View Full Version : Spectacular 2D Entry: Matt Dixon

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09 September 2005, 08:28 AM
Matt Dixon is entered in the "Spectacular Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: The Old Man of the Woods (

09 September 2005, 08:31 AM
oooOoooH... i 'spose you want a Boxx to go with your Cintiq, eh Matt?

Good luck, you tinker!

09 September 2005, 08:32 AM
Woohoo! Matt! MATT! MATT!!

09 September 2005, 08:32 AM
hie matt~good to have u in the challenge,good luck and lets rock the contest!:scream:

09 September 2005, 08:37 AM
Watching you're steps ;)

09 September 2005, 12:49 PM (

Just a quick lunchtime doodle to get the ideas flowing.

09 September 2005, 12:51 PM
alright! looks good ,there we go!


09 September 2005, 12:51 PM
ooOoOoh... How very un-Matt Dixon!!

Very intriguing....

09 September 2005, 12:52 PM
ooOoOoh... How very un-Matt Dixon!!

Very intriguing....
Indeed.... how I reciprocate! Very persipicacious of you Mr Doodell. Joyous!

09 September 2005, 01:00 PM
wow nice job! good luck :)

09 September 2005, 01:02 PM
wow nice job! good luck :)
Says it all. :)

09 September 2005, 01:02 PM
Nice to see you around, man! Nice sketch andgood luck!!!:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 01:12 PM
Good Start

09 September 2005, 01:23 PM
WWWOOOOAAAAWWW!! here he comeback again!!:scream: misterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr maaaaaaaaat diiiiixon!!! :)

good start with this concept! i like it! :thumbsup: Good luck .come back soon see your evolution.

09 September 2005, 01:47 PM
Nice to see you in, your entry was my favourite in the last challenge. This scribble looks very promising. Waiting for more!

09 September 2005, 02:48 PM
good evening fine sir, looking good matt, will be sure to check in here

09 September 2005, 02:56 PM
Hello Mr Dixon!!!Looks great your start!!!
Good Luck and loads of fun!!!

09 September 2005, 03:08 PM
I missed the progress of your MS Challenge entry (wish I hadn't, cause it was terrific), and I promised myself that I'd watch your next Challenge from the beginning.
Really great start so far (although quick doodle, my butt :D ).

Good luck. :)

09 September 2005, 03:26 PM
Whia! that is neat. I wish that I could sketch like that.

09 September 2005, 03:29 PM
Super cool already. I loved your piece in the last challenge Matt. You've got some very inspiring work. I am sure you will get something this time as well.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I'll be watching yours in particular during the whole challenge.

09 September 2005, 03:50 PM
Yes, looks whos here, one of my favorite artists, welcome Matt, you are going get challenged, I am going to have to handycap you make you draw with your other hand mwahahahaha:twisted: good luck Matt!

09 September 2005, 03:58 PM
It'd already a sucper cool painting :) Amazing perspective, kudos to you!


09 September 2005, 03:59 PM
now that enayla's a judge yr one of the remaining top contenders we need to take a tyre iron to if we want any chance of a prize!!
ha just kidding. Looks really cool already.
You get to compostional success so quickly "oh just a quick lunchtime doodle in my spare time!!" haha
anyway. nice stuff, fan of your work already. good luck for this challenge, though i know you wont need it :)

09 September 2005, 04:27 PM
da-da-da-Dixon! Legend . . can't wait to see what you come up with this time.

09 September 2005, 04:35 PM
Now this is going to be truly spectacular. I know it. Good luck Matt :D

09 September 2005, 08:48 PM (

Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone. Here's another idea, which I've already abandoned but included for completeness. This is a tricky challenge.

09 September 2005, 08:52 PM
Dang, you are fast Matt. This is so nice. Cool lighting and definitely an epic feel :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 08:59 PM
Ah, best of luck to you again Mr Dixon, as a master of epic, I have no doubts your final piece will live up to the challenge title. And I'd give my left arm to be able to scribble like you do.

Definitely feeling the first concept more, but as you've already stated you're not following the second through, it's kind of redundant.

09 September 2005, 09:29 PM
hell yeah that is dope, I am waiting to see what you are going to do next, holla!:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 09:33 PM
That is excellent. Superb!

09 September 2005, 10:48 PM (

A generic fantasy concept, to follow two generic sci-fi ideas. I've always wanted to paint a huge battle scene, and it'd be interesting to tackle something in landscape aspect for a change, so I might play around with this one a little bit. It still feels desperately unoriginal, though - maybe I'm approaching 'spectacular' from the wrong angle?

09 September 2005, 11:22 PM
Oh! looks like a shot from a movie, unoriginal!? no way, got loads of potencial to me.
Great skills, your ability to draw is making me nervous!:eek:

09 September 2005, 11:24 PM
oh yes that is hot, that is amazing. I can't wait to see how well you pull this off!:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 11:31 PM
Nothing but great! Really cool concept.. About being original, of course these big battles have been repeated through the past years of movies like LOTR, Alexander and so on... Its still a very broad theme, so there is plenty of room to make it your own.. :) Im sure it will be spectacular!

09 September 2005, 11:31 PM
You make me wanna make grayscal painting for the rest of my life and into the next life. Then reality hits me................
I suck. Lol.
Keep it up.:wise:

09 September 2005, 11:39 PM
Nice scribbles mister Dixon!
Keep scribbling, some of these days you'll discover what's spectacular. No doubt. Success garanteed :)

09 September 2005, 01:46 AM
Hey Matt! The last sketch is awesome man! It's a spectacular scene to see for sure! Keep going!

09 September 2005, 01:49 AM
Wow! Nice start Matt, best of luck can't wait to see where you go with this.

09 September 2005, 05:32 AM
Hey Matt!

Nah, this has a lot of potential of being spectacular! If you run with this one, here's a few comments. I really like the silhouettes you're establishing on the right. I want to learn the story of the warrior on the horse with the sword outstretched. So that's very intriguing. Just a few questions you could think about. Are these guys going into battle or retreating from it....are we focusing on the city we've just reaked havoc to, the city the dragons are tearing up, or the city we're fighting for, or the warriors we're watching survive as they retreat from the city? It could go in a lot of directions...and pulling out a strong figure like that on the right I think is great. Also, there seems to be a lot of empty space on the top of the image...but lighting and color can bring us back down into things...but just letting you know it feels empty up there.

