Friday, October 23, 2020

IX Online Virtual Booth Hours - TOMORROW!

IX Online is going strong and continues through March 31st. While you will have months to take in IX Online, I will be having virtual booth hours live as a Zoom event tomorrow, Saturday, October 24th, from 12 PM till 4 PM EST. If you want to hang out with me in my booth, with backdrop and art on the walls, and talk to me about art, my book, or just about anything, then be sure to join my Zoom event! There will likely be special guests of my wife and Mietze the Cat. That link again for the Zoom event if anyone missed it. See you there!

 
IX Online is happening now!

 
Be sure to stop by my gallery to see all the original artwork, books, enamel pins, and Magic the Gathering Artist Proofs that I have available! 

 
The key art for Ethra VanDalia from the book has been sold. If you had your eye on a piece from the book, now might be the time to pick it up before it is gone. If you had your eye on Ethra, fear naught, for there will be more pieces featuring Ethra in the future.

 
To see something like this, but not exactly like this, in my house, be sure to take part in the Zoom event tomorrow!
 
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, October 22, 2020

IX Online NOW LIVE!

As of last night, IX Online is now live for everyone. As a part of the main show of IX Online, my gallery is live as well. The Grand Bazaar is represented in force, and all available works, all of the books, enamel pins, prints, and my Magic the Gathering artist proofs are all available now at IX Online. If there are other pieces you are interested in, they can be found on my store.

 
IX Online is live
 
Here is a preview of my featured works, but you can now see it all over at my gallery
What are you waiting for?

That's all for another exciting Thursday 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

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Vexed Beanmonger - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

With the launch of IX Online today, I am happy to share one of two new pieces from The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia, making their debut at this virtual event. It has been a challenging year for most people, and I know many artists have been struggling to create, myself included. This piece marks the first time this year, since the beginning of the pandemic, that I made art for myself. It took months to sit down and work on it, but thankfully it got a little easier over time. I present to you the Vexed Beanmonger.

 
Vexed Beanmonger
The Grand Bazaar of Ethra Dalia - In the Black
11 x 14 - Pencil, ink, and acrylic paint on paper
Original - Available
© 2020 Christopher Burdett
 
 
Vexed Beanmonger - Drawing
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
© 2020 Christopher Burdett

The Vexed Beanmonger is the first piece completed for The Grand Bazaar of Ethra Dalia since the conclusion of the Kickstarter, and this will be appearing in book three, In the Black. The direction that I am taking my work moving forward with my books can be seen here. My character art will now include full environments and give more context and will further world-build the Grand Bazaar. No more isolated figures! 

I designed this piece while the Kickstarter for the book was running. It was meant as a transition piece between the size and complexity of my previous work and the new level of commitment that I was aiming for in the next books. I never imagined that it would be a transition piece from being unable to work during a pandemic and working again. There is a lot of emotion and struggle put into this piece, and I can't imagine another piece more deserving of it. 

I will be sharing the second of the two new Grand Bazaar pieces here on the blog next week, but it can be seen now over at IX Online!
 
As an added bonus, I have some images of the rendering process of this piece so that you can get a better idea of it taking shape.
 
Vexed Beanmonger - Process
© 2020 Christopher Burdett

That is all for another exciting Tuesday 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

Monday, October 19, 2020

IX Online Virtual Booth Hours!

This week marks the beginning of IX Online, and if you are a VIP pass holder, it begins tonight. I will be part of the main show this year, but I wanted to add a little more to my participation. I had been contemplating a webinar of some sort, but nothing has yet jelled. While something yet may happen with a webinar for IX Online, after all, it runs well into next year, I wanted to do something more immediate and during IX Online. To that end, I have decided to have some booth hours during the online event. This coming Saturday, October 24th, from 12 PM till 4 PM EST, I have my booth and art set up at the house, and I will be on a scheduled Zoom event. I will be hanging out at my booth with a glass of wine and will be more than ready to talk about my art, The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia, and everything else in between. Come this Saturday, if you want to chat with me about anything at my IX booth, then follow this Zoom event link, and I will see you there!

IX Online is the home for this year's IX art, seminars, and more!

It has been a trying year for artists and conventions, and everyone is doing their best to adapt and change to the current realities of a pandemic. While we can't all be in one location, hopefully, these virtual events all us some interaction. To be honest, just seeing familiar faces and meeting new folks interested in my art sounds amazing right now. I hope that at least a few of you find the time to pay a visit!

 
Come hang out in my IX booth virtually on Saturday, October 24th, from 12 PM till 4 PM EST on Zoom!

For those of you how can't make my virtual booth hours but are still attending IX Online, there will be plenty of things to see on my official IX virtual booth. Starting later today, you will have early acess to my two newest pieces from the Grand Bazaar, as well as all other available Grand Bazaar art, the books, buttons, prints, and Magic artist proofs. Here is a little teaser image of my featured gallery wall. Those attending will have access to so much more!

