Matthias Lechner is a German born art director, production designer and visual development artist living and working in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
He is currently Art Director for a 3-D feature from Vangard animation called Space Chimps, but what I found most fascinating in his online galleries are the production and design drawings for a range of European (I think mostly German and Belgian) films that have unfortunately not made their way “across the pond”.
These mey be more familiar to European readers than they are to me, and include titles like Little Dodo (above, top), The Little Polarbear 2, Laura’s Star, Derrick (above, bottom), Globi and the Stolen Shadows, Troll-Story and Help, I’m as Fish, as well as several television productions.
Lechner’s monochromatic drawings for these are nothing short of wonderful. Mostly environments and backgrounds, they are simultaneously lush with detail and beautifully free, sharing the characteristics of a finished tone painting and a sketch.
His control of value and texture give these wash drawings an ability to evoke a place, atmosphere and time of day that could hardly be improved on by the addition of color. Lechner wields his monochromatic “palette” with uncanny aplomb. You will find a bit of color work for one of his productions; but as nicely handled as those pieces are, I don’t miss the color when looking through the rest of his portfolio.
What strikes me most is his ability to completely master the particular environment he is constructing; whether thick jungle foliage, craggy seacoast rocks, undersea pools lit by shafts of sunlight or the rich architectural details of European cities.