View Full Version : Master and Servant 2D Entry: Daniel Lieske

03 March 2005, 02:22 PM
Daniel Lieske has entered the Master and Servant 2D.

Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Coloring WIP: Master and Servant - Color WIP (

I worked mainly on the horse and I again changed the pose of the girl. Im now quite happy with her pose, it looks dramatic, I think. The shadow of the approaching wolf is making me mad.
By trhe way, Im still working on half the resolution the picture will have at the end to keep things under controle.

03 March 2005, 07:51 PM (

Now, this is my first Cg Challenge and firstly I want to say hello to everybody.

The theme of this challenge is very inspiring and I want to use it to literally challenge myself since I feel that storytelling always gets to little attention in my paintings. Knowing that the jury is looking for emotion and true storytelling in this challenge is the perfect opportunity to test my skills. Im looking forward to it.

My first submission is a very rough sketch of an idea I had when I was talking to a good friend about the theme "Master And Servant". I wondered for about two days, what kind of relationship I was gonna show in my painting. What struck me first was, that I wanted to show a relationship in which the master cares for his servant. I wanted to show a servant, that is inferior to his master and who totally depends on the good will of him. The first picture that came to my mind was a horseman on his horse. Im not really into horses (in fact, I never painted one) but the relationship between rider and horse always fascinates me. The horse is so much inferior (brainwise) to his rider but an the other hand so much superior (strenghtwise). Although every horse could easily get rid of its rider it seldemly happens. Horses just obey from a certain point on and it depends greatly on the rider if he takes this for granted and abuses the horse or if he respects the horse albeit hes so much more powerful. I want to show a rider who does the latter. I rider who does not only respect his servant but ultimatetly fights for his servants life. Therefore I imagined a situation in which the rider has to defend his horse against a pack of wolves. What I also want to show is, that the horse actually killed one of the attackers and was wounded in his fight. The rider now could abandon his horse - they surely wouldnt follow him since the horse is the bigger prey. But the rider tries to calm down the animal and reaches for his weapon - he is going to fight for its life.
When I imagined this scene, the pack of wolves was just a generic bunch of wolves in no special fashion. Then I encountered that the pack itself would be a perfect possibility to create a second instance of the theme in the painting - every pack has a leader and the leader would be the strongest, the cruelest und the biggest of them all. The alpha wolf is the master of the pack and in the picture he will be the only one who does not fear the big horse and the aremd rider. I want to show a moment in which the wolves are not quite sure if the should press the attack further. One of them is lying on the floor, killed by the horses hooves. I want to depict the wolves uneasy - all but one! The master of thwe wolf pack is experienced and he knows that his prey is not too strong but at least an equal opponent.
So this an artwork about TWO masters - one master of life and one of death. Ultimately you can ask the question if death is the master of life or vice versa.

03 March 2005, 08:03 PM (

I had a second attempt on the general composition. I felt it was to little tention in the horizontal layout. The new version shows the rider and his horse in great danger which is supported by the position of the wolves above the rider.
I used a spiral to layout the bigger shapes. It is echoed in the horses neck, his tail, the wolves and the trees. I want to support the panic of the horse by this \\\"vortex composition\\\". The \\\"calm down\\\"-gesture of the rider will build a strong emotional counterpart to this feeling - I hope. :)

03 March 2005, 08:50 PM
Nice! Good to see you here. This will be fun.

03 March 2005, 08:54 PM
Sounds great Digi-decoy!!Nice start too!!Good luck!!!

03 March 2005, 09:09 PM
This is one of the most well put together concept and composition I've seen in this challenge. The spiral links very well with the masters of life & death. Best of lucks! Looking forward to see this finished too!

03 March 2005, 03:53 PM
hi daniel,

great start from you.
the issue isnt so new, first i thought - hm, where is the idea behind it...but the composition, values and the concept in general are really interesting. and if you will be able to touch the emotion of the audience, it will be great.
first i have seen by the wolf with the glowing eyes on the top of the hill a head of an ogre or giant, coming up the hill. these idea i like more, cause it would give this piece a more dramatic touch and a new face....just a horserider surrounded by wolves isnt very spectacular imo.

cant wait for the first colours......

03 March 2005, 07:55 PM
Many thanks for your replies and your encouragements!

@ Titus:

I know what you mean. First it was hard for me not to think of something fantasy-like (like an orc, oger, troll, werewolf e.g.) or on the other hand a knight with shiny armor. Yes, at the end it will only be a rider a horse and a pack of wolves - sounds boring even to me. My only chance is the story, nothing fancy to hide behind. Thats not to say that the design of the image will be a peace of cake. Im really intimidated by the task to render those wolves and the horse. Everybody has a clear picture of those animals - again nothing to hide behind! Like I said, I see this competition as a personal challenge of my skills. I myself are really looking forward to the final piece. Indeed at the moment I have no idea what it will look like. :)

03 March 2005, 09:29 PM (

I refined the composition. In my last sketch, the wolf master was nearly fitting a classical triangle composition. I refined the position of the wolf and the trees so that they produce a pointing composition towards the master of the wolves (death). Death ultimately appears as the singularity it is - a single point everything is traveling towards.
The funny thing is, that the trees support this singularity as well as they support the \\\\\\\"spiral of life\\\\\\\". Life and death are connected by the trees. But they are dead trees - does that possibly hint to the end of the story?

