Thursday, September 22, 2011

Manor Gargoyle

This one's called Manor Gargoyle. It's oils on paper mounted to board, 12" x 16".
When I was gathering the images for this post, I thought to myself, "Why didnt I go with the first sketch?" You can see it below. Here's my thinking as far as I can remember: I wanted the gargoyle to appear as both a living (or merely animated) creature, and a stone sculpture at the same time. The pose is important in communicating this. So I opted for a symmetrical, static pose you see in the finished piece. Only the head deviates from the forward facing position, turning to the viewer. I felt this communicated the balance better than the first sketch, which go could either way, a lifeless sculpture, or a looming demon. But not both. At least that's how I saw it at the time. I'm not sure if I would agree now, but I'm happy with the piece anyway.

The first sketch

Maybe I just think about that crap too much and I should just make it cool. I don't know.

Another reason I chose what I chose is because there was more sky in it to paint, which gave me a chance to rip off one of my favorite painters, Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893). I looked to his work not only because of the great mood and atmosphere of his night scenes, but also his the variety of color he uses. I thought I might be painting a lot of night scenes in this set, and didn't want all of them to end up blue.


  1. Man, do I know that feeling. Too many what-ifs. There's something really cool about seeing it's body in near-profile though, more graphic, less of a typical Magic composition. By the way, that Grimshaw link is amazing.

  2. I like both, super nice job on the final!

  3. "Maybe I just think about that crap too much and I should just make it cool. I don't know."

    Nope. The static body with the turned head definitely makes the image more literally startling.

  4. Hey Matthew, this is really cool dude, love it. Keep it up man! :)

  5. Hi Matt, I love reading about your process and seeing your sketches. Your drive to make your art top quality is very inspirational (because it's already awesome) Hope to see you at Illux con again this year!