It's a very fun sketch, and congrats for even generating a sketch you might feel is cliche or unoriginal. So often, what could develop into something great and original can not even be realized because of the fear of being unoriginal. Great job, and keep it up!

09 September 2005, 05:36 AM
Really great value sketches you are crankin' out here Matt. I am definitely subscribing. :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 05:48 AM
Atmospheria - Hi, Emrah. Thanks for dropping by. I'm looking forward to seeing your piece develop - it's looking really strong!

Tonsen - Food for thought, much appreciated.

Thanks, everyone. I don't have time to reply individually, but I really appreciate the encouragement! :)

09 September 2005, 07:34 AM
Hey Matt,

Good to see you here, I just entered the contest myself.. since ive never participated in a challenge.. between this and tdome round 2 and work.. im wearing myself out lol but hey.. its damn fun =D lol

your 3 sketches all look great, not sure which would be the most "spectacular or "original" but I think that you'll figure it out in the end since you seem to want to go the "epic" route and try for a landscape/environment piece which I would love to see from you. Two words..or rather "three" to keep in mind.. dynamic, depth, action. I think I usually see character art from you but I know you'll bust out something beautiful in the end ;)

09 September 2005, 08:05 AM
Your sketch are going well, MAtt. Nothing to crit on drawing of course...
On subject, I thought the 1st sketch was a little to classic to be spectacular. The 2nd one is the more spectacular I think. The last one (3rd) is really great in term of composition and "strenght of the event". MAybe it had to have more closer character or action to make it more impressive.

Great work asual.:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 08:10 AM
Great battle scene wonderful action :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 08:11 AM
Mr. Dixon, fancy meeting you here (evil glare).

Your ideas are great, cool sketches. I'm partial to some of the sci fi stuff, but your epic battle is cool too. Can't wait to see more.

09 September 2005, 08:20 AM
Hey Matt, great sketch, but spectacular is not only about the large scale. Think again!!!:)

09 September 2005, 08:52 AM
Hi Matt,

Great concepts. :) As I see it there are two static parts, the lineup of the army versus the city, so maybe a dynamic activiy/happening that involves both elements would turn this piece spectacular and turn it different from other fantasy battle settings. :thumbsup:


09 September 2005, 10:01 AM
Hi Matt,

the last sketch looks very promising. Maybe a well known topic but you can give it an individual touch by the design of the buildings and the army in the foreground. I also liked the second sketch. the vertical composition with the diagonal horizonline and the interesting environment could be a very good foundation for a spectacular image.



09 September 2005, 12:22 PM (

A little more noodling with the battle scene. I think the extra time has confirmed that this isn't the kind of concept I'm after. Hmm...

09 September 2005, 12:33 PM
You might be right > this topic is linked to much of LoTR. But never the less another cool sketch.


09 September 2005, 12:42 PM
I know you're only working stuff out Matt, but this is top! The White Tower, yeah! But lovely stuff!! :)

09 September 2005, 12:50 PM
wow..excellent sketch.I feel great battle near here.:D :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 01:47 PM
lika a lot those shades of gray...nice compo...superb atmosphere...

09 September 2005, 01:58 PM
There is nothing wrong with LotR! :D well maybe there is :) Anyway, cool pic and nicely atmosperic stuff also...I'm a sucker for open enviroments :> It's a shame that we need to make character based image :) (At least I think there needs to be a human(-iod) involved? I trust in Hear-say cause I'm too lazy to read the rules :D Well maybe tonight I will read them.

can't wait to see what is your winning concept ;)

09 September 2005, 02:03 PM
The last one looks great to me

09 September 2005, 02:10 PM
i agree with the others, it is a bit lotr but a really great and emotional sketch. keep the mood and get another environment which feels more proper to you.

hope to see lots of great sketches and a stunning final image :)

09 September 2005, 02:13 PM
Great sketches - really like all the compositions!

09 September 2005, 02:57 PM
Hmm, I'm not sure war is all that spectacular. The painting itself might become spectacular if executed well (and you certainly got the tallent), but IMO not the thing it portrays. I really hope you decide to go with some other idea. Good luck, Matt! :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 03:23 PM
Thanks for the input, chums. It's really helping me to focus my ideas.

I really didn't notice the similarity with the Battle of the Pelennor Fields until I sat back and looked at the sketch. Dumb, eh? I'm no fan of the recent movies, though enjoy the LotR books very much, but either way I don't want to create a pic that has such a close connection with any existing imagery so I feel as if I can leave this concept behind quite happily.

Generally, I think I'm in agreement with Plagiarism that war and conflict aren't all that 'spectacular' so I'm going to see if I can't come up with something a little different.

09 September 2005, 03:37 PM
Good luck! Not that you need it :D

09 September 2005, 04:27 PM
Ok I might as well give up now...:D heehee just kidding. I jsut love you concept work, truly beautiful! I am nervous indeed you are very skilled and have a very creative mind. I'm looking forward to seeing more from you.

Good luck! Allthough I'm sure you don't need it :D :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 04:45 PM
Wow matt! excellent stuff.. it really motivates to try to improve, when I see such great concepts! Curious on what you decide to go with..

Good luck!

09 September 2005, 05:29 PM
Hmmm... I think I know already where the 1st prize will go....

ps I like your style very much, and I'm your admirer :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 06:47 PM
I really wish I can execute my illustrations as well as you scribble your sketches :) What you're doing here's spectacular already...

Enough small talk :scream: It's just simply awesome the way you work. Goodluck man.

09 September 2005, 07:51 PM (

Something completely different. I started thinking about the things that I consider 'spectacular' and I realised that there aren't too many of those experiences left for adults. As a child however, there are fresh discoveries to be made every day and while I might not have realised it at the time, each of those new experiences were spectacular. This pic's an attempt to get some of that sensation of childhood excitement across - though I've tried ( as in my M&S entry ) to make things a little bit ambiguous.

