View Full Version : Master and Servant 2D Entry: Nikolay Toshev

Aragorn A.
03 March 2005, 08:52 PM
Nikolay Toshev has entered the Master and Servant 2D.

Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: Master and Servant (

After some minor last minute tweaking, here's the final image.

Thank you all again and good luck! :)

03 March 2005, 08:53 PM
welcome,good luck!!

03 March 2005, 08:54 PM
same here, goodlux!:thumbsup:

Aragorn A.
03 March 2005, 08:56 PM (

Hi guys, I’m really happy to be here and participate in the Challenge, good luck to all of you!

You know, upon first hearing of the Challenge’s topic, I started thinking of doing a classic fantasy piece, really dramatic, symbolic and stuff, but after a few preliminary sketches in my sketchbook I didn’t really think the idea was working and kinda lost interest quickly. Then I came to the idea of doing this humorous, perhaps even touching take on the subject, a kind of lighthearted observation on the paradoxes of the master-servant relationship. A 19th century villager guy travels with a donkey, but you know donkeys, they tend to just stop walking from time to time, so when this donkey (the servant, right ;)) reaches the top of the bridge, it suddenly refuses to continue a single step forward – be it as a form of protest against his master or just because of some elaborate “donkey” reason of his own – so the man (the master… or is he ;)) can’t do a thing but beg the donkey to keep walking. He doesn’t beat him, he doesn’t pull him, he just talks to him, and as the day goes by, the man gets more and more desperate and the donkey – more and more determined. That’s it. Truly epic, huh? J

You see I tried to keep it as simple and communicative as possible, so I hope I’ll be able to make the concept clear at a glance, leaving enough little places place for hints of an engaging backstory and perhaps even symbolics and message to be filled in by the viewer’s mind. I’d love to hear some suggestions as to how to emphasize the ideas and the overall emotiveness of the piece. I’m also beginning to think about a suitable title for the piece to further strengthen the comical or dramatic effect, so feel free to give suggestions – something funny along the lines of “Stuck Together” or humorously ambiguous such as “My servant and I” would do fine, I think. ;)

Just a note too – I’ve chosen quite a weird composition, so after the initial sketch I fiddled with it on Photoshop and made the three variants you see – my personal favorite is the first one to the left, but I’d appreciate any help with the choice and perhaps advice on better compositions.

Soon I’ll post a few variations on the man and donkey’s characters so that I could pick the final one easily with your help.

03 March 2005, 09:00 PM
great idea and drawings,i wud pic the last one,cos it shows how much distance there is between the bridge and..well whats around it.

03 March 2005, 09:09 PM
hi Aragorn a, Love the concept, but whats the story for the river flowing background?, if ur emphasizing more on the donkey and the oldman, i think u should pick the one in the centre, just a suggestion, or if u could, change the camera angle, hope to see ur next piece dude,all the best for ya!!:thumbsup:

03 March 2005, 01:26 AM
You've got a vote each for drawing #2 and #3, so I'll go with #1. :D
Seriously, though. I like #1 because the bridge seems higher and a more unusual place for them to stop. I also like the stonework on the bridge.

Why not push the tension of the situation and put them on an old, frayed rope bridge that could give way at any moment? I love the donkey's expression--very stubborn looking--but put him in a position that says "I'm here to stay, old man", like have him sitting on the ground. And the old man is PLEADING because he knows they're in a very dangerous situation.

I really like your style and am eager to see this develop. Good luck and keep sketching!

03 March 2005, 02:01 AM
Brilliant. It'd be good if it started raining too.

03 March 2005, 02:19 AM
number 2's composition is overall balanced, although i think 1 would work for its exageration and also goes well with this comedy. just my 2 cents. anyway not to say the least, this is a great start so far.

03 March 2005, 02:22 AM
I like it. Good idea and I reckon the third one!!

Aragorn A.
03 March 2005, 05:16 PM (

Thanks for the response, guys, I'll have your comments in mind while further working on the pic.

Here's a bit of a more detailed character study, we'll see how much of it will make it to the line art.

03 March 2005, 05:18 PM
those hands scream Asterix! to me : D I love it, lots of nostalgical value for me.

Aragorn A.
03 March 2005, 05:27 PM
Yeah, that was one of my favorite comics as a kid, too. :)

Soon I'll post some different hand gestures to see which one fits the emotion best... You know, types of begging and stuff.

03 March 2005, 05:32 PM
Really nice work so far! I like layout #2 because it places more emphasis on the characters in the center, rather than placing the landscape as the central focus with the characters almost more of a frame. I think you could push the donkey's sullen expression more, but I know you're still working on it and will keep on sketching. Good luck with it! :-)


Aragorn A.
03 March 2005, 04:06 PM (

OK, I have to be quick: haven't finalized the concept yet, but I felt I needed to experiment with some color schemes (to be honest, now it looks like a cheap postcard to me... probably must try different colors and sun not that bright...), so it's still a concept sketch. Sunset, night is coming, so they obviously must've stayed there all day. Added some debris falling into the river as if the bridge was crumbling. Made the composition even more awkward playing with the bridge's height for comical, dramatic or whatever effect, I don't know - I guess I'm going to have to draw attention to the characters through work on details rather than composition. Bad news is, I don't really have time to work on the challenge. Anyway, I'll do my best, then see what happens...

Aragorn A.
03 March 2005, 05:08 PM (

Small update on the color study...

03 March 2005, 05:54 PM
I like that there's dirt crumbling from the bridge.

04 April 2005, 09:01 PM
great work, i like the subtile humor of it and the style you create your works. great and funny, keep it up, wish you goodluck and loadsa fun, cheers

Aragorn A.
04 April 2005, 04:59 PM (

Thank you all, guys, your support really means a lot to me.

Here's the line art. Tried to keep it simple, I'll add most of the details in the color WIP. Decided to keep the disbalanced composition after all, I also added this "fish eye" type of camera distorted perspective to add to the sense of height. Not much changes in the characters or the bridge at this point, I will define my new ideas about them more clearly in the coloring process, and I'll resort to detail painting to draw the attention from the overbearing weight of the background to the characters. The idea behind the background and the shapes in it, BTW, is to have it look a bit otherworldly and (possibly ;)) hinting at a different level of meaning or scale of the treatment of the subject matter to muse upon, as opposed to the pretty commonplace and communicating nature of the characters... but yeah, at this point of the work - nevermind.
Well, that's it from me for now. Can't wait to get to serious painting of the piece.

04 April 2005, 05:30 PM
HAHAHAHA very funny idea!!
me loves it^^
Can't wait to see the achievement^^
great :)

04 April 2005, 05:39 PM
Thats awesome:)

Reminds me a little of the don quijote story. At first I thought the sketch could be better if there was a little more perspective so that you could close in on the characters more and shorten the distance between them and the bottom of the river. But your color studies look great so I will wait until you have a closely completed illustration. Great work!

04 April 2005, 01:32 PM
clean nice update... keep on goin!

Dee Lane
04 April 2005, 01:51 PM
Heh, cool horse :)

Aragorn A.
04 April 2005, 05:44 PM (

First Coloring WIP. The final image will be bigger, of course. My intended approach to painting is to consciously stay away from realistic digital painting techniques and make it look more like a natural media illustration of a fairy tale or a fable coming from folklore - I guess that is the most effective treatment (you know... funny yet sad, simple yet wise, etc...) of subjects such as this challenge's and I hope I will manage through painting to give it a certain magical feel that will tie nicely to the concept.

Aragorn A.
04 April 2005, 03:55 PM (

Some detail from the painting work...

04 April 2005, 03:59 PM
I really like your work. i like your deviation from the scifi-fantasy. keep it up!

Aragorn A.
04 April 2005, 04:40 PM (

Sorry, last update for today...
The full layout after some color correction.

04 April 2005, 09:31 PM
Yes, yes, yes... lovely story telling and mood on it!

cheers: Kornél

Aragorn A.
04 April 2005, 05:13 PM (

Some update on the background... I guess I should be careful working on it more and spend some time on the characters instead... Shift the attention to them to a greater extent...

Aragorn A.
04 April 2005, 01:13 PM (

Minor updates here and there... I fixed the bridge's symmetry a bit, pulled the mountain road to the right closer to the center, added the crumbles falling, worked some more on the characters and overall tried to give it more of a natural media look.

04 April 2005, 01:34 PM
mnogo mi haresva ;) napomnq mi na Hitar petar :))

04 April 2005, 11:39 AM
Oh, this is briliant! The expression on the donkey...I laughed out loud. Who is the master, and who the servant? :)

Since you have chosen such explicit brush strokes, it would be wonderful if you could have them add to the story of the suggesting rain. Right now they sort of suggest a scorching sun (with the extended rays), but the rider does not look bothered by heat (and it seems to be eavening).

04 April 2005, 12:10 PM
this is really fun :) I love your style, how it reminds of Edvard Munch, especially of his famous picture, Scream.
I like the plot.. its really funny. And you show well that he has been sitting a while, letting that night sky with stars sneak in from the right.

i have to say, watch out about the water reflections down there.. you have made a reflection of the sun it seems, in the middle of the riverdelta. when the sun is that much to the left, it would be natural to set the reflection far more left on the water.. depends how realistic you want this to be, though

good work so far! lovely colortone, and great variety :thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 12:19 PM
It is really cool.
I cant help much by now, but keep going, I really liked your work, it feels very interesting, all the concept is very creative and the colors are great.


Aragorn A.
05 May 2005, 03:50 PM (

Sadly, I didn't have time enough to pay proper attention to the challenge. I'm going to have to rush the final milestones to finish in time. Here's the final coloring; final image coming soon. Thanks heartily to everyone who contributed and supported me, it's been a great time. :)

05 May 2005, 04:00 PM
Funny picture with original brushes

05 May 2005, 04:15 PM
Great Nikolaj! I love much the mood of your pic... I remember the old (east) child book stile at my childhood... :applause:

keep painting!

cheers: Kornél

(sorry for my poor english)

Aragorn A.
05 May 2005, 04:21 PM (

After some minor last minute tweaking, here's the final image.

Thank you all again and good luck! :)

05 May 2005, 05:15 PM
hehe, so sweet so vivid and so cool! congratulations on your final piece, and all the best on the finals!

05 May 2005, 07:22 AM

05 May 2005, 10:12 AM
I like the style very much - it's so plastic and nicely colored! Good Luck!

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