Friday, June 30, 2017

Looking Back: Blind Envoy - Draemblade

Today I am looking back at another Dreamblade miniature design that I have never shared before here on the blog. We are coming to the end of those designs, only one or two more. Here is the design for the Blind Envoy which was part of the third expansion set to Dreamblade, Anvilborn, released back in 2007...

Blind Envoy
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper
© 2006 Wizards of the Coast LLC

This was a companion piece to another miniature released in same set. I worked on both and was asked to give them some similar attributes. The Zungar Envoy shares the big crazy staff with the eye at its top as well as the motif of the figure being blindfolded, or in this case, blind. Production asked for the figure to look quasi military with some eastern influences. Something that felt old but new as well. I very nearly nailed it on the first attempt. I still was drawing from me head a little too much on things I didn't need to, like the cape, and I was asked to reign it in and make it more realistic. Due to safety concerns I was asked to adjust the feather so it was less of a sharp point on the top if his head and finally the cracks at the base of the staff needed some attention. Here is a look at the version of the Bling Envoy...

Blind Envoy - Original
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper
© 2006 Wizards of the Coast LLC

With an approved front view I was given the go ahead to do the rest of the turnaround. Here is the entire design for the Blind Envoy miniature...

Blind Envoy Turnaround
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper (multiple sheets)
© 2006 Wizards of the Coast LLC

When I was originally working on these I often could not get my head around how these would turn out and if I was giving them what they needed. Now, having created so many miniature designs I have a really good understanding for the limitations and possibilities when it comes to designing something so small. It needs to instantly read from the table top and be unique and dynamic. Paint schemes help with this too and many of the Dreamblade miniatures had bold single color paint work with just a few accents... like the Blind Envoy. Here is how the production miniature turned out for this one... 

Blind Envoy Miniature

That's all for another exciting week on the blog, Tuesday is a holiday so it is a long weekend, 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:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Scribbling and Sketching

One of my worst bad habits as an artist is that I do not sketch and scribble enough. I do not work out my ideas and concepts on paper nearly enough as I should. Most of my concept work takes place in my head and at the time I am beginning to work on a new piece. I think and think and think about the idea before putting pencil to paper rather that searching for the idea on the page. My sketchbooks are empty but I have a lot of finished pieces. It has been this way my entire life. I never really enjoyed working on something that was not intended to be a finished piece of work.

As a child I had stacks of sketch pads that I toiled away in, kind of. I would begin working on a page and if the drawing did not go as I planned I would stop wherever I was at and turn to the next page. Even if I had just started drawing, making only a few marks, if I did not like it I abandoned it and went to the next page to begin again. There would be page after page of just one eye, or a hand, or the silhouette of a dragon head. I felt like that page was corrupted with a page drawing and needed to start again on a fresh sheet. So much wasted paper... So much wasted time looking for the perfect mark, the perfect line.

To this day I do not have the habit to doodle. If I sit down to draw it is to be a finished piece, a completed drawing. Not sure if I can do anything about this issue at this point, and I sometimes wonder if I should. It is not like I am not making work that I really enjoy and enjoy making. Not like I have lacked professional work opportunities. ...but as a artist I wonder if I am depriving myself of the opportunity to explore without limitations. Here is a recent scribble that was done to see if an upcoming monster might work out as envisioned. Still on the fence. Might go in a completely different direction...

Rare concept scribbles... that will most likely be abandoned.

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:

Monday, June 26, 2017

Amonkhet Artist Proofs NOW AVAILABLE!

Regular and foil artist proofs of my Amonkhet card are NOW AVAILABLE in my store! So if you are interested in the Festering Mummy or Foil Festering Mummy artist proofs, now is the time to act! All of my artist proofs come signed and numbered and the standard APs are limited to 50 and the foil versions are limited to 30. As always, there is an option to just buy the artist proof or to get a unique, one of a kind sketch on the back of the card. 

Don't forget...
All signed and numbered for your enjoyment!

Don't forget, I have prints available of the Festering Mummy! If the Festering Mummy is not your desired monster, I have prints of my Magic the Gathering cards available too! If you need to have bigger versions of my cards in your life, I have you covered.

Festering Mummy

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:

Friday, June 23, 2017

Looking Back: Illuminati Pyramid - Draemblade

Today I am looking back at another Dreamblade miniature design that I have never shared before here on the blog. More and more I am surprised just how many pieces from earlier in my career just never made it onto this blog. I will be doing my best to correct this. Anyway... Here is the design for the Illuminati Pyramid which was part of the second expansion set to Dreamblade, Chrysotic Plague, released back in 2007...

