View Full Version : Umbus -SketchBook-

07 July 2009, 06:15 PM
I hope this is ok, I wanted to start a sketchbook and I am trying to do my stuff daily.
Me, I am looking for a personaly style. Maybe it looks simplifed or just crap.
Feel free to comment.
I am doing this on my sparetime. :)

One from today:

I will try to update daily.

07 July 2009, 06:17 PM
One from yesterday:[/

07 July 2009, 06:19 PM
Same sketches can be seen on my site. Some more from a couple of days ago:

07 July 2009, 06:28 PM
quick this one, couldn't decide direction on it:

07 July 2009, 07:31 PM
one from today

08 August 2009, 05:18 PM
from today

08 August 2009, 11:16 PM
OMG this is great, I love this kind of rough sketches. There's everything : perspective, form, value, color, nicely readable. Simply great. It's great you're updating daily. I'll be watching your thread with passion :) (and hopefully learn something from you)

08 August 2009, 11:32 AM
yea but I need to get better though, I used to do alot of abtract so it's difficult to get back to more portraying stuff.
Thanks for the comment siiilon. :)

todays scribble

08 August 2009, 12:24 PM
i love your sketch .

08 August 2009, 06:10 PM
Thank you for the comment kenkenken. :)

Continuation of the other one, hmm still bad.

08 August 2009, 06:18 PM
todays scribble. :)

08 August 2009, 06:22 PM

I would like to ask you how do you mix your colors. Do you use lots of refferences or do you mix em in your head as you go? Because they look just so accurate, damn.

08 August 2009, 06:24 PM
wow that was fast. Yea I mix in my head, keep refining
and adding different tonal and color. Fun to just experiment with what works.
thank you. :)

08 August 2009, 06:40 PM
siiilon - Thought I could show you these, a quick tutorial I made for another forum I visit. Just to show you how I work.
Still though, I tend to change my paint approach.
Sometimes it goes really fast but sometimes I have to keep adding and detract color and and shape thus changing a lot to see where the piece could go.
The best speedpainters I have seen block out big abstract shapes.
Are you familiar with wasssup?
He used to post here in cgalk some years ago.

Here's the quick stuff. :)

08 August 2009, 07:11 PM
Thanks buddy, I really apreciate you share your knowlede :)

Yeah, big abstract shapes from start, but that needs a great deal of experience. Cause I see yet in your first image a good sense of what it's going to be (vanishing point, color scheme, high key, composition. I need to do plenty of thumbnails to get myself into some idea.

I don't know wasssup, but search for him.

Btw, I have pretty hectic time right now, so I don't really update my SB, but I hope I could get back to it soon.

08 August 2009, 02:57 AM
I love this style, but I find it the most difficult of styles. Grant it doesn't take much detail to get what you want, but I find myself always trying to add more detail when I should just leave it alone. LOL!!! Awesome examples Matthew. I'll be keeping an eye on you too. Keep up the good work.

08 August 2009, 05:34 PM
Thanks guys, appreciate the comments.

Here's wasssup I talked about earlier:

Thanks again. :)

08 August 2009, 07:45 PM
made one more, the other one was a little weird.

08 August 2009, 06:40 PM
We have a contest over at Sijun forums, I posted this one over there. Guess my sketchbook will be focused on that for the next couple of weeks. Hope that is ok. :)
The theme is colossus.
I kept changing perspective with this one, still thinking about to bend it some more. Perhaps distort, we'll see.
Will sketch some more tomorrow, maybe discard or see if this piece has potential.

08 August 2009, 07:23 PM
Awesome work Matthew. For a colossus piece I'm definitely seeing a "Trojan Horse" theme here. Keep up the good work.:thumbsup:

08 August 2009, 07:18 PM
Mattu, appreciate the comment, thanks.

From today, still detailing the other one.

08 August 2009, 12:11 PM
Love the looseness in yuor brushstrokes, however, most of your paintings lack a good focal point. I think you should choose at least one area of each painting and add more detail there.
It can be challenging to find the right amount of detail in certain area's (the closer to the focal point, the more detail) but it will create a strong focal point, which will make your work even more interesting.

08 August 2009, 06:42 PM
NR43, yea I agree, thanks for the critique. It's difficult of a combination though, detail vs loose. Also composition tends to be better and more loose if closer to abstract. It's difficult for sure, I will try harder. :)
thanks again.

08 August 2009, 06:17 PM
Worked some more on the contest piece today:
Bouncing some ideas back and forth.

08 August 2009, 08:55 PM
Nice!! I love the color work on your colossus piece, its looking great. Just wondering though is there going to be another colossus statue on the other side, maybe like a construction crew working on building up the next one or something like that? Other than that its looking amazing.:D

08 August 2009, 11:21 PM
Love those latest colossus images, i think this is some of the tightest stuff ive seen of your work, definitely the best in terms of edges in my opinion, its wierd because in your loose b&w sketch i definitely prefer the gesture of the beast, i think its one of those suggestive things that was slightly lost as it got more rendered around the foot areas. But yeah i love your work man, the subtle color temperature shifts and dynamic composition are so interesting.

08 August 2009, 01:32 PM
Mattu, wow that's a great idea, we'll see. Thank you. :)

Conbom, yea agreed the b&w had something, you know I sketched the horse head in 50 different angles, couldn't make it look right.
I like the head better in the b&w sketch because it had some kind of distortion to it which didn't look right in the more finished. thank you. :)

thanks again
todays scribble:

08 August 2009, 08:04 PM
Great, I love sci-fi environments. Lots of information at such early stage of a sketch. It's a amazing.
I am also interrested in some more final illustration though. Looking forward to see some. Keep posting dude :)

08 August 2009, 04:58 PM
siiilon, appreciate it thank you. :)

Todays scribble, thanks again for all the feedback guys I really appreciate it. :)

08 August 2009, 02:47 PM
Some more sci fi, more to the industrial.

08 August 2009, 05:33 PM

08 August 2009, 08:15 PM
This is where I am at with the contest piece, have a lot of problems all around. The backdrop is very difficult because if you detail too much it takes away too much attention.
Still got some weeks to go lol.

