Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Yuan-ti Anathema - Dungeons and Dragons

Only one post this week while I wrap things up for the year and recoup from the holidays. ...and the ravages of Beatles Rockband is taking a toll on my productivity.

Today I bring you the Yuan-ti Anathema. This was another creature redesign for Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition as well as a miniature turnaround for the Against the Giants miniature expansion. It is always an honor to have a chance to add my voice to the legacy of Dungeons and Dragons. One of the coolest aspects of this design was the fact it was slated to be a 72 mm "huge" scale miniature. Bigger is always better in my book when it comes to miniatures.

This creature was changing a bit from it's earlier incarnations and it's changes were at first causing me some headache. The body mass had to be a huge swirling mass of little snakes. The problem was I was concentrating on the "little snakes" aspect and not the "huge mass" aspect of the design. Once again I was fretting about the details and forgetting to address the bigger picture. I had some rather horrifying false starts before I got my act together on this one. I remembered a piece I had done previously that involved a creature of twisting tentacles and allowed me to move forward in the right direction.

RAWR! I'm a monster! ...with tentacles...
© 2006 Christopher Burdett

Now with a better outlook on how to proceed I moved forward with the official first pass on the Yuan-ti Anathema and come up with this...

First pass at snaky monster goodness...
© 2007 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Not bad for a first pass but there was something that was not quite right. My art director suggested trying the head a bit bigger and lengthening the body...

Giant headed snaky monster goodness...
© 2007 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Hurm... the body is working but the head... yeah... Onto another revision. Moving back to the smaller head with the elongated body but this time a bit of a neck...

Proper snaky monster goodness
© 2007 Wizards of the Coast LLC

There we go! Much better. This version is approved and I moved forward with the complete turnaround.

© 2007 Wizards of the Coast LLC

You can see how the Yuan-ti Anathema turned out in it's final production miniature form, HERE. That's all for this week. See you next week for a fresh start in a new year!

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

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Happiest of Holidays to one and all. Here's to hoping for a exciting and prosperous 2010!

Holiday card 2009
© 2008 Christopher Burdett

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Monster Car

I am knee deep in holiday cheer... or at least that is what I hope I am knee deep in... which is why today's post is a little later then normal. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Anyway, today I bring you some of my "other work" that I recently completed. It is for the Florida Department of Transportation. My talents were needed on a video piece and so I rose to the challenge and really went out on a limb to try something new... no, actually they needed a monster car. So I made them a monster car...

RAWR! Evil and scary, the monster car will get you.
© 2009 Florida Department of Transportation

The other elements that were required for the segment were a child and a background. The elements are all based on video and stills that were taken for the project. If you are asking what this all mean, apparently children have difficulty understanding things like cars and do not know the danger that they pose. Fantasy and reality are blurred for young children and so extra caution needs to be taken when children and cars can together.

Car, child and background all together.
© 2009 Florida Department of Transportation

These three elements were handed off to my cohort in crime, Lee Bretschneider. I have mentioned Lee before, he and I were the guests at Geek Night. Lee took my elements and made with the movie graphics in After Effects to create the required seven seconds of video that will be part of a larger education project. This is how the video turned out:

Monster Car in all it's glory. RAWR!
* After posting this I notice that the video does something weird at the beginning and goes back to normal... not sure what is up with that, but just ignore it. Thanks!*
© 2009 Florida Department of Transportation

That is all for today. Family is heading into town as I write this and will be here soon. I guess I should have mentioned this is post #150 for the year, a number I am shocked to have reached. I never imagined I would have gotten this far and stuck with it this long. Yays to me! ;)

If all goes well, I should have a couple more post before the end of the year. Until then...

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

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ghosts of Christmas' Past

By now most of us are knee deep in some variety of winter holiday. I myself just finished celebrating Wookiee Life Day over the weekend (yes, I know I was early). For the last eight years or so I have made my own holiday cards to send out to friends and family. Today I am bringing you the art for 2006 - 2008. I will share 2009 later in the week.