This is Ghertram and Gherthilda stumbling upon the 'old man of the forest' who only ventures out once a year, to drink tea in the sunlit glades on the day the butterflies escape their cocoons. There's a caterpillar watching the spectacle on the tree on the left. I might give the little girl a camera, or a sketchbook so they can tell the story to Granny Ghertwart.

Not sure if this communicates 'spectacular' clearly enough, but this is my concept for now. I'm going to live with it for a bit and see how it feels after the weekend.

Hmm. An unusually wordy post. And one that I'm worried might make me sound a bit of a hippy. EAT MORE MEAT!

There you go.

09 September 2005, 07:58 PM
Wow, talk about variety! You've got a lot of great stuff here. I really like your latest one. It's definetely going towards a different direction compared to your other epic concepts. The old man looks like he's thinking his tea is spectacular. :-p Good luck!

09 September 2005, 08:38 PM
Wow very cool concept, and I just love your style, great work, keep up the great work

09 September 2005, 08:44 PM
great concept I love it..... :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 09:44 PM
I really prefer the previous one with the battle. You make it sound so easy, the way you put down your thoughts! This last idea, although original, I think it could be difficult for people to relate to the "spectacularity" of the scene. Great work so far, nonetheless.

09 September 2005, 10:08 PM
Hehe, defenately spectacular! :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 11:40 PM
HAHA, thats funny!

09 September 2005, 11:58 PM
Hello Matt!

I just wanted to say, I really like the idea of the old man of the forest having tea. In a world like ours where things are becoming ever more complex, being able to find a sunny glade to sit and have some tea sounds like a spectacular idea to me. :)

Is the story that you wrote about watching the butterflies come out of their cocoons something that you made up or a kind of myth, like a hippy Santa Claus? :P

Anyway, was just wondering cuz that butterfly thing sounded like a great idea to me. In general, I love the positivity of this sketch! Keep it up!


09 September 2005, 12:06 AM
Awesome Matt. That's the winning idea right there. Those with kids will appreciate it even more.

09 September 2005, 12:07 AM
Matt, your concepts are genious! Beautiful sense of depth and energy to them. You may be right about persuing the 'war' theme, but damn those concept sketches look good! :thumbsup: This latest post is priceless... and I think we share in the childrens' viewpoint, that this discovery of thiers certainly is spectacular! Great sense of storybook whimsy... I love it.

Keep 'em coming, man... I can't get enough of your sketches!


09 September 2005, 12:08 AM
Oh man I remember when I was still a child me and some of my friends used to mke believe that there were creatures out there only we could see... soetimes I wander, was I really that innocent or was i acidently ingesting LSD somewhere, lol

Fantastic conept and nice take on the theme, very nice indeed

09 September 2005, 01:02 AM
Your style is unique. Good luck!

09 September 2005, 01:07 AM
Hi Matt,
I love this idea with "the old man in the woods", I'm excited to see your progress.
Good luck!

09 September 2005, 01:14 AM
I am hip to that Idea, I like that you put the little catepillar there off to the left corner, very interesting! the Composition is also working well, I like it a lot, keep it up, holla!:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 01:47 AM
that last drawing is astonishing....what a magical feel....congratulations..your style is a must...

09 September 2005, 02:25 AM
definitely dig this idea of urs,the message is very well delivered,love especially the kids reaction and the big guy enjoying expression!keep it coming mate:scream:

09 September 2005, 02:31 AM
hi mr.dixon. great work you have started here. cant wait to see what you have in store for us this time around :D

09 September 2005, 02:54 AM
Matt Matt Matt.. why do you torture me? I want to live in your worlds but I can only look at the snapshots you paint. :( jk, good job man, I know youll tear this one up. Ill have much more to say down the line. Good luck mate.

09 September 2005, 03:21 AM
looking great... indeed ur style is very unique. good luck to you. :)

09 September 2005, 08:16 AM
Damned. I love this sketch. It's more I was waiting for. Is it completely in the theme ?, Well I think with a big ambience as you always do, it will be good. :)

09 September 2005, 08:27 AM
Lovely sketch, Matt! He looks so serene with his cup of tea...

And the boy and girl are dead cute! The little 'shhh' works brilliantly.

09 September 2005, 08:29 AM
OHhh geez, that is sooo cute!!!

09 September 2005, 11:23 AM
hehe. Im already amazen and u gave us just a sketch! Once again that contrast between big and small and I just love that in ur artworks. I'll checking ur thread with pleasure! good luck :)

09 September 2005, 07:51 PM
Yay Matt dixon on the attack!
Ive been on the lookout for your entry, but i mustve missed it until now.
I much prefer the latest idea. The cityscapes were great, but this has much more originality. Makes me think of my neighbour totoro a bit as well.


09 September 2005, 08:43 AM
Love this last concept of your's. Reminds me of Studio Ghibli's "My neighbour Totoro". Great work!

09 September 2005, 11:53 AM
Itīs a very beautiful sketch but I think the content gives more an arcane impression rather than a spectacular. The previous sketches conveyed a much more spectacular impression in my opinion.



09 September 2005, 06:55 PM
Thanks a lot for the positive feedback, kids. I agree that the 'spectacular' might not reach out of this image and tweak your nose right away but there's nothing that says that pic itself has to be spectacular in scale or scope ( though there are many entires that are which I couldn't hope to compete with ) as long as the spectacular is in there somehow. Trying to make it work quietly on a small scale appeals to me, so I think I'm going to persevere with this concept, or a variation thereof.

Bobby - Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it's my own daft story. :)

Beelow - Actually, I'm not happy with the composition. It feels a bit too symmetrical to me. That's probably what I'll work on next.

NinjaASSN - Yes, I was worried that the big / small thing might be a bit too similar to my M&S entry, but I think this image will have a different flavour in the finish.

am7 - I lot of my work has been compared to Studio Ghibli's work. I really must get around to watching one of their movies one of these days..!

09 September 2005, 02:30 AM
Oh, you're kidding, you haven't seen of them any of them?! For shame! Well, at least you're in for a giant treat!

