I am thrilled to share another new piece from The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia (with another new piece tomorrow!). This illustration is for Book Three: In the Black. Summoning beings not meant for this level of reality is difficult at best and suicidal at worst. This piece focuses on the aftermath of a failed attempt to summon and capture a being of power that exists in a place very different than ours. Unfortunately, did the ritual not work, but the being only known as Sister now is loose in the Grand Bazaar. I present to you the Ill-Prepared Summoner.
13 x 17 - Pencil, ink, and acrylic paint on paper
Original - Available
© 2021 Christopher Burdett
This piece means a great deal to me. I first envisioned it over ten years ago after attending my first Illustration Master Class. While attending IMC, I had completed the first full-color concept image associated with the Grand Bazaar, Haggling. The world was already in my mind, and I began to imagine more and more possibilities for it. When I arrived home, I did a series of photoshoots with my wife playing the demon and me, the summoner. I worked out the composition and got the sketch ready for production. Here is the sketch of the Summoner from 2011.
I had the idea, I had the sketch, but after that, nothing happened. I didn't know how I wanted to finish this piece. While I was working digitally, I was already thinking about transitioning to traditional media. My schedule was very full as well, and in time this piece was shelved as I had more pressing assignments to focus on. Even though it was shelved, it never left my thoughts. I wanted very much to see this finished. Jump ahead nearly a decade, and that time had finally come. As I was finishing the first book of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia, I looked around at the ideas that didn't make it into the first book. I had a handful of pieces slated for production and knew it was time to dust off this one and queue it up. My concept for the Grand Bazaar had evolved over the past decade, which meant that I needed to update the sketch for the Summoner. There are no humans, so the summoner needed to change. I am not a fan of human gender queues being used on monsters and non-human beings, so Sister needed a little updating as well. Lastly, my esthetic and design for the Grand Bazaar has progressed, which meant that the level of detail and visual information needed to increase. With all that addressed, I had a new sketch from which to work.
© 2019 Christopher Burdett
With a newly updated sketch in hand, one more fitting the Grand Bazaar, it was time to get to work. I finished the linework and then completed a tonal study. A piece of this complexity needs to be worked out ahead of time, or I would likely get lost along the way. If that happened while rendering, it would be next to impossible to correct things. Here is the tonal study for the Ill-Prepared Summoner.
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.
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