Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Illuxcon 2017 - Part 1

Another amazing and AWESOME Illuxcon has come and gone. This year was the tenth IX and I was so happy to be able to attend. I feel like I have always been a part of IX, but in fact I missed the very first year (I learned about IX after the first one was already over) and I had to drop out of attending one a few years back due to family issues. Eight Illuxcons is not to bad when you think about it, and I treasure each one. After being in the Main Show last year I decided I needed a break and went with being part of the Showcase which allowed me to once again attend IX and get the most out of the workshops, panels, discussions, and socializing. I absolutely LOVED being a part of the Main Show last year and the Weekend Salon the year before that, but it was really exciting to be once again being able to be at IX as an attendee and to take it all the opportunities to learn and to be free to look at the all art and catch up with so many great friends. I am still processing my time at IX2017, which is some of the reason these posts are so late. Every year I find myself at a different place in my life, at a different place in my career, and at a different place in how I see my art, which in turn means I interact with IX in different ways. I get something different out of it every time and, of course, seem to get just what I needed each time. Funny how that works.

This time around I am splitting up my posts about Illuxcon 2017 a little differently. Each post will be about a different part of my experiences with IX this year. Hopefully it is obvious that this one is more of an overview of my experiences and thoughts about another IX. I will also be doing a post about my time in the Showcase, a post about the urban sketching workshop I took part in, and finally a post about our visit to Crystal Cave after IX... it was cool and I would share the images from there no matter what. Also, don't forget about the Burdetticorn shirts!

After eight Illuxcons I still can't truly put my finger on what it is about IX that makes it so very special... well, I have my hunches, but it seems like when people have tried to duplicate it, it has not worked the same. There is an energy and excitement that is just so contagious about IX. No matter the venue, since IX is now it its third home, it follows it and seem to increase with every move. I don't necessarily leave Gen Con wanting to make more art feeling revived and energized, but I sure do when I leave IX. Every year I say it and I will say it again, if you are an artist, student, or someone that loves imaginative realism you need to get to IX. There is so much amazing art and nothing but time to talk about art, learn about art, and meet and interact with some truly amazing people. Patrick and Jeannie Wilshire have created a magical and amazing event and my yammering on this blog will never do it justice.

Here are some images and memories from Illuxcon 2017...

I always love a good gratuitous image out the window of a plane.
Almost to IX!

We fly into Allentown, which I HIGHLY recommend, and drive 30 minutes to Reading.
Fun fact, Allentown is where Peeps are made. There is a lot of fun things to do between Reading and Allentown, so if you are like us and like to build in some time at the beginning or end of a trip there are many things to check out before leaving Pennsylvania.

Another beautiful piece by Tom Kuebler!

Iris Compiet brought along a couple of here sculpted faeries to IX.

I love the presentation of this one so much!

A view of the second floor gallery space.

The fourth floor was rocking some amazing art this year!

Ralph Horsley got in some painting at his table while in the Main Show this year.

The Kickstarter panel by Jon Schindehette and Margot Atwell was extremely informative.

A peek at what Ralph Horsley is working on.

Huge pumpkins were huge.

This piece by Tom Kuebler really caught my eye.

Seth Polansky had a great panel on intellectual property!

Another image from the fourth floor...

...and another...

...and another.

Back to the second floor!

All good things come to an end and it was time to pack it all up.

 To be honest I did not miss having to pack up all my art in all the boxes at the end of the show like last year.

The last night saw the appearance of some very comfortable monsters, RAWR!

End things with another image out the window of a plane.

Tomorrow I will share some images and thoughts from the Showcase!

That is all for another exciting Tuesday 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: www.christopherburdett.com

Friday, October 27, 2017

Art in Unexpected Places - UPDATE!

If you are reading this it is most likely because I had to report to jury duty today. The blog is on autopilot and I am off in a room sitting and waiting for my number to be called. Fun times doing my civic duty. That said, on with the blog post...

Back in May I shared with you some unexpected art I found in our neighborhood. Some folks with a nice long fence took to hanging painting on it and for me, it livened up my walk past their house. Over the past month of typical Florida summer weather all of the paintings have slowly disappeared do to weather or sun damage. Thankfully, an entire new batch of painting, sculptures, and decorations is up again! This time with a autumn/Halloween feel...

Fresh paintings to weather the Florida fall.
So far they do not seem worst for wear.

