Photos Aviation Art of John Matthews

John Matthews Art

Mi Private
MI.Net Member
May 1, 2021
Greetings everyone! After introducing myself in "The Mess" thread, I thought I'd show you a bit more of my work. Hope you enjoy it.
McDonnell Douglas RF-4C Phantoms 153rd TRS

This is 24x18 inch limited edition artwork I created for the East Mississippi Veterans Foundation in Meridian Mississippi last year. One of the foundation's projects is the East Mississippi Veterans Memorial Park, located near historic Key Field. The EMVF saved RF-4C Phantom 67-0438 from "the boneyard" at Davis-Monthan AFB. This "Recon Rhino" was assigned to the 153rd TRS/186th TRW at Key Field ANGB, and they're having it trucked back to Meridian to restore and display in their memorial park. It was a real honor being selected by the EMVF to create this artwork to benefit their efforts, and I continue working with them to do so. We've sold over half of the limited edition prints so far.
Last edited:
That's fantastic!
Thanks so much! That's Key Field at the bottom of the image. I had to also create 3D models of the major buildings at the airfield, in addition to the planes. I used satellite images for building size and placement, as well as the runways and taxiways. No way I could re-create the entire airport, just did my best to represent it in the image, which was the foundation's request.
I'm very impressed by your work. Can I ask how long it takes to create an asset like the F4 in your chosen 3D art space?
Thanks, I appreciate it. It took me a few weeks to finish work on the Phantom 3D model. I saved it at a point when I had the rest of the model finished, but needed to start making it a recon version. Add to that the time it takes to “flatten” the pieces of the plane in 2D space so it can be “painted” in Photoshop, and then tweak the quality of textures inside the rendering program. Of course, that also depends on finding time to work on it after my family and “day job,” too. I’ve gotten quicker at the modeling part of it.
Absolutely beautiful work there John of my favourite war bird. So ugly she's beautiful (Y)
Absolutely beautiful work there John of my favourite war bird. So ugly she's beautiful (Y)
Hey thanks! Being a St.Louis, Missouri native she’s one of mine, too. I remember a time when it wasn’t uncommon to see Phantoms in the sky every day around here, what with Mac nearby as well as the 131st TFS at Lamber Field. Hearing those J-79s in burner was a real kick, too!
Staying with the Phantom, here’s a work-in-progress image of my current project. These are planes assigned to the 12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron in their Southeast Asia camouflage pattern. The composition of the scene is set, but I still need to do more work on the look of the planes. So, I’ll be working to dirty-up the underside of the planes and exhaust areas, and then add smoke from their J-79 engines, etc.
Hi everyone. Hope you all had a great Memorial day.

Thought I'd show you my finished work of the 12th TRS Phantoms...
12th TFS RF-4C Phantoms-Alone Unarmed Unafraid 1080-watermarked.jpg
I changed the clouds a bit for the final rendering. I also changed the lighting a bit, and the color saturation of the planes. As you can see, I added soot and grunge in the exhaust area and the underside of the planes, in addition to adding detail to the exhaust nozzles. And I made those J-79s appropriately smokey. So, this piece is now finished, published, and available at my website.

I should have gotten back to work on the 3D model I'm going to use for my upcoming B-52 artwork, but with Memorial Day approaching, I wanted to work on something to mark the day. Here's what I came up with...​

F-105D Thunderchief Missing Man Formation.jpg

The ground terrain was repurposed from a previous scene, as were my F-105Ds. The engine smoke from the Thuds' J-75s is a bit of artistic license, and I'm not certain whether I would add that again. It was just an additional element suggesting motion and speed. Judging by the response it got on Facebook and Instagram, I may rework it a bit and publish it for sale on my website. I'm also working on a companion piece to "Bringing the Thunder," which I showed-off in "The Mess." I decided to title it "Four Came Home," and I'll be using the same planes as I did in the first piece of the series. I'm trying to decide on how to position the planes in the scene, clouds, lighting, etc. Here's an image of one of the trial compositions...​

Four Came Home 05292021 1.jpg

I still have my thinking cap on about this one. Can't pick a formation. Might stick with a diamond, or maybe a nice echelon formation with planes peeling-away. We'll see...

Forgot to mention, I set up a "wallpaper" page on my website. Check it out if you'd like, and feel free to use any of them (or any of these, for that matter) as desktop wallpaper.

Similar threads