Monday, September 25, 2023

Find Me Now on Blue Sky

While I am not a fan of adding one more thing into my life, the writting is on the wall regarding some of the major social media platforms as well as the state of things with AI. To that end, I am now of Blue Sky. It is still early days for me, but I am finding a lot of familiar faces in a fresh new place, so that is nice. If you are there, or planning on joining, please look me up and add me. I am not sure if this platform will be an echo of my other posts, or if I will be posting unique info, images, and stories there. We will just have to wait and see how this all plays out. 

Join me over on Blue Sky!

I have been tempted to join a number of new playforms over the years, but they have all come and gone before I ever set up an account. But this one seems to be sticking around and loads of people I know are on it. Maybe this one will stick - we shall see.

That is all for another Monday on the blog. I have some real world things to take care of this week, so I will likely not be posting again until next week. Until then...

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

Friday, September 22, 2023

Lizardfolk 2D Miniature

Today, I have another recently released 2D miniature based on one of my Dungeons & Dragons paintings. As with the others, this is a monster that already received a 3D mini, so now we have more minis, and that is a truly wonderful thing. This time around, it is the Lizardfolk that I designed and illustrated for Volo's Guide to Monsters. This piece means a lot to me personally, and if you want to read why, I will point you to another page on this blog. Here is how the final illustration for Lizardfolk turned out.

Dungeons & Dragons - Volo's Guide to Monsters
11 x 14 - Digital 
Art Director - Kate Irwin 
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC

If you want to seek out the set this miniature is in, here is an image of the packaging. The 2D Lizardfolk can be found in the Reptile Den set of the D&D Idols of the Realms line of miniatures.  

Reptile Den

The 2D minis are very high quality, and the printing is excellent. There are bases for all miniatures, which are arranged by size. Here is the 2D version of the Lizardfolk.

Lizardfolk 2D Miniature

I assume that the Lizardfolk 2D mini has been flipped horizontally from the 3D version, but it is hard to tell from its size. Here is the 3D mini for the Lizardfolk.

Lizardfolk Miniature 

 That's all for another exciting week 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:

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Gigant - Dungeons & Dragons - Process

Today, I am happy to share the process and steps for one of my contributions to the Dungeons & Dragons supplement, Bigby Presents: Glory of Giants. This is one of three(four) contributions to the book. Bigby Presents: Glory of Giants focuses on all things giants, and that includes things that eat giants and other giant things. Here is the final painting for the Gigant, a giant insect that eats giants.

Bigby Presents: Glory of Giants
11 x 14 - Digital
Art Director - Emi Tamji
© 2023 Wizards of the Coast LLC

I was asked to design and illustrate the Gigant, as it was a new monster for Dungeons & Dragons. It is hard to go wrong with a giant insect, so I jumped right in. The Gigant was described as:

This illustration depicts a GIGANT. The gigant is a colossal insectile creature 40-50 feet (12-15m) tall. Its carapace is shiny like a beetle and can have a variety of colors on its shell. The carapace is flexible enough for the gigant to appear upright like a mantis. The gigant has SIX limbs, each ending in three-toed talons. The gigant has a pair of long, jagged
mandibles like a Chilean stag beetle (see reference), and razor-sharp teeth.

The gigant has a MALE HILL GIANT in its grasp and is carrying it off to feed on it in its nest. Its wing carapace is open and its wings are unfurled and beating fast. The hill giant is in pure terror and panic as it can’t get out of the gigant’s grip, and it is high off the ground.

This all sounds like a fun monster to work on. The main hurdle, and the hurdle to most of the pieces I did for this book, was to squeeze one or more giant creatures, doing giant things, being giants, into a relatively thin and tall compositional space. At least with the Gigant, the wings could go beyond the dimensions of the assignment. Here are the thumbnails that I submitted.  

Gigant- Thumbnails
 © 2023 Wizards of the Coast LLC

These were well received, but they were not all the way to where they needed to be. The giant needed to be tweaked a bit, and there were a couple of small changes asked for the Gigant. Here is the updated thumbnail that I submitted.

Gigant- Revised thumbnail
 © 2023 Wizards of the Coast LLC

The updated thumbnail checked all the boxes and was approved without additional notes and revisions. I was now approved to take it to the next phase of the process. I always create a final traditional drawing for every project to work out the details and to give myself a tangible product from the assignment. Here is the Gigant drawing.

Bigby Presents: Glory of Giants
11 x 14 -Colored pencil on paper
Original - SOLD
Art Director - Emi Tamji
© 2023 Wizards of the Coast LLC

The drawing was approved without comment, and it was time to start on the final painting. Here is the painting of the Gigant taking shape.

