Coffee

This piece and the previous one have really been an experiment in how to add painterly touches to my digital work. You might ask be asking yourself, “Well if he wants to make his work look painted then why doesn’t he just use real paint?” The simple answer is time.

I almost always start a piece with series of pencil sketches to create the bare bones of the idea I want to develop. From there I’ll go in to photoshop and refine the sketch over and over until I have a design that I think works. I terms of the image above I literally had the barista pouring milk into the coffee cup without the heart shape. This next part is why I tend to not to work traditionally.

If I was to have painted everything traditionally up to this point there would be very little room to change what I had made. I’m one of those people that struggles to do loads and loads of rough drawings (because I’m impatient and I want to make a start on my idea right away) and because of this inability to plan ahead, I would have had to start all over again in order to incorporate any new ideas I might have that may have showed up in the roughs (were I to do them… which I don’t).

The beauty of working digitally (at least for me) is that I can continue to iterate, redo, rework, and change canvas size without having to scrap pages or scrape oil paints off. In working this way I save myself an immense amount of time and materials. The added bonus to this is that I don’t have to get messy, clean brushes, palettes etc…

Don’t get me wrong, I love traditionally painted work and the mastery required to use it. I often play with the idea of using it more often as a part of my practice, and I don’t doubt for a moment that my work would be worth significantly more were I to paint in this way. However the pros of working digitally far outweigh the cons in my opinion, but that is after all, just MY opinion.

Cheers

Matt

Tour De France

This is more of a prep piece than anything because I’ve got a commission on for a Tour de France poster. I wanted to experiment with giving the work a more traditionally painted look by adding texture and inconsistencies in the application of lines and paint. If I’m honest I’m really happy with how this turned out. The narrow use of colour is always something I try to stick to these days because it makes the composition more harmonious. The bold colours and and limited value (tone) range are also a focus now and tend to be indicative of my current style. The typography is my own making, but is heavily based around the Art Deco aesthetic.

Cheers

Matt

Just Run

Feels like it’s been a while since I last posted! Sorry about that… I’ve got lots of work on at the moment, which might take me a couple of weeks to clear, but it’s a good problem to have. Most of these pieces of work are private commissions, but a couple are editorial illustrations for publications, so hopefully this is the start of something good (fingers crossed).

I’m not sure where the inspiration image above came from, but I went for a run earlier so maybe that did it. The landscape is meant to reflect Chino Hills in California at dusk.

Cheers

Matt

Bloody Dingoes

A man goes to a pub for a drink and spies on the counter a glass jar filled with $50 notes.
“Bartender, what’s this then”, the man asks pointing to the jar.
“Oh, that’s for the local dare we got set up, put in $50, you do three tasks and you get the whole jar. First you have to knock out the bouncer at the Pink Panther club down the road, big mean Maori bloke. Next we got this wild dingo out back, angry bugger, got to pull out one of its teeth bare handed. Finally up stairs me Nan needs a good seeing to, she’s 98 but she’s up for it!”, the bartender replies.

The man downs his pint, puts the money in the jar, nods his head, and leaves.

20 minutes later the bartender gets a call from his mate at the Pink Panther club saying some crazy bastard knocked out his bouncer with an uppercut.
The door then slams open and the man walks in with a triumphant grin.
“Alright, where’s this dingo?!”
“The dogs out back tied up. Careful though it’s pretty dangerous” says the bartender while opening the back door and showing him the way.
When the bartender returns the pub is quiet and every patron is listening for the chaos that’s about ensue.

Outside they hear squeals, screams, and the sounds of tearing clothes and flesh.
A little while passes and it goes quite, until the back door slams open and there stands the man, panting and tired with bite marks and blood all over him.
“Jesus Christ mate”, gasps the worried bartender, “no one’s ever gone this far before”.
The man stares the bartender down.
“I don’t want to talk about it, just show me where your bloody grandma is so I can pull out her damned tooth”.

Not Quite My Tempo

This was such a frustrating piece to complete! I went back and forth for ages as to whether I should make the composition landscape, but eventually settled on portrait because all the others are same and it would break up the series. The background characters were the main issue because I just couldn’t find a way to fit them around the main character, so I had to get inventive in order to make them visible. I think perhaps because I feel like I have to make a series of these – and they have to be good – I’m thinking too much and over doing it, which is why this one felt more forced than the other two. The name of the piece has been taken from the film “Whiplash”, and again if you haven’t seen it then go sort yourself out!

Cheers

Matt

Slap-da-Bass!

I didn’t technically say I was going to do another one of these but it was heavily implied, so here it is. I’ve got two more I’d like to get around to doing as part of this series, that being a drummer and a singer, but don’t hold me to that! This character took quite a few roughs to get the look I wanted, which is made all the more difficult because I’m trying to use as few brush strokes/pencil lines as possible (a bit like some of Picasso’s work). Those of you that have watched the film “I Love You, Man” will know that’s where the title for the piece has come from, for those of you that haven’t watched the film… what the hell is wrong with you?! It’s a classic! Go watch it! Slap-da-bass, man!

Cheers

Matt

All Leeds Aren’t We

This took an age to get right. I went back and forth on the design, layout, style and colour countless times and ultimately it was the introduction of the text that forced the final design. The text set me a constraint that I had to work around, quite literally in this case, and it was a job in itself arranging the players (and manager) appropriately. The text also helps to break up and distinguish between players as the colours could quite easily blend into one another without this. There’s not a lot else to say about this one, except maybe Leeds, Leeds, Leeds!

Cheers

Matt