The addition of some sculpture hanging on the fence is nice.
I wonder if it will all change again once winter approaches.

I mentioned decorations. No many decorate for Halloween near us anymore, which I find unfortunate. The owners of the fence have made up for it with several scenes depicted in their front yard. It is all a refreshing change to the rather quiet mundane streets...

There are rats and skulls. There are spiders and a webbed up corpse. My favorite of course being the specter of necromancer raising pirate skeletons from the yard!

How do I know they are pirates? One is wearing a vest and on the left breast is the Jolly Roger!

This yard makes me happy and it is great to be able to walk and drive past it everyday. I hope they continue to bring art and decoration to the neighborhood!

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, October 25, 2017

The Burdetticorn Shirt by John Signes

I am still catching up from my week at Illuxcon 2017 and still need to process everything I did and saw as well as go through all the images I took while there. That said, my recap of Illuxcon will be a little delayed, but will be along shortly. In the meantime, I have for you something very special!

If you attended Illuxcon last year or this year you might be aware of the Burdetticorn. This monster type is only seen at Illuxcon and you must be there to experience it. This year though, the Burdetticorn was forever immortalized in tshirt form by John Signes! What exactly is a Burdetticorn you might ask, well, here is John's final colored art of it...

Burdetticorn shirt design by John Signes

I am lucky enough to have the original sketch that goes along with the design. Actually, I was there when the sketch was made, it just flowed off the pen like John was channeling the cosmic God of Unicorn People...

Original Burdetticorn sketch by John Signes

For those attending Illuxcon this year there was a print on demand version of the shirt that you could buy from the shirt store at the GoggleWorks. How fortunate for all of us! Many were wearing their own Burdetticorn shirt proudly. Here is a look at the shirt in action...

Limited edition print on demand Burdetticorn shirt from the GoggleWorks and IX10

John has made the Burdetticorn shirts available for a very limited time on his Threadless store, so if you would like one, or if you missed getting on at IX, then this is you only opportunity. There are many colors to choose from and I know I will be be picking up at least one more. It is not every day that you become a limited edition convention souvenir and merchandise!

Burdetticorn shirt by John Signes

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, October 16, 2017

Illuxcon 2017 Preparations

On Friday I mentioned I will be returning to the Illuxcon Showcase this coming Friday and Saturday, October 20-21. I have been hard at work preparing for the Showcase and for Illuxcon in general. While most of my attention has been put towards the presentation of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia (more on this soon at ethravandalia.blogspot.com), I have been hard at work to improve my overall appearance at conventions. Since I am in the Showcase and I am flying, it was all about lightweight, compact, and focused presentation.

Many people I know were sporting new cloth table runners at Gen Con and I instantly knew that was the way to go for all future conventions. They are lightweight, full color, and you just lay them out and you are all set. There is no longer an issue of hanging a table banner off the front of a table. My brand new table runner is all ready for the IX Showcase...

New table runner will be replacing my table banner! RAWR!

The past two years I have shipped a great deal of art to and from Illuxcon. I can not easily make the drive to Pennsylvania from Florida so shipping is really the only option for any large amount of art. It has been well worth the investment to have the art there, but there is a certain amount of stress and time involved to do all that shipping. Now that I will be back in the Showcase I can scale the amount of work I am taking way back. While I will not have as great of a selection with me at IX, compared to the last couple of years, hopefully I will still have enough with me to interest those at the Showcase. In the end though, it is not so much about sales for me at IX this year, but rather getting the word out about The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia, attending workshops and seminars, and looking at all the amazing art in the Main Show. I have been working IX the last two years and I am really looking forward to attending IX again!

The difference between being in the Main Show vs the Showcase...
When I am in the Showcase my entire set up is little more than a suitcase.

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, October 13, 2017

IX 2017 Showcase in One Week!

A week from today I will be returning to the Illuxcon Showcase! I cut my teeth in the IX Showcase and it is exciting to be returning. If you are attending IX this year I hope to see you next Friday and Saturday night at my table. I am using the Showcase to debut many of my originals from The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia and will be sharing a lot about my project with those attending. If you have been curious about what I am planning, the IX Showcase is the place to be! I will have many of my other drawings, sketchbooks, and artist proofs with me as well, so I will have plenty to sell. My table will be divided in two, one half The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia and the other half my client and unrelated personal work. I look forward to seeing you there and to talking about The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia!

