Friday, September 25, 2020

Starfinder - Wait... WUT??

About a year ago, it came to my attention that I was credited in Paizo's Starfinder book, Assault on the Crucible. While I have never done any work on Starfinder and I have not worked with Paizo in several years, I figured they recycled something of mine that was appropriate. In time I sought out the book to have a look to see what of mine they used. I scoured the pages in search of my work, and after several paces, I still turned up nothing. I was left somewhat perplexed.  

 
Starfinder - Assault on the Crucible

After reviewing the book, I figured it was a big mistake, and I looked at the credits again. Obviously, my initial information was inaccurate. I am not credited in the book. Nope, in fact, I am the first listed artist in the book. At this point, I was just plain dumbfounded.

 
Internal Artists • Christopher Burdett

So, I am left with only a couple possible options for all of this. First, I looked to see if any other artist was working in the industry that shared my name, and after an exhaustive search, I turned up nothing. Second, old work of mine was at some point included, and as production progressed, it was removed, and my name in the book is an unintended artifact. Third, it was a straight-up error, and somehow my name popped up, and not one realized it should not be there. Fourth, and this is the one I fear might be the case, there is another artist that has a similar name, and somehow my name replaced theirs's, and they were not correctly creidted for their work on the book. At this point, it is anyone's guess, and the last thing I am going to do is bother the fine folks over at Paizo to get to the bottom of this. It is one of those little mysteries that we may never have an answer for.

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, September 23, 2020

Selected Recent Artist Proof Drawings

Today I have for you a selection of recent artist proofs that I added drawings to their backs. If you are interested in getting any of these for yourself, just follow the links to my store. Enough promotion, here are some drawings!

 
A deep-sea monster 

 
Monsterous Admiral Ackbar
 
The perennial favorite Ancient Carp

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 21, 2020

Returning to the Grand Bazaar!

Monsters and Merchants was only the beginning!

I am thrilled to announce that I have begun work on the next two books in The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia series. While some of the prep work started before the launch of my Kickstarter in February, with the pandemic, the new normal, and more life events than I can shake a stick at, I took some time off from working on the books. Jump ahead six months, I am at a point to begin working again, and with that, I am sharing what I am working and what I have in store for the Grand Bazaar. 

Moving forward with the books, the even-numbered books will be smaller self-contained books that focus on a specific topic, event, or subject - while still giving plenty of information regarding the Grand Bazaar. The odd-numbered books will follow the larger continuing story arch(es) and focus on the Grand Bazaar as a whole, and larger events unfold. This will allow me the freedom to explore smaller aspects of the Bazaar that won't fit in a book like Monsters and Merchants and still maintain the larger stories of the Grand Bazaar.

Needless to say, these books take time to create, and they will receive as much or as little time as they require. Once complete, they will once again be crowdfunded on Kickstarter with the help of Kickstarter. With all that out of the way, let's have a closer look at what is in store for the next books.

The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia  Book Two - The Completed Circle

The Completed Circle revolves around an ancient tale of adventure that originated in Thrakka. Much of the story has been lost to the years, but Reginald Blatherskite created a new translation of the remaining pieces during his full and well-documented career with the Impure Husk. The book follows along with the annotated translation of the ancient tale while giving a glimpse of the early years of the Grand Bazaar. Are you ready to follow a young Thrakese boy on an adventure to save the world? - or that is at least what the remaining pieces of the tale seem to suggest. There will be familiar voices in this book writing about various aspects of this ancient tale and its relation to the Bazaar of their time.

 
The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia  Book Three - In the Black 

Picking up where the events of Monsters and Merchants left off, In the Black journies below the Grand Bazaar and the dangers and wonders that exist just below the surface. Many of the voices from the first book will return and well as some new voices to share their perspective on the events surrounding the uncertain future of the Grand Bazaar. 

 
My production board - Mid September 2020  

Lastly, I wanted to share an image of my production board as it now looks. It is set up again and has the key art placeholders for The Completed Circle, as well as the pieces from In the Black that I am currently working on. While The Completed Circle is the next book, there are several pieces I have been waiting a LONG time to create, and while these pieces are destined for In the Black, I could not wait any longer to see them completed. After I finish the pieces I am actively working on, I will switch to pieces from The Completed Circle and switch back and forth until all prepped work in finished. Once everything is finalized on these pieces, I will move into full uninterrupted production on The Completed Circle. Again, these things take time. We are several years away from the next book being completed. I will be sharing the art as I go and giving glimpses of the writing as it takes shape - without giving too much away. No one wants to see these books completed more than me, and I will be making every effort to provide them with as much time as possible.

