Monday, July 24, 2017

Ophiomornous Bureaucrat - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

I have for you a new piece from The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia! Today's monster is the wily Ophiomornous Bureaucrat. When you are grossly wealthy from your wheeling and dealing in the governing networks of the Grand Bazaar you no longer need to worry about wasting effort on moving yourself around. Equipped with the the finest assistance platform from the Construct Guild the Ophiomornous Bureaucrat is ready to quote subclauses and bylaws regarding zoning and construction requirements all day long. Be sure you have your scrolls and paperwork filled out in triplicate when you are dealing with the Ophiomornous Bureaucrat...

Ophiomornous Bureaucrat
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Original - Currently not available 
© 2017 Christopher Burdett

Ophiomornous Bureaucrat - Drawing
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
© 2017 Christopher Burdett

The Ophiomornous Bureaucrat was originally going to look a little different. I had worked up a concept, printed it out, and had begun working on the final drawing when I realized it just was not working. I did not feel the design had been pushed far enough. I felt there were still some issues in the assistance platform that were not working. This is my world and I get to make the rules and my original design for the Ophiomornous Bureaucrat was not cutting it. I destroyed the drawing that I had begun, reworked the design, and was instantly happy that I made the change. Here is the original concept for the Ophiomornous Bureaucrat...

Original concept for the Ophiomornous Bureaucrat
11 x 14 - Digital
© 2017 Christopher Burdett

Here are all the other completed monster 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, Myopic Riflemen, Nimsbane Curse Victim, Ophiomornous Bureaucrat, Petrous Blacksmith, Saint Marque, Smokestack, Thrice, Virulent Artificer, Xandrell Tree, and Zombic Spore.
 
As an added bonus I have for you some images of the line work and rendering process of this piece so that you can get a better idea of it taking shape...


Ophiomornous Bureaucrat - 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: www.christopherburdett.com

Friday, July 21, 2017

Looking Back: Hiveling Overlord - Draemblade

All good things come to an end. Today I am looking back at the final Dreamblade miniature design that I have never shared before here on the blog. I worked on Dreamblade from June of 2005 till January of 2007 and it was an amazing crash course in designing, drawings, and working in the game industry. Ten years later I have finally shared all of the work that I created for the game. Not sure why it took so long, but it did and it is weird that it is now over. Here is the design for the Hiveling Overlord which was part of the second expansion set to Dreamblade, Chrysotic Plague, released back in 2007...

Hiveling Overlord
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

The Hiveling Overlord, which was originally called the Spider King, was a really weird one to work on and definitely was a challenge for me at the time. Thankfully I was getting smarter about designing and evaluating my own work. Here is the description that I was given when designing the Hiveling Overlord...
"A burn victim "sits" with arms folded, looking forward, a slender sword clutched to his breast. His legs end at the thigh in ragged (but bloodless) stumps. However, growing from the king's shoulders are a set of spider-like legs, that provide all the support and mobility required. The king wears a crown that seem to be spider legs growing from his brow."
Like I said, this is a weird one. I got to work on the the design, but from the beginning I was just not feeling it. I felt restricted by the margins of my paper. I was not feeling the overall design and form. I was spinning my wheels even though I ended up with a finished drawing. I looked at it... looked some more... and came to realization that it was not working and that I needed to start over. I made a quick scan of the drawing for the achieves, but it went no further. Here is my abandoned first concept for the Hiveling Overlord...

Hiveling Overlord - Abandoned first design
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper
© 2006 Wizards of the Coast LLC

I immediately got out larger paper and began working up something that was bigger and had more space to live. I addressed everything that bothered me about my first design and pushed it all further. I was instantly happier with what I was creating and I knew that I made the right decision to start over. A lesson that is hard to learn and sometime harder to live by. Here is the version of the Hiveling Overlord that I turned in for review...

Hiveling Overlord - Original
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
© 2006 Wizards of the Coast LLC

As you can see the version I turned in and the final version are a little different. I was asked to revisit the hilt of the sword to make molding and casting easier and some 'ground' needed to be added so the miniature would stand on the base better. Other that that the design was accepted as is and I was given the go ahead to move forward on the rest of the views. Here is the full turnaround for the Hiveling Overlord...

Hiveling Overlord Turnaround
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper (multiple sheets)
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Not sure if this miniature ever made a big space on the game scene. For me it always felt it was under the radar both game wise and design wise. Never caught anyone's attention. I sometimes forget this one is mine. Not sure why, but that is how I have felt regarding this miniature. Who knows, maybe there are a ton of people there that totally loved this one. Here is how the production miniature turned out for the Hiveling Overlord...