Added a rough stagecoach.
Scale problems that needs attention. ok ok enough rambling.

08 August 2009, 02:45 PM
Nice work bring out the details, its coming to life now.:thumbsup:

08 August 2009, 05:06 PM
MattU, thx


08 August 2009, 05:51 PM
I love the last one, seems to be so greatly balanced. About the collosus piece : there is smth distracting, maybe composition. I would lower the collossus's piedestal, and change the narrow piedestal with some half circular square, so that it seems possible for the collosus to get there. And ellipses looks just great in such perspective view. And, don't know, maybe some balcony in the foreground with people watching collosus for the better sense of scale.
Looking forward to your update :)

08 August 2009, 06:47 PM
siiilon, really appreciate the comment, really helps with a second opinion.
I didn't like where the piece was going so I made the statue more statue like again and messed around with an idea to make it look more grandeur. Kind of eyeballing the piece.
Balcon in the foreground could work but it could also make it look even more miniature, don't you think?
many thanks siiilon. :)
let me know what you think.

Here's what I messed around with for now

I might add some bridges in the foruground leading to the one in the center, maybe lower haven't decided yet.

08 August 2009, 07:36 PM
Ah screw it I got another idea, might be doing some big changes until it works.
Thanks again for comments, really helps.

08 August 2009, 07:42 PM
Hey, you posted just a second before me xD
Well, what about shallow stairs leading from the center midground towards the middle wall? And what about lake or sea in the far background to make the background less bussy? I really like where it is going now, maybe few flags could bring more life into it('cause I could image wind blowing there, I don't know why). To make the collosus statue-like is really a way to incorporate it into this kind of roman-like environment I think.

08 August 2009, 10:54 PM
This is really f***ing awesome man, your really showing your true colors by detailing out and clarifying like this, ive seen a lot of your abstract stuff over at sijun and really liked all of it. It had a lovely sense of light, gesture and composition even when it was super loose those remained, ive found it pretty rare to come across guys that have that kind of hold on light and composition and it seemed quite strange to me at the time that on the one hand it was on a very very high level in those subtle things and on the other that it was amazingly vague in terms of rendering, drawing structure, and edges. Really paradoxical actually.

If i may ask have you always worked abstract and this is your first attempt at high detail image? Where did you learn about color temperature ?

Are you working in a game studio?

Ahh sorry for all the questions, but you really kind of suprized me with this stuff to be honest.

If i were to give any crit, id say the one where the image is really wide is focusing the eye towards the center, but nothing very interesting at the center point, so might want to put some kind of payoff or focal point there, i do actually really like the wide aspect it gives a really epic feel so definitely onto something with that one. The detail in the backdrop seems pretty spot on, nice and gestural. Keep up the good work!

08 August 2009, 11:41 AM
I always wondered how the heck are some people creating so clear images with so few lines and strokes... I guess we call that "skill" :) I admire your speedy-doodles but the cityscape is really wonderful.

From suggestion part: statues were great, I hope those towers/pylons will make up for total devastation you did to the design :P With previous image ending just below the central balcony I've had idea to merge it with viewer by drawing multiple bridges both to othe balcons and exiting foreground in the bottom. Now when you extended the scene it doesn't make sense anymore. What do you plan to do in new foreground area?

best regards,

(ps. sorry for bit chaotic post, my imagination is working too fast starring at that piece :) )

08 August 2009, 07:31 PM
Thank you guys you are very kind. :)

conbom, I attended a decorative school, they teach a lot about glazing and such. More to the traditional. Before that I studied at an art school. No game studio. Thanks for asking.

ok this is what I have so far a quick test, gonna work on the píece during the weekend when I get some time over, so we'll see where I can take it.
Thanks again guys really helps with comments.
Have a nice weekend. :)

08 August 2009, 08:02 PM
Guess I am hooked on sci fi lol

08 August 2009, 12:55 AM
I like the new direction your going with the colossus piece.

08 August 2009, 10:06 AM
MattU, thank you

Messing around with a logo for my site, hmm trying to mess around with the code.
Amazing how much you forget about coding once you don't do it for a couple of years, snif lol.

08 August 2009, 07:21 PM
I like new cityscape version very much too, done any progress since last update?

08 August 2009, 02:37 PM
Sebastian, thank you, yea still working on it. Haven't done so much during the weekend. Hopefully more during the coming week.

Trying out something, thinking about these small ones more as thumbnails.
Silhouette thinking if you can call it that? That way you divide things simpflied and overly not too complicated, this will give you space to make them bigger and add more detail if you scale them.
If you the painter that is; finds something worthy to give a more finish.
ah hell I don't make sense, too much tea today lol.

08 August 2009, 03:54 PM
Hey Matthew, that's a lovely sketch. It's incredible how you could put so much life into your images with so few strokes. Everything is so in place. There is hell much I can learn just watching your thread. Thank you for sharing dude.

08 August 2009, 05:51 PM
siiilon, thank you.


08 August 2009, 07:05 PM
Think I will go with this idea now, can't make more big changes cause otherwise I believe I am running out of time to be able to detail things.
Hope you guys like the idea, perhaps a bit corny lol.
It's supposed to be an old king as it is now.
Need to work on a lot of things on it beneath though with shadows and such.

I tried to crop it in the bottom but it looked like the balcony idea someone mentioned earlier in here. Might be a good idea for a later piece but it's not possible with this piece because it took away the colossus part.

08 August 2009, 07:18 PM
I really like the epic feel you get just from the color scheme, and the perspective works great actually. Impressive works by the way.