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

Friday, September 18, 2020

Morkoth Miniature

Today I have for you another miniature that has been based on my work. I illustrated the Morkoth for Volo's Guide to Monsters. For whatever reason, I never imagined that the Morkoth would receive a miniature. It's kinda weird, it's an underwater monster, and for some reason, I thought it was a massive creature. I was wrong on all of those. It took a while for the official miniature to come out, but it finally did. In the gap between when Volo's came out and when the miniature came out, not only did one person make a custom miniature, but two people made a custom miniature. Granted, there very well are MANY others who did the same, but these are the two I know about. To start things off, here is my painting for the Morkoth.

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

As I have said, I imagined the Morkoth being a huge monster. When we get the art assignments, the size is often included, but as I am working on these, they usually take on a size of there own in my head. When the book comes out, I can go and look at their size, but by that time, I have already established my own size for them, and I am resistant to change it. My headcanon for the monsters I design or illustrate doesn't affect anyone. When the official miniature comes out, my perception of the monsters is usually brought into line with the actual monster as it exists in D&D. But for me, the Morkoth is still a gigantic underwater beast. Here are some images of the official D&D Morkoth miniature. 

Morkoth Miniature
 
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, September 16, 2020

MtG Double Masters - Return of the Salivating Gremlins and NEW Artist Proofs

I found out recently that my Salivating Gremlins has made an encore appearance in the recently released Magic the Gathering set, Double Masters. Initially created for the Kaladesh set, it was great to see that this card has received a reprinting. It was always a favorite of mine, and I guess it had stats suited for a second use. For those interested, I made a post about the process and steps that went into creating this painting. Here is a look at the final art for Salivating Gremlins.

Salivating Gremlins
Magic the Gathering - Kaladesh/Double Masters
14 x 10.2- Digital
© 2016/2020 Wizards of the Coast

With a new printing of the art, that means that there are now new artist proofs available. Both standard artist proofs and foil artist proofs are now on my store for those interested. All artist proofs are available with and without sketches. All of the details and information are on my store. 

Salivating Gremlins in handy dandy card form
© 2016/2020 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

Friday, September 11, 2020

Earlier Ethra VanDalia Etching Surfaces

I was recently cleaning up files and organizing an archive for The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia when I discovered an even older scan of my original etching of Ethra from 1998 that I had forgotten I had. The zinc plate that ultimately became the first image of Ethra went through several iterations as we practiced different etching techniques. While I knew I had the final, I had completely forgotten that I had a scan of the plate early on, before the aquatint application, when the plate was mostly line work and scrapping. Here is the newly discovered scan.

Eathra Van Daillia Completes the Gems of Power
Etching on paper  - Test print before aquatint
11.7 x 17
© 1998 Christopher Burdett

To be honest, I am not sure how many people will find this interesting, but I was thrilled to find the file and have one more piece of the origins of this character and the world I have built. It does show off my questionable anatomy and forms that I liked to draw at the time and some smaller details that were lost in the final etching. Here again, is the final etching that I have shared previously.

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

Finally, if I am sharing the original, I need to share the comparison of nearly twenty years of progress honing my craft. I enjoy seeing other artists' comparison images, and looking at mine helps me remember the progress that I have made and why I keep working and pushing myself. 

Full circle. 1998 verses 2017. 

 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, September 9, 2020

The Baby Steps of Progress and Restarting

I have spoken about this before, but this has been a hard year to make art. Each day seems to bring a new horror, a new set back, a new challenge. I was firing on all cylinders going into January and February. I was wrapping up everything for The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia Kickstarter, and I was already looking ahead to the next books as I prepped a slew of illustrations ready to create. I even finished the linework on the first. The Kickstarter began, and I was super busy, and the art had to be set aside. Then as March started, it all fell apart. The lockdowns came, and life was turned upside down, and all of my art came to an end. I just could not get to my drawing table and work. There was too much going on. With me working from home for the day job, it was impossible to find the strength to move from one workstation after putting in 9-11 hours of work (we were in our big deadline) to move ten feet to a different workstation and put more time in. There wasn't the strength, and after a few month, there just wasn't the interest anymore. Too many other pressing things on the mind, and too much other things being done to hopefully address mental and physical health in this new normal. 

Vexed Bean Monger close up

I made attempts along the way to get started again. New drawings and concepts that would be pieces to help bridge the divide in my work. I didn't want to try to jump back into a massive drawing that had sat unloved for months. To that end, I worked up some smaller images to ease back into things. I was able to get the linework done on one, but again, that is where it stopped. I simply was unable to will myself to work. Understand, I have been able to work through anything and everything up until now. I have never faced artist block and am lucky enough to find my mind to be a fount of ideas and a dynamo of motivation. Unfortunately, 2020 was a perfect storm I was not prepared for. None of us were. 

