprised how well he held up when he was shrunk down to card size. It almost looked better smaller... almost...

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, December 25, 2013

HO HO RAWR!

Happiest of holiday wishes from me to you. I hope that whichever winter festival or celebration you participate in that it brings you fulfillment, happiness, and time with family and loved ones. On Hoth they celebrate them all... because it is winter year round... RAWR!

HO HO RAWR!
Happy Wookiee Life Day!
 
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: www.christopherburdett.com

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hidden Cache - Star Wars: Edge of Darkness

Much to my surprise... after some independent investigation and the helpfulness of the internet I come to find out that I have a piece in a recently released Star Wars: The Card Game set. Star Wars: The Edge of Darkness came out in the last few months and I am happy to see that one of my first Star Wars cards is finally out! I present you with a piece I originally painted way back in December of 2011, the Hidden Cache...

Hidden Cache
© 2013 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

At the time this was created, if I remember correctly, it was for the first slated block of expansions. Time passed, the game got a revamped, templates for the cards changed, and production and release schedules changed. I was under the assumption that this piece was still in limbo waiting for it's home and low and behold, it is now out in the world. For being two years old, I am still pretty happy with how this piece turned out. I definitely had a lot of fun posing with my blaster out on the porch... which conveniently doubles for the interior of a space ship. Here is how the card turned out with a little cropping...

Hidden Cache in handy dandy card form

There is more Star Wars on the way, and when I can share it, you know were you will find it!

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 20, 2013

Photos from Children of Yuletide

A few weeks ago I shared with you my Krampus piece that I did for the Children of Yuletide show. I was thrilled to recently receive some photos from Mike Burns after he visited the show, and I thought I would share the images with you...

Krampus - All framed up and ready for you wall
18 x 24
colored pencil on toned paper
© 2013 Christopher Burdett

Living large on the wall at Grindcore House (1515 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA. 19148)

The contribution by the very talented Brynn Metheney

A big thanks to Mike for taking the time to see the show and for sending me these images. I sure wish I could attend! If you are in the Philadelphia area be sure to stop by and check out all the work it will be showing through the middle of January.

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, December 18, 2013

Aftermath - L5R

Aftermath, the newest expansion for Legend of the Five Rings, is now out and that means I can share with you some new monsters. A short time ago I shared with you the wily Nastsumi when it was previewed in the run up to this set's release. Natsumi was not my only piece that I created for this set, I also got to revisit an old friend, the might Hida Kaiji! I first designed and illustrated Hida Kaiji for the Seed of Decay expansion. Despite rumors to the contrary, Hida Kaiji appears to be alive and well and is now EXPERIENCED. Here is how the paintings turned out...

Hida Kaiji (experienced)
© 2013 Alderac Entertainment Group

Natsumi
© 2013 Alderac Entertainment Group

I was repeatedly told of Hida Kaiji's demise at Gen Con this year and actually got to meet the player who dispatched him. Looks like the player did not do a good enough job! They say kill it with fire... only it looks like fire is of no concern to Hida Kaiji. So far I have been seeing some happy Crab Clan players online with the announcement of the new Hida Kaiji card.

I had originally planned to do these pieces traditionally... but after starting them and seeing all that fire and all that water... well, I was foiled again. They ended up digital and I was a little disappointed that my original plans for these pieces didn't pan out. This unexpected switch to digital media resulted in a great deal of malice directed towards the finished paintings. A year later... my feelings have eased a bit and I can see them for what they are.

Here is how both pieces turned out in card form... OH! If you were curious, there is also a nice and shiny foil version of the Hida Kaiji out there too...

Hida Kaiji in handy dandy card form!

Natsumi in handy dandy card form!

These two pieces also mark the last of my outstanding L5R work. Due to my very busy schedule for the majority of 2013 I have not been able to work on anything new for L5R. Hopefully I will have time in my schedule to return to the world of L5R in the not too distant future. If I do, you will hear about it first here on the blog! RAWR!

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 16, 2013

Thoughts on art, Star Wars, and memories

This all kinda flowed out on Facebook a little while ago as I went to write a quick status update... I now feel it might be better suited for the blog so I am coping it here...

Between my blog post earlier today and the fact I have Return of the Jedi playing right now while I am prepping MORE personal pieces based on Star Wars ...it all got me thinking...