Great sketch. It made me chuckle. All fo the characters are adorable... Good luck with it!


09 September 2005, 05:03 AM
nice ideas... good luck mate:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 12:20 AM
Yeah, it does seem symetrical when you look at it, making it for a not as interesting compo, maybe move the big guy off to the right of and putting the cildren behind the the tree of the left! I don't what else I can suggest to make this piece even better, although it is frame well! I guess I will have to wait to see what you do in the next image, I will be waiting Matt, good luck!:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 09:40 AM
What a touching episode! :thumbsup: Very much it is pleasant to me.
Probably it not so spectacular, however touching

09 September 2005, 12:51 PM
some great ideas you have come up with.....will be watching :)

09 September 2005, 02:05 PM
its good to watch how you progress through ideas, and certainly beneficial for amatuers. i think that the last one is the best so far, i like the idea of a quite and peaceful spectacle. i'm looking forward to more :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 03:14 PM
I initially thought that the old man was a small-ish giant(?!) who the children had left the tea out for - maybe you could make the old dude much much bigger and the teapot much smaller. Spec-teacup-ular!
Amazing sketches - I'm glad you've chosen this last idea and... *suitable fawning-grovelling noises*

09 September 2005, 03:25 PM
Avatarist - Cheers. It's really helpful to hear what people's first impressions are.

Thanks to everyone else for the encouragement, too. I doubt I'll have time to spend much time on this for a few weeks now - I guess it'll be interesting to see how this idea 'feels' when I come back to it. 'til then!

09 September 2005, 01:12 AM
:D This is really cute! I really like it.

Good luck!

09 September 2005, 02:08 AM
Checking through some of the entries, since i had seen ya in the daily sketch group thought i might see what you were up to with the Spec. Challenge. Some nice ideas and concept sketches there. Reminds me that i am going to have to get some more ideas out there, if nothing more than some quick sketches.

09 September 2005, 03:58 AM
i have reviewd all entries in search of spectacular and this entry keeps pulling me back to come and see it, its just magical how u caputred the childhood discoveries since the giant migth not even be real but u can bet that they are looking at him and its spectacular this is one of he few entries that are capturin an spectacular moment rather than an spectacular scenario or machine or monster..and this challenge is about the moment...simply great

it would also help if u gave the kids a im looking at something espectacular expression rather than the one they have.. and also u could try a profile scene so u can show them looking at the giant and not hiding, u can do that iin the actual perspective but their back is what we will see nice peace

so far u are the winner to me

09 September 2005, 05:12 AM
I always love your style, so unique and innocent. I really like the concept so far!

09 September 2005, 07:13 PM
Nooooes we're all doomed! He's back for the Grand Prize! :D
really like that last concept sketch! :thumbsup:
Aaaand, you should start with seeing "My neighbor Totoro"

09 September 2005, 07:28 PM
Hi Matt. I love the last concept. I'll close to see whats happend with the developed fro that one.

Nice sketches. Good luck.
xbo :scream:

09 September 2005, 12:31 PM (

Tidying things up a bit. I think I'm going with this idea, but I'm not quite sure on the composition - this one has the kids in the background.

09 September 2005, 12:54 PM
Wow, your ideas are insane. Where do you get your concepts from?? sci-fi this sci-fi that, then BANG, old man in a forest drinking tea?! Love it, love it, love it.
Personally i prefer aspects of the 1st composition. The trees in the foreground made you feel like the old dude was sat in a clearing in the middle of a forest rather than perhaps at the edge of it. Also the kids seem like a bit of an afterthought in the 2nd, all shoved away in the corner as they are. Anyway, WIP i know and im positive you'll knock em dead in the end... I'll be back for sure.

09 September 2005, 01:10 PM
Thanks, Kieran. I completely agree - the previous composition places the viewer 'with' the children which I think works much better. This version gives me a better opportunity to show the expression on the kid's faces but it hides most of their bodies, which can also be very expressive. On balance, I'm definately with the first idea. Still thinking, though...

09 September 2005, 02:16 PM

hey man,,,i like that a lot...but,,,why did you change the children position, the other way it looked more opinion,,, anyway its beautiful.

sorry my english...

09 September 2005, 02:17 PM
I think that the first composition was better, too. But as a fan of yours, I really look forward seeing your illustration being created.

09 September 2005, 07:10 PM
Hi Matt. Sorry but there are something wrong with your light. The coffepot or teapot and the cake have to much light and thats disturb when i want to see your picture. I thing you lost a little bit the depth in your picture.

The shadows or the lines under the tea towel are really to dark and they give a sense that are flying or they are totaly other object in your scene.

Just only my point of view.

xbo :scream:

09 September 2005, 08:07 AM
Very-very nice! :thumbsup: Enchantment atmosphere. I`m waiting to see it in colours. Good luck

09 September 2005, 12:46 PM
Very Nice Matt! I agree with the others that the previous POV is better. I love all the little detils and expression that you add, like the little caterpillar/worm on the rock.

09 September 2005, 01:16 PM
wow looking great! i really love your works man, i'm keeping an eye on this one :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 09:19 PM
hm... it feels less spectacular than the previous sketch, where the kids were in front. why? I think its because if the kids r in front, we r geting the feeling of a surprice as they do, while discovering this creature.. its excitment! but in ur last sketch, there is a feeling as we r with this creature all the time and we r already used to it. If u understand what I mean... :)

09 September 2005, 09:14 AM
Lov the previous sketch Matt go with that one!:thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 10:42 AM
Such a sweet image, I can see that kids coming across this delightful tea party would be very spectacular.....cant wait for the colour.

Just a suggestion his face is looking up to the faeries maybe his eyes looking towards the children as if he knows they are there.....and maybe a look of surprise on their faces.....just some thoughts....:thumbsup:


10 October 2005, 07:33 PM
hello matt why are you not posting...i really liked this post post:bounce:

10 October 2005, 01:26 PM
Hi Matt. How you doing?. Matt what's going on?. Why you don't update your work?.
I like your work specially like the other guys, the previous one is more interesting.

