Monday, September 18, 2017

Morkoth - Volo's Guide to Monsters - Process

The monster are in charge of the blog and they have decided to share with you the process and steps that went into making the five paintings that I contributed to the Dungeons & Dragons supplement, Volo's Guide to Monsters. I hope you enjoy!

Today is the Morkoth. The Morkoth is one of those crazy first edition monsters that always intrigued me as a kid. Why did this monster exist? Why was this monster in the game? What series of horrible decisions in game led your characters to come face to face with a Morkoth? While I never got answers to these questions, in the the fullness of time I got to illustrate one for D&D! Here is how the final Morkoth turned out...
Morkoth
11 x 14 - Digital
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC

I was given new concept art for the Morkoth when I received the assignment, so the hard work of breathing new life into a 40 year old monster was already taken care of. I was able to focus on making it look cool and to create the art that will represent this crazy monster for a new generation. No pressure. Here are the thumbnails for the Morkoth...
Morkoth - Thumbnails
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Option B was the winner this time around and I was given the go ahead to work on the final drawing. While these piece are all isolated figures I was asked to add a vignette of water around the Morkoth so that it was clear that it is aquatic and not flying. Here is the final drawing for the Morkoth...

Morkoth
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Around the time Volo's Guide to Monsters came out there was an article in Dragon magazine about the new and updated monsters in the book. One of them covered was the Morkoth and there was a fun little info graphic featuring my art. While I was credited as the artist for all of the art I was not responsible for the new concept work featured in the graphic. Not sure who is, but it was not me. Here is that info graphic...

Dragon Magazine graphic about the Morkoth

The drawing was approved and I was given the go ahead to start the painting. With all of these Volo pieces the painting went quickly, smoothly, and there were no issues or concerns. Which is always nice. I just got to sit back and have fun making pretty monsters. Being an isolated figure helps out a lot too. Here is the paint work for this piece coming together...

Morkoth - Process steps

To better show how the painting developed, here is a animated progression of it taking shape...

Morkoth - Animated process

While there is a fair bit of pushing and pulling of form and value the painting was extremely straight forward. I get into a zen state when working on isolated figures as I work the large forms and then lay in all the detail work. I just want to make a really pretty monster for these types of pieces, and hopefully I did. Here again is how the final painting turned out...

Morkoth
11 x 14 - Digital
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC



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

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