08 August 2009, 07:36 PM
Likuidsnake, appreciate it, thank you.

Trying to get the feeling of the flying dutchman, snif can't do it.
one more today:

08 August 2009, 05:53 PM
one quickie today:

08 August 2009, 07:05 PM
ah hell one more poor car, too damn shiny

08 August 2009, 09:13 PM
Hey Matthew, these are such a beautifull car silhouettes. And you have a great sense to establish viewpoint, nice angles really. About the collosus : I would maybe extend top of the image frame, so that the "emperor's" hand is within composition and I think that the focal point is now the horizont between the rised hand and head. Since there's a primary light source I imagine there would nicely sit some great sculpture(in the center wall) with a big hole inside it through which the sun rays could nicely pass.
Looking forward to your next update. :)

08 August 2009, 06:59 PM
siiilon, appreciate your help with my colossus piece, haven't had time to work on it lately so we will see.
thank you. :)

Here's todays, not sure what happened lol

08 August 2009, 08:31 AM
Wow, checked out your whole Sketchbook and Im loving your stuff, really good knowledge of color, value, contrst, and composition, all thats missing is more finished pieces, BUT i I do love your skethes and Ill be keeping an eye here and hopefully learning a thing or two form you myself.:)
Keep it up!!!

08 August 2009, 04:21 PM
outlawstar, thank you. :)

Revised version of yesterdays,

still need to come up with a logo, snif

08 August 2009, 08:10 PM
Think I finally found the logo tweak that I wanna use.
I have it as the avatar aswell, thought it could be cool with some kind of theme lol.

08 August 2009, 06:41 AM
beware the flying dutchman...

08 August 2009, 07:13 PM
cool, I believe the one I saw was way back, an old 19th century piece. Was really awesome, can't remember the painter. Haven't seen the piece in a long time.
That particular paintin had a ship in the background, looking like a ghost ship, very blue and faded. hmm.

08 August 2009, 08:46 AM
Looking nice and very vivid, you have a real knack for readability with so few strokes, I really would LOVE to see what yo could pull out with a bit more time on a piece:)

08 August 2009, 03:10 PM
Some more sci fi, more to the industrial.

I really like this scenario, it would be great to see it from another angle with a different composition.

-capt. fred

08 August 2009, 05:38 PM
outlawstar, thank you

Capt.Fred, you around here too. :)
Perhaps that could be a good practise, we'll see. Thanks.


08 August 2009, 10:54 AM
My versions of the southern oracle, a little more to the abstract but those are supposed to be statues. thought of as a ceiling painting, I guess the round in a ceiling and especially in this painting has to be scaled and formed to the ceiling. oh

08 August 2009, 01:48 PM
one more today, oh my oh my I lost a lot of things in this one. Damn.

08 August 2009, 03:15 PM
Sweet compositions, Matt!

08 August 2009, 05:51 PM
Thank you daniel. :)

My colossus piece is turning out to be hilarious, changed a lot again this time, now I am starting to run out of time, one week to go for deadline. Darn it lol.

08 August 2009, 10:02 PM
The last collossus update looks great dude! It has the greatest impact. I'm just thinking of getting away of the right bridge - just to break the symetry a bit and leave some open space in the fore/midground. I guess you could stick with this one, 'cause it seems it goes the right way.

Just a side note, I love how you break the rules! :)

08 August 2009, 10:45 PM
Your style of painting looks so efficient. It seems like you could bring the essence of your ideas on to the canvas within minutes.
And you seem also to be very confident when choosing the two main colors, the one for the lit area and the other one for the parts in the shadows. This two colors seem to work allways very well together. Do you have some specific method for that? Im asking, because I never got it, how to choose to colors, to get this rather realistic than cartoonish effect.

08 August 2009, 05:25 PM
You guys are very kind, thanks for the continuing support. :)

Vyse-soa, Work with colors that are cold and warm to eachother, I tend to like Orange and Blue, Orange is my favourite color. And for shadows you just lower the value of the same color, moving closer to eachother sometimes helps, not a guarantee though.
Keep experimenting.

Thanks again guys.
Btw regarding the colossus contest, some other guys posted their work and maan I am screwed with mine. Those guys are really good.
I made a homage with this pic for one of the particpating in the contest, had to draw something when I saw his piece lol.

08 August 2009, 09:16 PM
I gotta tell you guys, the computer crashed so I am rebooting the idea completely, I lost all pictures so I guess that makes me up to something new and fresh instead.
Better take things like that as a sign lol. :)

08 August 2009, 07:28 AM
Those are looking shweet, the collosus in particular, I cant help but feel theres something amiss with the composition, but I cant place it,(I know thats not really helpful:P)
Keep um comin.;)

08 August 2009, 08:18 AM
Outlawstar8489: In case you mean the last collossus piece, I think there are two strong topleft -> bottomright diagonals and others are very subtle. So there's nothing to frame topleft and bottomright corners of image and possibly no place for the viewer to rest with his eyes. But that's more a framing play and probably changing the collossus's club's angle. And even collossus himself seems to be looking at something outside of frame. But precisely because of these issues Matthew's images are so rough. He could do tens of these :)
I don't want to change this thread to a chatting forum, but I would like to hear your opinions on this guys :)

Matthew-S: I am sorry to hear about your computer crash, but it seems you have the right approach to treat is positively ;)

08 August 2009, 06:21 PM
ok I am up and running again, damn that took a long time to re-install eventhough it was an image installation in the laptop.
Crazy or maybe I am too old.

Thanks guys for the comments.

siiilon, I think I know why. It is difficult to read because I was thinking evening on that particular piece above. Like sunset and then this big thing comes out of the shadow haha, damn I suck. That the values are dark and to close to eachother. Would be nice to hear more thoughts about that piece above, interesting discussion there siilon.

In this I made the horizon lighter and more bright background, makes more easy to read. or?
I am rambling too much.

Any "Mew" fans in here?
Anyway, I bought their new album, they are really good. I have been a fan from the beginning, they come from denmark.
Here's "beach" from their new album:

08 August 2009, 07:24 PM
My laptop seems to be mailfunctioning so this will be my final piece in the colossus contest, really sucks. Was aiming for a more finish but oh well that's how things goes sometimes.
Hope to be around but I will try to get it fixed so maybe some down time from the sketchbook, we'll see what can be fixed.
Colossus piece, I call it "you're next" :)

08 August 2009, 06:06 PM
Seems to be working better today, put the laptop on a book. Btw I meant Malfunction and not mail damn lol.

