Monday, September 30, 2019

Infernal Pocket Reality - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

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

Infernal Pocket Reality
  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, September 27, 2019

Thoughts on Creature Design - FSU Presentaion Relection

On Wednesday afternoon, I did a short lecture/presentation to a class at Florida State University regarding creature design. I also forgot to take any photos, so it will only be words today. Kieth Roberson, a former professor of mine, asked me to come to talk to his animation students. The students are working on creature designs that they will model and then use motion capture to animate. How things have changed since I graduated twenty years ago. Twenty years ago, it was a constant fight to show that monsters were ART. Now they have a class where students are designing them and animating them.

It has been several years since I have been back in the art building of FSU, but I can not tell you when the last time was. It was a little strange being back, as one feels whenever you return to a place that has such time-specific memories. It was the same, yet oddly different. Subtle things were out of place. Similiar faces in the crowds to my memories, though the people in my memories have been gone from there twenty years. I expected to see some familiar faces only to remember they were dead. The usual mix of emotions when you return to a place from your past.

I felt like I flew through my presentation, but it was an hour or more. I shared designs and process for creature work, both personal and for clients. Talked about designing for film, games, and books. Not sure if I was boring anyone to tears, but I would have murdered to have been in a presentation like the one I gave twenty years ago. With all of the opportunities and options now available with online course, week-long workshops, conventions, and information at your fingertips, it is amazing how younger artists, as I was, don't know where to turn to for guidance. Not that they were clueless, not at all, when I was in school, there were nearly no options, now there are thousands. It can become overwhelming. I hope I did not overwhelm even more.

An hour was by no means long enough. If I should do this again, I will need to allow for more time to talk, look at students work, and take part in a critique. My schedule was not very flexible on Wednesday, and I regret having to run out the door when I did. Hopefully, I will be able to return to spend more time working directly with the students. It has taken me twenty years to feel like I am a competent creature designer. That can not be conveyed in a hours presentation. 

Not really sure if this post ended up going where I meant it to, but here we are all the same. Whenever I find myself in a school or instructional situation, I feel a pull to get involved and start sharing my experience. I might go as far as to say I feel like I want to instruct or guide in these situations. Always something to think about.

* UPDATE - I checked and I was at FSU way back in 2009 when I gave another small presentation. Apparently, it has been ten years since I had been over on campus.

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you 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, September 25, 2019

Logo-motion

While I do a great deal of graphic design during the day, my specialty continues to be images and layout, with type falling into the distance behind several other skill sets. I knew I had a bit of a challenge ahead of me when it came to finally address the type and design of the logo for the Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia. As with most of my design work, I spent a great deal of time thinking a pondering on the subject as i rolled options around in my head. The final design by no means sprang forth from the page on its own volition.
  
The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia
Title text treatment and layout
Expect the front of the book to look pretty close to this. I think.

When I started working out options on paper, I first played around with some typefaces that I had at hand. Some of these were interesting, but none of these were what I was looking for. They all felt off the shelf and lacked the pop I was looking for. Some were completely wrong.


With none of the established typefaces working, I decided I needed to make my own type treatment. I set about hand drawing what I worked up in some sketches. I had something specific in mind, and I thought it would be a good fit. The more I worked on it, the more things seem to spiral away from what I wanted and what the book needed. As it was pointed out by Dear Wife, some of these were feeling very Flash Gordon or sword and sorcery, neither is the mood I wanted for the book. I did a lot of these and tried to explore variations that I thought might hit the mark. 






In the end, I had to abandon what I was doing with these. This hand drawing type was not working and I needed to look at this from a new angle. I stepped back and got rid of the ideas of them being the type to a mood or world and approached it with clean straightforward text. Eventually, I settled on the following type treatment.


Once I had this time, the rest fell into place. I knew I needed an iconic graphic, which of course needed to the crest of Ethra. The text is not off the shelf, it has been modified, letters connected, etc. to make it work better and become a unifying element. Once the crest was combined with the type treatment, I knew I had it. This version then became the final image that I have been using to promote the book since. 

The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

This final version is by far better than what I initially set out to create. Often, this is the way of things. Iterations, trial and error, and exploring deadends will help lead you to where you need to go. 

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, September 23, 2019

Gray Wanderer's Talisman - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

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

Gray Wanderer's Talisman
  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, September 20, 2019

Egg Token - MtG - Commander 2019

I have been so focused on my book that many things are slipping by my attention. One of these things is that I had a new Magic the Gathering card resent released. In Commander 2019, I had the opportunity to paint the Egg Token. This is as close as I got to the Ixalan set as I got, but it still counts in my book. This one was a little stressful to work on, not only had it been a while since working on Magic I was (and still am) hard at work on my book when the assignment arrived. In the end, the card was approved, and the cards that followed this one were a lot more successful. Here is my Egg Token.