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, October 11, 2017

Announcing The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia Standalone Blog!

I am happy to announce the beginning of a new blog that is completely focused around The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia! This will be the one stop location for all the news, updates, sneak peeks, and exclusive first looks at content for this project. If you are curious about what The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia has in store, then this is the place to go! While I will share the art that is going into this project here on this blog, The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia Blog will offer up exclusive sneak peeks at the stories and characters inhabiting the Grand Bazaar, and hopefully a whole lot more. You won't learn all the secrets, but you will definitely get a glimpse of things to come. I have already put up a post about the Gray Wanderer, the  first piece that started off my work on this project! I hope you enjoy what you see taking shape over on this blog, it is just the beginning. 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, October 9, 2017

Yuan-ti Broodguard Miniature - Tomb of Annihilation

The Tomb of Annihilation miniatures set for Dungeons & Dragons was recently released and it looks like one of the pieces in the set is based on one of my monsters from Volo's Guide to Monsters, the Yuan-ti Broodguard. Here is a look at the miniature...

Yuan-ti Broodguard Miniature - Tomb of Annihilation
© 2017 Wizards of the Coast LLC

It is a tiny little miniature, but it looks great and has a ton of detail. Always neat to see miniatures based on my work, or at least used my work as reference for the miniature. Here is a look at my illustration of the Yuan-ti Broodguard that appeared in Volo's Guide to Monsters so you can compare the two. RAWR!

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

That is all for anther 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, October 6, 2017

Kickstarter Roundup - Flegal, Sass, Seaman, and Walpole!

Today on the blog I wanted to point out some current Kickstarter projects by friends of mine that I think you all might be interested it. Most of these have just begun or have a while still to go and at least two of them are already funded. All of these campaigns feature amazing art by awesome people and if you have not already checked them out, you should do so NOW! 


First up is Sam Flegal's Fateful Signs: The Illustrated Voluspa. I shared with you Sam's Fateful Signs: The Illustrated Havamal Kickstarter from last year which I was really excited about. I am even more excited about his new book in the series. The art looks to be even better, the book looks to be even better, and Sam is really hitting his stride with his Fateful Signs work. I can not speak highly enough about this Sam's work and I strongly urge you to be a part of this campaign. Even if you missed his first book, you can still get one through the current campaign!


Second is Mike Sass's Epic Fantasy Painting DVD. Mike is a great guy with a gorgeous painting style and he has worked on a ton of great projects producing beautiful art. This DVD covers his entire painting process and goes into a lot of detail on how we approaches a painting. From drawing, shooting reference, color theory, and painting process and technique this 5.5 hour DVD tutorial is a must for students and aspiring artists. Even veteran artists that are making the transistion to oils can learn a lot from Mike's DVD. I urge you to go check out the campaign and support Mike's efforts!


Third is Chris Seaman's Cameo Creeps Set III. Again, I have shared Chris's previous Cameo CreepsKickstarter here on the blog. I love Chris's work and we own three Cameo Creeps originals as part of our art collection. Chris is building up an amazing empire of original monsters and I STRONGLY urge you to take the time to head over and see what Chris is doing if you are unfamiliar with his work. Cameo Creeps is only going to get bigger and better so you don't want to miss out on the new Creeps. Earlier sets are sold out, so you need to act fast!


Last, but not least, is Tyler Walpole's Blood of the Dragons: Prelude. In Tyler's own words, "Over the last few years, between freelance illustration gigs, I have been slowly developing my own urban-fantasy story setting, called: Blood of Dragons. And now, I’m asking your help to bring the first art book in the series into the world." Tyler is an amazing guy and I love his work. He has been knocking it out of the part with his Blood of Dragons work and it is so exciting to finally see it coming together. You need to see what he is doing, so head on over to Tyler's campaign and be a part of the world he is building!

That's all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here next week! Until then...

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

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fortified Holding Cells - Star Wars: Ancient Rivals - Process

Today I have for you the steps and process that went into my Fortified Holding Cells card for the Ancient Rivals expansion of the Star Wars LCG. I first announced this piece about a year ago and it is well past the appropriate time to share the process. Here is how the final Fortified Holding Cells painting turned out...

