Lines and Colors art blog

David Mattingly
Ten years ago, after years of success as one of the foremost science fiction and fantasy illustrators in the field, David Mattingly switched from traditional media to digital, and has rarely looked back. His striking images of other worlds and other times are masterfully drawn, beautifully rendered and intricately detailed. He works in a combination of digital painting techniques and 3D modeling. Mattingly also does motion picture matte painting and was at one point the head of the Walt Disney Studios matte department.

While some science fiction and fantasy artists become obsessed with detail for its own sake (or for the sake of showing off), Mattingly, like Donato Giancola, uses detail to give his fantastic images a tactile sense of reality. Unfortunately the images reproduced on the site are too small to really get a feeling for that. Try to pick up one of the Spectrum collections that contains his work.

Lately he has been working with a process involving the painstaking division of digital image elements into minute strips that are aligned with an overlaying lenticular screen. The resulting hand-assembled “Depth View” prints give a remarkable illusion of three-dimensionality when seen in person. There is an attempt on the site to give a feeling for these images with animated GIFs and Flash files, but they only suggest the movement, they don’t capture the sensation of depth created by the real prints. The Depth View prints are available through the site along with traditional prints of many of his illustrations.