When the prequels came out I heard a lot of people basically screaming, "George Lucas killed my childhood." ...or something to that effect. I heard similar with the Transformers movies and the most recent Indiana Jones. To be frank... I call BULLSHIT. I remember the surprise and excitement of realizing Boushh was actually Leia in disguise; the shock of Vader's confession to Luke after their battle at Bespin; the joy of seeing the myriad of aliens and astounding space battles; of Yoda, the Rancor, the Wampa, the Tauntauns, and Bossk... I remember is all and it is still exciting. It is still as exciting as when I was 3, 6, and 9 years old. One of my earliest memories is seeing A New Hope in the theaters.

There is NOTHING and I mean NOTHING anyone can do to take those memories go away or to change the way I feel about ALL of the Star Wars movies. Lucas or Disney can add 1000 pink unicorn Ewoks to the battle of Endor and it will not effect my memories and my feeling of Star Wars. If your memories and feelings can be so easily swayed... I question if they were ever as deeply felt as you claim them to be. Besides, the movies and the franchise (up until recently) are Lucas' and he had the right and the capability to do what ever he wanted with them. We have no more right to dictate what he does with them as does anyone else have the right to dictate what we do with our own creations.

It has been well over a year since I stopped collecting Star Wars action figures. During this past year I have been able to approach Star Wars in a new way and it has slowly been changing how I look at my own art and the things I want to make. Not sure where this is all going, but I think I know where I want to play for a while with my art...
 
For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Jabba's Gang

I shared with you a bunch of sneak peaks of this piece. If you follow me on Instagram or my Facebook Fan Page you got to see some video clips as well. Now that is is all done I am happy to share with you the final illustration. I present you with, Jabba's Gang...

"Jabba's Gang"
11 x 14 - Pencil on toned paper
Original available for sale over on my Web Store!
© 2013 Christopher Burdett

Star Wars and its many alien species mean a lot to me as I have mentioned here on the blog many times.  I have really been wanting to do some personal exploration with the characters and creatures that are near and dear to me. This is hopefully the first of many explorations. The creatures of Jabba's Palace REALLY resonate with me and the Klaatu, Barada, Nikto, and a Gamorrean Guard where an easy choice to be first on the drawing board.

These might not be the last time you see these menacing fellows. To facilitate this possibility I made sure to get a scan of the drawing when the line work was all done and before I started on the rendering...

"Jabba's Gang" - line work stage
11 x 14 - Pencil on toned paper
© 2013 Christopher Burdett

I made sure to take LOTS of images of the drawing as I worked on it. Trying to get into a better habit of doing this. Hope it shines a little light on how I approach a drawing and do about rendering an image. If you are wondering, I do start with a light print of my rough digital sketch on the paper. I work out the composition and different elements on the computer and make sure all my alien ducks are in a row before proceeding onto the final draw and render. Here is the drawing coming together...














All images © 2013 Christopher Burdett

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 13, 2013

And now for something completely different...

From time to time I find it interesting to compare and contrast my monster work and my other work. My other work refers to my day job as a graphic designer and maker of pretty pictures. If you ever wondered what I did during the day before I am making monsters all night... well, here you go...


These are all from an app aimed at middle school students and I did these at the beginning of the year. The students take samples of the water and looking at different conditions in the environment. There are five different locations that the students will take samples from and they very from wilderness to farm lands to urban areas...





By the end you can see things are not looking good for the little fishes. These were all based on aerial images of an actual river in central Florida. I took a lot of pleasure in thinking of this as an updated version of River Raid. I sometimes really wish more things like this came my way... but when they do, they are really fun. There was also a cross-section that had several different variations that explained different actions with water and the environment... like evaporation...


These are all just a little different from a tentacled monster. Takes all kinds... These are all copyrighted by a bunch of people... but I am not sure all who, so please play nice and don't take them.

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, December 11, 2013

Loathsome Catoblepas - Magic the Gathering Process


While choosing what to post today I skipped over a bunch of older content that has been waiting in the queue to be posted and jumped ahead to something I have really been eager to post... the process to my very first Magic the Gathering card. The mighty Loathsome Catoblepas has the honor to be that card and so that we are all on the same page, here is how the final piece turned out...