Fortified Holding Cells
Star Wars LCG - Ancient Rivals
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 first first opportunity to work on a Talz so I was pretty excited about that. Anytime I get to work on an original Star Wars alien or sneak one into the background I am happy. As with all my work I started things off with some thumbnails...

Fortified Holding Cells - Thumbnails
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

While option 'A' was the winner, I was asked to flip the piece horizontally. It apparently fit the card template with all its chrome better flipped. With a click of a button the thumbnail was flipped and approved and I would get started on the finalized drawing.

Fortified Holding Cells
Star Wars LCG - Ancient Rivals
17 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Art Director - Taylor Ingvarsson
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

This was a really straight forward piece. I had lots of reference, I knew what needed to be done and there wasn't any huge unknowns or crazy aspects to this piece. It came together quickly and it was just a mater of being in my chair working to get it done. Here is a look at the painting coming together in 14 steps. As with all my paintings I work back to front touching the entire painting as I go.

Fortified Holding Cells - Process steps
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

While I really like this piece I am still concerned it looks to static and motionless. The other thumbnails always read better to me and seemed to convey more motion. For reference I pounded on a wall while being photographed so that I could get some good images of the desired action. I picked the ones that I felt worked best for action, for the composition, and worked in the limitations of the template. Looking back now, maybe the other two have more action? Or maybe not. Hindsight is not always 20/20. The splatter of blood adds a lot of movement, so that is a plus.

Here is an animated process progression of the painting coming together so that you can better see the change from step to step. There is always a certain level of color and clarity issues when I take images of my paintings with my phone. But I don't think it distracts enough to get the point across.

Fortified Holding Cells - Animated progression
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

There were no notes of changes after the painting was turned in, which is always nice. Here again is the finished painting as well as how it looks on the production card it was made for...

Fortified Holding Cells
Star Wars LCG - Ancient Rivals
11 x 14 - Acrylic and pencil on board
Art Director - Taylor Ingvarsson
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

Fortified Holding Cells in handy dandy card form

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, October 2, 2017

Fool Me Once - Imperial Assault - Ahsoka Tano Ally Pack

Last week I had a piece of art spoiled in the upcoming Ahsoka Tano Ally Pack form Star Wars Imperial Assault. I was very happy to see this piece surface because I originally painted this piece back in April of 2015 and the project that it was intended for ended up being canceled. While I assumed it would surface eventually, you just never know how long it will take. Two and half years is not too bad of a wait. While I should not talk about what this piece was initially for, I will saw it was going to be used in Imperial Assault, so it is nice it still found a home in the same game. Here is how the now named Fool Me Once card turned out...

Fool Me Once
Star Wars Imperial Assault - Ahsoka Tano Ally Pack
14 x 11 - Acrylic and pencil on board
Art Director - Deb Freytag
Original - Available soon
© 2017 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

Fool Me Once - Drawing
Star Wars Imperial Assault - Ahsoka Tano Ally Pack
17 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Art Director - Deb Freytag
Original - Available soon
© 2017 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

I was really excited about this piece at the time. Some of that excitement was for the intended usage of this art. Though that is now no longer happening I am still happy to see this piece getting used. If you were wondering, yes, all the graffiti on the walls does say stuff. In the final I did obscure the graffiti a bit, but the original painting it is still all legible. Some of the stuff on the walls reads, "Yavin 4 was an inside job", "Down with the Empire", and "Hunt or be hunted". This piece featured a bunch of Trandoshans, which is always nice, and the opportunity to put in a bunch of other aliens. A win/win in my book! I ended up producing several additional pieces of art related to this that were going to be used in various other levels of production. Can't really talk about them, but here they are...

Fool Me Once - Hero figure
Star Wars Imperial Assault
6 x 9.3 - Digital finish over Acrylic and pencil on board
Art Director - Deb Freytag
© 2017 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

Fool Me Once - Full figure drawing
Star Wars Imperial Assault
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Art Director - Deb Freytag
Original - Available soon
© 2017 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

Last but not least, here is an image of the art in use on the card. There was a *LITTLE* cropping of the image, but you get the idea. I heard through the grapevine that this art may be making an appearance in another SW game where you will be able to see more of the entire image, which is always nice.

Fool Me Once in handy dandy card form
 
In the coming months I will share the process and steps that went into this piece as well as additional thoughts regarding making it. If you are lucky, I might even share some silly photo reference of my being all the aliens!

That is all for another exiting 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