Friday, April 28, 2017

Looking Back: Skull Hill - Dreamblade

Today on the blog I am looking back at another Dreamblade miniature design that I have never shared before. Here is the design for the Skull Hill which was part of the Core Set to Dreamblade released back in 2005...

Skull Hill
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

This assignment called for a hill with a gibbet atop it. The hill needed to have a vague, or not so vague, appearance of a skull. As in... Skull Hill. This was one of the first location pieces that I designed and I was still figuring out what they did and did not want for these types of pieces. Whatever I did seemed to work because with only one tiny fix my one and only design for this miniature was approved. Here is the original, so that you can see what has changed...

Skull Hill (original)
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

With an approved front view I was given the go ahead to do the rest of the turnaround. Here is the entire design for the Skull Hill miniature...

Skull Hill
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper (multiple sheets)
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

When I was doing all of these designs back in 2005 and 2006 I was learning a lot, getting a lot faster with my drawings, and improving my skill set. I was also taking a lot of shortcuts to get all the work done that I now regret. To save time with many of my Dreamblade designs I only drew what I had to to get the work done. So in the case of the Skull Hill I only drew the hill sections for the turnaround. The gibbet was flipped and edited digitally. If I was doing this design today I would draw the entire piece in all three views and I may have even redrawn the entire front over after the request came in to remove the rope. I would at least have erased the rope from the original drawing and not removed it digitally so that I would have a 'clean' final drawing that matched the final design. At the time I was much more interested in getting all the work done and approved and these days I am a lot more interested in having a pleasing finished product... that is also done on time and approved. My skill set definitely now allows me this. Here is how the production miniature turned out for this one...

Skull Hill Miniature

That's 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, April 26, 2017

Festering Mummy - Amonkhet - Prints NOW AVAILABLE!

I have updated my store with Festering Mummy prints! Follow the link below to get your very own signed and numbered prints from Amonkhet, the newest expansion of Magic the Gathering. As always, these prints are limited to a print run of only 50 copies.

Festering Mummy
 
I could not be happier with prints and they are the first of my MtG prints to be produced from a new print shop I have been working with. Once I receive the my artist proofs for these I will be adding them to my store as well. Hopefully they will arrive in the coming weeks.

That's 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, April 24, 2017

Homunculus - Sagaborn

Back in February I posted about the Sagaborn Kickstarter that I was a part of. Jump ahead to April and the Kickstarter was successfully funded, if you missed the Kickstarter you can still get a copy through PledgeManager, and I can share with you my contribution to the book! I present to you my contribution to the Sageborn Core Book, the wily Homunculus...

Homunculus
Sagaborn
14 x 11 - Ink on paper
Original - SOLD
© 2017 Christopher Burdett

This one was a lot of fun and several firsts for me. Michael Bielaczyc always give me great assignments and he gives me almost full reign to do whatever I would like. A win/win! In the blast I have usually created black and white drawings on toned paper for Michael, but this time around I wanted to do something a little different. I have never created a traditional inked piece for a client, I have never worked wet on unmounted paper, and I have never worked in washes, brush, and pen on a black and white illustration. That is a lot of nevers and I did them all in this piece. Funny to think after all these years of doing this stuff that there are still things I have never done. This was the first time I ever taped down my paper to maintain clean edges and to maintain a smooth page while I worked wet. I know so many artist that work that way all the time... I never have. As an added bonus, here is the drawing that I created for this piece...

Homunculus - Drawing
Sagaborn
14 x 11 - Pencil on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2017 Christopher Burdett

I will share more about this piece in the coming months when I share the process for it. Since this was the first time working like this there was a bit of trial and error as I figured things out. More about all that another day.

If you are interested in owning your own copy of Sagaborn be sure to head over to PledgeManager and take advantage of the post Kickstarter deals!

