3DTotal: I notice from your profile that you began your career as an architect. What do you feel this training has lent to your success as a digital painter? Andreas: Well, it was due to my studies that I learned early on (at least here in Portugal) about the Internet. And that was the main inspiration for everything else to come. But to tell you the truth, I don’t really think my (short) career as an architect has helped me directly with digital painting. While I learned about some aspects of colour, shape, composition, etc during my studies, most of what I now know about digital painting came from reading books, practicing and browsing the web. However, I do believe some kind of sensibility resulted from my time at college. I remember the kind of architecture I liked at the beginning of my studies and there’s just no comparison with the kind of architecture I liked by the end.
3DTotal: You have a number of gallery categories on your site, but which of the various disciplines has been the most demanding to master? Andreas: Certainly it has been human anatomy. I am not saying I am a master at the others… I’m still learning. But anatomy is something that has to be done just right, or everyone will immediately point out the flaws. Environments are much more permissive, as we don’t relate to them as closely as we do to anatomy. Criticism can be harsh and un-motivating sometimes, but I will keep on trying, even if it’s just for myself.
3DTotal: With regards to human anatomy, I noticed that you have an Erotic category on your site. In order to achieve a sense of realism did these paintings demand a life model ? Andreas: Most of the paintings in the erotic section were based on photographs and not life models. I know that is not the “correct” way to do it, but that is how they weredone. However, most of them suffered changes from the original photographs, be it slight lighting and
perspective changes or different colours and props. None of them are faithful reproductions of the original photographs and in this way, I think I can achieve some kind of individuality in the search of my own style.
I would love to do erotic paintings from scratch without having to use references, but I think it will take a long time for me to get to that stage.
3DTotal: You cover a wide variety of subjects in your portfolio. In general, which do you find the most interesting to work on? Andreas: I think it would have to be matte
painting. The end result is usually something with a lot of detail, which you can analyse and contemplate longer than a conceptual or character painting. Also a lot more effort goes into a matte painting, so perhaps, in the end, it is more rewarding. Another great thing is the fact that you have to go through the conceptual phase in order to get to the finished painting, which sometimes includes aspects of 3D, so you get to do several different things to reach the end result.
3DTotal: Some matte paintings appear more painterly than others and obviously some work better as a whole whether they are completely constructed of photographic elements or not. What do you think are the crucial aspects to a successful painting and what are the most challenging parts to get right? Andreas: I think that the more painterly versions always work better than the completely “photographic” ones. By
“painterly” I mean that from a certain distance you cannot really make out the brushstrokes, but when you zoom in, all the brushwork becomes apparent and the painting comes to life. Last year I saw two original matte paintings from the The Empire Strikes Back and I was completely awestruck. It is really astonishing how realistic a combination of well-placed brushstrokes can look. It is like the painting dictates which areas the viewer should be looking at, the ones with more detail or the ones with loose detail, which just serve as a backdrop. The painting is doing the brainwork for us, which ultimately results in a pleasing painting.
One of the traps that it’s easy to fall into with matte paintings, is to overuse photos and end up with a collage of disparate elements. I tend to do an initial speedpainting where composition, lighting and colour work together as a whole. I construct the matte painting on top of that, be it by painting or by overlaying photographs and 3D elements. In this way, all the elements are based on a coherent underpainting that dictates the “rules”. Unfortunately, I often tend to lose that initial conceptual feel of the original painting and make everything look too rigid. I sometimes go back and re-introduce some of the initial brushstrokes without making them too apparent.