Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gates Floating Mountain Shirt

Here are some pics of the latest shirt design I created for gates. I had a lot of fun making this one and learned some new illustration techniques through trial and error.

The mountain on here started as a pen drawing that I decided I didn't like anymore. So I went in and blocked in areas of the drawing according to value and converted it to halftone dots. The finished piece is actually an overlay of those halftoned values on top of a version of the drawing where I attempted to recreate those same values by distressing selected pieces of the illustration.

After I typed that paragraph I realized it was extremely difficult to follow. So I went into my working files and made a little visual aid to help describe the process.

This gif shows the original pen drawing, then the version of it where I blocked in the major values. Then it shows how I tried to recreate some of that value using distress instead of halftones. Lastly, I faded in the halftoned value blocks. I felt like that last step (which was kind of a happy accident) really gave it the final boost of contrast it needed to take the mountain to a certain level of realism or drama. The final piece underwent even more work than the last step of this gif, but this covers the gist of it.

Hopefully you found that little glimpse into my process interesting! If you're really digging the shirt or the band you can pick one up for yourself in their webstore here


  1. Matt your T-Shirt and Album covers always catch my eye. Do you have a career doing this type of stuff yet? Cause you should. Funny enough I just re-listened to both of the Gates albums recently. Really like them.

    Still make comics?

  2. Awesome dude! Really glad to hear you like the band and you picked up a shirt!

    I work full time at a screen printing shop and do a lot of freelance design work outside of that. So I'm working on design all the time, but my entire career doesn't consist of designing band merch. yet ;)

    I haven't made a new comic in quite a while. But I'm not out of the comic making game by any means. I'm just so busy that I'm really gonna need to buckle down to get some new work done. With that being said, I am exhibiting my existing comic books still. Most notably @ SPACE in April.

    Do you still make comics? I've been keeping up with your work on Mengel Miniatures but I don't know what else you've got going on. Your mini painting is stellar by the way. Having attempted to paint those things before, I can say with certainty that you are a beast.