Illuminati Pyramid
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

To my memory, I think this piece was the most straight forward miniature that I had to design for Dreamblade. I got the assignment, did a single drawing, and I was done. I had other one and done concepts in Dreamblade, but this one required the least amount of effort on my part to make it happen. Here is the art order for the Illuminati Pyramid...
"Location. Instead of stone, the pyramid sides are composed of a mass of pale arms with bloody fingernails, and the eyes (one on each side) are bigger than shown in the standard depiction of this icon."
Production supplied a bunch of reference and the piece designed itself. I was actually a little concerned with how quickly and easily it went. It seemed to all work out in the end... since there were not changes and the piece was approved for full turnaround. Here is how the full turnaround for the Illuminati Pyramid turned out...

Illuminati Pyramid Turnaround
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper (multiple sheets)
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Not sure how much more I have to share about this one. It needed to be a pile of arms in the shape of a pyramid with large eyes on all four sides. Done and done. I did make an effort to give the eyes different emotions on the different side, because reasons. Here is how the production miniature turned out for the Illuminati Pyramid...

Illuminati Pyramid Miniature

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:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Kitchen Renovations - Trying to Make Art Next to Murder Room Construction

Over the past two months we have had our kitchen completely gutted and rebuilt. This included new plumbing and electric being added, ceilings scrapped and refinished (including the ceilings of most of the public spaces in the house), and of course all new cabinets, counters, appliances, and lighting (including new lighting in most of the public spaces in the house). It was a huge undertaking for us and was something we have saved up for a very long time. While the vast majority of the work was being done to kitchen the rest of the house was constantly being effected, including my ability to make art. I am now a bit behind schedule in the greater scheme of things, but the kitchen needed to be done and now that it is completed I can get back to work with some stability to the house. I have a bunch of images that document the ups and downs of the process. ENJOY...

When the murder room was in its most murder roominess.
But I am jumping ahead of things...

Here is the kitchen as it was.
The house was built in 1979 and most of the kitchen has remained as it was originally. Dear Wife did paint the cabinets after we moved in to breath a few more years of life into them.

Dig that 1979 Harvest Gold drop-in stove.
The bane of our existence. It is 2 inches smaller than the standard size stove, so if we ever wanted to replace it we had to change the cabinets and counters. The stove needed to go decades ago.

We had replaced the refrigerator and dishwasher a couple months ago as we worked up to the full renovation. There is a whole side store of how we were going to have Home Depot do the kitchen renovation but they did such a HORRIBLE job delivering and installing the two appliances that we ended up going with a local firm that our electrician suggested. The fact that the plumber that Home Depot sent out to install the dish washer started a fire in our brand new dish washer should tell you everything you need to know...

Demolition day!
It is amazing how quick tearing everything out is and how long it takes to put all the new stuff in.

Bare bones... for a while we had a working sink still in the kitchen, but that did not last long. Not surprising, the wiring and electrical set up from 1979 was in no way up to code now.

Things are taking shape.
Lots of holes in the walls for wires and pipes.
Lots of boxes with cabinets and shelves.

Dear Wife would like to murder all grout, so we now has a smooth seamless surface of Formica as a back-splash and wall covering. Clean up is now super easy and everything is turquoise.

It is getting there... slowly.
Still no plumbing in kitchen, but we have counter tops.
A bit of electrical still to do.

I have had a stove in my studio area for over a month at this point.
At least all the boxes full of cabinet parts are gone.

Home stretch!
Plumbing is done. Electrical is done.
Just waiting on the person to install the stove...
Turns out the first guy they sent out did not pull the stove in all the way so it was not working correctly, so they sent out a second guy and he tried everything to get it to work before checking the plug.

Finally all done! Pictures really do not do it justice.
It feels so much bigger and there is so much more room and storage space.

The microwave is now above the stove and almost everything is now off the counter tops. There is now new crown molding that runs throughout the entire room and really finishes it off nicely.

The cabinet footprint is a lot larger now and there is a lot more storage while still feeling like there is more room to stand in the kitchen itself. The addition of a TON of new lighting really helps. Most of the lights are on dimmers too, so there are a lot of options for unique lighting experiences.

Last, but not least, is a good ole before and after image of the kitchen.
That's all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here one Friday! Until then...

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

Monday, June 19, 2017

Gullet - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

I have a new piece from my series of toned paper monsters! Today's monster is the Gullet. The streets and avenues of the Bazaar do not clean themselves. Try not to trip over the small army of ever cleaning Gullets as they crawl around, gobbling up litter and debris. You better not drop anything important because a passing Gullet just might scoop it up.

