Wednesday, November 15, 2006

EAA vis Dev demo sketch

Hi Everyone, thanks to all the wonderful people who came out for the talk and demo at Mike's school!!! It was a blast!
It was fantastic meeting all of you and I hope we can do it again next term. Here's the digital sketch for the acrylic demo painting I did, and as soon as I get a pic of the actual painting I will post that as well. I did this sketch very fast so please forgive the crudeness. It was only a road map for the bigger painting.
I couldn't believe there were students from my old alma mater Cal state Northridge. Mac, thanks for all the great questions and for stopping by. I love your work. Forrest, thanks for the book, your characters are fun. See you around and thanks again.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Vis dev Demo and Talk nov 12th at EAA

Just a reminder that this coming Sunday John Nevarez and I will be lecturing and drawing/painting at the Entertainment Art Academy in Pasadena cal. Come out and meet with us.
I will talking from 11-2pm and John will be from 3-6pm. I will be showing original vis dev work as well as giving a painting Demo.
It should be fun! Hope to see you on Sunday.
Contact EAA at 1626 440 5155 or


Thursday, October 26, 2006


I did this piece while working on Sinbad and just found it. I finished it off and here it is. I did many of these graphic paintings to try and figure out a design for the architecture. I love Orientalist art and plan on expanding this theme. As I do them I'll post 'em. I just have to find the others.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I'm really not sure where this painting came from but the longer I searched, the more it found a voice. When I play around like this I am basically trying to invoke an emotion and hopefully some questions..... Who is she and what the heck are those things behind her. I picked a simple story line and worked from there. After that I look for contrasts, simple shapes, edges, line etc. Which hopefully will help accomplish the initial goals.
In the end, as with most of my work I am just trying to have fun and push into areas I might not have played with enough.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Vis Dev talk at Entertainment Art Academy, Nov

HI Everyone,
Well after three wonderful months of getting to know our new son, I will be posting again and will be giving a talk and demo at the Entertainment Art Academy in Pasadena Ca. On Nov. 12th from 11-2pm. I believe we are trying to go on line as well so more people can view it from different locations. It should be fun and hopefully informative. I will be primarily talking about my approach to feature Animation Vis Dev. As well as how to get a job as a vis dev artist.
I will also be giving a traditional painting Demo which usually helps to illustrate my approach... I always appreciated demos when I was in the audience....Well that and I think talk is sometimes cheap. Though I usually talk my head off and try and keep up with the questions while I paint.
I will be talking about how to apply to F.A. , if your not already in it, and what you might want to focus on when considering a career in Vis Dev. Please come by and say hi and check it out. I usually bring lots of originals besides the slide show.
Here are a few paintings to show a range of styles.
Thanks for being patient and for checking back and bothering to say hi.
Call Mike Mattesi for more information and to register at 1-626-440-5155or at


Monday, August 28, 2006

I'm not dead

I thought I should say Hi and that I will be posting in the next few weeks.... My wife and I have a new baby boy and he is keeping us very busy at the moment. I realized so much time has passed since my last post and promise to start up as soon as I can. Please stay tuned.... I'm not gone for good. In fact I am trying to plan some books for comic con 07 and am constantly drawing and painting for it whenever a free moment comes up. I just haven't posted any of it yet.
Thank you all for the wonderful comments and kind words. I'll be active again soon.
More to come, and thanks for the support and for any of you who have not given up and still check back from time to time.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Mood, texture and grit

I have been terribly busy lately but had a minute and thought it fun to post some of my fine art and a small color study.

The thick paintings are what I tend to do for the gallery world. They are done in oil and get very thick. I believe if someone is going to shell out the money for a painting it should have the added bonus of some real texture. The type of texture you can't get any other way but good old fashioned paint. I build these painting up until the desired texture is achieved. Most of my early attempt at gallery work were all done Alla Prima (one sitting, direct paint strokes) no fancy glazing. I developed the technique and just had fun with it. I plan to so some story illustrations for a book I am working on using this technique. Might be fun.