Come on Matt.... keep posting.

xbo :scream:

10 October 2005, 12:46 PM (

Been busy with other things for a while, so I've not looked at this for a few weeks. When I came back to it, I decided I really didn't like the composition. Here's a really quick attempt to make it more interesting - lowering the camera to place the viewer even closer to the kids and to partially occlude the scene beyond ( which is intended to communicate the 'peeking out' that the children are doing ). I've also changed the design of the old man a little and given him an activity. I'm not sure if I'll stick to gardening, but I want something that'll introduce a focal point somewhere near the centre of the pic ( the flower in this case ) as there could potentially be quite a few things competing for the viewer's attention here. There's still some balancing to be done, but I like this one much better. The previous sketches look very dull by comparison. Opinions on the change gratefully received.

10 October 2005, 01:52 PM
hey matt :) great sketches, i love the concept.
i think that the new angle add a little more interest for the picture so go on with that.
looking forward to this :thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 02:27 PM
Cute update :)

I really like the composition in this one, but I like more the magic in the oldr one... but that'll most probably change when you put on details or color.
I also like new activity and design of the man :)

10 October 2005, 04:41 PM
hi bro.
it seems really so pretty. an other different looking side to spectacularity. congratulations.

10 October 2005, 12:42 PM (

There's a few little details still to add, but this is my 'lineart' milestone. Here we go!

10 October 2005, 01:13 PM
really great mood, i'm jealous this looks like very fun to do, mine is just an headache :shrug:

10 October 2005, 03:58 PM
Looking good, Matt! No crits to add, just find the time to finish it! :-)


10 October 2005, 05:09 PM
hehe.. lovely :D maybe, just maybe.. u could show that in the next moment some small branch will brake while the girl will slip on it, or step on it... or something.. and that it will be cleary seen that that big guy will discover the kids. And the viewer will be asking himself what will happen next :) just some thoughts while wathing ur pic (thats says a lot about it, making my imagination flying away for a moment). great work!

10 October 2005, 08:00 PM
hey Matt, cool Image... I can't wait to see more... good luck!:thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 10:01 PM
those are lovely sketches, :applause:
I like the latest one the most, pretty cool mood, great job with the value :thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 12:09 AM
Nice work so far! I like your drawing style. I'll keep an eye on your work!

Good luck!:thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 12:49 AM
Wow. I really like this pic. I can't wait to see it painted up. I loved your M&S pic so I hope this one will be on par. Keep up the great work.

10 October 2005, 02:19 AM
You have a really nice loose style to your art, and you have captured the story and the expressions really well. I am looking forward to seeing what you do with the colour in this one :)

10 October 2005, 03:17 AM
a lovely image matt~i'm looking forward to this!keep it coming mate:)

10 October 2005, 12:26 PM (

Here I've taken the line art milestone's value sketch and set it up as a 'multiply' layer in Photoshop with the opacity pulled down to around halfway. Underneath, I quickly lay down some broad areas of colour with a big soft brush. I use mid to dark tones as I find it much easier to work 'towards the light' when the rendering begins.

10 October 2005, 12:31 PM (

Once I'm happy with the basic layout of colours, I flatten the image and begin to work into the pic. First step here is just to tidy things up a bit, figuring out where I want hard and soft edges and placing a few marks to remind myself where I'll need to place details. I'm a bit worried about the seperation between the foreground and background at this stage, but I'm hoping that will be solved as I continue to refine things.

10 October 2005, 12:33 PM
Oh, I forgot to say thanks for the encouragement. 'Thanks for the encouragement!' :D

10 October 2005, 02:20 PM
really nice colors, i love the way this pic is going to.. looking forward to some more details :thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 06:28 PM
Thanx for describing your process, it's always inspiring to read how pictures from other artist are made. ( me too, I use to put my lineart in multiply mode, then color it under on a new layer ; But you flatten your image much earlier than me.)
Nice color scheme already, I'm curious to see the step by step of your coloring process.
Good luck.

10 October 2005, 07:56 PM
I'm a bit worried about the seperation between the foreground and background at this stage

Perhaps a brighter background,, especially in the area abround the troll and his flower, leaving the 2 characters and the foreground trees on all sides as more of a framing mechanism? Anyhow, just an idea...


10 October 2005, 08:10 PM (

I was looking at the uplighting to the old man's face and decided to try and emphasize it a little more. While I was fiddling around, I tried a blue tint to contrast with the warm glow from the flower and it struck me that this might be a good mechanism to seperate the foreground and background. I'm not sure about having the scene at night, but having the kids hiding in the shadows like this adds to the mood of excitement a little. This is a pretty crude tweak ( the purple on the kids is too much ) but overall I think I prefer these colours - any thoughts?

10 October 2005, 08:17 PM
looks better for my opinion, it does make a separation between the foreground and background so you succeed what you tried to do :)

10 October 2005, 08:17 PM
Walrus - Haha - just read your post, Mike! Great minds think alike, eh? ( Or are we fools that seldom differ? ;) ) I obviously agree with what you suggested - was that the kind of thing you meant?

Arctis - Thankyou. I'm going to try and explain what I've done at each update as I did in the M&S challenge. It was interesting for me to read back and see what I'd done!

ori@r.a.m - You sneaked in while I was replying to your previous post! Thanks for coming back, and I'm glad you like this colour scheme. I'll try to find time to tidy this one up a bit this weekend and then make a decision on which to start work on.

10 October 2005, 08:28 PM
Haha what a beautiful and clean idea:) lol I love the big guy face. The lightīs coming along great!Did you think about giving depth to the background?

Good luck, Matt!


10 October 2005, 01:44 AM
cool, this needs an entire book of illustrations and story to follow! You know, i think the purple is a great push against it's complement, the yellow, and i wouldn't change it. Can'y wait to see this take form! Nice work so far

10 October 2005, 02:23 AM
i love the color choice. i think its dead on. warm greens in the middle... teal and cooler greens farther back... and purples in the front with a bit of blue... good stuff... i couldnt of picked it better myself. dont fiddle with it too much now :P

10 October 2005, 11:16 AM
Just found Your entry and it is sooo cute. Nice idea and I love expresion of the giant. gr8 and good hunt.

