Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Prolific Whittler - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

*UPDATE* - This piece was originally planned and created for book three, but a better place for it has been found in book two.

Not one, but TWO new pieces from The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia this week. As mentioned yesterday, I have another new illustration for you today. This illustration is for Book Three: In the Black. This piece focuses on a quieter moment in the Grand Bazaar. No demons, no monsters, no conflict, but rather a simple moment of a simple life working with your hands to create something new. I present to you the Prolific Whittler.

Prolific Whittler
The Grand Bazaar of Ethra Dalia - In the Black
11 x 14 - Pencil, ink, and acrylic paint on paper
Original - Available
© 2021 Christopher Burdett
Prolific Whittler - Drawing 
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
© 2021 Christopher Burdett
This piece is the final image from the work I set out for myself at the beginning of 2020. It is also the last image for Book Three that I will be working on until the completion of Book Two. Moving forward, all of my time and attention will now be on Book Two. This piece went through some changes leading up to its eventual creation. Here is a look at the sketch for Prolific Whittler to show where it began.
Prolific Whittler - Sketch 
© 2020 Christopher Burdett

I had initially planned for something a little different on this one. I left a portion of the image blank to overlay text related to it. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but as I readied to work on it, I had my doubts. None of the other images I created for the books were like this. As it would likely be a few years before I would be revisiting it for the third book, it was impossible to know if there would be text for it or if I would have to go back and complete the image - which would not be ideal. But this piece has grown and evolved more than simply the extension on the background.

Bird sculpture by Richard Fleming
The early 1980s

Often, my images appear in my head completely fleshed out. I will see the image and know the story, but sometimes the story will come to me first, and in time, the image will present itself, or the story will take shape as I work on the visuals. Then there are pieces such as this one, where the images were always there, and I thought I knew the start of the story, but as I worked on it, the narrative changed, and the real story and influences became apparent. For me, this piece became very personal the longer I worked on it. In the beginning, it was going to be about an old being who lived outside the Grand Bazaar and how, over time, the Bazaar expanded and grew around him. While it may still have some of that as part of the story, for me, the story is now about my Grandfather, who, when he was not a fantastic chef, whittled and carved birds from wood. I still cherish the one that came to me after my Grandmother's death. The journey these pieces take me is sometimes the most critical aspect of making them. I go on adventures with them that I never would have imagined.

Here is the tonal study for the Prolific Whittler. It would be a much simpler piece to complete until I expanded the background. After that, the lighting and value arrangement of the image needed to change.

Prolific Whittler - Tonal Study
© 2021 Christopher Burdett 

As a bonus, I have some images of the rendering process of this piece so that you can get a better idea of it taking shape.    

Prolific Whittler - Process
© 2021 Christopher Burdett 
That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog. See you back here on Friday! Until then...     

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