My Artwork: Fantasy, Equine, & Others

After a pretty mediocre 'C' grade O-level in art (drawing a still-life of old bicycle parts just didn't fire my imagination) my artistic side idled until I was eighteen and went to college. Actually, the subject was Astrophysics, but I needed some form of relief from the somewhat brutal mathematics involved. So I painted a unicorn. She was a bit angular, and a bit 'posterised' and dark of colour, but I was pleased enough to try again. And again. The Unicorn has always been an inspiration to me: the essence of beauty and magic, and to capture one on paper to my satisfaction was a challenge - hence the name I give all my artwork: Unicorn Dream.

Whilst learning to horse-ride, my instructor asked me if I'd have a go at painting a portrait of a friend's horse. I was a bit reluctant at first, but I had a go, and it was a hit. Since then I have done many portraits of friend's horses, including my favourite pony at Stewards Farm riding school, a piebald cob mare named Polly. Success painting non-equines has been limited and hard work, so I specialise in horses.

Recently I've become more influenced by "manga"-style comic artwork, and I'm also a huge fan of CGI and have finally obtained (Thanks, Eric!) a good modelling program (trueSpace). In addition, I'm now very happily married with two great step-sons and a wonderful baby daughter. These have rather curtailed my painting, but the intention is not to foresake it entirely.

I should stress that I only paint for fun and DO NOT ACCEPT COMMISSIONS - sorry! I could never paint for a living - the mood has to grab me. I don't commercially distribute my work either, but if it's for your own use, feel free to print it as a poster or a teeshirt. Many print-shops can offer this service if you take them the file on a disc.

I work mostly in acrylic paint. I find those intended for model-painting, such as Citadel Colour from Games Workshop (UK) are ideal: high pigment, bright colours and much cheaper than "proper art paint" from an artshop, which I find quite grainy and much harder to use. Acrylic is a perfect middle ground between oil and water colours. It's fast drying, and you can apply it thickly like oils or water it down into a wash. Being a plastic base, it's very durable, but while it's wet, you need only water to clean brushes and pallettes.

I'm often surprised when people say they like my work - I don't regard myself as very good. I think probably however good you get, there's always an artist you look up to, admire and aspire to emulate. I'm a great fan of the work of Boris Valejo, Sue Dawe, and Jim Burns.

I'm more than happy for people to use my work for any non-profit cause, but I would appreciate it if anyone wishing to do so would read my Usage Policy. Thanks.
Matthew Webber
Staffordshire, England
November 2001