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, April 21, 2017

2017 IX Showcase

It has come to my attention that I have not officially announced that I will be part of the IX Showcase this coming October in Allentown, PA. Illuxcon is one of our favorite of favorite events of the year and it is exciting to be part of the Showcase once again. After being in the Main Show last year and the Weekend Salon the year before that it will be nice to be back in the Showcase. Don't get me wrong, the Main Show is AMAZING and a wonderful experience (the Weekend Salon is amazing too, but no longer exists as part of IX). Being in the Showcase will allow me a lot more freedom to take in IX with my time required at a table working concentrated into two evenings. This will mean I have more time to look at art, attend panels, catch up with friends, and actually get enough sleep.

2017 IX Showcase

The Showcase will also be a much better venue to show the work I am currently working on, if all goes to plan. I hope to see you in Allentown, PA this coming October for the premiere imaginative realist event. IX changed my life and I know it has effected others in the same way. I can not speak highly enough about it.

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, April 19, 2017

The Continuing Adventures of Life and Over 1300

UHG, life marches on and there is so much to do and never enough time. This will hopefully count as a blog post as things swirl into chaos (hopefully not, but possible). Day job is doubling down on requiring my attention. We are about to start a full kitchen renovation. And I have a lot of monsters to make. We are on a collision course with wackiness. Hopefully this will not effect the blog posts too much, though it is kind of effecting today's post. If I miss a day here or a day there, please understand that it is because of events far out of my control. I am going to have a bumpy month or two ahead of me and if something is going to suffer, it unfortunately will be the blog. When the dust clears, hopefully I will have some exciting news for you!

Yes, I am posting this again.
Yes, I like this image.
Yes, it serves many different roles here on the blog.

It almost went unnoticed, at the beginning of the month I had my 1300th post on this blog! I love milestones here on the blog, but sometimes they slide under the radar. It is funny though, I actually feel like I have done way more than 1300 posts. I have been doing this since February 2009, but 1300 is just about right for three posts a week for just over eight years. Things have been kind of quiet here on the blog lately, but I know people are looking at it. I will keep at it until I have nothing left to share!

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, April 17, 2017

Festering Mummy - MtG - Amonkhet

The entire set of Amonkhet, the newest expansion to Magic the Gathering, was spoiled last week. This means I can now share my card coming out as part of Amonkhet. I present you with the Festering Mummy...

Festering Mummy
Magic the Gathering - Amonkhet
14 x 10.2- Digital
© 2017 Wizards of the Coast

Nothing like getting to paint yourself as a rotting mummy lurching its way across the cursed sands of a distant world of magic and monsters. This was my first opportunity to directly use myself as reference in a Magic card and I believe I got in there the appropriate about of RAWR! A HUGE thanks goes out to Cynthia Sheppard for the Festering Mummy assignment!

While the final for this piece was digital, the original drawings associated with this piece will be available soon. Prints will be also be available soon. Finally, artist proofs will be available once the set is released and I have received them. Here is a look at the final card version of the Festering Mummy... 
Festering Mummy in handy dandy card form

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, April 14, 2017

Dianoga - Unaccepted Star Wars Celebration Entry

With Star Wars Celebration this weekend I thought I would share with you my design that I submitted to be part of the Celebration art show. Obviously, since I have not spoken of this before my design was not selected. I made it through the first hurdle at least and was asked to submit to the art show, so that is something. To be honest I was fairly confident I was not going to be selected, but I submitted the image I wanted to make. I give you my unaccepted Dianoga...

Dianoga
Star Wars Celebration Entry
14 x 17 - Pencil on paper
Original - Currently not available 

I had always wanted to do a Dianoga piece and this seemed like as good an opportunity as any. I really wanted to capture a key moment from Star Wars from the monsters point of view. With Leia and Han reflected in the eye, I thought it would be a fun take and this would have given me an excuse to paint some tentacles. Here is the color comp I submitted as well...

Dianoga - Color comp
Star Wars Celebration Entry
6.8 x 10 - Digital

It all worked out for the best, I never had the time in my schedule to take this one, though I would have somehow made it happen. I have been using all that time on something much more personal and in the end, maybe more rewarding. Don't get me wrong, it would be a total thrill and an honor to be part of the Celebration art show. This was not the year. Lastly, here are the final two thumbnails I was deciding between to move forward with. I went with the second one even though I really lover the first. Dianoga... RAWR!