11 x 14 - Pencil on paper 
Currently Available Grand Bazaar Originals
© 2017 Christopher Burdett

Gullet - Drawing
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper 
© 2017 Christopher Burdett
Here are all the other completed monsters for 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 Riflemen, Nimsbane Curse Victim, Ophiomornous Bureaucrat, Petrous Blacksmith, Quincaillerie, Saint Marque, Smokestack, Thrice, Uncanny Scribe, Virulent Artificer, Xandrell Tree, Yote Arms Dealer, and Zombic Spore.
As a bonus, I have some images of the line work and rendering process of this piece so that you can get a better idea of it taking shape... 

Gullet - Process © 2017 Christopher Burdett

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:

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Finding Your Family - Father's Day Reflections

While I talk about a lot of things here on the blog, there is a lot I do not talk about. This blog's scope has always been my career as an artist and the journey that comes with it. Aspects of my personal life that fall outside of making art generally do not find their way here, but sometime you realize things are all interconnected. I would not be where I am today without my family, the family that I was born into and the family that I have joined.

I have not had contact with my biological father in over 20 years. This was my choice and a discussion for another day and most likely one to never happen on this blog. Father's Day has always been a bittersweet holidays for me. I stay quiet on Father's Day and let others post their photos and reflect on their fathers. I feel that I should remain quiet since the good memories of my father seem so far away now. This is of course really silly, because there is a man in my life that I look to as a father. A man that has done so much for myself and Dear Wife. A man I owe a great deal to because his help assisted us to build the life that we have today.

Donald Nute in St. Augustine, Fl
November 2016

Through the twists and turns of life I find myself knowing Donald Nute. He is my father-in-law and has been (and continues to be) a part of my life for over 16 years. His deeds and accomplishments are many and chief among these (for me) is the raising of his amazing daughter that I now share my life with. He was the head of the AI department and Philosophy at UGA, has authored books, traveled the world, is a fan of Tolkien and dinosaurs, and plays a mean game of Dreamblade. He stepped in and planned our wedding after we just wanted something simple. He had bigger plans for his daughter and her wedding. He even stepped in and helped us drive all of our belongings from Florida to California three days after the wedding when we made the move so that I could work in the film industry. In a way you can say my father-in-law went on our honeymoon! Most of my world travels were planned and coordinated by him. He pointed the way to adventure and I was more than eager to follow. We will be all going on a new adventure in a few months and I can not wait. He has been there for me to give advice and reflect on his experiences countless times. You know, the kind of thing a father should do.

Lake Town and Shire Garden Railroad
October, 2012

There is also the garden railroad that is set it Middle Earth and travels through the Shire, Lake Town,  and beyond. If you are going to build a garden railroad, you GOTTA make it unique. Dear Wife's parents have put a ton of work and time into building this and photos do not do it justice. It has been a while since I have contributed, but I made some of the facades for the Hobbit Holes and some early figures. There are open house sessions if you would like to visit the railroad and see it in action! You can get all dates and some additional information over of his website.

Lake Town and Shire Garden Railroad
October, 2012

Speaking of Dreamblade, he and I played a TON of Dreamblade when the game was released and even after it was discontinued. He made both of us big playmats to improve the play experience, which is super awesome. We would play in person and over the phone. He even made a program that would randomly generate sealed packs of Dreamblade miniatures so we could play randomized games and switch up game play. Free time and schedules have changed over the years and we don't play anymore, but I sure do miss our games.

Custom made Dreamblade playmat
by Donald Nute

I do not want this to sound like a memorial because Donald is very much still here, but I wanted to reflect on the man, on Father's Day, and share some thoughts and reflections regarding his involvement in my life and his contributions to the world. Sometimes we are lucky enough to find people in our lives that fill a needed void left by others, and I am so thankful to be so lucky.

Donald Nute, Dear Wife, some idiot, and Jane Nute
Puerto Rico, January 2016

Let us not forget that Jane Nute, my Mother-in-Law, has been there at his side and has contributed equally. While this conversation was directed at Donald and my reflections, it would be impossible to address any of this without acknowledging Jane as well.

That's all for another exciting Sunday 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:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

STILL No Time for Blogging, Dr. Jones!

Things continue to be crazy busy. I still have no time left to even think about the blog, but yet here I am again. I have for you some teaser images for the reference I am using for the current drawing. What could it all mean? Hopefully you will all find out soon!

Reference teaser for my next drawing

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here next time! Until then...

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