See my IX online gallery space when it goes live on 10/21 (10/19 for VIPs)
 
I hope to see you at my Zoom booth hours this Saturday, and if you can't make it, be sure to visit IX online!
 
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, October 16, 2020

The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia Video

For the Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia Kickstarter that we successfully ran earlier this year, we had a truly awesome video made by the outstanding Zdenko Basic. I shared the video at the time of the Kickstarter, but I have recently received the final non-Kickstarter version of the video, and I thought I would share it again. I am so happy with how the video turned out, and I feel it really captures the feel of the Grand Bazaar. For those interested, the books are available now!

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

Monday, October 12, 2020

Mythic Odysseys of Theros - Return of the Breaching Hippocamp

Recently, the Mythic Odysseys of Theros was released for Dungeons & Dragons. This supplement brings the Magic the Gathering world of Theros into the worlds and realms of D&D, which frankly is pretty cool. The new supplement is filled with Magic the Gathering art, which means there was a good chance I had a piece in the book since Theros was the first Magic set I worked on. As it would turn out, I do have a pice in the book. I believe it is only one, but it is hard to say for sure since I only looked at the book once so far. That's on me, but a lot is going on. Anyway, the Breaching Hippocamp that I designed and illustrated for Magic the Gathering - Theros is in  Mythic Odysseys of Theros as the main art for the Hippocamp in the monster section. There is some interesting cropping, but it is great to see this monster get some new life breathed into it as a D&D monster. Here is a look at the book and the original Breaching Hippocamp.

 
Mythic Odysseys of Theros
Standard and super special covers. Always nice that WotC sends out both.

 
The Hippocamp... RAWR!

 
Breaching Hippocamp
Magic the Gathering - Theros
12 x 8.7 - Digital
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

The Breaching Hippocamp was the second Magic card that I was commissioned to do and was the first monster for Magic that I had the opportunity to design from the ground up for the card. Crazy to think that I painted this at the end of 2012. Where does the time go? I shared the process and steps that went into this piece back in 2014 and shared the concept designs that I submitted for it. I still really like some of the versions that were not accepted, and since WotC doesn't own them, I might need to do back and do something with them. I wonder how they would look visiting the Sunken Stalls?

That's all for another exciting Monday on the blog. See you back here on Friday, since I will be offline 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 9, 2020

Early Influences - Earl Norem

GI Joe Operation: Disappearance - Earl Norem

For some time now, I have been reflecting on the artists and works that were touchstone influences in my childhood. At the time, I was unaware of the artist, and frankly, some of those artists remained a mystery to me into adulthood, but it was their work that had a profound effect on me. It may have only been a cover, or an issue, or a series of spot art pieces, but there are artists out there whose work came to me at just the right time to have a life long influence on my work, and the work I gravitate towards. To start things off, I wanted to share a book by Earl Norem that took hold of my nine-year-old mind and never let go. While I have talked at length about the effect that Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, and Kaiju movies had on my love of monsters, it was, in fact, the art created for GI Joe that had a sizable impact on how I look at art. There was a time that GI Joe ruled my childhood, and Star Wars and D&D were in the back seat. During this time, a GI Joe storybook entered my life, and I would never be the same.

I will be honest; it was a long time before I ever knew that Earl Norem was responsible for the art in this book. There was a list of names in the front, and I never imagined that the artist would be last. In time I learned who Earl was and the length and breadth of this work and how much of his work I already knew. Let's start with the cover. POW! RED. YELLOW. And look at that directional composition. I love everything about it. I simply adore bold color elements, be they skies, background colors, etc. Everything is pointing at the impending doom of the hoard of Cobra Troopers quickly advancing on the heroes. Areas of the background lose detail and simply become color so that the action and silhouettes of the main characters are prominent. Also, note the overlap and clumping of the figures—Scarlet in the extreme foreground and the mob of troopers in the background. This cover has stayed with me since 1983. While this copy is not the one I had as a child, I was able to find a new copy that is dear to me.

I can't tell you how long I stared at this list of names, wondering who the artist was. In time a simple Google search cleared it all up. Granted, Earl did sign the cover, Norem is right under Hawk's boot, but as a kid, I never noticed it.

Look at this action! Figures moving though the image with strong lines directing the eye through the composition. I am a sucker for underwater images, and I stared at these panels imagining the pitched undersea battle. The atmospheric perspective was not lost on me as a child. Even then, having spent so much of my own time underwater, I knew that objects and colors dissipated as depth and distance increased. Looking at these images only made me understand it more and that it could be imitated. 

To be clear, I had no clue at the age of nine how any of these images were made. It was all magic and witchcraft. The materials, techniques, and skillsets needed to make any of these images felt like they were lightyears from me. Even now, I look at them, and they seem like impossible works to equal. Though looking at them now, I see the subtle simplicity to them. That dynamic pose of Cobra Commander standing above Breaker and Scarlet, but the shading on his mask looks almost to be one color and one brush stroke. Masterful! That is so much not how I work, and I love it anymore for that. There feels to be so much happening in each image. So much done with what feels like the greatest of ease.