Holiday card 2006
Fun fact about 2006... When I worked in LA in the makeup effects industry I designed the shop's holiday card each year. I suggested this idea one year and was shot down, so I was able to revive it and use it for myself.
© 2006 Christopher Burdett

Holiday card 2007
I like drawing tentacles. The more the merrier. Ho ho ho!
© 2007 Christopher Burdett

Holiday card 2008
What was that about tentacles? Are the tentacles taking the presents or giving the presents? I had one of them in mind when I drew this. I always find people's take on this drawing interesting.
© 2008 Christopher Burdett

I finished up the last of my work for 2009 this past Friday. I am just awaiting approval and feedback. Fingers crossed! I will try to have some posts for you later in the week, but I have family arriving mid week and then all the hubbub and goings on at the end of the week will be taking up a lot of time. Until then...

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

Friday, December 18, 2009

Two-Faced Freak Custom by Byleui

I got an early Christmas gift this week, photos of a custom miniature based off of one of my unreleased Dreamblade designs. Custom miniature extraordinaire and blog follower Byleui, also know to the world as David Thies, has been hard at work again! You may remember some of David's other customs, the Blob with Body and the Flagbearer. This time out he tackled the Two-Faced Freak and I really like how it turned out.

Here is my turnaround for comparison

Here is David's work in all its' glory!

Here are some thoughts about the miniature that David shared on Flickr:

"I started with the two faces of Freakazoid, altered them and attached them to a sculpture of polymer clay. "

As always, great work David! He told me that he should be moving onto the Executioner next. I will be sure to post images as soon as he completes it. To see more of David's custom work be sure to check out his gallery on Flickr.

I should have some holiday themed posts for you next week. As a heads up, I most likely will be taking the following week off. I need the break and some time to get my thoughts together. I hope to bring you all something special for the beginning of the New Year. Until then...

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Galeb Duhr - Dungeons and Dragons

I realized as I was getting these drawings together this morning that I have been sharing work on the this blog lately that I promised myself I would never post. I wonder what that says about me?

Moving back to topic, I have for you today the Galeb Duhr that I redesigned for Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition and for the Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures. The Galeb Duhr has been around in D&D for a very long time and it was my privilege to be chosen to update it for 4th Edition. In honor of this opportunity I apparently took some crazy pills and got to work on the first version of my redesign...

Yeah... I think my art director's feedback to this first version was, "YIKES!" (I can't believe I am showing anyone that drawing)
© 2007 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Once the crazy pills wore off I got back to work and tried to come up with some a little bit... not crappy. The second version was received a little bit better.

Closer, but there are still some areas that need some additional rock man love.
© 2007 Wizards of the Coast LLC

After a bit more spit and polish and more drawing I think we are getting there. The third version seemed up to the challenge and made it through and was approved.
Much better! Now onto the full turnaround.
© 2007 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Here is the final approved Galeb Duhr turnaround is all it's glory. As a side not my wife was quite found of the rock butt. Not sure why, I think she just like the idea of it having a butt. I didn't nessecerily see it as a butt, it did need to be spherical and bolder like. Or... it could have a rock butt.

© 2007 Wizards of the Coast LLC

You can see how the Galeb Duhr turned out in it's final production miniature form, HERE. Not sure I will have anything for you tomorrow but I will be back on Friday with something. I am on the home stretch on a project and need to stay focused on it. What project you ask? Well, a project involving miniature designs! Maybe that is why I have been posting so many lately...

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

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

MORE Genasi Armor Sketches

If you missed any of my post on the Genasi armor that I designed for the Dungeons and Dragons Character Visualizer, fear naught! Ever though the posts were spread over 3 months you will be able to relive them all here: Female Armor part 1, Female Armor part 2, Male Armor part 1, Male Armor part 2. You may also remember my first post about the numerous sketches I did for the Genasi armor. I thought I would pull some more of these sketches out to show you some of the early directions for some of the other types of armor. Today I bring you variations on male chain, hide, leather and scale armors.

Genasi Male Chain Armor variations.
© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Genasi Male Hide Armor variations.
© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Genasi Male Leather Armor variations.
© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Genasi Male Scale Armor variations.
© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Of course looking back now I can see some of these may be a bit over the top, but you never know till you try. A lot of these would rather inept suits of armor but made for interesting shapes. What ultimately became the final designs, though simplistic in form for my taste, did prove to be more realistic for the purposes of armor.