10 October 2005, 11:25 AM
hello matt!! very nice stuff!! so cute!!:) i love your work!! so far than mine..but so nice!! i prefer the tea idea than this one...keeep goin'on man and good luck!:thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 03:43 PM
Expertly handled! Love the highlights on the girls hair already. : )

10 October 2005, 03:56 PM
Hey MattDixon. Love the simplicity and gentleness of what your presenting here. Seems you found the solution to the main problem of your piece. Everything's just gonna slide in place from here on. Perhaps some streaks of sunlight hitting the foreground characters might add to the idea that they're hiding. Make it seem like they're camouflaged or something. It might even be an interesting way to highlight their expressions. Just some thoughts. Goodluck :thumbsup:

10 October 2005, 09:13 PM
The contrast between purple and green seems a good way to detach the foreground from the background. As you said, purple is too concentrated : green reflects would surely help to melt these 2 ambiences.

10 October 2005, 12:06 AM
Great working as always. I like colors and lightning very much, yxou are one of my favourites
in this challenge :)

10 October 2005, 05:58 AM
I'm sorry for being such a fanboy right now, but I just couldn't resist posting just to say YOU ROCK! I love this concept,the simplicity, and the interaction between the kids. I love the little watering pot and the gardening fork. I love the contrast between giant ogre and his unexpectedly kind, gentle nature that is shown. :love: You are an inspiration to me!

10 October 2005, 01:36 PM
heheh very beautiful !

10 October 2005, 01:49 AM
I like the way you seperate the background and the foreground. It's lookin, great so far. I look at all the phases of your work and I like your technique. Maybe, I will try to apply it on my at the next contest. For now I'm too far in my work to reconsider experiencing with your technique. But i'll try it.:)

good luck again!

10 October 2005, 03:22 AM
this is fantastic! it's so childlike and imaginative!

11 November 2005, 04:42 AM
that's so cute! what's happening to you, Matt?? Where the grimy stuff? :-p

11 November 2005, 07:23 AM
great poses and frame. It's cool! I love this big guy - he's so cute xD Very emotional picture - I really love it. Hope that your work will profit to you. I keep thumbs for progress. Youre my black horse of the chellenge :thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 10:50 AM
great clors ! waiting to see the final result!
I think just that the middle colors could be warmer, but just a little. To give more contrast.

11 November 2005, 11:36 AM
WOW ! thats really Cool ! Very gentle and beautiful colors!

And the small watering can so Pretty :)

11 November 2005, 03:30 PM
Aw, Matt! This is soooo adorable! I just love the giant's face, I dont think you coul have pinned the expression any more perfectly than you have. I think you could maybe work on the characters on the kids, the giant is so bursting with originality and you get a real sense of he sort of personality he has, that the kids look a little bland in comparison. It wouldn't have to be anything huge, a little something in the hair style, or freckles, something like that to make the kids more like individuals.

And with a slightly less immediate transition between green and purple, I think thats a great way to emphasize the two depths, and the idea of a night time scene gives you a sense that the kids have perhaps snuck out of thir bedrooms to catch sight of this!

But absolutely gorgeous artwork. Putting this sort of stuff on the front of kids book would sell lke hotcakes. Heck.. I'd buy it!

11 November 2005, 02:55 PM
Very nice work. I love the giant's dainty care of his flower. Very nice! :bounce:

11 November 2005, 07:53 PM
Welcome back matt, good to see some progress from you, I will wait to see what you are going to do next, good luck!:thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 07:23 PM
Hi Matt!

Man, I'm loving this piece! good idea on pushing the kids into the shadow. lovely!

11 November 2005, 08:08 PM
I like the worm ;-)

As has been said countless times: Most inspirational.

I'm only just getting into using different brushes with a drawing tablet instead of my little round mouse, so watching this thread as well as those of several other accomplished practitioners out there, for as many hints & tips as I can glean - more WIPs! (....and I will rob your talent, heh[/wannabe picasso]).

11 November 2005, 08:14 PM
ow,lookat that,lovely!:D nice facial expressions and colors are dead on!:D:thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 08:43 PM
:thumbsup: Great work as always Matt

Refreshing to see something so different from the way most have interpreted the challenge brief (including myself).

Love the colours and composition

Looking forward to see how this develops... :applause: :applause:

11 November 2005, 12:49 PM
Great comp!:bowdown:

Cant wait, so hurry up!

11 November 2005, 05:15 PM
What's not to like, great story telling, I can't wait to see the final.

11 November 2005, 01:38 PM (

Not had much time for this lately, but I should have the chance to move it along this week. In this update, I've begun working my way around the coloured sketch, just tidying things up where necessary - removing any linework or messy brushmarks etc.

11 November 2005, 01:41 PM
Glad to see you back! Go man, GO! :bounce:

11 November 2005, 07:22 PM
I love the image. Your choice of colors is wonderful and compliments the mood nicely. Good Luck

11 November 2005, 07:34 PM
Nice to see that you are back in the competition mr Dixon, the characters are nice and the colors seem to highten the mood, good luck man!

11 November 2005, 07:40 PM
Warm and fuzzy...
It's wonderful! :bowdown:

11 November 2005, 09:08 PM
its great to see u back :) its so great wathicng u doing ur magical painting. good luck so u'll finish in time this piece!

11 November 2005, 02:45 AM
Awesome work, I set your last update as my background. Can't wait to see some more progress!

11 November 2005, 03:31 AM
hi hi

Very lovely colors, the whole palette has a very munsel quality to it that gives it a lot of balance. My only critiques would be that there are a few lines on the children's hands and hair that seem like they could be smoothed out a bit, like the lines in the creatures hands. The creature has some nice darks which have both sharp and ambient qualities at the same time.

11 November 2005, 04:04 PM
This is pretty cool, its spectacular without being extravagant

11 November 2005, 05:25 PM
this is one of my favourites for sure!
the innocence and fantasy of this picture is really what you can call Spectacular.
I don't think I have anything to criticize about it for now. The composition is good, the characters are very expressive and the mood is really good too.
I`m looking forward to see it finished!

