This image is a matte painting I created for pleasure. The original idea was just to make a landscape with an interesting atmosphere; the idea of the mountaintop mining developed after I'd searched for some photos and references for this matte painting.
I decided I wanted to depict a representation of human madness: digging a huge hole in a mountain, damage the landscape and nature.
I started with an aerial photo, which gave me a really good sense of depth. The landscape in the photo was virginal and not dominated by the big mountain. It's a landscape that can be improved. I then began to search for other references and aerial photos... (Fig.01).
Here are some of the references I gathered that had particularly interesting elements that would make for an easier and faster matte painting (Fig.02).
Next I made a couple of layers where I could quickly sketch out some lines. The first was just to put my ideas on - the hole, the mountain chain etc - and then on the second layer I was more definite, and sketched in the mountain chain (Fig.03).
Then I started making my mountain chain with elements cut from the reference images I'd gathered, and painted in a shadow for the hole. At this stage the elements were just posed on the image; they weren't completely blended in with the landscape yet (Fig.04)
(ID: 38741, pid: 0) Jaz on Thu, 24 March 2011 7:51pm It is very nice well done !
I just have 2 down points
first the vehicle in the hole, i know those machines are huge but your is about 300m big or more. You can say that is in purpose, but that gives a wrong scale to the picture.
The second point is on the left bottom corner, the blacks are way too deep compare to the rest of the image. In shadow or not, the black needs to be lifted a bit.