08 August 2009, 07:02 PM

08 August 2009, 03:47 AM
Amazing stuff!! Love it.

08 August 2009, 02:17 PM

08 August 2009, 08:58 PM
Hey Matthew, I like your final collossus piece, it's pitty you haven't found more time for it. But there will be another competion, right? Pls let us know if that happen :)

I saw that the woman with umbrella appreared in more your entries, so I pressume it's gonna be warmup for another bigger scale piece? :)

08 August 2009, 12:38 PM
siiilon, the female here is just practise, painting female is my cryptonite so I need to practise in the shapes.
But however I am looking for some kind of theme at the same time. :)
Here's another, Todays:

08 August 2009, 01:54 PM
my oh my I really must find a middleground, one where you open up to add detail but one where you can leave the piece as it is. Hmm nevermind my inner thoughts rambling lol, just a sidenote to myself.
One more today: I hope you can see the two samurais?

08 August 2009, 04:35 PM
she's wandering around lol

08 August 2009, 06:47 PM
oh well lol
one more today: :)

09 September 2009, 06:05 PM

09 September 2009, 04:20 PM
oh my

09 September 2009, 06:01 PM
This will be my last in this thread.
U know initially I was gonna start this thread with some more people, at the same time as it is fun to post I always get this strange feeling of why I post.
Strange that...
U know I do things my way and not like the highway.

Maybe I will post some pics in the finished some time. Thanks for the support guys. :)

Thread Closed, sorry.

09 September 2009, 07:50 PM
Oh that's bad :(
But anyway, thank you a lot for your advices and knowledge you shared. You will remain one of my greatest inspirations dude.
CU sometime later and somewhere else :)

09 September 2009, 07:08 PM
yeah, it'll be a loss.
I find your sketchbook very interesting and inspiring.
I bet, there are more people than you think, who are in awe of your paintings and your minimalistic and yet so impressive approach.
You know, whenever I doodle around, I think often of your thread, like... damn, there is this guy, who nails down a painting with a few strokes, I have to learn that too.
You can be sure, you have your fans already :buttrock: they're just a bit silent...

09 September 2009, 08:16 PM
U guys are very kind, I am thinking about to turn my site into some kind of blog "sketchbook" so the work will continue but rather more private than a forum is. Feels weird hijacking a thread like I did, sorry nothing personal guys.
Bet I will see you guys around, will check in here from time to time.
keep up the good work. :)

09 September 2009, 05:24 PM
Sad to see you like this my friend. I really enjoyed your work and the help that you have given me, but do what you thinks right. Cya around Matthew.:thumbsup:

09 September 2009, 08:29 PM
Found a blog software that I like now so hopefully I can go with this one, gonna try to update this one.
Gonna go on vacation on friday for a week though but after that I should be back up running again. Thanks for the support guys.
Thank you MattU. :)

Here's my blog and site

09 September 2009, 07:22 AM
Hey man, its a loss, but do whatever feels right for your artistic development, just know you have another fan in me and Ill keep an eye on your blog.

10 October 2009, 05:41 PM
Damn what the hell? it is on again lol :)

Decided to open the sketchbook again, this will be synchronized with my blog.
One hour sketches from now on but I can't promise to do them daily but that will be the goal.
one hour workout lol

This one became sloppy/
One hour

10 October 2009, 07:15 PM
Awesome Sketchand welcome back my friend.:applause:

10 October 2009, 07:53 PM
Welcome back!

I wonder how long will you stay here considering your unstable nature LOL
Just kidding, I am glad you're here. I will do my best to accommodate my pace to yours.

Just one question : what the hell you do to make your sketches so much storytelling? I percieve it like a great background music, not telling everything, but it's like huge stimpack.

10 October 2009, 01:35 PM
Thanks guys.

siiilon, lol you know me all to well by now haha. :)

But you know this one hour is pretty good, think it has potential to pay out in the end. Maybe it will head for more finished just given that you give it more mileage.
We'll see.
This one started out as a sketch inspired by one guy making an overpaint for me in the car thread over at sijun, cars are difficult though and it all comes down to small things.
Rims are mostly killing me when it comes to cars.
Tried to make a more finished but ****ed up too much, oh well.

rough sketch/// (

10 October 2009, 03:55 PM
LOL!! Yeah I stay away from cars because the always turn out pretty crappy. The Rims look alright, I'm kinda getting a feeling just by looking at them that ur going for a 4 spoke wheel, but one of ur spokes is a bit chunky. Other than that I think you got it. Like the lighting on the tail lights. Good work.:thumbsup:

10 October 2009, 10:13 AM
yea 4 spokes, I agree with you.
thank you. :)

Todays started out as a jedi idea, lost depth I believe./

10 October 2009, 11:04 AM
hey Matthew, you have a very interessting thread. You loose stuff is interessting and shows a lot of potential, but still I would like to see some of that stuff more further refined and developed. You might just pick on area you refine to lead the eye better through your pictures.

10 October 2009, 01:02 PM
yes thanks, I agree.
Might be enough to focus on one area, gotta remember that. In the case above I think it would be the character in front but I got out of time aswell, this is a practise of using the time well too. for me at least. :arteest:

Thanks :)

10 October 2009, 02:22 PM
I Can tell you I didn't use the time well in this one.
One more for today, got a little more time
on my hands during the weekends.

10 October 2009, 02:46 PM

nice piece of work.. i guess you got me to start to paint again after very long pause.. I really like seeing how much you did go so far.

it is not about details. It is how you create piece. (to respond to your comments how your works are bad) :) Im suffering worse than you what to do :)

cheers tomas

10 October 2009, 02:53 PM
hey tomasis long time no see. :) Thank you for your comment.

U still around in the Sijun neighbourhood?