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Magic the Gathering - Theros
PRINTS AVAILABLE!
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

The preproduction for a MtG set is impressive and a really well thought out and thorough style guide is provided to the artists before production begins. If the answer to your art question is not in the style guide then there should be enough information in it to make a very well informed guess. In the style is a nice one page profile of the concept work for the Catoblepas. I was tasked to make a Catoblepas monster based on the concept art, but make it bulkier and meaner as it stands its ground. Seemed straight forward... so I got to work on some thumbnails...

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Thumbnails
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

See any issues yet? Moving on... Option "A" was picked, but there were a couple notes and I made adjustments to the thumbnail. This updated thumbnail was resubmitted...

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Updated Thumbnail
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

I received a note or two as I given approval to move forward onto the drawing stage. So far so good, right? Moving right along! Now for the drawing...

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Sketch
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

See it now? Yeah, the Catoblepas actually does not look like the Catoblepas. Totally my fault... I misunderstood the usage of "based on". I am use to "based on" being VERY loose and allowing a good deal of latitude for change and exploration. My bad. Now that I had something more tangible... as in a finished drawing, it was a lot easier for all parties involved to see where I was going wrong and send me down the right path. The important part of the style guide is that it is there for a reason and it is to be used! This is why there is a thumbnail and sketch phase to production. Problem detected and actions taken to resolve...

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Updated Sketch
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

A few quick fixes later and I had an approved drawing that was a ton better and a lot more inline to the concept for the Catoblepas. Only thing left to do it get started on the painting...

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Process Steps
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Process Steps Continued
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

In eight quick and easy steps you can have your very own Catoblepas... or not. I have mentioned that  some of my paintings seem to come together much quicker then expected... but no painting that I have done recently tops the Catoblepas. This piece came together extremely quickly and I was a little uncomfortable by that speed and ease. After all, this is a Magic card... my first, and I felt there should be a lot of laborious work filled with self doubt (more the usual) and uncertainty (again, more then usual). Nope... I just started painting and all the pieces fell into place. Whom am I to complain (trick question!)... anyway, it came together and was approved and that is all that counts in the end sometimes. Again, here is how the final piece turned out...

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Magic the Gathering - Theros
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

I will mention that when I finished the piece I was very happy with it, but after a couple of months of reflecting on it I began to really dislike how this piece turned out. Thankfully, in time that dislike passed and I like how this piece turned out and I don't think I would change a thing about it now.

"Loathsome Catoblepas" in handy card form

I would be amiss in not including the toned paper drawing of this piece that I did. Still one of my favorite toned paper pieces... RAWR!

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Magic the Gathering - Theros
12 x 9
colored pencil on toned paper
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

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 9, 2013

Sketchbooks now available!

Are you in need of my sketches and drawing in a handy dandy book format? Then you are in luck! ALL four of my sketchbooks are now available and there are several ways to get them!


creatura libri, creatura libri 2, creatura libri 3, and creatura libri 4 now available!

All the books are available directly from me...

Your very own copy of creatura libri, creatura libri 2, creatura libri 3, OR creatura libri 4 (please specify which one) with shipping to anywhere in the US: $20 (additional shipping and handling fees apply to those outside the US)

Your very own copy of creatura libri, creatura libri 2, creatura libri 3, OR creatura libri 4 (please specify which one) featuring an ORIGINAL hand drawn sketch on the first page with shipping to anywhere in the US: $25 (additional shipping and handling fees apply to those outside the US)

SPECIAL DEALS! 

Deal #1: Purchase any TWO books and get an ORIGINAL hand drawn sketch in both books with shipping to anywhere in the US: $40 (additional shipping and handling fees apply to those outside the US)

Deal #2: Purchase any THREE books and get an ORIGINAL hand drawn sketch in all three books with shipping to anywhere in the US: $55 (additional shipping and handling fees apply to those outside the US)

Deal #3: Purchase ALL FOUR books and get an ORIGINAL hand drawn sketch in ALL books with shipping to anywhere in the US: $70 (additional shipping and handling fees apply to those outside the US)

Send an email to: My Yahoo Account and I will send you my paypal info. If you need to send cash or a money order I will provide my home address, but I prefer Paypal. Supplies are limited and it will be on a first come first serve basis. Please specify which book(s) you would like to purchase and if you would like sketches when you email me.


If you prefer, you can always order any or all of the books directly from Lulu.com.

Speaking of sketches, here are some examples of what you could get in your books!




Just a sample of all the monster fun that could await you - RAWR!
all images © 2013 Christopher Burdett

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