Thursday, September 16, 2010

What routines/habits/insite would you recommend to new artists wanting to develop into matte painters. Thanks!

Sorry I didn't answer your question sooner. For some reason formspring didn't email me that you had sent a question.

Travel as much as you can. Seriously. Then take a camera with you and CONSTANTLY take photos of the things around you. Concept artists, illustrators, visual development artists, they all have to use reference to create something lifelike, but matte painters have to create something that looks entirely (well...sometimes almost entirely) photo real.

Paint plein air, either digitally or in another medium to observe the world around you.

Matte painters are known for working on really large paintings, but there's a lot of concept art and traditional skill that goes into matte painting that people don't realize.

Work on speed paintings, thumbnails, develop an eye for lighting and value. Dylan Cole once said "...color and composition. These are the two things that are most important to a matte painter. Detail is just time.” A solid composition in thumbnail will work in a larger painting.

Don't put too much focus on what I call "photoshop-monkeying". Using photos without any focus on perspective and composition. Become a better painter in general and it will make you a better matte painter.

A lot of focus is put on painting, but many of the skills we require as matte painters come from the mechanics of drawing. Being able to see mechanically with our eyes. The better you learn how to draw, to represent the world around you, the better your paintings will be.

Ask me anything