Hiveling Overlord

And just like that, my posts regarding Dreamblade come to an end. Maybe sometime new will surface in the future, maybe a long lost secret will emerge, or maybe I will find myself revisiting one of the these old designs to see how I would design it years later. You never know... but for now, I say goodbye to Dreamblade, you were an amazing project to work on, if only you had survived a little longer...

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: www.christopherburdett.com

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Marketplace - Process - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

Today I am sharing the process and steps that went into my Marketplace painting that I created last year. This painting is part of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia project and helped with creating the (Irritated) Girasol as well as a little bit of world building on my end. This piece very much lead into many of my ideas finally coming together regarding the Grand Bazaar and helped kick off my major push to focus almost completely on this project. To start things off, here is how the final painting of Marketplace turned out...

Marketplace
11 x 14 - Acrylic on board 
Original - Currently not available 
© 2016 Christopher Burdett

Even with my own work there is always a digital thumbnail(s) to start things off. I shot my reference as needed and work out my ideas digitally till everything is working and I have enough to move forward into my final drawing. When it is a personal piece I am only ever working on one thumbnail since I am responding directly to what I am working on and do not need to show an art director multiple ideas and concepts. I very much went into this piece with an intended plan and idea. I wanted the shadow to fall over the face of the Girasol with her eyes glowing in the darkness. She would be surrounded by her items for sale and I hoped the piece would be a quiet moment as the
Girasol waited for customers. I did consider some legs of customers to be in the extreme foreground, but in the end did not go with it since detracted and complicated the piece unnecessarily. Here is my thumbnail for Marketplace...

Marketplace - Thumbnail
11 x 14 - Digital
© 2016 Christopher Burdett

All in all it was a straight forward concept. I knew how my wife needed to pose for the image and I think it all came together in the thumbnail. With everything working it was time to work out all the details and flesh out the piece as a finalized drawing...

Marketplace - Drawing
14 x 17 - Acrylic on board 
Original - Currently not available 
© 2016 Christopher Burdett

With the drawing completed it was time to get to work on the painting, which turned out to be the most difficult part of the piece. Actually, the most difficult part was the early stage - the ugly stage - of the painting. It was just not coming together and the entire piece was just not working. I thought I had it all worked out, but pieces were not falling into place. I spun my wheels with the background and color choices for way too long. I work back to front, and I was bogged down in the back with no clear way to work up to the front. I finally began to make progress when I switched gears, really focused on my reference and started fresh with the foreground elements of the bowls and baskets. That was the eureka moment and the entire painting began come together for me. I focused on something I could look at a relate to and the rest of the painting then responded to those initial referenced pieces. I changed some elements along the way and made sure everything was working better together. You should be able to see the struggle in the process images and how things began to change once I started working on the foreground elements...

Marketplace - Process progression

Once that fruit bowl took shape painting really came together. I never expected that I would have so much fun painting those bowls, but I did. Here is an animated progression of the painting so that you can get a better look at the evolution of the piece...

Marketplace - Animated process

As mentioned before, this was the first appearance of the (Irritated) Girasol. I would revisit her again when I created the official drawing that would be used for the entry of the Irritated Girasol in the book. Here is final drawing for the Irritated Girasol...

Irritated Girasol
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Original - Currently not available 
© 2017 Christopher Burdett

Finally, another look at the final painting for Marketplace to see how it compares to the Irritated Girasol. Keep in mind these are not the same Girasol. The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia will share more about the Girasol people and why they are irritated. More on this in the coming months!

Marketplace
11 x 14 - Acrylic on board 
Original - Currently not available 
© 2016 Christopher Burdett

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: www.christopherburdett.com

Monday, July 17, 2017

Judicator - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

I have for you a new piece from The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia! Today's monster is the meat mountain that is the Judicator. Made by the Woven Shaper in the early days of the Grand Bazaar, the Judicator is part of the justice system. The massive body will shake the guilty or innocent head basket once it has made its ruling on a case. Those that find themselves in the court of the Judicator wish they had obeyed the law...

Judicator
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Original - Currently not available 
© 2017 Christopher Burdett

Judicator - Drawing
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper 
© 2017 Christopher Burdett

The first 21 monsters from 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, Kiplorbic Animal Dealer, Myopic Riflemen, Nimsbane Curse Victim, Petrous Blacksmith, Saint Marque, Smokestack, Thrice, Virulent Artificer, Xandrell Tree, and Zombic Spore.
 
As an added bonus I have for you some images of the line work and rendering process of this piece so that you can get a better idea of it taking shape...


Judicator - 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: www.christopherburdett.com