I took on client work to hopefully force myself to get back into the swing of things. I hoped that external deadlines and schedules would get my mind back in the swing of setting aside time to work and focus on art. I am not sure if it worked. I got the assignments done, I did find enjoyment in them, but at times it was extremely hard to motivate myself and focus. I am not sure it resulted in the desired outcome, but I think it was essential, and I was able to complete the tasks given to me. 

About ten days ago, I sat down at my drawing table for the first time in a while and began the black render pass on one of the smaller pieces I had planned to be a bridge to the larger pieces. It was a slow, uncertain start, but it had begun. There was a lot of working, reworking, working again, and adjusting. I felt rusty for sure. But each time I returned to the drawing table, it was a little easier, I got a bit more done, and I felt myself speeding up. In the past few days, I was able to get back in some semblance of a groove and to really start working. Getting things rendered, adjusting the entire images to push it where it needs to go. As of last night, the black render phase has been completed. I will now go in with the white render, black ink washes, and finally, white paint finish. Knowing my process, I know that I am really close to the end of this one. A lot can still happen, but I am feeling good about this one, and I think I will have my first new completed piece for the Grand Bazaar in the coming days. After a 6-7 month gap in work, it is really nice to find myself working again. It has been a very hard road to get here, and I could not have done it alone. I look to the uncertain furture ahead of us all and I hope that we can find the stregth to continue to create.

That is all of 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

Friday, September 4, 2020

Kickstarter Roundup - Aradani and Walker

Today on the blog, I wanted to point out some current Kickstarter projects that I think you all might be interested in. All feature fantastic art and products by remarkable people, and if you have not already checked them out, you should do so NOW!


First up is Aradani Studio's Mask Armor: decorative covers for PPE! Aradani Studios has been at the forefront of elf ears and related projects for years. They are good friends of mine, and I love their work, and they are now creating something I desperately need in my hands, Mask Armor, to cover your PPE. Be the envy of your friends and terrorize your enemies with these fantastic masks that come unpainted or prepainted. I am pledging to get two unpainted and can't wait to get them so that I can paint them and then wear them out and about. The campaign just began, and they are already over 50% to funding. Now is the time to get involved and help them hit their goal. If not for them, do it for me so that I can get my mask! There are two styles, and here are some images from their campaign.



Lastly is Jacob Walker's Call of Cthulhu Limited Edition Vintage Lovecraft Art Print! I have known Jacob for many years, and his work has only improved by leaps and bounds as long as I have known him. His newest painting is a testament to the time and energy he is putting into his craft. For his current campaign, he is producing limited prints of his lastest Call of Cthulhu painting. It is gorgeous and should be a must-have for any Cthulhu fan. The painting and drawing have already been sold, but the prints are available through the campaign, which is already funded many times over. Head on over to get a look at the painting and to get yourself a print! Here is an image of the painting from the campaign.


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, September 2, 2020

Trex - Dungeons & Dragons - Icewind Dale Rime of the Frostmaiden

I received my contributor copies of the latest Dungeons & Dragons book yesterday. Icewind Dale Rime of the Frostmaiden introduces players to the frozen wastes where the monsters are not the only dangers. I produced one illustration for this book, but it would have been fun to create a lot more. I took on this assignment at the beginning of the year, and I was in the final stages of getting my book ready for Kickstarter and planning out my exciting year, so I only had time to do the one painting. The Kickstarter happened, but not so much on the exciting year. That said, I was pleased with how my piece turned out for this book. Here is a look at the books that arrived for Icewind Dale Rime of the Frostmaiden.

 
Icewind Dale Rime of the Frostmaiden

My assignment had me revisiting one of my favorite go-to D&D monsters, the wily Kobold. I find that the Kobold can fill many roles in an adventure, and I love using them in unexpected ways in the games that I have run. Anyway, this particular Kobold needed some personality, and it was a fun one to work on. I give you Trex the Kobold.

Trex
Icewind Dale Rime of the Frostmaiden
11 x 14 - Digital
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2020 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Since the final painting for this piece is digital, the only original for it is the drawing. I am happy with how it turned out, but I have still made it available over on my store. Here is how the drawing for this Kobold turned out.

Trex
Icewind Dale Rime of the Frostmaiden
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Original - SOLD
Art Director - Kate Irwin
© 2020 Wizards of the Coast LLC

 Here is a little preview of Trex in the book; please excuse the unflattering photo of the page.

Trex in book form! Do not let this lousy photo of the page sway you; it printed beautifully.

That is all of 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