View Full Version : Painting Skills?

02 February 2009, 12:55 PM
I have a small curiosity about some of the job postings I've seen during the last years - why they keep telling you need to be "highly skilled" in painting? (you do need to know how to paint alright, but you really need to be a master?).

I personally know a lot of very good matte painters who are not highly skilled at all with painting yet they work there, cause they are good...

Are those briefs just copy/pasted from times when painting mastery was still necessary?

PS: Dave where the heck are you :D

02 February 2009, 08:49 PM
when you see highly skilled" in painting, that means that you must have traditional artistic skills, and I would agree with that, the computer does not set the mood or the feeling on a image or environment, must of the new "artists" think they are good cause they can render photoreal thanks to GI, or final gather or just thanks to the software, but they don't understand really what's is happening with color, shadow, lighting , and you must be able to do the same sometimes in a really tight schedule you can't just use global illumination for everything and you must make it look exactly the same with manual lighting and that's where the "ARTISTIC EYE" is required, in matte painting I would say you MUST be a good painter, not a master in oil or anything like that but of course understand and obviously know how to paint a complete environment if needed,( which nowadays is not necesary but believe me I paint a lot as well )
traditional skill will always make the difference between a real artist and a guy that understands 100% the software and can render a scene photoreal, which would be in my opinion way more technical than artistic
the "EYE" is what matters in art and is where the real wisdom is for creating incredible artwork . and that my friend come with training for years and years learning color, visual composition, perspective etc
probably there are some guys that can't paint and they have nice artwork but personally I want to be better and will always compare myself with the top of the top artists (which all of them are excellent painters )

don't try to save time or miss some required skill just because photo manipulation is easy, it is easy, but a great matte painting is not

02 February 2009, 09:13 PM
When i first started getting into matte painting a few years ago i made a real conscious decision to focus my efforts on artistic skills for a year or two and then get stuck into the technicalities (i already knew photoshop at this stage). Had i not made that decision, i really don't know where i would be now! Every time i start a new matte painting i use those core artistic skills! Dont get me wrong, i am no master painter - i still have a LOT to learn, but i cant imagine attempting a matte painting without the knowledge i have now of light, colour, composition, perspective etc.

When you look at professionals like Dylan, Dusso, Chris Thunig, Chris Stoski, Brenton Cottman, Evan Shipard, Paul Lasaine, Joe Ceballos; people who are all at the top of their game professionally, they all have a clear mastery of traditional art skills.
The ability to be able to conceptualise an environment quickly as a loose painting can't hurt your employment chances either, right?


02 February 2009, 09:37 PM
You guys didn't read carefully what I said.

As I said, you DO need to know how to paint, color, light, perspective, composition etc....those are all needed of course, but those are BASICS not HIGH SKILL. When I read "High Skilled in Painting" I understand someone who can make oil paints or make an almost real painting just by painting. I think *that* is really not needed for a matte painter.

Also I am not talking about top positions, those jobs openings and briefs are for the common matte painter.

But honestly those briefs sounds like they wanna hire the next Dusso...I think they should make them less harsh and more realistic :)

02 February 2009, 02:03 AM
Yea i see where you are coming from. Im not a professional matte painter, but i think some of those harsh requirements are listed to encourage the sort of skills they are looking for, and possibly to discourage more amateur artists from applying, i dont know...

But i guess its like the '3 years minimum feature film experience'. If every studio kept to that rule, no new artists would ever be hired, yet they are because i think if a studio sees potential they will overlook these harsh entry requirements. At least that is my hope in my naive, fairytale world ;)

But yea, i guess all studios want to know that they can get a matte painter who could potentially paint a complete shot from scratch if the right reference material is not available (ala Dusso).


02 February 2009, 12:14 PM
If i had a company and i need to hire artists, i search for the best artistīs i can get.
I would not need a guy who has basic skills in painting if i need to run a top production that costs millions of dollars.
I need a person who is able to draw a Mattepainting by hand if necessary, without going 2 weeks on research to find out how a sundown in the snowy hills look like.

Dont get me wrong, iīm sometimes pissed off too, reading the job postings.
Who in the world can do all the stuff they are looking for?
But i try to see both sides, mine and the job posters.

Just my 2 cents, greets rasher73

02 February 2009, 11:31 PM
9 times outta 10 the people making the job post is in HR or recruitment and doesnt really make any sort of hiring decision. They a blanket list of attributes and just repaste it everytime the position opens.

Do they really need someone highly skilled in the ways of traditional art... no. But they want somebody with enough understanding of the traditional that they can quickly create an idea, composition or mood and sell it to a vfx super or director. IMHO when they say Highly skilled in painting thats because the people who are reviewing the submissions cant draw a lick. At least people who look at my work there jaw dropped in shock but I do they same when I look at Dusso's and others so its just a matter of perception.

I got alot of the jaw drops at Siggraph this year from potential employers, most of which asked how long I would be there just in case they wanted to set up a meetingm, but only one studio called back... 2 months later after I emailed them.

02 February 2009, 03:40 PM
When I read "High Skilled in Painting" I understand someone who can make oil paints or make an almost real painting just by painting.

If it's a good job at a big studio, that's probably not far off. There are people around who can do just that, so why would you settle for second best?

Most times I've seen someone say 'you don't have to be an good painter to do X/Y/Z' it's because they are personally lacking those skills, and want to justify why that's okay. Sure, you might be able to get by, and even do well, but you're still lacking some skills whichever way you play it, and I wouldn't say that that's an ideal situation.

Like all job ads, the 'required skills' list is an ideal situation. If no-one comes along who has them all, and the job needs filling right now, then the expectations will be racked down a notch... the CV's will be reviewed... the situation will be re-evaluated... and so on.


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