Peter Ellenshaw matte painting for Spartacus, Stanley Kubrick

A traditional matte painting!

(I didn’t author this original post, it came from a site called

I just wanted to re-post this because these matte paintings are so cool. Done on glass with oils.. oh man.. What?! No ctrl-z?! What could these guys do to start over when an art director wanted to make a change? Perhaps the director liked the overall painting, but wanted to have the shot take place at sunset instead of in the afternoon. Well, aside from throwing a brick at it and watching their frustrations crystallize into a million points of light, they would naturally have to clean off the glass, or scrape it off if it was an acrylic painting, and start anew. That’s why I have always had a lot of respect for the original masters of this art form.