10 October 2009, 03:02 PM
hey tomasis long time no see. :) Thank you for your comment.

U still around in the Sijun neighbourhood?

yeah started checking Sijun recently. There I found the link to here. Nice you got own address It is what I waited for and I'm going to follow your blog.

See ya around later

10 October 2009, 03:19 PM
Tomasis - U know we have all been there I stopped painting aswell, got my heart crushed when the decorative didn't get me anywhere.
Felt I had to abandon painting and do something else, found back to it though, never thought I would be interested in it again. Weird how that works...
Still though I see it just as a sparetime hobby now, not that much into learning anymore júst like to sketch.
Nice to see you again. :)
sure bring back old sijun memories. :)

I actually found some old pics going through my old account, don't have anything saved myself but it seems they are still up on the imagshack archives.
Here some oldies from 2007:

10 October 2009, 03:20 PM
Another old abstract from 2007, couldn't post two in the same post/:

10 October 2009, 03:28 PM
You seem to realeased a painting frenzy :D

Lovely images, both old and new ones. Especially #102 has amazing depth.

10 October 2009, 06:14 PM
Decided to just post the link to the oldies above, took too darn much space in the sketchbook.

siiilon, yea some days you are just in coma and better just sit around and paint, lol guess I had one of those days. :)
refined this one a little, changed view on it aswell.

10 October 2009, 08:08 PM
This one simply blew me away, damn. Outstanding

10 October 2009, 08:47 PM
I have to agree with Siiilon. Ur work is getting more Dynamic. Its Awesome!!!

10 October 2009, 05:06 PM
appreciate the feedback guys. :)

Wrote a little more about this one over in the blog. Success in the workflow this one, used 10minutes in the beginning and then started to flesh out.
Sure for one hour one should perhaps expect more detail, I still gonna need a lot of mileage with that though.
Thanks again guys.

Now come to think about it I should have probably rotated a little and stabilized a little, what do you guys think? Hard to read?

10 October 2009, 07:07 PM
the composition still suffers, gotta call it a day on this sucker.
Don't wanna depart too much from my one hour either.
Quick fix in this one.

10 October 2009, 07:53 PM
This one is much better readable in terms of where is up and where is down. The previous camera angle was too unusual to find the ground. I like it very much and I agree that, as for me, I enjoy good workflow much more than the result. I think, that is the difference between producer vs consumer, that producer enjoy the whole process of creation, which is something uncomparably and unimaginably better.

10 October 2009, 08:08 PM
Hey siiilon appreciate the feedback. It's weird though when I made it made perfect sense, the angle.
Sometimes you just keep staring yourself blind when you create... :)
Yea the process is what I enjoy the most, why I keep doing it.

btw I added some info in your sketchbook, not perfect but I hope it helps a little.

10 October 2009, 12:57 AM
I totally get the perspective on the last one. Its much easier to read than the first one. The Dark castle look is looking good. Keep it up!!!:thumbsup:

10 October 2009, 05:22 PM
Mattu, appreciate it. :)

Lol I think this one better starts with a question, got tree? :)
haha can't win em all.

10 October 2009, 07:12 PM
LOL good one. Hey on the dark castle one, maybe to help others that can't see the perspective that well, maybe add some birds around the top of the tower or a dragon whatever you prefer.

10 October 2009, 07:38 PM
Actually yea that's good advice, was thinking about birds.
Still think the castle one lacks in the composition... Experimented with it but it turned out to be a rather difficult composition to fix, snif.

Made another one

10 October 2009, 06:28 AM
glad to see you posting again,
(I am sure many other people are lurking here, just not replying,
only silently looking forward to your next post :) )

I especially love your latest semi-transparent environment studies ..

10 October 2009, 06:31 PM
Thank you. :)

Gotta just say here that places like tinypic are awesome. Usually I upload to one of those places when I post in here.
Gonna put the filename here, hence if they do get lost in the future I will be able to update from my own server.
The filenames to these pics go by date so nothing fancy :argh:


10 October 2009, 06:46 PM
Hell yes, I love it. Usually with the best images I experience hearing sounds from the image - so happened with this one. Words are not enough here :)

10 October 2009, 09:53 PM
Way to go mathew, these recent works are really nice, horseman leaping of castle is a winner!

10 October 2009, 05:45 PM
Thank you guys. :)

Too much shit going on today, also became one of those days when you cannot paint no matter how hard you try. snif

10 October 2009, 07:40 PM
There's a new theme over at Sijun ("circle of life"), got til the end of the month.
Playing with some ideas at the moment. :)

10 October 2009, 07:44 PM
Hey, that is great Mattias, maybe I will participate :)

10 October 2009, 07:46 PM
Yea that would be awesome, are you a member over at Sijun? :)

10 October 2009, 07:48 PM
Not yet, but I hope it's not a big obstacle, right? :)

10 October 2009, 07:51 PM
lol siiilon :)

(lol couldn't reply with less than 10 characters so I added your name, crazy)

10 October 2009, 03:48 PM
The new works look great. I love the gladiator one the perspective on it is amazing! :thumbsup:

10 October 2009, 05:55 PM
Thanks for the support Mattu. :)

Not entirely sure where I wanna take my work, hmm.

However this was success in the workflow as I mentioned in my blog aswell.
Result suffered but what the hell, it is what is.

btw this one comes with something I thought of when I created it, the king is saying:
-"what the hell do they want from me?"

10 October 2009, 06:20 PM
LOL!! I guess the shit has hit the fan between the King and his people, oh wait the King doesn't own a fan!!! LOL Good looking piece. Maybe instead of the people just standing there complaining they should riot and start fires.:eek:

10 October 2009, 10:22 AM
Sweet! That last piece with the king presiding over his kingdom is gorgous, I love it, I love how your pics all suck me into their world, thats a real art in itself, keep up the great work!!

