Friday, August 30, 2019

Working Conditions

Where, how, and under what conditions I work have been mentioned a time or two, but I wanted to circle back around to this topic again since I have been doing a lot of atypical work lately. That atypical work is, of course, all the writing I have been doing on The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia.

When I am drawing, painting, or visually designing, I must have some sort of exterior stimulus to keep the distracting bits of my brain occupied. This consists of listening to music, podcasts, a television program, or movie. If it is a podcast I can be something new to me, but if it is any of the other options I must love it, and I must know it like the back of my hand. Otherwise, it will become an instant distraction. At my drawing table, I will usually have my phone off to one side with the media playing on it. Headphones or earbuds are a must. At my computer, I will have media playing on the computer or again on my phone, which will be directly under my Cintiq. In both situations, my phone is close another for me to glance at without it becoming a distraction. I have worked this way for many years, and I find it beneficial to my productivity.

When I am writing, I have learned I need the complete opposite. If I am working up one of these blog posts, I need to have all of the media silenced so that I can focus on writing. My need for silence when I am working on the book has increased to the point I need to wear earplugs as I am writing. I must block out any and all audio distractions so that I can completely concentrate on the writing. I am not sure why this is the case, I am simply glad to have discovered this that this works best for me. It is rather funny that I will be working in a completely empty house with no ambient sound, and I will still need to put in earplugs. As long as it ensures I make it to the end of the book, I am happy to wear them.

What are your working conditions? What do you need to do or not do while you are working? Leave them in the comments! 

That's all for another exciting week on the blog. With a hurricane approaching, I am not sure what next week will be like yet, but hopefully, I will be back here on Wednesday after the holiday weekend. Until then...

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

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Scorpion Redsign - OHOTMU Reduxe

Over five years ago I redesigned the Marvel villain Scorpion for The Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe REDUXE Edition (OHOTMU Reduxe) blog. For whatever reason, this was never posted on their blog, and a quick check shows that no new content has been posted there in over a year. I am tired of looking at these images in my blog queue folder, so I decided it was finally time to share this image. Here is my redesign of Scorpion.

 
 Scorpion Redsign
10 x 13.5 - Digital
© 2014 Christopher Burdett

I had a lot of fun with this piece, just as I did with all the work that I created for this redesign blog. There was nothing but freedom when it came to the redesigning and the deadlines were flexible. I am still pleased with everything I did for them. Here is the original page for Scorpion, unfortunately, I do not know who the original artist was that contributed to this page.

Scorpion from the Marvel Handbook - © Marvel Comics

Lastly, here is the pencil and ink work that went into this illustration. As I began to ink, I realized that the legs were WAY too short in the drawing. It was an easy fix as I inked, and it improved the piece.

Scorpion Redesign pencil and ink work
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper
10 x 13.5 - Digital
 © 2014 Christopher Burdett

I am unaware of what the future holds for The Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe REDUXE Edition blog, but I believe this to be the final piece I will have done for them. Glad to finally share it. 

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, August 26, 2019

Jarred Wyrshlym - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

Today's piece of spot art is the Jarred Wyrshlym. This relates to the Ethra VanDalia section of the book. You can read more about this section of the book over on The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia blog.

Jarred Wyrshlym
8 x 10 - Pencil and acrylic paint on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2019 Christopher Burdett
 
Here are all of the monsters appearing in the first volume of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia: Aberrant Stilter, Belled Kreep, Corrupted Knight, Dight-Kin, Eau-de-nil Elder, Ethra VanDalia, Footman, Gray Wanderer, Gullet, Humgruffin Mother, Irritated Girasol, Judicator, Kiplorbic Animal Dealer, Lammergeier Transport, Myopic Rifler, Nimsbane Curse Victim, Ophiomornous Bureaucrat, Petrous Blacksmith, Quincaillerie, Rapacious Guttersnipe, Saint Marque, Smokestack, Thrice, Uncanny Scribe, Virulent Artificer, Woven Egg, Woven Shaper, Xandrell Tree, Yote Arms Dealer, and Zombic Spore.

Here are all of the environmental pieces appearing in the first volume of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia: Air Shops, Busy Streets, Hollow Alley, Keeper of the Clocks, Sunken Stalls, The Grand Bazaar, The Seated Dead

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, August 23, 2019

What the Heck is Going On? - Grand Bazaar Update

I wanted to give you all an update on the production of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia. It occurred to me that it has been eight months since I have done an update like this, which is definitely overdue. A LOT has been going on behind the scenes, and I am thrilled with how it is all shaping up. Here is a rundown of what has been going on.