Beside the texture I have always been attracted to gritty parts of town... Are there any better places to get moods.
The small nite scene was done between assignation at work. It was only about trying to capture the feel of that all too familiar sick fluorescent light that you see late at nite near bar and liquor stores. I just love that light.

Hopefully my next post will be of some quick sketches I have been doing lately with my left hand.... Always fun to see what you come up with. John Nevarz posted a few of them a couple weeks back on his site. More to come.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Film design

I thought I would post a few paintings from the vaults. These were created for Sinbad, Shark Tale and El Dorado. When I begin designing I try to find the correct emotion for the story moment and then concentrate on style.
I tend to work fast as I search for the right image. I have found the more time I take on one image, the more it hurts if it dies on the wall... which tends to happen a lot in this business. The "Execution" was done in Oil and the others in acrylic. So here is a range of "lovin", some get quick lovin' and the oil is really loved..... thank god it didn't die.
Hope you enjoy.

Friday, June 09, 2006

"I won't take you there..."

I've always been attracted by old architecture... Especially to Paris during the 1800's. While working on Hunchback I was able to visit Paris and could not believe how beautiful it was! I stayed with a friend in a small house right in the middle the city and really experienced the city and the people. I began working on a series of images set in 1800's paris. I left them alone for years and eventually started working on them again. This is one of the images from this stories portfolio.

The set up is, "I'm sorry sir, but I can't take you to that part of town... "

My web site is undergoing an overhaul. I started it last year to help promote a fine art gallery opening I had in Kirkland WA. I never finished it. Lots of dead links and just plain not finished. I am reworking it and it should be up soon. I will link my blog page and will include more of this story on the site. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

my Moods

Here are two quick head paintings I did during one of the DW films I've worked on. I remember feeling like crap for some reason.... just not in a good place.... these came out of my funk. The heads were painted using gouache. More than the technique, I tried to capture my moods on those particular days. I always felt like I did.

Monday, May 29, 2006

pencil comps

I'm always sketching.... more than I realize. These comps were done with a black prisma color pencil .They were idea sketches for a series of oil paintings I am doing. I love prisma because , like markers, you really have to plan shapes carefully otherwise you will have a mess. The goal with these were to capture an old feeling.... possibly from the 40's. I always do this type of sketch before a larger painting but as is usually the case, once I put this much love into something I have a hard time reproducing it again. It's for that reason that I have hundreds of small sketches and only a few larger finishes. I did so many tight renderings at Disney when I was in Layout that I burned out on them... that was over 10 years ago! I guess I try to take a sketch as far as I can, give it as much detail and hope it can pass as a fisnish. I've been doing this for years and so far so good.
I really am lazy when it comes to rendering. I guess it's more important to get the idea across than play with a tight finish. You will constanly see me do loose color or black and white gestures for that reason.

Monday, May 22, 2006

color sketches

Here are some color ruffs. I love color and I tend to focus a lot of time on color. The paintings here are done in acrylic, gouache and photoshop. They range in size from a mere 2 inches, Honolulu, painted in the car as my wife drove, to much larger pieces. I used to do lots of outdoor studies to learn more about color so I could be better at inventing it on the "job". Lately, since leaving Dream Works, I've had the chance to do more stylized pieces... I'll post some later.

things from the sketchbook

as I watch TV

I like drawing while watching the boob tube... these are inspired by but not limited to...

positive negative

I have to start some where...

Well I've wanted to do a blog for the longest time and it finally took my freind John neveraz to get me to do it. I have the great fortune of working alongside John who is ,without a doubt, one of the best. He has a great heart and is so damn prolific that it only inspires everyone around him to reach for more. I know I'm a better artist because of john.

I have been working in Animation since Lion King and have been a layout artist, designer, Art Director and production Designer. over the years I have figured one thing out.... no matter how good I think I am I still need to get better!! Well that and to always remember to laugh! Otherwise this Job could eat you alive!! I'll tell my horrible little stories someother time.

I love animation, it's been very good to me. I hope some of the art I post connects with someone and would love to hear any comments you have. Enjoy!