10 October 2009, 05:41 PM
Thanks guys you're too kind. :)

Something I have been messing with, workflow is -10 though cause I kept changing everything.
Thinking about to mess around with it some more during this week hence I will not post it on the blog yet:
Edit oh well I posted it anway on the blog haha

10 October 2009, 09:36 PM
Hey Mattias :)
The drappery to the left of the king reminds me of your abstract piece from 2007 you sent recently. Gorgeous flow it has. And looking your last piece I feel urge to get back to perspective studies and work on my worflow much - like to quickly establish a scene in a certain camera view. And the composition could be easily analyzed in these two aswell. That's very educational, thank you Mattias :)
As for the circle of life, I hoped to post some first today, but I end up just gathering ideas and references and revising my brushes. We'll see, maybe tommorow.

10 October 2009, 05:48 PM
Yea you're right it is very similar to that piece actually, lol guess I have the comfort with half abstract still. :)
Thank you. :)

Huu workflow -20000000, **** it all became abstract. snif

10 October 2009, 06:06 PM
oh dear, I am going backwards

10 October 2009, 07:17 PM
It's so funny in Hellboy 2 when he get's punched in the face and drops his cigar, -"my cigar, it was Cuban" lol
Oh well, better not talk movies in here -haha god I must be bored!

10 October 2009, 08:36 PM
My word Mathew the light is wonderfull in the worked up version, you call that going backwards! Im inclined to disagree with that!

I dunno a small crit might be your figures tend to be a bit dark all over, i do the same. You might want to consider some skin tones and coloured clothing affected by the light in the closer up shots. Like the way yellow objects are green under water, i struggle with that stuff quite massively. All i know is subtractive mixing determins the reflected light colour, yellow local object + blue light = green local object colour (i think *sighs*)

If i may ask how do you change the colours when a working on a base?, do you use colour modes like overlay and multiply or just paint streight over the top, whenever i use modes or a hue/sat adjustment things like that the colour tempreture releationships get killed or the saturation gets messed up somehow, ive never really been able to colourize a grayscale and have it still feel natural but you seem to manage big colour changes really well.

Anyhow nice work man!

10 October 2009, 05:54 PM
Appreciate the crit. :) However there's a reason for it which usually is time constraint....
In a scene like that the humans in the scene would be the last to put focus on, guess I never get there though lol which probably is another whole discussion in itself.
Hence they only get shadow and form.

...the backwards comment is merely the workflow which is the only thing I have focused on lately and at the moment also feels like climbing Everest.

Focus on to set the right amount, if you overlay u might wanna put it down to 40%;
- guess it all comes down to the amount. I usually paint over though.
Made this sketch today to show a little how I work.
First the quick greyscale, I almost always start with greyscale no matter what the motif.
Then you keep glazing, overpaint and remove what you don't need.
In this case I added color on top of the sketch without any layers or anything.
Most effective that because you stop to care about drawing and focus more on the color.
ok enough rambling.
Thanks again for feedback conbom. :)

10 October 2009, 07:20 PM
another one today:

10 October 2009, 12:32 AM
Ah thanks Mathew, its really interesting to see this. Did a good job too he really feels part of the scene.

Also, i like the way your drawing is very solid, the hard edges are very well placed, i noticed in some of your pieces you use some textured brushes to help with the softer edges, very successfull when you do that. I think playing that up more might be helpfull for your soft and lost edges. Makes the transitions very soft and quiet in the darker areas without looking airbrushy and pop the hard edges even more because of the contrast.

Thanks again for describing your process.

10 October 2009, 10:34 AM
Hey Mattias, wonderfull updates!

I love the volumetric light in post #138, and the clouds, damn, the atmospere is simply overwhelming. The post #140 is again wonderfull and in post #141 you have gorgeous body language and equilibrium.

I would like to use this opportunity and ask few question about your own work while you remember your thoughts while painting them : in post #140, I see two dark brown blobs of color in top/right and bottom/left. I understand it compositionally (at least I think (: ), but what would my thoughts be if this "sketch" was mine, how to continue? What should those blobs turn into? They have to become something particullar, right? They are not the focal points, so keeping this overall level of detail in the image, it's good when it is as it is. But, if you realize to go deeper, and to solve those blobs, how would you probably progress. The same as with the cross within the circle in the same image (the statue above the roman soldier), I see you add lot's of variety in value and shape to make it more interresting. As the matter of fact, it is much more interresting as its grayscale predecessor. How would you probably change the design of it to make it more particullar (supposing it's a focal point, while now it seems to be the inscription on top of the pedestal, and partly the roman soldier). I know, as you suggested before, the abstract shape could become anything that fits in the scene, somtimes simply darker matterial, sometimes shadow. Sorry for annoying you too much, I just think this part of the workflow is hardest, once I have something striking in blobs of color, how to turn all abstract into exact? Thank you dude in advance and I am looking forward to next ones ;)

As for my broken computer, it's a kind of renaissance, few steps back and rethink all. I needed that, but I was unable to stop myself, I guess it was a divine intervention :)

10 October 2009, 06:45 PM
siiilon, Your questions are certainly getting more and more difficult to answer but I do appreciate it and it also makes me reflect more over my own stuff, not sure I can help out that much though as I have said before.
Abstract shapes keeps you more opened to change the whole and your canvas further into the progress and as you develop certain things you are then able to change things that currently were not that important.
You gotta understand that with color every color tone that you add will affect another color, grey tones quickly becomes cold or warm depending on the color you put beside it.

These shapes, keep in mind what they could be when you develop further. In this case above it was the sun cross symbol and yes a roman soldier which according to me is quite funny looking too that they cruzified christians. Well that not funny but the irony of it. However he was holding a spear when I started the sketch. :)

Anyway regarding your questions I started to work a little more on that sketch to see where it could go, perhaps some of the abstract shapes makes more sense in this one, or maybe not.
Tell me what you think.

Otherwise it is all about fleshing out details, that takes a long time to learn.
...To understand how to detail something is really difficult.
I am not that good with it myself.
In my opinion you have to find a balance because too much detail kills everything if you ask me.
Damn I write too much.