11 November 2005, 09:34 PM
beatifull and poetic very sweet colours & lovely composition congrats!!

11 November 2005, 01:30 PM (

All tidied up ready for rendering and details.

11 November 2005, 01:43 PM
And it all looks lovely and tidy...

I wanna see more detail!! Detail!! Detail!! I really like those colours too.

It's looking like it's gonna be another fab piece of artwork, Matt. Good luck getting all those details done on time...

11 November 2005, 03:51 PM
Hurry, and finish this image, good luck Matt!:thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 05:07 PM
Wow, I've missed this pic so far. This is a really charming piece. The color scheme is great. I cant wait to see it all detailed.

11 November 2005, 07:38 PM
Really great interpretation of the theme. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.

11 November 2005, 08:07 PM
Nice piece! I like it a lot, I really like the lighting and character in old man.

11 November 2005, 09:58 PM
Updated my background :). Can't wait for the details!

11 November 2005, 10:32 PM
The boy looks a little creepy right now, but I guess that will change :)

I love the work on the flower and the man :)

12 December 2005, 08:45 AM
Amazing piece, so much ternderness in it! Great concept! Can't wait to see it finally coloured. :thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 11:39 AM
It's great man! I love your style and mood of the pic. Great idea too. Good luck!!!

12 December 2005, 01:34 PM (

Details are starting to go in; hair and bits of texture here and there and adding a little more interest to the background. I've quickly fudged in a rim light on the foreground plane to get an idea of how that affects the balance of colours - I'd expect the final to be more subtle than this one, but we'll see how it pans out.

Sorry I've not been very chatty this time around - my energy's having to go into the painting rather than typing! Many, many thanks for all the support though, it's very interesting to read your comments and it really helps to keep me motivated.

12 December 2005, 01:39 PM
Nice, nice, very nice :thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 05:02 PM
It's relly going on the impressive and impressive...
This is one of my favorities...
go on bro...

12 December 2005, 05:15 PM
Really nice, Matt! I'm loving the texture on the fur, the shape and texture and lighting on the framing trees in the top corner... keep updating, I'm dying to see what you end up doing with the boy's eyes. (I really liked the less realisting dots you had 2 or 3 pics ago!)

Good luck!


12 December 2005, 06:48 PM
Ahahahaha, absolutely lovely, hahah i want a print of this image.

Great, i love this pic, and itīs spectacular.... congrats

Good luck

12 December 2005, 11:24 PM (

"This is your captain speaking, ladies and gentlemen. We will shortly be beginning our descent..."

Heh. That's the best way I can think of to describe the stage this is at now - most of the journey is behind us and the destination will shortly be coming into view. This is the most exciting part of the trip - let's hope we don't run into any turbulence on the way down!

12 December 2005, 11:31 PM
Mike - :D Just read your comment about the boy's eyes. I agree about the more stylised face as you can see! Strange that a less realistic face with fewer details can sometimes be more expressive, don't you think? My worry with the simplified faces was that I might not be able to render them with sufficient detail to match the rest of the image, but I'm pretty sure trying to stay true to the concept sketches is going to be the best route to take.

( Isn't that the second time you've pre-empted a change in the pic? )

EDIT: Aw, man. How come I always seem to be posting my images at the end of a page?!

12 December 2005, 07:40 PM
Keep up the great work man!

12 December 2005, 11:48 AM
we'll find and enjoy them! Coming along really nice, looking forward to the final. :bounce:

12 December 2005, 12:47 PM
this one is one of my favorites. keep it up we all want to see the final image

12 December 2005, 07:57 PM
Hope you have the time man! I wanna see your pic on the book! Itīs great!

12 December 2005, 08:06 PM
"Pre-empting changes in your piece" sounds so forceful. I just offer the occasional observation here and there, and if you feel like it's something that helps the piece, great! So I hope I've been more helpful and not forcing you down some other path...
that I've laid with traps...
and spikes...

(oops, sorry, got away from myself for a sec.)

But if you're going to follow any of my advice, after this is all over, go rent some Hayao Miyazaki films, like 'Totoro' (most appropriate to this piece) or 'Spirited Away' or soemthing. Really, you should check them out!


12 December 2005, 08:10 PM
Hehe... Walrus is right about Miyazaki! You should watch it! Maybe you already did, ahn? Watch again!

12 December 2005, 08:55 PM
Great concept, great coloring and lighting. I read a lot of the comments and I think theres nothing else to say but good luck.

12 December 2005, 10:19 PM (

Getting close now. Just a few little things to tidy up and some balancing to take care of. I'm a bit worried that I've managed to kill the depth in the piece somewhere along the line, and it's definately not feeling 'right' just yet. I hope I can solve those problems in the remaining hours.

12 December 2005, 07:27 AM (

We're on the ground! We're not quite 'there' yet, but I don't anticipate any major changes from this point as the final tweaks are performed while we taxi towards the terminal.

12 December 2005, 07:29 AM
nice one, Matt :thumbsup:


12 December 2005, 07:57 AM
Looks great Matt... i love the fur on the old man of the woods... it's got a beautiful glow.

Does 'touchdown' mean you've finished? Or have you got to taxi along the runway for a while?

eDit: u7m... ignore that last bit... i hadn't read your comment. But don't get lost on the runway. And pick up the right case from the carousel. Erm... um...

12 December 2005, 08:22 AM
just love that gentle smile that big hairy one has, when he takes care of that fragile flower... :love: hopes for that your taxi get you there in time... :thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 10:45 AM
You have achieve great mood in this image, good luck with this again, let see if you can make it better, holla!:thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 11:17 AM
I often ask myself why there aren't illustrators like you or others on the CGTalk when I was little (just about 25 years ago)! Romanian illustrators were too academic and entangled in clichees of school methods and realistic study of anathomy, making their illustrations look boring and boring and, guess what... boring again! I like your work presented here very much. Again, it makes me wanna read Andersen's or Grimm's or Jules Verne's Stories again! Thanks for reminding me what was like then! And good luck in this challenge! :applause:

12 December 2005, 01:35 PM
Great lightning and colors, I like new details very much too, keep iz up man! :)

12 December 2005, 08:25 PM (

All done. I'll return when I have a little more time to explain what I've been up to in these final few steps.