All of the main art is now completed, the map of the Bazaar completed in July saw to that. I have twelve of the thirty pieces of spot art remaining, which might sound like a lot, but it really isn't since they are quick to create. I have two remaining advertising drawings to produce, again they are quick pieces. AND, most importantly, I am a week or so away from completing the writing for the book! That vast majority of the book has been reviewed by my editor. Once I have completed the remaining sections, she will review all of the new writing, and I will be sitting down with her to review and implement her notes. At this point, the layout will begin as I complete the remaining pieces of art. Things are coming to a head quickly, and I can't share more with you. As it stands, the book with art is currently 256 pages and 74,592 words. I am not sure how the final layout will affect the page count.

Here are some images to put things into context for you visually minded folks. This is my writing spreadsheet from last night.

Writing spreadsheet as of 8/22/2019

I know it might look a little confusing, the remaining sections that I have to still write are now indicated.

The remaining sections that need to be written are indicated

For some context, here is the same writing spreadsheet from eight months again. A lot of writing, editing, and rewriting have happened in this time, and the piece of paper shows the wear and tear it has been through.

Writing spreadsheet as of 12/16/2018

This us my art production board from a week or two ago. There have been some changes since then, but it won't get more attention until the writing is completed. At which point, the section in the lower right will get addressed.

Art production board from earlier in the month

I will have a working copy of the book with me at IX along with all the art from the book. Those attending will get to be the first to see the product of all of my work over the last five years. At least for me, these are exciting times.

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, August 21, 2019

Hellfire Engine Miniature by Miguel Zavala

I recently came across a cool custom miniature by Miguel Zavala. Miguel has created many custom 3D Dungeons & Dragons miniature models that are available for printing. This time around, he made a Hellfire Engine based on my illustration in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes that came out last year. I think he did a terrific job on it and I wanted to share it here on the blog.

Hellfire Engine Miniature by Miguel Zavala
Image courtesy of Miguel Zavala

Pretty cool if I do say so myself. If you have a chance, you should check out more of Miguel's work. Here is my painting of the Hellfire Engine so you can see how faithful he was to the original.

Hellfire Engine
Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes
11 x 14 - Digital
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2018 Wizards of the Coast LLC

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, August 19, 2019

Rebec - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

Today's piece of spot art is a rebec. This relates to the Eau-de-nil Elder section of the book. You can read more about this section of the book over on The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia blog.
Rebec
8 x 10 - Pencil and acrylic paint on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2019 Christopher Burdett

Here are all of the monsters appearing in the first volume of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia: Aberrant Stilter, Belled Kreep, Corrupted Knight, Dight-Kin, Eau-de-nil Elder, Ethra VanDalia, Footman, Gray Wanderer, Gullet, Humgruffin Mother, Irritated Girasol, Judicator, Kiplorbic Animal Dealer, Lammergeier Transport, Myopic Riflemen, Nimsbane Curse Victim, Ophiomornous Bureaucrat, Petrous Blacksmith, Quincaillerie, Rapacious Guttersnipe, Saint Marque, Smokestack, Thrice, Uncanny Scribe, Virulent Artificer, Woven Egg, Woven Shaper, Xandrell Tree, Yote Arms Dealer, and Zombic Spore.

Here are all of the environmental pieces appearing in the first volume of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia: Air Shops, Busy Streets, Hollow Alley, Keeper of the Clocks, Sunken Stalls, The Grand Bazaar, The Seated Dead

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, August 16, 2019

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: The Art of Dungeons and Dragons - Now Out!

I am a little late in getting this one the blog but better late than never! EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: The Art of Dungeons and Dragons is now out and available for streaming everywhere you like to purchase streamable movies. As you may remember from previous posts that I am featured in the documentary, and I talk about making monster art. There is a really nice review on Geek and Sundry that shares images and clips from the film. Speaking of clips, one of them is me talking about monsters! RAWR!