10 October 2009, 08:06 PM
Thank you very much for trying to help me understand, I appreciate it a lot.

I don't want to go too far, 'cause I don't know how many bullshits I'm gonna to say, so let's just pinpoint something.
The previous version has a good focal point and I love the background of the cross there, the roundy like arch. I guess, if you cut the lower part only a bit, so the left lit soldier's calf disappear, the whole image seems to "calm down", become less busy. The eye is no longer attracted down.
And on the top of all, I love the ornaments on the right wall.

In the new version, hmmm, I thought so hard to realize at least something (you are right it's difficult, I am kinda assuring myself that I am not complete noob when struggling with it so much :P). You shifted the focal point back to a cross, 'cause the figure stays so still and parallel to other components of composition, and wear neutrall colors, so it became almost invisible - in a good way though. I think extending the frame to the left could bring more air to breathe, but yeah, not producing another focal point. I guess, that the left side of the cast shadow of the figure confuse me a bit trying to comprehend the light direction. The cast shadow behing the cross bugs me, I though and I guess there is no simple way how to solve it and still have the contrast there. Wether put the background back in shadow and make the cross of a lighter material, or make the cross shiny(some brass or something).

Please don't treat this as a critique, in no way I feel good enought to give you some, these are just my thoughts and I am in a tension to see your comments on this :)
I am a bit depressed about this, 'cause it seems like neverending pushing and pulling, too many contradicting factors leaving sometimes no alternatives and other time just too many.

And thank you Mattias for this source of learning, I can't imagine myself having a better chance.

CU dude

10 October 2009, 08:19 PM
See if I can noodle on it some more tomorrow...

Funny thing with detail is that once you start adding a lot of detail things are starting to become recognizeable by the eye, which instantly needs to be more detailed to be interesting. Then you loose the interesting idea with the abstract shape, because this detailed shape needs a lot of detail or correction in its material.
Also it gets compared with things in real life.
Hmm hard to explain.

Siiilon - You have good comments so don't feel like you cannot critique me, just keep them coming.
ok gotta go to bed. :)

Thanks again guys for feedback

10 October 2009, 10:08 PM
awesome sketchbook. love the composition in pretty much every piece. great! also, you remind me of how much i need to work on that stuff.

10 October 2009, 10:53 PM
absolutely stunning work mate! the abstractness of it still fascinates me in evey piece!
youre also very strong compositional wise.. 136 and 137!
and i'm really with you, what you said about the abstract shapes, recognizable forms and detail. took me a long time to get this... uhm, three years? :D
but i'm still at the beginning, you're much better in this :)

hrhr and i love the sniper! :D
keep them coming!

10 October 2009, 09:36 AM
Your compositional skills in these last few pieces are just top notch, Im Loving your recent color choices too and learning a lot from your words, and the input of all you guys, appreciate it;)

10 October 2009, 07:59 PM
oh my oh my you guys are too kind. :blush:

I haven't thought about that I am necessarely that good with composition, have always thought about it as balance and not composition.
But yes painting is difficult, what surprises me every time is that how the brain thinks one way and the reality is another.
Especially materials like rocks and concrete, damn I always keep thinking those are dark in its tone when perhaps the grass around it is more dark.

Apprectiate the feedback guys, keep up the good work all of you. :)
Todays became strange, yea that's the right word for it lol.

10 October 2009, 08:56 PM
Lovin your work mate. It has such a beautiful quality to it I can't really describe.
I think you have what I, and many others are jealous of - is your ability to lay down what seems like very little brush strokes yet you achieve this life like representation. And your dedication is remarkable to be honest. A true inspiration. And please..for me..send me some prints!!

10 October 2009, 03:46 PM
mattyuk, yea I remember you asked me before, I don't work that big though.
Got limits with Gimp on my pc. This one below I have as 2800 pixels width if I remember correctly, (however that is big for me, usually it is like 1700 width or height).
Appreciate your words thank you, good to see a fellow Sijun'er. :)

Might work a little more on this one.
As always though I like clean slates for some weird reason, lol I am screwed.

Thanks again guys you are too kind.

10 October 2009, 03:05 PM
Post ww3 and the girl returns to the theater where she once performed as an actress.

Still needs a lot of detail, we'll see. :)

10 October 2009, 04:25 PM
Matthew-S: Wonderful topic, I love postapocalyptic sceneries. The color scheme of the first one suggest the true postapocalyptic atmosphere, although, the ruins look more like factory than theatre. The color scheme of the second one and the more regular and repeated shapes resemble more theatre interior. The design of the first one looks more coherent in shape language, but second one has less aggresive shapes, calmer, more like theatre. I have an idea how to solve this ( I would like to make something like that myself once I will have my computer again), and that is trying to approach this inversely. First trying to make the interior of the theatre from the past, when it's all working and busy. And then, try to crash it and burn it and dust it and so the postapocalyptic look.

Looking forward to your updates buddy, cu :)

10 October 2009, 05:25 PM
Hi Matthew,

Just dropped by to say I really enjoy your abstract future cityscapes. Looking forward to see more.


10 October 2009, 05:28 PM
Just realized I spelled Theatre wrong, lol I guess low force in the english.
"remember the failure in the cave" haha

siiilon, wuw you sure got a lot of good ideas, sure appreciate you continuing support. :)
Hope to see you back in the digital soon. How's it going with the laptop?
Was actually thinking the same about the theatre, hard to solve it though because if you think nuclear I guess everything gets rammed down. Perhaps ww2 had been a better idea?
The thinking about the piece is her old town was miracously saved.... lol well not sure if I will continue on the piece.
thank you

Pringle, Sure feels like old times when you guys appear in my sketchbook, good to see you. Snooped around you site, we are aging the same way u know ...77... good year eh? :)
Thank you. I made this one for you, I messed up though. :argh:

10 October 2009, 06:22 PM
Hey Matthew, i love your style man! Looked through the last few pages and you always seem to push these strong compositions. Even if unfinished, each one has bold perspective and strong mood. Very powerful stuff i'll keep an eye over here =)

10 October 2009, 05:32 PM
Rabid1, Appreciate the words. :)


10 October 2009, 08:03 PM
Wonderfull collosus piece!
Do you feel the same temptation to make the canvas wider?(I have the same feeling in your colossus piece, which is double weird, since you have gorgeous composition there). It's ridiculous, I always end up with the same boring layout, I should sometimes be more brave and ignore some rules and not calm down everything. Like you threw the question in your blog : "Maybe balance sometimes is bad too?" I guess yes, balance should be more like moving force and not end point. Balance as the final state seems to me more like a death, hmm. Anyway, I think it always depends ... .