Did someone say chain maille? No, I guess they didn't... anyway, I thought I would mention it here since I was showing off armor. Here is a sheet of chain maille I made in photoshop for use in the Genasi and Warforged armor designs. This replaces the first sheet I made for the Tiefling armor which was harder to read when the designs were shrunk down. It all came together pretty quickly and all starts with a circle with a bevel & emboss filter and and a shadow and before long you have chain mail.

Chain maille 'sheet'

Here is the same sheet at 100% so you can get a better look at all my mistakes. Which there are plenty...

Chain maille at 100%

I think that is enough for today... so much to do... so little time. I should be back tomorrow with something, don't know what yet... but SOMETHING! Until then...

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

Monday, December 14, 2009

Toxic Sirroth - Dreamblade

I had planned to post this on Friday, but as with all things there was change. So I am playing catch up and most likely will have an extra post or two this week to make up for it.

Today I bring you an oldie but goody, the Toxic Sirroth. The Toxic Sirroth was a spec design I submitted for the first set of Dreamblade. The original incarnation of the Sirroth was felt to be... ah, um... too suggestive. I didn't see the lurid nature of the design until it was pointed out to me. I was just trying to make a crazy weird monster. I wonder what that says about me... in any event I nicknamed this design 'Freud' during it's design phase.

The naughty naughty Toxic Sirroth. Shame on you!
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

A quick revision later the design became more family friendly and I was approved to move forward with the rest of the turnaround. Though to be honest I always liked that upper torso. The idea that it's arms turned into spikes that it would support it's weight or use to fight. Oh well, save those in the mental archives for another day.

A much more PG / PG-13 kind of monster.
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Though the Toxic Sirroth was designed for the first set of Dreamblade it wasn't used until Anvilborn. A wonderful surprise to say the least since this was a spec design that made it all the way through production. I really liked how it turned out and I use two of them in one of my mono fear warbands.

Final Toxic Sirroth turnaround.
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

To see how this piece translated into plastic, you can see the final production miniature HERE. I should have some more drawing for you tomorrow... the work I was going to post today, actually! Until then...

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

Friday, December 11, 2009

A day off...

Looks like I spoke too soon yesterday. I am beat. Looks like I am going to need to bail out on today's planned Dreamblade post. I will make it up next week. Until then, I leave you with a picture of yours truly from ten years ago! Enjoy!

RAWR! I am a college graduation thesis from 1999! RAWR!

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

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Knockspell Magazine #3

Knockspell Magazine #3 by Mythmere Games was released toward the end of October / beginning of November and somehow I missed it's release. I contributed two pieces to this issue and both center around a Minotaur Lord. Now where have I seen Minotaurs lately?? Make sure you pick yourself up a copy of Knockspell #3 now available through Black Blade Publishing!

I worked with Matt Finch of Mythmere Games this time around. It is always fun to get a chance to do line art, though I used more then just lines. I really wanted to get a lot of texture into these and had a great time doing it. Looking back I had forgotten when I actually made these. They were finished up right before Comic Con in July. How time flies. But I am happy to share these with you now!

I should have a Dreamblade piece for you tomorrow... if all goes well... As the year comes crashing to an end my schedule is becoming more and more... FULL. I hope to be able to bring you posts on my regular schedule through out the holidays and into new year, but I know there will be gabs. So please bear with me and I will do my best! Until then...

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

Monday, December 7, 2009

Genasi Armor Designs #4

On this bright and early Monday morning I bring you the conclusion of my Genasi armor for the Dungeons and Dragons Character Visualizer. I have for you the leather, plate and scale (with and with out cloak) sets. As I mentioned with the female sets I think the stand out pieces for me are the scale sets. I had the most fun with them and I really like the feel and look of the scales. In my humble opinion I think the female sets were more successful, but this is also in line with how I felt about the Tiefling and Dragonborn armor as well. I don't think I have much more to add about these sets, they were fun to work on even though I was not expecting the shear volume of initial concepting that would be involved. If you happen to have a Monster Manual 2 be sure to check out the Genasi half page piece by Lars Grant-West, the figures are sporting my armor designs interpreted beautifully by Lars. Enough of my rambling, here is the armor:

© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

This only leaves the Warforged armor left to show you. I will most likely start bringing you it the beginning of next year. I had hoped to have some new pieces for you on Wednesday but a previous engagement out of town has the whole day in an uproar. I will try to have to post to you on Thursday, but it might not be till Friday. Until then...

