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Monday, July 5, 2010

New York City

This painting goes back a few years. OK, it goes back over 20 years. Way back, when I was an apprentice Matte Painter, my mentor Mike Lloyd gave me a training assignment to get me ready for all the cityscape paintings we were going to be doing on Dick Tracy. The assignment: find a bunch of photographs of New York and Chicago, and make painting copies...one a day (8 hours max.)...black and white only. Of course, as this was matte painting training, it went without saying that the paintings needed to look like photos.

Up until this point, I'd never really dealt with architectural rendering on this level, and was pretty lost as to how to include so much detail in such a relatively short period of time. As I progressed from painting to painting however, I discovered that the secret wasn't in the detail you included...but in the detail you left out. The trick was to edit and indicate. Keep it loose, but accurate. Big brushes. Big brush strokes. Practice, practice, practice.

This went on for about a month and culminated in the painting below.

Acrylic

44 comments:

Daniel said...

Awesome painting - as with a lot of your work I like the way it's painted so freely yet so much 'realism' about it. That sounds like a good assignment and one I think I might have a go at myself.

Thanks for the 'pro tip' about editing out unnecessary details as well.

A. Riabovitchev said...

Really beautiful!Small one look like photo!:o)

Adam Temple said...

Amazing! I can't believe this is 20 years old!

Martin Bergquist said...

stunning... mattepaintings did look better before.

pointpusher said...

Digging the new layout to the blog, and this painting made me homesick! Great work as usual.

Avner Geller said...

really beautiful and inspiring story too :) thanks for sharing!

Nick said...

Wow, this is so good. Fabulous lighting and idicative detailing. Do you have any more of the earlier attempts that didnt go so well? It would be great to see that progression!

Bobby Chiu said...

I wonder how long would it take you now? ... just amazing...

Zachary said...

This is really impressive. Thanks for sharing!

Louis-Philippe said...

Amazingly inspiring. Thanks for posting! =)

Alex Campbell said...

Wow, A lot cam be learned just from looking a this painting. Thanks!

Cal said...

This is mindblowingly good! Amazing.

Alexander said...

Good image, atmosphere and color kid !!

with 20 years old ?!?!?!?!?!?!?! X_X

Amazing!!

Anonymous said...

Very intersting post , thx for share Paul !

vjarumugam said...

loved the lines....
"I discovered that the secret wasn't in the detail you included...but in the detail you left out"

and its a brilliant piece. hats off!

Paul Lasaine said...

Probably several weeks:)

Tooninator said...

bloody brilliant. You're an unstoppable force (even 20 years ago)

Carolyn said...

WOw that is is so cool! I love it, very well done. I totally thought this was a photo

samacleod said...

Wow, awesome, great story. So inspiring.

Romain Jouandeau said...

Ouch! stunning work, very impressive!

Davidk214@gmail.com said...

Wow thanks for sharing! I love reading past stories about your career.

Dave said...

Nice painting. Seems like people always respond to this kind of selective detailing in paintings because it looks so real to us from a distance but up close it's not detailed. This approach to doing a matte shot seems a lot harder to do on the computer, but I guess the same principle can apply. Everything would have to be painted a lot bigger than final resolution though, right?
-Dave

Anonymous said...

Now this why I love this blog! (and all the other ones)

Manoj a menon said...

wow...
paul..can you pls post a Photoshop demonstration....wanna learn how you do this.
Its just killing me..
pls do post a video ..
pls..

Manoj
( still waiting to hear from Kim)

Dilanka S said...

Amazing work! So inspiring Paul.

paul said...

this guys is not bad eh?

Leighton Hickman said...

Damn Dude! Inspiring!

OV! said...

WOW!

you are insane.

period.


>oVi

Griselda Sastrawinata said...

You make me want to practice more.

Zombie Chicken Catcher said...

Real cool stuff I gotta say.

rivamonte said...

Wonderful work. Can you tell us what is the size of this piece? Thank you for sharing!

Paul Lasaine said...

This piece is 14" x 18".

mellowsmoothe said...

Nice work Paul! At first I thought this was a photo you took and then it expanded to be a well-indicated painting. Great work... yet again. :) It's great how the colors are limited but seem to make it more vivid somehow.

hans said...

it is so refreshing to see this 'idea' of realism in a time where nearly every design is overloaded and killed with detail. and what you write about the secret you discovered should hang on the wall in front of us.

Gracia said...

wow! the small one really looks like a photo!! it's amazing! in only eight hours! I can't believe you just practiced during one month and got there!!
with acrylics!
ASTONISHING!
thanks for sharing!!
:)

Anonymous said...

Do you know an illustration of moby dick turned into a jigsaw puzzle from 25 yrs ago?
I am looking to collect one, it's for sentimental resons. I appreciate it.

Richard Smitheman said...

It's beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Kenneth Hunter said...

@ hans, yes, it's extremely annoying when people ask you to render your designs to death. This painting is beautiful, nice and loose.

sundryandco said...

The finished product looks incredible. What I wouldn't give to have artistic talent (I'd probably give my two arms, which render me a little artistically deficient!).

I'll be travelling to NYC (and the USA for the first time) from Ireland - Until then, I think I'll stare at this creation and let my imagination flow.

NZPete said...

Hi Paul

I've admired your traditional matte painting work for years - though it's been years since I've seen any.

I've got a blog dedicated to old school matte painted effects and cover many artists, genres, studios and titles. I'll be doing a Dick Tracy special sometime soon.

Peter
http://nzpetesmatteshot.blogspot.com

Chelsea Odd said...

Wow! wow!! wow!!!

Kevin Sherbrooke said...

Looks great Paul....almost as good as the one we did in high school!

Best, Kevin

Adam said...

What a great assignment. I definitely need to do stuff like this. I can't believe this painting is 20 years old! I was like, 2 when you painted this. Your experience in the industry is impeccable.

Fernando Teixeira said...

Man your work is great!!! Please continue to post!