Egg Token
Magic the Gathering - Commander 2019
12 x 8.7- Digital 
Art Director - Taylor Ingvarsson
 © 2019 Wizards of the Coast
 
Since I was jumping back and forth from this piece and my book, I had to make certain sacrifices to get all the work completed. One of the things that had to go was the toned paper value study for this piece. Typically I produce a line drawing and a toned value study for each of my Magic pieces. There was not enough time to squeeze one more drawing onto my table, and so I had to let it go. This means there is only one original drawing for this piece, and here it is.
 
Egg Token Drawing
Magic the Gathering - Commander 2019
11 x 14 - Pencil on Paper
Original - Available at IX 2019!
 © 2019 Wizards of the Coast

I am also not planning on making prints for this card either. I am not sure if there will be any demand, and I am moving away from making prints of client work anyway as I focus on my book. Also, I am unsure if and when I will see any artist proofs for these. These token cards are actually double-sided with other tokens, which is new to me. Here is how the printed version of the Egg Token turned out.

Egg Token in handy dandy card form

I hope to have time in the near future after the book is off my plate to talk more about this piece and share the painting process. There were a lot of ups and down with it as I worked on 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, September 11, 2019

Eidolon Miniature by Miguel Zavala


I recently came across another 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 an Eidolon 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.

Eidolon 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.
Eidolon
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, September 9, 2019

Bowl of Teeth - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

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

Bowl of Teeth
10 x 8 - 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, September 6, 2019

Edge of the Empire Signature Bounty Hunter Abilities Deck - The Return of Armed to the Teeth

I continue stumbling across instances of my Star Wars illustrations reused in various other Star Wars products. This time around I have for you the Edge of the Empire Signature Bounty Hunter Abilities Deck from 20176. This one slipped under my radar for two years. The Edge of the Empire Signature Bounty Hunter Abilities Deck sees the return of Armed to the Teeth that I originally painted in 2015. Here is a look at the new incarnation of the Armed to the Teeth.

Draw and Fire
Edge of the Empire Signature Bounty Hunter Abilities Deck
© 2017 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

The Edge of the Empire Signature Bounty Hunter Abilities Deck is the first time that Armed to the Teeth has been reused, to my knowledge. If for some reason you are hunting down the Edge of the Empire Signature Bounty Hunter Abilities Deck to complete your collection of my work, here is an image of the front of the packaging so that you can get the correct one.

Edge of the Empire Signature Bounty Hunter Abilities Deck - For all your bounty hunter needs

Lastly, here is the original illustration for Armed to the Teeth. It was initially used in the Between the Shadows expansion for the Star Wars card game, which is no longer in production.

Armed to the Teeth
Star Wars: Between the Shadows
10.3 x 8.6 - Digital
© 2015 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

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, September 4, 2019

What the Heck is Going On? - Grand Bazaar Writing Update

I know I recently post an update on the blog regarding the state of the Grand Bazaar, but I hit a major milestone Friday night. As of Friday I have completed writing all of the sections of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia! Most of the book has already gone to the editor and is back for us to review now that I have completed the remaining sections. These remaining sections will be headed to the editor asap as I finish the remaining nine pieces of spot art and other outstanding odds and ends.

Here is the completed spreadsheet for the book, plus a little video I shot of the last section getting marked off.

Writing spreadsheet as of 8/30/2019


And with that, they are all accounted for, now to edit, massage, and finalize

I knew I was going to eventually get to this point, but now that I am, it is a little unbelievable. I learned years ago that making a book is impossible. You cannot sit down and simply create a book from start to finish. BUT, you can make a list of the things you need to make. You can make an illustration for the book. You can write a section about a monster in your book. You can put those pieces together and refine and edit them. And eventually, you will make a book. That is what got me through all of this. A plan, some lists, taking it slow and giving everything as much time as it needs. There is no way I could sit down and make something that is 277 pages and for 85000 works, just not possible, but I can make all the little pieces that will eventually add up to it.

277 pages and 85603 words later...

Next steps, as I have said, I have a handful of small illustrations still to complete. These will go quickly, and I will have them done in the coming weeks. I will be reviewing the edit notes for the text, implementing these edits, and doing a full review and edit of everything one last time. I will be tieing up loose ends as I deal with little odds and ends to get everything that is needed for the layout. I will be handing everything over to the person doing the layout of the book, and after that, I should have a completed book. It might seem like there is still a lot left, but we are so close now. At least I have help in creating the final pieces.

Now to finish the rest of the spot art with a little help

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