In school, I did a book report on this book. We needed to make a diorama and a repost on a book. I recreated the above left page as a diorama using my action figures. Sadly there are no photos of it, but I built a section of this underwater Cobra lair and a dais that Cobra Commander held Scarlet as a shield. I rigged up a zipline of sorts and had Flash sliding down to distract Cobra Commander. To this day, my Scarlet figure has a bit of black paint on its leg from an accidental splatter while working on it. Note the figures in the bottom left and how they are knocked back. This was not lost on me, though it would be many years until I truly understood how, why, and when.

Look at those colored light sources, directional lighting, and rim lighting all on one beautiful spread of pages. All you need to know about a lot of my work can be summed up by the right page with Cobra Commander being lit from two different directions, in and off-canvas, with intense rim light. It is strange to see something that is so clearly the beginning of how you approach and think about art. On top of the lighting, Cobra Commander is dominant, up close, and spilling out of the frame. I am guilty on all accounts and completely unapologetic. We can not help being influenced artistically, especially as children, and it is pleases me to be able to point directly to something as the sourse. It is not like I have been copying Earl's work for the past two decade with my work. Far from it, but this work, these paintings, opened my eyes and help me begin to see and understand visual storytelling. It would take decades of work and learning to put those pieces together, but the journey started on these pages.

The above left page is significant. As a child, I understood what was happening, there was a very bright, very intense light source and that was color-shifting everything in the image. At the time, I thought it was magic to be able to create such an image. I could not process how you knew to do this, how you went about making it, and it fascinated me. I stared at that page for far too long, wondering about it. I could feel this image, I could even hear this image, and I longed to know how to create such things. The right page is just a beautiful composition and I love that splash of yellow in the background with the figured shifting purple. So good!


Again, we have an image, that to me, feels effortless. Like the paint just fell on the page and made the image. There is just enough to make Scarlet's face, and the brain fills in the rest. Hawk's expression is gold. I remember as a kid feeling like I knew the man, as if he was real, from this one image.

Sadly, I will never be able to say these words to Earl Norem. He has been gone for five years now. Now that I am at a point that I can reflect on my early influences and understand how and why they made such as impact, I am learning that those artists are all dead. This book is thirty-seven years old, even if the artist was a young man at the time, he would be an old man now. If some young person is profoundly affected by my work and it takes them thirty-seven years from now to figure that out, I will be in my eighties. I wonder if we are not meant to know who, if anyone, we touch or influence. It is just that the work is out there, and it will find those that need to see it.

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, October 7, 2020

Painted in Color - A NEW Bi-Weekely Podcast

Today I would like to share something really great that came to my attention this week, a new bi-weekly podcast, Painted in Color. In their own words, "Painted in Color is a Podcast dedicated to fostering a community for and amplifying the voices of underrepresented artists. Hosted by Lauren Brown, Esther Wu, Mia Araujo, and Eric Wilkerson." I am fortunate enough to know Lauren and Eric, and I can not be more excited about this new endeavor. Better representation is vital to all of our growth, understanding, development, and creative exploration. I strongly encourage you to head over, subscribe, and take in the current videos available. It is just the beginning for them, and I can not wait to see where this goes.

 
 

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, October 5, 2020

MORE 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!

 
The mighty Gyarados... RAWR!

While I usually turn down human commissions when I was asked to do a monstrous demonic Liliana, I figured I could handle it.

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, October 2, 2020

Numenera Creature Deck 2 - Return of the Rythcallocer

In 2015, I produced a series of monster paintings for the good folks over at Monte Cook for use in their Into the Deep Kickstarter. I was given an enormous amount of creative freedom that allowed me to have a lot of fun designing underwater monsters. It was one of those perfect assignments that usually come around when I am too busy to take them. This time it all worked out. While the monsters ended up being used as part of Into the Deep, some were used in other products, one of them being the Numenera Creature Deck 2. I believe this was put out around the same time that Into the Deep was released, but I only learned of it relatively recently. There is something about seeing my art of cards that I have always appreciated. I am sure it goes back to when I collected trading cards, played Magic the Gathering and Decipher's Star Wars game, and those early days of pining to work in the industry. Here is a look at the return of the Rythcallocer.

 
The Numenera Creature Deck 2

 
Rythcallocer, RAWR!

 
Rythcallocer
Numenera Ninth World Bestiary 2 / Creature Deck 2
12 x 9 - Acrylic and pencil on board  
Original - SOLD  
© 2015 Monte Cook

While all of the monsters that I made for this project were fun, this one was the most alien and still has a special place in my heart. The head area is a design I came up with in 2004/2005 for some personal work that never ended up being created. Always fun to reach back and bring something to life you envisioned so many years before. Glad to Rythcallocer getting to run around and play a little bit more than previously planned. 

That is all for another exciting Friday 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