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

Friday, December 4, 2009

Carrion Hulk - Dreamblade

Against my better judgments I am bringing you all of the Carrion Hulk that I designed for Dreamblade. I say 'all' of the Carrion Hulk because there is not much point in showing you just the final designs without showing you my first version.... though it pains me to do so. I originally designed the Carrion Hulk for set 3, Chrysotic Plague, but due to production changes unknown to me it was released in set 4, Anvilborn. This change was fine with me since it meant that the piece was eventually released. I know I say this a lot about my Dreamblade deigns, but this was one of my favorites and I was really looking forward to seeing it as a finished miniature. Even though this mini ended up being one of my favorites it didn't start out that way. It gave me lots of fits and starts and I was a little lost and overwhelmed with the art order. The Carrion Hulk (not it's original name mind you, but that is another issue all together) had the most complex description of any of the Dreamblade I ever produced. Faced with this challenge I took up my pencil and... choked... After several even worst false starts I turned this in as my first version of the Carrion Hulk:

I hold my head in shame. When I think back about this drawing I would get a twisting pain in my gut.

Looking at it fresh with a few years between me and it I can look at it a little more objectivity. Okay, it is not the worst drawing ever, but is lacking a lot. A LOT. Why am I showing this off? I must be mad. To help better demonstrate how I see the above drawing I have created a mental image simulation. So lets journey into my mind and look at the above drawing with all my art baggage hanging off it:

YIKES! I am a hack and need to give up art!

Much to my surprise I was not immediately fired from this job and in fact was given some very helpful feedback and direction. I put my thinking cap on and got to work on something better... which looking back at the first version would not have taken much. I actually was riding in a car on a road trip when I began the below drawing which ended up being the approved front view of the Carrion Hulk. I guess I needed a change of scenery to get my mind back in gear. So, after 8 hours of drawing I had the approved Carrion Hulk:

Carrion Hulk - © 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC
Okay... maybe I am slightly better then a hack.

The additional views were a piece of cake at this point and I quickly had a completed approved turnaround for the Carrion Hulk:

Carrion Hulk - © 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

To see the final production Carrion Hulk, click HERE. That is all for this week. I am knee deep in miniature turnarounds and loving every minute of it. Next week I should have some more armor, maybe a mini or two and some new work that some how slipped under the radio and came out the beginning of last month! Until then...

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

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hero System 6th Edition

Back in May and June I worked of some pieces for Hero Games on their 6th Edition release of their Hero System, an all encompassing RPG. I was able to work in some genres I generally don't work on which was fun to say the least. As far as I can tell the two core books for 6th Edition, which contain these pieces, was released in mid October. I haven't seen them in hand yet but I will assume all four pieces made it into the final product. I worked with art director Fred Hicks and had a lot of fun on them. I think the high point was the giant glowing radioactive mutant cockroach, but I think it is obvious when you look at the work. Enough of my yammering, here are the pieces...

© 2009 Hero Games

Post Apocalyptic
© 2009 Hero Games

© 2009 Hero Games

© 2009 Hero Games

You should never talk ill of your own work, especially in a portfolio presentation and an artist is always their own worst critic... needless to say these two items find themselves in conflict. I was really happy with how these turned out at the time and then I went to San Diego Comic Con and talked with folks like Todd Lockwood. We discussed how I could have made some of these better and things I need to make sure I am aware of when working on a piece. After that I wanted to crawl under a rock and burn my computer. I am not the first artist to be frustrated that by the time your work comes out that you have (at least in your mind) advanced in your abilities or how you approach your work. Please understand, I am not speaking ill of Hero Games, their products or the work I did for them, it is just that looking at them now I realize I could have done better for them. Oh well, live and learn, get better, repeat. I still like that giant mutant cockroach a lot. Until next time...

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