Dianoga - Thumbnails

That's 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, April 12, 2017

Chewbacca - 2016 Store Championship Kit - Process

Today I have for you the process and steps that went into my Chewbacca painting that was created for the 2016 Store Championship Kit of the Star Wars LCG. I first shared this piece with you last November of 2016 and I painted it in August of 2015. Here is how the final painting turned out...

Chewbacca
Star Wars LCG - 2016 Store Championship Kit
11 x 14 - Acrylic and pencil on board
Art Director - Taylor Ingvarsson
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

This was my second Chewbacca assignment in the same year and I had learned a lot from the first one. Approaching this second painting I wanted the likeness to be better and I wanted the overall feel to be more Star Wars-y. The latter was definitely helped by the fact the piece needed to depict a moment from Return of the Jedi that happened just off screen. The assignment called for the depiction of Chewbacca tossing the AT-ST driver out of the cockpit as Chewies Ewok friends prepare to go after the remaining driver inside the walker. Seems pretty straightforward and fun! As I did my research of this scene in the Return of the Jedi I noticed several details I never really gave any attention to before. One, even though Chewbacca and the two Ewoks swing over to the AT-ST on a vine together you never see them on the top of the AT-ST while Chewbacca is opening the hatch and reaching in and two, the Ewoks weapons change from the moments before they swing over to the AT-ST and the scenes where they are attacking the driver inside the AT-ST. Funny what you notice once you watch a single scene over and over and over and...

Once I reviewed my film reference I shot some photo reference using myself for all four characters and got to work on some thumbnails. Here's how those thumbnails turned out...

Chewbacca - Thumbnails
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

Option "A" was the winner and I was given the go ahead to move forward on the final drawing, granted that I add  little more bleed. No matter how much bleed I put on these piece I am always asked to add more. Here is how the final drawing turned out...

Chewbacca
Star Wars LCG - 2016 Store Championship Kit
14 x 17 - Pencil on paper
Art Director - Taylor Ingvarsson
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

The drawing was approved without comment and it was now time to get to work on the final painting. This painting, except for one part, was a straightforward and really fun to work one. The one part that was rather difficult and caused a lot of problems was Chewbacca. The background and the AT-ST were a lot of fun to work on and the rest came together with little effort. Unfortunately, Chewbacca made up for all that easy painting with a lot of stress and hard work. Here is the painting taking shape, it should be obvious where things go wrong once I get to painting Chewie...

Chewbacca - Process progression
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

As you can clearly see, Chewbacca got really beefy and weird and his face went into some really weird directions before I had to step back and paint it out and start over. Not sure how is body mass got all bulky and out of shape, but it happened gradually and then it was just all wrong. His face may have been off since the beginning, but along the way it got way worse. As I have said many times before here on the blog you need to step back, look at your work objectively (which can be really really hard), and correct the things that need correcting. It should not be up to your art director to tell you to fix all the things that are not working or that are at 75%. You need to be able to look at your work and be able to go back in and address things if they have gone wrong or are not working. Part of the job. Here is an animated process of the painting coming together so that you can better see the edits to Chewie that I did...

Chewbacca - Animated process
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

While I was working on fixing Chewbacca's face I made an image file using all my reference to compare it to my painting to figure out what was not working and how to get it to be more of a likeness to Chewbacca. Always interesting how subtle moments and slight changes to proportions can make or break a likeness. This took a bit of work and a lot of studying to get it across the finish line. Even though the viewer might never know about the trails and tribulations that go into some of these paintings, hopefully the hard work pays off in the end. Here is a real glimpse behind the curtain at what goes on to make my paintings...

Getting the face correct

I happened to take a photo of my work space as I was fixing Chewbacca. The controlled chaos that is where I paint...

Work space while working on Chewbacca circa August 2015

Once again, here is the final painting as well as the final production card...