03 March 2005, 09:42 PM (

Im refining my value plan. What I will need to tell the story are clear shapes in the areas that matter. The highest contrast will be the rider/horse and the wolf. Clear shapes on the other wolves is a must, too. Im really starting to ask myself how Im going to paint those animals...

I decided the rider to be a woman. That accomodates the idea of the rider being the 'master of life'. Furhermore I guess it will add tension to the scene to see a woman in peril - compared to a strong warrior e.g. What Im not quite sure about is, what kind of woman she is. Perhaps an elflike beaty, frail and hepless? But she has a sword - perhaps a strong woman, Eowin style? Perhaps I can meet the two extremes in the middle.
And yet another challenge for me - Im bad in painting women. :)

Stay tuned!

03 March 2005, 09:44 PM
this looks its gunna be hot!!!

03 March 2005, 10:00 PM
Hi there. I just want to say that this is my first challenge also so I wanna wish you all the luck!

I have to say that out of all the ideas I've seen today yours is really well rounded and put together. I love your way of connecting evrything within your work to "life and death" and of course "master servant".The spiral comp does your sketch justice. I can't wait to see the color values that you decide to use. I'm going to keep a close eye on your stuff :)

03 March 2005, 06:57 PM (

I started linework on the painting.That blasted horse anatomy is really making me mad. Luckily I found some pretty good reference on the hindlegs. I would never be able to imagine such a pose. Had to search for reference on the saddle and the garment, too.

At the moment Im working on half resolution and Im sketching quite loose. When all elements are drawn in this way Im going to scale up to the final resolution (4800x3600) and clean up the drawing. Im working in Photoshop, by the way.

Im always discouraged during this workstep because the plain lines are really looking like having no substance at all and the whole composition seems to fall apart. Well, luckily thats going to fade when color enters the scene. And I have already an idea for a general color theme. Of course Im not going to spoil the surprise. :)

Again thanks for your kind words everyone. Im quite happy with the concept of the composition. Now, the bigger problem will be, to communicate those thoughts without the reader having to read the whole thing. :)

Stay tuned!

03 March 2005, 07:02 PM
good sketches, nice pose for the horse, love to see ur colouring progress,:)


03 March 2005, 08:33 PM (

I dont know when You drew wolves the last time, but I never did. And if you are trying to do a painting of something you have no mental true mental image of, youll fail. So for the wolves its back to the roots: studies!

I have some very clumsy wolf drawings on this page. For some I used reference (marked with R). Man, thats tough!

03 March 2005, 08:38 PM (

Well, more wolf studies. Im slightly beginning to get an idea what these animals look like...

03 March 2005, 08:45 PM
lol getting the hang of what animals look like,nicely worded hehe.

they looks great man,now lets get on with it,yaay!

03 March 2005, 08:50 PM
very nice study of the wolf, your scene is really dramatic, I like it alote

03 March 2005, 08:50 PM
Smart move.....Without our roots what foundation do we really have?......good studies.....discovery channel and national geographics has become my favorite past time
Keep it going!

03 March 2005, 08:59 PM (

I did some more studies on the wolves. I finally get the feeling, that Im now able to paint a wolf without beeing totally lost.
You can see in this last studie that I have broke down the shapes of the wolf to quite simple basic shapes. Thats the only way for me to get it into my head. More detail is always easy but if the core does not fit it all goes to hell.
Now I should be ready to progress to my line drawing.

04 April 2005, 08:20 PM (

I finished the lineart. I originally had the intention to elaborate the lineart further (precise drawing of all wolves and the major trees) but I got the feeling of losing the connection to the painting so I finished the lineart by only roughly depicting the poses of the wolves.

04 April 2005, 08:30 PM (

I layed in the first colors, following my value layout. I chose to further develop the 'master of death vs. master of life' theme by giving warm colors to rhe rider and her horse and cool colors to the wolves. The lightsetting is twillight. The viewer will have to decide if what we see is sunset or sunrise - which is also a decision of wether you think optimistic or pessimistic about the future of the horse and its rider.

04 April 2005, 08:39 PM
looking great!

04 April 2005, 08:56 PM
I really really like your idea, I think it's good you decided not to put a fantasy element into it, as that will set it apart from the numerous fantasy entries in a similar style. I do like the composition, nicely leads the eye around, and your colours are looking pretty good too. Only minor, minor gripe I have at the moment is the angle she's drawing her sword at, if she were to try and swing it at that angle once its drawn, she take the horse's head off! Maybe try and angle the sword tip down and towards the viewer? Then she could conceivably draw and swing the weapon. But other than that, really looking forward to seeing how this progresses.

04 April 2005, 10:00 PM
Great! I love your studies on the wolves. They look like the wolves in the movie "jinroh". Good luck!

04 April 2005, 11:14 PM
Nice work, dude! Great job until now! I keep my eyes on this :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 11:07 AM
Awesome stuff man! Only thing I notice is that I think the pose of the girl could be more dynamic? Otherwise top notch! I'll be following this aswell.

04 April 2005, 01:37 PM
Oh, Man!
I love your style!
I will keep my eyes on this.
Keep it up!

04 April 2005, 01:45 PM
Looks great!
I like your "vortex composition".:thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 03:57 PM
Bin ich blind oder steht das nirgens in deinem Forum, dass du hier teilnimmst?
Geniales Bild, bin sehr gespannt wie du dich schlagen wirst.
Good luck


04 April 2005, 04:00 PM
this is a very professional work, i can see that u have a complete grasp of controll over ur work so any critics would be useless from my side, i can only admire:wavey: :drool:

04 April 2005, 05:01 PM
Nice composition. I like how the relationship between master and servant is one that is not bound by class but by companionship. Great work! keep it up!

04 April 2005, 05:12 PM
Some great colour choices you've made. It's shaping up to be quite a tense piece. I'm not keen on the fact the horse is central and side-on, I think it should be more at an angle and in the foreground. Nice job.

04 April 2005, 05:30 PM
nice, i like it :)

04 April 2005, 02:47 PM
I loike this concept because the master and servant are one the same side. THat's a nice thing to see.

04 April 2005, 08:57 PM (

Well, its painting time now. I did refine most parts of the painting, did desaturate it and leveled down the contrast. I did that for now being able to step by step lift up colors and contrast. There are several parts in the painting which Im not quite sure about what they will end up like (e.g. the background trees, the foreground wolf). Normally I find these things out in the process.
Im starting to get used to the composition and it begins to bore me. A qick horizontal flip asured me of the fact that its still working so I will just not listen to my inner doubts...

04 April 2005, 09:01 PM
digitaldecoy, this is wthout a doubt one of the best pieces I have ever seen, and I love your composition makes me jealous. I dont think you should change anything, just keep on working on the piece. The background is amazing to me !

04 April 2005, 09:12 PM
Now, and I want to thank you all for your nice and helpful comments on my work. Im sorry that Im not able to reply to everyone in greater detail but there are some comments I want to directly adress:


I actually was even thinking about not letting her grab her sword but to cocentrate her gesture fully on the horse (both hands on its head). Well, I stayed with the original concept to depict that this woman is not completely hepless. In fact, by letting her grab the sword I imply the question, if in the end she willbe able to kill the wolves and thus becoming the master of death herself.

@ Meise:

Ich habe schon genug damit zu tun, DIESEN Thread hier sinnvoll mit Inhalten zu fllen. INs Forum kommt das Bild dann wohl erst, wenn es fertig ist. :)

@ Baron Impossible:

I think, youre right concerning the horse. The layout at the moment makes for a quite formal composition. There could be more action in the layout of the figures. But the formal composition helps to create this "special" atmosphere about the rider and the horse. BAy not being a generic action pose it leads the viewer to the exact moment the master becomes the servant to his horse. A moment of change, of turning sides. A freeze frame in a tragic relationship ... ;) Well, at least its a nice excuse for not having delivered cool action, is it not? :)

04 April 2005, 09:37 PM (

I did some major changes in this color wip. The biggest one is the girl which has now - I hope - a pose thats much better readable. I also changes several elements in the foreground and background which - again I hope - will make for more depth in the final painting.

I have a real struggle with this painting which shows quite good, that I do not yet have developed a style which holds out for bigger paintings. Im really afraid of all the detail I will have to add to this painting in order to be able to compete with all the lunatics in this contest. ;)

04 April 2005, 09:55 PM
wow just found your thread ... i really like it! Its good to feel how u put your heart into it and i enjoy your simple yet torough theme.
hehe i had this kind of relationship in mind as well, where master and servant care about each other ... altough it turned out a little differently, as the master gets very egoistic under certain circumstances :D

your artwork is very cool...i really like the idea of giving her a dagger. dont worry so much, with your skill this will be very, very good :thumbsup: ( it is alrdy )

viel glck :beer:

04 April 2005, 10:54 PM (

I worked mainly on the horse and I again changed the pose of the girl. Im now quite happy with her pose, it looks dramatic, I think. The shadow of the approaching wolf is making me mad.
By trhe way, Im still working on half the resolution the picture will have at the end to keep things under controle.

04 April 2005, 11:25 PM
This is really nice work, man. If I could make one suggestion, I would take a look back at some of your original studies for the composition. I think the awesome spiral that you had going has been muted somewhat in the colored versions.

05 May 2005, 07:23 AM
No updates? :sad: I liked this picture so much too...I love the shaft of sunlight and the way it plays through the scene..very beautiful!

COme on....update...

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