Just some idiot, talking about monsters while ruining a really awesome documentary

Kelley Slagle, Seth C. Polansky, and Brian Stillman did a tremendous job on the documentary, and I can not say enough good things about it. I HIGHLY recommend you getting a copy and checking it out this weekend. You will not regret 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, August 14, 2019

The Very Begining of Things - Ethra VanDalia Etching Plate

I have shared the first etching of Ethra VanDalia that I made in 1998 previously on the blog. My connection to this character now spans over twenty years, and it has taken this long to finally put all the pieces together to see why they have endured. While I have managed to hold onto one of the prints of the original Ethra I thought everything else of that piece was gone. That all changed recently. While cleaning out some old boxes, I came discovered the original zinc etching plate that I made in the fall of 1998 in my intro the etching class at FSU. As a side note, Bill Fisher was my professor for all of my printmaking classes and one of the few professors at FSU that did not militantly push back at my monster art. This piece went through several stages as we tried out different etching methods. The final version included aquatints and a strong acid bath for the linework. I am thrilled to have found it, and it is now in better storage where I can keep it safe. You never know where it might be needed.

Eathra Van Daillia Completes the Gems of Power
Etching on paper - Edition of 8 
11.7 x 17
© 1998 Christopher Burdett

A zinc etching plate in all its glory after sitting in storage for over twenty years.

The aquatints have held up, I wonder how it would print if I inked it up again. I imagine the surface texture would crumble in the press.

I always found the plates to be a piece of art in themselves.

A little worse for wear after all these years. This last copy is now in a safe place.

Spoiler alert?

Proof that something happened when I said it did. I stopped dating my signature about ten to eleven years after this was made.

Full circle. 1998 verses 2017.

Here are all of the monsters appearing in the first volume of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia: Aberrant Stilter, Belled Kreep, Corrupted Knight, Dight-Kin, Eau-de-nil Elder, Ethra VanDalia, Footman, Gray Wanderer, Gullet, Humgruffin Mother, Irritated Girasol, Judicator, Kiplorbic Animal Dealer, Lammergeier Transport, Myopic Riflemen, Nimsbane Curse Victim, Ophiomornous Bureaucrat, Petrous Blacksmith, Quincaillerie, Rapacious Guttersnipe, Saint Marque, Smokestack, Thrice, Uncanny Scribe, Virulent Artificer, Woven Egg, Woven Shaper, Xandrell Tree, Yote Arms Dealer, and Zombic Spore.

Here are all of the environmental pieces appearing in the first volume of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia: Air Shops, Busy Streets, Hollow Alley, Keeper of the Clocks, Sunken Stalls, The Grand Bazaar, The Seated Dead

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, August 12, 2019

Ephizont (Safely Contained) - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

Today's piece of spot art is the Ephizont (Safely Contained). This relates to the Dight-Kin section of the book. I can not say too much more without giving some things away so I will leave it at that.

Ephizont - Safely Contained
8 x 10 - Pencil and acrylic paint on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2019 Christopher Burdett

Here are all of the monsters appearing in the first volume of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia: Aberrant Stilter, Belled Kreep, Corrupted Knight, Dight-Kin, Eau-de-nil Elder, Ethra VanDalia, Footman, Gray Wanderer, Gullet, Humgruffin Mother, Irritated Girasol, Judicator, Kiplorbic Animal Dealer, Lammergeier Transport, Myopic Riflemen, Nimsbane Curse Victim, Ophiomornous Bureaucrat, Petrous Blacksmith, Quincaillerie, Rapacious Guttersnipe, Saint Marque, Smokestack, Thrice, Uncanny Scribe, Virulent Artificer, Woven Egg, Woven Shaper, Xandrell Tree, Yote Arms Dealer, and Zombic Spore.

Here are all of the environmental pieces appearing in the first volume of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia: Air Shops, Busy Streets, Hollow Alley, Keeper of the Clocks, Sunken Stalls, The Grand Bazaar, The Seated Dead

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, August 9, 2019

Remaining Abyssal Chicken Prints NOW AVAILABLE!

The remaining Abyssal Chicken prints made their way back with me from Gen Con. They are now on my store for those interested. I have only a few left, and once they are gone, they are gone. Each print is signed and numbered with an edition of only 20.

Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus
11 x 14 - Digital
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2019 Wizards of the Coast LLC


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

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Gen Con 2019 - There and Back Again

For nine years, I have recapped each day of Gen Con in its own post. This year, year ten, I will have my entire Gen Con experience in one post. 2019 was my tenth visit to Gen Con and my ninth appearing in the Art Show, and it is hard to believe it has been that long. While being like so many of the previous Gen Cons I have attending this one was unique, this Gen Con marks the end of my focus on my client work at my table. This has been in the works for a while now, it was inevitable to be after last year and something I have been working towards for even longer. Starting in 2020, which will hopefully be my tenth appearance in the Art Show, I will be focusing on my personal work, the Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia. A new beginning. But I am getting ahead of myself, let us look a little closer at Gen Con 2019.

I expected this year to be a down financially. I had little to no new client work that I could share at the show this year. My big originals from client work have long since sold and what I have left has been seen at events several times already. For Gen Con this year offered a selection of new canvas prints of popular work and focused on several discount sales on stock I will no longer be taking to conventions, namely my existing prints and original drawings. After all this, I will managed to bring in just a few hundred dollars less than last year, which was a solid year. I was swamped each day at the table and saw many returning customers and fans. It was a fun show, and I made sure to tell everyone about my book and the changes to expect in the coming year.

There were a lot of familiar faces in the Art Show and even more new ones. It was great to meet so many new artists, better connect with those I have only met in passing, and catch up with good friends. Each year there is never enough time to see everyone and so many slips through the cracks. People had a lot going this year, be it dinners with clients, painting demos, family visits, or preexisting plans. There were many I did not see nearly enough, but thankfully, there were plenty that I had a generous amount of time to visit with and reconnect. Though it is small in comparison to the rest of Gen Con, I did not visit most of the Art Show until Sunday morning. With 80-90 artists, there is a limit to what you can see and do. I would get a couple feet and find myself in another conversation. I spent about twenty minutes out on the floor of Gen Con to purchase some pins before the show opened Sunday morning and that was it. Each year I get a little less time to see the vendor hall.

I took a lit lot fewer photos this year. Not sure why, maybe I was busier, perhaps I was more in the moment most of the time, or maybe I just did not feel like it at the time. After so many years, you repeat the same moments in some ways. There are only so many photos you can take of the crowds, you should come to Gen Con and experience them yourself! In the end, I think I was happy to be in the moment, and I was not thinking about the blog, facebook, or sharing those moments with others. When I went to select images for this post, I left so many out because they felt repetitious or not worthy of a full image post. To that end, here are twenty-five images from my time at Gen Con 2019.

 Indianapolis tires hard to make Gen Con the focus, or it feels that way.

This year we took the burden off the interior of the car and put the con stuff in a trailer. It had its pros and cons, but in the end, it was much easier to deal with than I was picturing. It will be something we do again in the future. 

Every year I drive by the same landmarks, and every year, I feel like I need to take a photo of them. If I started reposting previous year's images, would anyone notice?

I still like these silly roadside dinosaurs. 

I mentioned I was not doing a good job of taking photos. Though it does not look like it, I was nearly finished with my table before I thought to take a photo. 

AND, all set up! 

Dear Wife was doing a better job of getting good photos. This is one of her photos of the crowds preparing to enter the vendor hall Thursday morning.

Here is a color sketch card I did first thing Thursday. I tried to do less sketching at the booth this year so that I could focus on talking to people and engaging with the crowds walking by. I failed miserably.

This is but one of MANY Magic the Gathering artist proofs that I sketched on this year.

A sketchbook drawing I did that I was happy with.

Brian Stillman inducted me into the Owlbear Appreciation Society. HOOT RAWR!

This little dog named Gandolf was getting a LOT of attention this year.

Another sketchbook drawing I thought turned out well. I was channeling my crazy Beholder mojo very well this year.

Over the four days of Gen Con, I signed a *few* Magic cards. 

Over the four days of Gen Con, I saw a lot of AWESOME cosplay.

My donation to the Upper Deck charity auction.

And another Beholder, this time on a playmat.

I did look around a bit finally from my table. This is looking forward.

This is looking backward.

And this is looking to my left.

Always find these card structures to be interesting, and I always miss the beginning and the end of it all.

I walk by this ballroom twice a day every year, once in the morning and once in the evening and every year is ALWAYS full of people. One year maybe I will go inside.

AND DONE! The table these days breaks down into two carts. It has gotten so much eaier over the years and here we are about to change it all up next year.

The crowds are gone and quickly it appears as if none of us were ever here at all.

The massive game room is empty finally and I know Gen Con must be over.

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

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