Thursday, August 07, 2014

Conventions, videos and Steampunk Boudicca

I've just had four convention appearances in succession; London, Manchester, Portsmouth and back to Manchester again. A very tiring few weeks, but so much fun. It's brilliant to venture out of my dim little cave and display my work in front of actual human beings. Of course it's wonderful to get feedback online, likes and shares on Facebook and the odd complimentary email, but nothing compares to watching how people react as they walk past my display or hearing what they have to say about my doings. After six ( or is it seven? ) years trundling around the convention circuit, it still brings me immense pleasure and I'm truly grateful to everyone who stops by my table. Thank you!

Something which often comes up in conversation at the show table is my working methods. This is something I'm happy to discuss, but I'm not sure how well I'm able to articulate the details of my process. Especially in the middle of a crowded and noisy convention venue! I have recently begun to capture my painting process and upload videos that show me working while I discuss what I'm doing. The videos are quite casual - more like one-sided conversations than formal tutorials - but hopefully that makes them accessible. I'm still finding my way with these, so any feedback is very welcome. Links are below if you want to check 'em out.

Painting With Fury -

On the topic of conventions, here's some new artwork recently completed for the Diceni gaming event in Norfolk. Boudicca ( or 'Boudi' ) is the mascot for this show and after producing a fairly straight interpretation of the character for the inaugural event, I was delighted to be asked to work on a steampunk variant for the next!

Don't forget you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter too!


Ryan M. Williams said...

I've really been enjoying the videos. I have your book, The Fantasy Artist's Figure Drawing Bible, but it's great seeing you work real-time on a picture. What about doing a multi-part video series? Starting from the very beginning and pushing it all the way to a final image? Maybe if you do the female orc idea you mentioned in the orc concept. Part one might be working out the concept, and then a second part going past that point to a final render.

Or whatever else you want to do, the videos are great fun and I am picking things up just watching and hearing what your thoughts are as you work. I've come at developing my drawing/painting skills later in life so I feel like I'm trying to catch up all the time. Videos like yours do help.

Thank you!
Ryan M. Williams

Matt Dixon said...

Thanks Ryan, that's really useful feedback. I've been thinking about producing a longer video, taking things to a fully polished piece of presentation artwork. Great idea to split it into logical segments. Definitely one to pencil in for the future!


Jakob Juul said...

Oh Sir Matt,

I sort of find it ironic that I need to prove that I am no robot to post in here. You of all people should not disregard the opinions of our metal friends.

I could not believe my eyes when I found out you had recorded your process. You have been one of my absolute favourite artists ever since the good old days, and you still are.
I really do like the concept of not being too tutorial'ish plenty of them around, but just watching your approach has given me tons of ideas and inspiration on how to achieve the more painterly look of digital art that I have always strived for, but never quite mastered.

I do second Ryan who commented above me; I would feel like christmas if you could make a video of you making a fully rendered piece. To follow the making of your classic finished pin-ups with backgrounds like my all time favourite of yours "Gone Fishing" would be hugely inspiring.

For inspiration on what to talk about for that long. I would like to hear about how to deal with commisioned work where you are forced to work in layers. I too prefer to work in one layer, but sometimes that is not an option, and I still struggle with finding a workflow for that kind of assignments. Maybe you have some thoughts on that you could share.

But thanks for the insight so far, always a favourite artist, now too a favourite teacher.

Jakob Juul

Matt Dixon said...

Thanks Jakob, that was a great comment! I'm so pleased you're enjoying the videos.

I will definitely plan to produce a longer video that shows the creation of a more refined image. I just need to find the time!

Not sure if I could include a section on how to work with multiple layers. That would probably include lots of shouting and cursing!

Thanks again for the kind words.

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