PK 009: Sourav Dhar on What it Takes to Become a Successful Matte Painter

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Urban Fantasy by Sourav Dhar

“When you鈥檙e feeling self-doubt, take a look back at your existing artworks and see how far you鈥檝e come.”

Sourav loves art. It鈥檚 the one field that he鈥檚 found that has let him match his passions of science and fantasy together. Painting and designing concepts are especially enjoyable because you鈥檙e not limited by any of the current scientific thinking.

He got started in concept art and matte painting by first doing some crash courses. By the time he posted his first public work he was featured and approached by CG Society to create a tutorial on his work.

It may seem like he was a natural born talent, but like many other artists he worked extremely hard before posting anything publicly. Before posting anything, there was an intense year and a half of study where Sourav produced 12 to 13 paintings just for himself to practice.

How Recognition Can Boost Your Art Career

The recognition from CG Society was the turning point for him where he got the confidence to push his career further.

Sourav continues to keep his skills sharp and pushing his matte painting further and further by learning new software and breaking into 3D.

He really enjoys the freedom of working at home and has a very serious approach to his painting. His family members know to respect his time and let him continue his work so that he can focus. This even applies to the time that he spends thinking on the couch! They know when he鈥檚 deep in thought about a concept piece and not to disturb him.

How To Overcome聽Creative Block

  • Go and watch a good movie.
  • Read good literature like detective and crime stories…or anything that inspires you!.
  • Take his bike and camera and go for a ride and get inspired by the countryside.

How To Get Your Artwork Found Online

  • Follow the paintings of Dylan Cole
  • Take part in matte painting challenges and do your best, but don鈥檛 post your work just yet. Instead 鈥 look closely at the work that other artists are doing and compare that to your own. See what they are doing differently and how people are reacting to those other artworks.
  • When Sourav was comparing his work to other artists he found that he was trying to do everything too neat and this left the painting with an unnatural feeling. You need to find and fix your weaknesses to improve.
  • Examine photography and study it closely to learn what you can incorporate into your own paintings.
  • Pay close attention to the lighting and overall color harmony of the image 鈥 this will really make your work stand out.

How To Overcome Self-doubt As An Artist

You鈥檙e also going to need to create a demand for your artwork. This means becoming known for a certain type of work. When you鈥檙e feeling self-doubt, and when you鈥檙e feeling unsure, one way that you can reassure yourself that you鈥檙e on the right track and that you are improving is to take a look back at your existing artworks and see how far you鈥檝e come.

Listen to this week鈥檚 show and learn:

  • How to look at the work of others to keep improving
  • How Sourav was able to get a lot of attention with his first public work
  • How to keep your work fresh

People on this Episode:


Mentioned in the episode:

Sourav鈥檚 Website
Sourav on Facebook
D鈥橝rtiste Matte Painting 3
Sourav鈥檚 Course on Pencil Kings

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