Chewbacca
11 x 14 - Acrylic and pencil on board
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

Chewbacca in handy dandy card form

That's 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

Monday, April 10, 2017

Myopic Riflemen - Monsters on Toned Paper

I have for you a new piece from my series of toned paper monsters! Today's monster are the Myopic Riflemen. Crack shots at a distance and amazing snipers these armed fellows have a hard time of things up close. As part of the security force of the Ethra's Bazaar they are the eyes in the sky and make sure everyone is well behaved. Make sure you never find yourself in their sights...

Myopic Riflemen
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Original - Currently not available 
© 2017 Christopher Burdett

Myopic Riflemen - Drawing
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
© 2017 Christopher Burdett

If you are keeping track, this is the Fifteenth piece in this series that includes the Aberrant Stilter, Belled Kreep, Corrupted Knight, Dight-Kin, Eau-de-nil Elder, Footman, Gray Wanderer, Humgruffin Mother, Irritated Girasol, Kiplorbic Animal Dealer, Nimsbane Curse Victim, Saint Marque, Smokestack, and Thrice.
 
As an added bonus I have for you some images of the line work and rendering process of this piece so that you can get a better idea of it taking shape...


Myopic Riflemen - Process © 2017 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, April 7, 2017

Looking Back: Immortal's Resting Place - Dreamblade

Today on the blog I am looking back at another Dreamblade miniature design that I have never shared before. Here is the design for the Immortal's Resting Place which was part of the first expansion (Baxar's War) to Dreamblade released back in 2006...

Immortal's Resting Place
12 x 9 - Pencil on paper
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

This assignment called for a massive dragon skeleton that had been around so long that it was part of the landscape. As a location piece in the game this particular design was free from some of the other restriction for the miniatures. This was the first and only design that I did for this one as it was approved immediately. I was not expecting that and was rather surprised. With an approved design it was time to move onto the turnaround...

Immortal's Resting Place Turnaround
12 x 9 - Pencil on paper (multiple sheets)
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

After this piece came out I really wish I had done something more or different with it. It felt so small and flat and not very exciting. To be honest, I was was very happy with my work on this one. I wish I had done something more vertical and or dynamic with the design. To me, it all felt rather on the nose. Funny thing is, I have not looked at this one in a couple of years and now that I see it again I don't have any problem with it. It totally gets the point across and it interesting from every side. Funny how time and distance will give you a new view on things. Here is how the production miniature turned out for this one...

Immortal's Resting Place Miniature

That's 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, April 5, 2017

Lathnu Sailback Drawing Time Lapse - Magic the Gathering

Today I have for you a very overdue time lapse video that I recorded over a year ago. This is the drawing for the Lathnu Sailback that I did for the Aether Revolt expansion to Magic the Gathering. With the next expansion soon to be out I figured I better hurry up and post this while it is still a little relevant. This should have been up months ago... but things are a bit hectic right now. Enough excuses, here is an image of my work station right before I started drawing as well as the video...

Paper that is about to be a drawing...



The video should speak for itself. If you follow my blog at all you will be familiar with my thumbnails that I create as part of the process of creating an illustration. When I go about making the final drawing I use the approved thumbnail as a guide. I make changes and corrections along the way, which you can clearly see in the video when I erase and rework the creature's front right leg. It was not working and was not correct as per the thumbnails and needed to be fixed. If all goes as planned, which it mostly did here, it comes together quickly so that I can move onto the next step in the process. Here is the final drawing again for a better look...

Lathnu Sailback - Drawing
Magic the Gathering - Aether Revolt
17 x 14 -Pencil on paper
© 2017 Wizards of the Coast

Lastly, here again is the final painting for the Lathnu Sailback. I will be sharing more about this piece when I finally get to the process post for it... which at I current pace will be sometime later in the year. All at once I feel like I have too much and not enough to post on this blog. It is a strange feeling.

Lathnu Sailback
Magic the Gathering - Aether Revolt
14 x 10.2- Digital
© 2017 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