View Full Version : Cottage Clearing

10 October 2009, 01:17 AM
I found a very nice stock photo of a cottage in a small field and decided to try my hand at matte painting, and playing with different lighting/coloring to achieve a more painterly result. Hope you like it.

Cobbled together with about 7-8 different photos, some taken by me, others off the web(royalty free), and seasoned with a healthy dose of overpainting. Overall it was created in about 10+ hours with a few more for some quick variations and color tests.

Let me know what you think!

10 October 2009, 08:15 AM
It is interesting to see how colours affect the painting, and how your eye responds differently to the different lighting. I like small studies like these as you can learn a lot from them. You have given me a little bit of an idea for a project of mine.


10 October 2009, 10:24 AM
Hi Nethermind, this is a good start.

You have a good understanding of creating a mood using a colour palette and light. Particularly so in the image on the left which has a really nice warm ambience

A few things to consider would be firstly to think about making your image a wider aspect ratio to fit with the standard of most mattes. This would involve a set extension which is a good practice to get into.
Also think about how different elements of the scene interact with one another. For example in this picture the forest is out of sync with the scene elements behind it as there is a sharp edge diving the two and the scale is slightly confusing.

keep going :)

10 October 2009, 06:00 AM
Hm..yeah maybe I should move this to the 2d thread it's not really a traditional matte and is not intended for the screen but rather print media..

Liberties were taken with realism as I like to incorporate disparate elements into much of my art and the intention is to evoke rather than represent; digital decoupage if you will. (That or i'm just be stating this after the fact because I'm too lazy to retouch it!)

I usually do work in a much wider aspect ratio..just felt like going vertical for a change (ie book cover, poster art, etc.)

I do understand your point about the middle divide though and agree it needs some better blending..I might add some brush to break up that middle line or possibly keep the fading as in the image below.(earlier version)

rockhopp: agreed! I think I enjoy the studies more that the actual production work, they are quite fun and stimulating.

another quick brighter slightly desaturated version. Treeline here is very evident though!

10 October 2009, 05:39 PM
Don't worry about the aspect ratio too much if you're just doing learning exercises, its just if you were aiming for industry work a wider view would usually be expected. The most important thing imo is to get the image working within itself.

If you are going for a more 'artistic collage' or digital decoupage as you call it :), then what i've put below is not as relevant. If you're seeking to make a more realistic matte then it might be helpful.

The middle blend stands out for a couple of reasons. Firstly those trees at the edge are quite out of focus which makes the sharpness of the objects behind it seem unreal. Anything behind the far edge of trees should be *at least* as blurred as they are.

Also the scale of the trees at that point is such that a person standing next to them would be tiny, almost unseen in this picture. The scale of the objects (i can't really tell what they are, though) behind those trees seem to me much bigger than a person would be at that distance, making your foreground/background transition incongruous.

I think the foreground works (not sure about the scale of the tree though, is it big and next to the house or smaller and close to camera?) and i think the far background works (the silhouetted shapes set against the sky).

It's your mid-background which is throwing the image out as a whole. I'd replace this with something simple that fits as an extension of the foreground, like just having the trees extend far further back. At this scale any man-made structures are going to be tiny due to the perspective.

Good luck with it, i hope some of what i suggested is helpful :)

10 October 2009, 10:08 PM
I see what you are saying about the tree..the trunk looks as if it's closer to the camera than the house but the upper portion looks like it could be slightly behind the roof.

Yes I will hopefully be doing some commercial work in the far future, perhaps for animation/indy games, so that is very helpful and you've given me a few things to think about.

10 October 2009, 09:30 PM
Had some time to work a bit more on this. Here are a few variations with smoke stack elements. I'm still trying to decide which composition I like more.

I also got rid of the tree, and will possibly put a smaller more subtle element in the lower right field, I just need to shoot some more photos. Oh and ignore the HUGE wheelbarrow..i just noticed how massive it was in comparison to the door.

Thoughts, comments appreciated, especially on the smoke elements composition wise.

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