As for my previous digital age, I appreciate this pause, since I have time to calm down, I get the Nicolaides's book and start practicing contours and gestures and rethink all the basics all over again. I've been finding peace recently and sooner or later I get back to digital, I am pretty sure it's gonna be a different season.

Keep posting those gorgeous images Mattias, it's always like a reading of a great book for me :)

10 October 2009, 06:05 PM
siiilon, appreciate it siiilon, you will get there. ..Just embrace the learning phase though and remember you will learn from your mistakes, eventhough perhaps you see some of your pieces as a failure I would like to remind you that they are not. ....Otherwise, How would you learn?
You know the composition that I do... It is perhaps balance in the composition; but other things do get lost, especially in characters.
If you do wide pieces you get further away from the characters.

I am going on a vacation, will be back next week. :)

10 October 2009, 03:59 PM
bad jetlag right now but felt I had to do a quicky at least, not sure what it is though? :)

10 October 2009, 07:52 PM
Gotta love it when no matter how much you paint stuff like this comes out.

10 October 2009, 07:11 PM

10 October 2009, 08:01 AM
Hey Mattias, I hope I can join back again. In the meantime, only rumbling from my side :P

I think this your last post needs people - some happening below the shuttle, maybe maintenance, you know, some ladders, platforms, artificial lights. And maybe breaking up the lower lighter part of the image with a bigger platform extending from the foreground.
Hey, I would just love to handle it like you one day, 'cause I love scifi asweel :)

Be good and keep posting dude :)

10 October 2009, 07:53 PM
Sorry siiilon I need to put focus on not rushing so the sketchbook will go silent I bet you saw more info in the blog, no drama though.
Thanks again guys. :)

10 October 2009, 01:11 AM
the yellow ship and post ww3 images on this page are really strong, as is the colossus image, lovely mood in it. Gradually your work is getting beter and better, good luck with the higher detail direction. I think the more detailed things get the stronger the construction needs to be, for example in some of your sketches there are some wonderfull touches and flicks of the brush that may not lay perfectly in perspective.

In a speedy sketch its easier to forgive these imperfect drawing moments for the sake of the overall mood and vitality of the image as a whole. Often times when ive worked up a speedy and tried to detail it up it looses the touches that i liked, so i try to preserve the "good bits" even though deep down i know there wrong in perspective, out of proportion, in the wrong place, whatever. So i paint round them and the image ends up looking hedious. Its kind of like drawing a finger then trying to fit the whole character in around it, ends up looking wonky.

This is a problem that persists for me in my painting. What ive noticed Craig mullins do for his images sometimes, is he gets an idea or a brief then does two seperate peliminary sketches that look like nice speedy sketches in there own right, then totaly redraws the better image, refining the design as he goes but maintiaining the idea mood and feel. Prehaphs using a 3D block out or a well planned start to really nail the perspective and angle, Then builds on this solid base and totaly masters the image and posts the peliminary along with the final piece as two or three seperate entity on his site. Of course artists have been doing this for years but i dont see many concept/digital artists doing this, i think its digitial and the way it lets you endlessly work on something with no build up of paint and not think it through enough. I think this is what he was getting at in his interview with imagine FX. Having said that theres nothing wrong with working up a good stetch to finnish hes done that also countless times, there are truley no "absoloutes" in image making, just possibilitys. part of what makes it so interesting

But yeah it might be somthing to bear in mind, i should proberbly take my own advice also.

[Edit, sorry about the new page!]

10 October 2009, 05:41 PM
conbom, you sure speak words of wisdom.
True this you mention that some parts are not correct but I am however finding a charm in this as strange as it may sound.... You want uniqueness, don't you?
Anyway to make this short, I believe I need more time.
And I also have a complex way about posting which still feels strange to post like I did here, eventhough you guys have been giving me good feedback.

10 October 2009, 07:10 PM
Posting this one to show why I think need more time and not to keep doing the kind of sketching that I used to.
First stage is for me a ground layer on which I keep developing onto then I have to balance and replace stuff.
This is the 2nd hour but still needs a lot of attention.
Gotta love this kind of sculpting though, more finish feels like sculpting to me. :)
See you guys.

Still not sure how to treat my blog though? at one hand I feel it would be cool to have two domains, one with wip and the other the finished... or maybe post everything on the blog....hmmm.
So many possibilities. lol

11 November 2009, 07:46 PM
love that perspective on your latest matthew.

11 November 2009, 02:45 PM
Freakin love the last pic, composition is looking great and color balance is coming along perfectly, loving the extra detail.
Keep it ups!!

11 November 2009, 03:11 PM
Sorry guys I closed this sketchbook, should have been more clear about that.
I am heading for more finished pieces but still they will be made the way that I want them and not how it is supposed to look.
Felt my speedies became rushed and not reaching for how they should look.

I also changed my nickname, will try to use this nick in the forums that I frequent. :)
Thanks again for feedback guys, too kind.
I am working on this one at the moment, still a lot of stuff to solve.

11 November 2009, 03:42 PM
Howdy Mattias, as long as you'll post pieces like this one, damn, you can change your nick to whatever want, you can reset your blog anytime you want; simply do things you like most becuase it is so much pleasure watching your images, really. And btw, the abstract piece you posted on sijun is amazing, would be nice to see more of you abstract work too :)
PS: I am back digital, today I am gonna post again


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