12 December 2005, 08:50 PM
a wonderful picture Matt, congratulations

12 December 2005, 09:17 PM (

Here's the finished painting. I know this 'final image' milestone should be accompanied by an explanation of the story behind the picture but I think artwork is much more entertaining when people draw their own conclusions about the background to a piece or, better yet, made up a story of their own that fits the image.

I suppose an explanation of why I chose this picture for the 'spectacular' theme is in order. When I started sketching out ideas for the challenge, I was exploring images that were spectacular in scale and presence, but the results weren't satisfying. I came to realise that what I'd drawn wasn't spectacular at all, just big. To me, it's the quiet little spectacles which surround us every day, fleeting moments of wonder and excitement that we so often take for granted, that are truly spectacular. I've tried to capture something of that sensation in my entry.


12 December 2005, 09:21 PM
ssshhh!!! good job Matt....good luckkk ...shhhh:D

12 December 2005, 09:45 PM
Absolutely stunning piece, Matt! The colors and the way you frame your scene is extremely well done. I also like your choice of theme very well, it stands out in a big way in this challenge and I hope the judges think so, too.

You're really good at capturing interesting moments and and scenes in all your work. It's a joy to behold! Best of luck to you!

12 December 2005, 11:55 PM
Simple, but beautiful...

...your pics are always so well balanced - I wish I could do that! :(

12 December 2005, 12:23 AM
Very giddy moment you got here. "shh.." is such a simple expression, yet you found the spectacular aspect of it thru a child's eyes. As always, awesome work man! :thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 02:55 AM
Great artwork Mat!

Congratulations for finishing so shh... sensitive mood :arteest:

Good luck!

12 December 2005, 02:58 AM
Great work !its-FAN! Murrrrrrrrrr!
Lake it!:bounce:

Good luck!:)

12 December 2005, 03:03 AM
Beatiful work, Matt. I love the kids' eyes. You really captured that sense of wonder. This is such an inviting piece, I just want to step into the scene.

Congratulations on finishing this so well and best of luck.

12 December 2005, 03:13 AM
BRAVO! :bounce:

12 December 2005, 03:42 PM
lovely work!
and it has a really heartwarming feel to it :)

best of luck to you! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 03:49 PM
the "yetti" have greate colours of fur, and teh light on fur is lovely, U have very nice style ... Greet & good luck

12 December 2005, 04:26 PM
Congrats, Matt c you next challenge, Nice concept and nice image, best of luck to you, I especially like the way u lit it!:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 02:02 PM
Absolutely stunning drawing. Great composition, great lighting, great colour, great character design, great texture, great detail, just bloody great. Hope it wins you something :)

12 December 2005, 02:38 PM
Sweet :love:

This is a really nice image with a wonderful concept behind.

Just great :thumbsup:

Good luck for the final vote :bounce:

12 December 2005, 03:18 AM
I've loved your work from the day I discovered it Matt. This one is beautiful.

12 December 2005, 03:27 AM
Hi Matt,

I find this to be be very similar in concept to your Master & Servant entry.....big guy looking over a small delicate being/flower. It also has the same charm and atmosphere. No doubt it will also share the same success! Good Luck!

12 December 2005, 03:38 AM
congratulations!cool your character a luck in judging.cheers.:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

12 December 2005, 04:36 PM
damnit..I totally missed your thread..
very cute idea - not as symbolic as your M&S entry but the style is incredible adorable :)

12 December 2005, 05:42 AM
Man, sometimes and image just knocks me back and this one has done that. I can't stop looking at it. I'm not usually a fan of "cartoony" stuff but this just works for me. Great lighting, detail, rendering. I love the kids in the blue light shadow area. Great work, very inspiring. Good luck.

12 December 2005, 12:54 PM
Great job Matt! I hope that your final image will be in the top list. Good luck through judging! :)

12 December 2005, 06:05 AM
Ah, Matt - great work bro. I wish I saw this ealier on. Just beautiful.


01 January 2006, 08:06 AM
Congratulations!!! Really cute image, i love your lighting and story :) love to see your stuff again in future challenges, cya

01 January 2006, 08:35 AM
:applause: Congratulations Matt!

Really love your work and great to see such great talent coming out of the UK.

See you in the next challenge :bounce: :bounce:

01 January 2006, 08:59 AM
yeah~!u did it again matt!congratulation.:thumbsup:

only pony
01 January 2006, 09:23 AM
congrats:scream: wonderful image, nice setting, colors, etc.

01 January 2006, 10:15 AM
Matt well done!:thumbsup:

This piece imerses one in the fairy tale world, and artwise has so many hits.
Comp, colours, lighting, what to name...

01 January 2006, 11:57 AM
Congratulations Matt!!!


01 January 2006, 12:17 PM
Congratulations! :arteest:Your work is really charming!

Cheers, :)


01 January 2006, 12:19 PM
a winner again mate.. !m see ya in the next one

01 January 2006, 04:13 PM

01 January 2006, 05:02 PM
Hi, Congratulation for your price and your great image.
E.T :cool:

01 January 2006, 12:53 AM
Well done Matt! Here's to the next 'un... whenever it may be... make it a hatrick..!:applause:

01 January 2006, 04:25 PM
Matt, congratulations. This is by far my favorite 2D image and I would have thought that you'd place higher. The lighting and color choices are just great. Your image has been the background on my laptop for the past few weeks. Look forward to seeing more of your work.

01 January 2006, 10:17 PM
I like so much this image Matt. Congrats for the award!:)

01 January 2006, 10:23 AM
And u said that u weren't going to place. :rolleyes: Good stuff, who called it, yo boy, holla c ya next contest!:thumbsup:

01 January 2006, 02:49 PM
Congrats Matt, this piece is so well-deserved of its award. You are really becoming a real serial award winner aren't you? But don't get too comfortable with it, I shall be hunting after your tracks next challenge! (In a friendly kind of way of course. :)) Take care and see u next challenge!

02 February 2006, 01:24 PM
your work is very interesting! I really like it more! Congratulations, Matt!
I hope to see more pics from you soon.:bounce: