Monday, February 13, 2012

Having fun and trying to stay loose

Trying to stay loose.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Practice thumbs

This exercise helped me to develop my brushes a bit farther and find things that work better when trying to work fast.

I had to slow down a bit and stop doing 1 minute per thumb but I really enjoyed this exercise and will continue to do it.

There's also a trend in my compositional style that I'm trying to get over but I think it'll just take time.

Note: the thumbs are in reverse order since I used Photoshop's Contact sheet creator

In case blogger is being here to view a larger version

Monday, November 7, 2011

CTN-X, a crazy year, and new work art-dump

I'm going to CTN-X!

I'm looking forward to networking and hanging out with new friends and some artists that I've met in real life and a few that I've only talked to on Twitter. This year is looking up and I'm becoming more confident in my skills.

Here's some of the new work I've done this year that some of you have not had a chance to see (order is newest to oldest):

 This was a commissioned painting I did for the Web Comic Rune.

I haven't been blogging much this past year, and I won't make the typical apology for it. This year was one of the hardest years I've ever lived through. There were big wins, and big losses.

Times are really difficult for a lot of people, and every news outlet is filled with stories of depravity, suffering, heart-ache, hunger, and greed, so I won't subject you to my personal struggles this year.  I look back at some of the negativity I presented in some of my previous blog posts and some of them are embarrassing.

So instead of presenting you with the bad, I'm only going to tell you about the few big wins this year.

Starting at the end of December of last year, I started using the principals in this book, and I lost 35lbs of fat. I've plateaued, but now I'm back on Slowcarb diet and being more strict about my exercise regiment, and I'm looking forward to losing more.  

My wife and I literally moved to the country (Millions of Peaches! No, Really! There are peach trees out here HA HA!).  It means that I have to drive an hour to get to my web-job, but living in Phoenix for the past 10 years, I've already done this kind of commute for at least 7 years.
We now live in the most beautiful rental home in our neighborhood, we have a park across the street, and our area is very quiet. We love living out here, but my wife and I would trade it for the chance for me to work in the entertainment industry IN AN INSTANT. I know that sounds a little weird to some people, but I have a lot of plans for the future that would greatly be helped by getting my foot in the door.

I was accepted into the Paper Wings Apprenticeship program! I was one of the first 3 apprentices accepted into the program with Visual Development Artist Chris Oatley. I've been working with Chris for over a year to help build the Paper Wings program, site, and to help in the development of other sites while learning more about the craft of being an artist from Chris.

Half-way through this year, I was watching an animated film with my kids, and I couldn't help but look at the backgrounds. They were "melt your face off" good. I told my wife that night: "If they have background artists there THAT GOOD, then I want to work there along-side them".  About a month later an open position came up for a background painter on the same franchise. I was ecstatic. I applied for the job. I told a few people about it and one artist told me that I "wasn't good enough for it". About a month later I received an email from a recruiter at the company who wanted to know I was interested in a background painter position on a different franchise. A franchise OF MY DREAMS. This was the kind of gig that I dreamed about as a kid. If I were to go back in time and tell 8-year old Matt, that he'd have the chance to interview for this gig, he'd go berserk. Right away, I explained to the interviewers that I'd be willing to leave my family in Phoenix for a short time while living and working there. I had a phone interview, a skype interview, and a painting test. In the end it was between me and another artist and they chose the other artist. It was a great opportunity, and I really appreciated the chance to interview for the job. It was also validation that I AM good enough to work in the industry.

I couldn't help feeling a little down after not being selected for the gig, but I rallied and I came back painting/swinging.

I did  a freelance gig with an RPG company. I did quite a few paintings for them in a short amount of time and I'm looking forward to seeing my work in one of their products.

Well...That's it. I look forward to seeing some of you at CTN-X!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

composition study: Robin Hood 1

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Ridley Scott's films, and Robin Hood is no different. I especially love the compositions.

Almost every shot in the film is perfect in it's composition. Every single item, every single object, even people, have been placed with subtle care to push the composition.

This shot is one of my favorites from the film.

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

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Creating Worlds Podcast

Today I am officially launching the creating worlds podcast. You can now search for the podcast on itunes or click here.

This is an extension of the original idea I had when I started this blog. I want to share my process and my journey as an artist with you. The podcast is focused on matte painting, concept art/design, and visual development. I've already got two more episodes lined up and a few interviews that I'll be doing soon.

After many false starts, I have finally gotten this going. It's not perfect, but this is my first podcast and I'll refine it as I go.

As a kid I often fantasized about being a radio DJ, so this is kinda my chance to live that out.

Please check out the Creating Worlds Podcast website , feel free to comment and leave suggestions

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Using pencils in relative document sizes

I could apologize on and on for so many things in this video but I won't. This is an answer to some of your questions regarding using pencils in relative document sizes. Hope it helps!