Gigant - Process
 © 2023 Wizards of the Coast LLC

The painting process was straightforward, and there were no issues along the way. I was asked after I submitted the final painting to lighten the overall color of the wings and to show some of the back leg and abdomen through the blurred flapping. These were all changes that I could quickly make, so there is no longer a before and after version of the file. I made the changes and doing them left the final file in the final approved state. I might have a jpeg of the original versions in an email, but for all intents and purposes, that earlier version is gone, leaving only this final version. That seems like a lot of words to say they wanted changes, and I just made them without ensuring a version of the first draft survived. Here, again, is the final painting for the Gigant.

Bigby Presents: Glory of Giants
© 2023 Wizards of the Coast LLC

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:

Monday, September 18, 2023

Ophiomornous Portrait - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

I am thrilled to share another new piece from The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia. This illustration is for Book Two: The Completed Circle. This will be a character portrait accompanying one of the short blurbs at the beginning of a chapter. I shared more about these with the first post focused on these portraits. With most of these, I have an idea regarding their voice and placement in the book, but the fun part is that it is not set in stone and may turn into something very different from what I first planned. This time, we revisit a species first shared in book one, Merchants and Monsters. If you are familiar with the first book, then you should remember the Ophiomornous BureaucratI present you with a talkative Ophiomornous (name to come later).

The Grand Bazaar of Ethra Dalia - The Completed Circle
5 x 5 - Pencil, ink, and acrylic paint on paper
Original - SOLD
© 2023 Christopher Burdett

Ophiomornous - Drawing 
5 x 5 - Pencil on paper
© 2023 Christopher Burdett

These are the smallest pieces created for the books. There is something charming about a 5 x 5 image, and I have already framed them up. They look great in a frame and will make an excellent addition to my conventions this year (if you attended Gen Con, then you already may have seen these in person - the next stop will be IX in October). I have begun work on the next batch of these little monster portraits. Here is a look at the sketch for the Ophiomornous to show where it started. Once I have shared all of this first batch, you might notice some Easter eggs in the backgrounds.

Ophiomornous - Sketch 
 © 2023 Christopher Burdett   

That is all for another exciting Monday on the blog. See you back here soon! Until then...  

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

Friday, September 15, 2023

Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Case: Creatures - The Return of the Aarakocra

I have been keeping my eye on the Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Case: Creatures for a while. It was released last year and I had a hunch that I likely had at least one monster in there. Recently I was looking at some images online of the monsters that come in the set and a familiar face was staring back at me. My feathered friend, the Aarakocra, was confirmed in the set, so that meant I needed to get my hands on one to see what else might be in the set. Here as a reminder is the final painting that I did of the Aarakocra for the 5E D&D Monster Manual.

 Dungeons & Dragons - 5th Edition Monster Manual
8x11 - Digital
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

I am impressed with how the set turned out. It all comes in a nice outer box with an interior box that features a handle. It is well designed and full of monsters, something that interests me a great deal. Here are some photos of the various level of box strata.

After finally reaching the monsters and pouring over them all I soon realized that at the end of the day I only had the one monster in the set. But I am happy to see that the Aarakocra was included and representing my contribution to the game.

RAWR! I'm an Aarakocra!

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, September 13, 2023

"Recent" Magic the Gathering Artist Proof Drawings

Today, I have "recent" Magic the Gathering artist proofs that I added a drawing to their backs. All available artist proofs and drawing options can be found on my store. These are from July, so not too long ago. The reason for the delay in sharing them is that these went to Italy, and mail to Italy can take a while sometimes. My shipping platform has let me know the cards have arrived, so I am comfortable sharing them. I present a selection of drawings on the back of Magic the Gathering cards.

There were four cards purchased with a request for three of them. The forth was left up to my choice, which I appreacte. The first request was Chewbacca.

I was also asked to draw a Yoda, something I have done many times and I will likely do again.

The final request was for Rocket and Groot - if I could make them both fit.

And finally, my choice was do draw Bossk, because when given the chance I will always draw Bossk.

  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:

Monday, September 11, 2023

Into the Dragon's Maw - An Exploratory Trip to DragonCon

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend DragonCon this year while assisting Ralph Horsley at his booth. Ralph visited us before and after the show, and I drove us to DragonCon and back. It was an amazing visit and the perfect excuse to finally get to DragonCon and do some reconnaissance of the convention in general and the art show specifically. We live about 4.5-5 hours from Atlanta and drive much, MUCH further for other events, so it was well past time for me to finally check out this event and possibly add it to the yearly list of appearances. The long and the short of it is that I found DragonCon to be wild, crazy, too much at times, and welcoming. I get why people go, and it did look like a lot of fun. The art show felt like home. There were many familiar faces, and it felt homey. 

For those unfamiliar with DragonCon, the convention is most like 30 different conventions smashed into one, and it is spread out across multiple hotels and venues. The art show that I will be talking about is two levels down in the Hyatt hotel. A comic book artist alley, exhibitor artists, exhibitors, and more are spread across four levels of another building several blocks away. The art show in the Hyatt is more of a traditional art show, as seen at Gen Con or IX that I have attended. I did check out the other art show and exhibitor space a little, but it was all too much - too many artists, too many booths, too many people. I get why it is likely very profitable, but it was a lot and constant - and there can be issues if, say, like on Saturday of the con, the fire marshal randomly decides to shut the building down because there were too many people inside. Long story short, there weren't any attendees in the building for most of the time that there were 'too many people inside", and the vendors lost around four or more hours of sales. Not a fan of that! 

I will break down the show below with the photos, but it is an interesting space. It felt large for what it is. There are booths (8x10) and tables (which are just a 6-8 foot table), and at least all the booths come with additional pegboard wall space. I am not sure if the tables get them, too. There are walls of pegboard running the length of the majority of the show space with gaps to move through. Each artist gets a section to decorate and to use to display art, prints, merch, etc. I find this to be very interesting as it gives attendees the option to see samples of all the art in the show quickly and easily in one place without having any human interactions. Some artists had maps on their section of pegboard so that interested parties could find them in the show, as well as little containers holding business cards. Seeing these types of things ahead of being part of the show is worth the recon trip alone. I like to be prepared and ready for events I participate in. 

Overall, it felt like art home, and the crowds of attendees at the show were impressive. It did thin out on Monday, and sales seemed lower, but there were still people buying art. While I did see originals selling, it definitely felt more like a print show. Books seemed to do well, too. This will again allow me to better prepare whenever I decide to attend.

The interior spaces at the hotels were impressive. It was hard to not be looking up the entire time.

There were delights for the eyes everywhere. This droid talked, moved around, and had articulated antennae. It was astonishing.

There was a small exhibit from the Atlanta puppetry museum in the art show.

I knew there would be plenty of costumes, but I was not expecting fancy vehicles too!

Here is a look at a section of the pegboard before the show opened. The plans I already have for this space...

Looking down a row of tables. It appeared that some artists could get multiple tables if they so choose.
The booths are large and have a lot of space around them. Plenty of room to spread your arms if you need a little more space.

Here is Ralph and I in his booth. The booth is a cloth backdrop, two sidebars and cloths, and a table. You can purchase the grid backdrop and walls for a decent price, and electricity is very affordable. It appeared that the folks running the show were happy to work with artists to allow them to create the space they needed and wanted.

I knew Atlanta had a lot of good food options, but I was impressed by everything I ate. Even the banh mi from a little restaurant in the food court next to the Hyatt.

Another look at the pegboard walls with the art show open.

Here is a better look at some tables with booths along the wall.

More booths and tables. When facing the art show from the entrance, the booths are mainly along the walls, with the guest artists directly in front when you enter. Most of the space to the left when you enter is all booths. The pegboard runs through the majority of the middle. The tables are behind the pegboards. And the anime corner is to the far right.

A full panoramic look out of Ralph's booth.

We ventured out into the Marriott on Saturday night. It was crazy and too much. I was glad to have had a mask with me as I have not been around this many people in this small of a space in over three years. It was great to see, but I was glad we were only passing through.

Again, the interiors of these hotels are amazing.

But I think I enjoyed the views looking down the most. People we were with had access to a higher floor so we excaped the crowds and relaxed above it all. I could have stayed up there are just stared down all night.

Even 18 floors up there was so much still above us.

We did make it to one music event.

The Cybertronic Spree were amazing as always. It was a real treat to see them again. I was not expecting the fates to allow us the opportunity. After CS playes MC Lars came on. I didn't even know Lars was there or was playing. I had never seen him live before and that was a genuine treat.

We can't party like we used too, but it seemed like plenty could.

Everywhere I looked there was some incredible reference to take a photo of.
As I said above, Monday (the last day of the show and Labor Day) was the slowest of the four days, but as you can tell from these photos of the pegboards, but Monday people had sold a lot off the walls.

More photos of the booths with some of the guest artist at the top. Sales seemed to be good for a lot of artist, which is great to see and hear.

These are the droids I was looking for.

And we end where we began, looking up. Overall, I was very impressed with the art show and DragonCon. It looked like the city embraced the convention and worked hard to make it fun and entertaining. It is no longer the big scary show that was in my mind and it is something I will be looking into for next year. We will see if I get in and make it work with my schedule, but I am looking forward to it.

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: