View Full Version : The Journey Begins Challenge (2D) Entry: Michael Dashow

Pages : [1] 2 3

02 February 2006, 02:30 AM
Michael Dashow is entered in the "The Journey Begins Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: Farewell Kiss (

02 February 2006, 02:45 AM
Now, how could there be a Challenge without the walrus? :D
Best of luck, Michael. :thumbsup:

02 February 2006, 02:45 AM
Good luck, Michael!! Can't wait to see your kick a** great paintings! :bounce:

Cheers, :)


02 February 2006, 02:53 AM
Good Luck Michael! I am looking forward to seeing more of your awesome work!


02 February 2006, 03:32 AM
hey michael~best of luck to ya and enjoy the journey!:thumbsup:

02 February 2006, 04:52 AM
hey there walrus, good to see u


02 February 2006, 04:53 AM
Best of luck walrus :)

02 February 2006, 07:55 AM
So many Michael's on this journey! Good luck! :thumbsup:

02 February 2006, 08:12 AM
Welcome back, Micheal, Hope to see something nice, come from ya!:thumbsup:

02 February 2006, 08:51 AM
Hey Michael! Good to see another 'regular'!! Good luck!

02 February 2006, 09:29 AM
Yay, you're in! Glad to see you and I'm subscribing to your thread! Good luck. loved 'wage slave' so much the last time, there are sure to be gems this time around...

I'm having gems in my picture...arabian gems...:twisted:

Good luck and have fun. walrus 'inda house!' Like jonny said, it's nice to see the regulars around...poshspice, alyfell, walrus, andyh, duddlebug, squib, art2...who else...

02 February 2006, 10:02 AM
Hey there Michael,

Love your work and I can't wait to see more of it!

Matt :)

02 February 2006, 02:03 PM
I love your attention to detail and your style. Can’t wait to see your ideas.:)

02 February 2006, 02:07 PM
wALRus good lcuk... wouldnt eb a cgtalk challenge without u... cant wait to see what you bring

02 February 2006, 02:10 PM
Anticipating the finished result with much excitement ;) Best of luck to you, Walrus!

02 February 2006, 02:42 PM
Hey man! I wish you good luck and loads of fun! :)

02 February 2006, 04:36 PM
Hi, everyone!
Wow, the coolest thing about being a "regular" is now my thread fills up with comments before I've even posted a single word of picture!

Well, I've been thinking about the theme for weeks now ever singe Leigh's first clue. I have some ideas, but I hadn't factorred in the extra rules (or suggestions) about doing small creatures, so now I'm rethinking. Hope to have something to show soon, but I need to sit with it a while longer... Best of luck to all of you too!


02 February 2006, 04:56 PM
I wonder just how strictly the 'small creature' rule is going to be enforced? My picture doesn't have small creatures (although there will be small elements in it)...will this be bad?

02 February 2006, 05:00 PM
I swear I thought you said, "small elephants," paperclip and I was going to say that it perfectly suits the contest. I think the small-creature-large-epic-background is just a guide to get you to think about an epic journey. IMHO, the birth of a child is an epic journey. I don't think you or walrus will have any problems with what ever you come up with.

02 February 2006, 05:10 PM
Good luck! Looking forward to some more excellent work!

02 February 2006, 05:19 PM
Nice to see you for this new challenge, good luck

02 February 2006, 05:57 PM
I wish a good luck and lots of creative energy to all of my buddies from previous challenges :D Dont be mad coz I'll post the same first reply to all of u, but wishes r sincere.. I just wanna to sign up to ur thread. Once again best of luck!

02 February 2006, 07:33 PM
Best of luck to you too Mike! Looking forward to your work! It's like a big reunion here!

02 February 2006, 09:09 PM
Best of luck to you too Mike! Looking forward to your work! It's like a big reunion here!

Hehe it almost seems that way haha!:D

02 February 2006, 09:10 PM
good luck walrus!

02 February 2006, 11:44 PM
I swear I thought you said, "small elephants," paperclip and I was going to say that it perfectly suits the contest. I think the small-creature-large-epic-background is just a guide to get you to think about an epic journey. IMHO, the birth of a child is an epic journey. I don't think you or walrus will have any problems with what ever you come up with.

Lol, small elephants! ...:snatch!:

Gonna try that one out tomorrow...thanks for the idea! :twisted:

03 March 2006, 12:07 AM
Oakland in the house bro. Nice to see you again man. This should fun.

i'll be keeping up as usual.


03 March 2006, 10:18 AM
nice .. you are here :D hooraaay .. welcome to another challenge :beer:

03 March 2006, 08:26 PM (

Well, here's my first concept, possibly not my last. It's not as funny as my usual pieces - in fact, it's not funny at all, just kind of sweet... or at least I'd like to think so.

Anyhow, in the far-away land of To-Be-Determinedia, a girl gives a firend a kiss as he goes off to explore the wide wide world. Those ar big runger structures on the top of the buttes on the right, surrounding gigantic trees whose roots wind down to the plain below. The road the boy is about to travel on winds down to the small village in the center and meets up with a wide river that stretches off towards the mountains (because a road would be invisible there so you need the river to stand in for the path travelled.)

Character details to follow... See the next post.


03 March 2006, 08:29 PM (

...And here are some character studies for the above layout. I don't have any clothes, or even real character designs settled upon yet. (No, they're not going to be nekkid!) I was thinking something a bit on the fantastic side.... think Shadow of the Colossus or Princess Mononoke or something vaguely like that. I'd like his mount to be something similar to the one in Mononoke too, kind of like how Ashitaka's mount was a creature you understood was rideable but not a conventional horse.

Anyhow, that's all I got right now.


03 March 2006, 08:37 PM
Man, always dig your style. This looks like another fun piece to work on. I like the sketch so far. It reads well and pleasing to eyes. It has that walt disney feel to it. Keep it up dude.


03 March 2006, 09:06 PM
Nice to see that u are back in this comopetition, Welcome and good luck!:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 09:16 PM
It's really good....but...I KNOW YOU CAN DO BETTER!

Try out a couple more concept sketches before deciding on one, this one is lacking that decidedly 'walrus' feel that we all know & love. Please don't think I'm being harsh, it's out of love that I say this!

03 March 2006, 09:16 PM
Cool concept Mchael!
and those character studies: just lovely, great style you have! ;)

03 March 2006, 09:33 PM
great concept, awesome sketches. Well done! I am looking forward to seeing more because I love your style. :bowdown:

03 March 2006, 10:00 PM
I like the rideable not horse thing... gonna follow this and learn, like your style...


03 March 2006, 10:13 PM
A happy storybook feel to this Mike! Your sketches are great! Blue ColourErase pencils... or do my eyes decieve me? :)

03 March 2006, 10:13 PM
Yeah really cool as usual but as mentioned above, I think its missing that walrus humour that we all love! I'm sure it will still be a fantastic piece though so good luck and will be watching closely!

03 March 2006, 10:35 PM
Wow, there's a mixed bag or replies! :D

Thanks for the comments, everyone, on both sides of the fence. Thanks especially to those who have the guts to give me honest criticism, even if it's harsh.... Not to say everyone else isn't being honest, as it's not that sucky a piece! :) But thanks for saying what you feel.

There's still plenty of time to work on new concepts, and as I mentioned above, I still may come up with more. The "funny" thing just hasn't clicked yet... I keep coming up with ideas that are painfully almost funny, but not quite gelling yet. This one at least solidified into something. It's more the sort of piece I generally save to work on in watercolors... So no matter what, I should finish it off one way or another. It's too cute a pose not to use somewhere.

But then again, has anyone seen Matt Dixon around? Is he in the challenge? I'm surpirsed they haven't just made him a judge already, but I didn't see his name anywhere on the list. But so maybe with Matt not here, someone's got to fill in the cute gap...? Ah, who am I kidding? ;)

And yes, Aly, it's the good old blue col-erases at work!


03 March 2006, 03:20 AM
Nope, I know the Aly, Johnny work with, Maybe ask them. But I am waiting to see what u do next dude, I so luved the wage slave entry for Master and Servant! Again good luck dude!:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 07:04 AM
I like the Idea & the first sketch ... i had something similar in mind :) maybe because i read so much about shadow of the colossus and played Ico again who knows .. :D

Im courious if you stick to it or what you'll come up with next :love:

03 March 2006, 07:46 AM
I am the walrus! No, wait... You are the Walrus! Goo goo g' joob!

Subscribed mate!

03 March 2006, 08:10 AM
nice study on the poses walrus~they potrayed alot of characters in them:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 02:17 PM
...And here are some character studies for the above layout. I don't have any clothes, or even real character designs settled upon yet. (No, they're not going to be nekkid!)
I was about to ask, "What land is this where all the girls are naked?!" :D

Jokes aside, I really like your first concept and your sketching abilty is second to none. Can't wait to see what other concepts you come up with. :)

03 March 2006, 02:50 PM
Something I do when looking for inspiration is to look through a dictionary with a sketchpad at hand. It works, try it! :)

You can do it, Mike...I know you can!

03 March 2006, 04:52 PM
Good luck Michael! :bounce:

03 March 2006, 05:36 PM (

Okay, here's a new concept. I suspect this was what you were more looking for, Theresa: Something goofy and a little off-kilter with loads of possibilities for humor. And it is all that: It's the wedding ceremony of a hunky vampire and his ghoul. We've got Igor chauffeuring the giant spider with the just married sign on it on the right, so I've got the metaphorical journey (marriage) right along with the physical one (honeymoon.) And of course lots of wedding guests in the background leave lots of options for interesting characters. The setting is a graveyard with tombstones and sepulchres draped with streamers, or a decrepit, half-destroyed skeleton of an old church.

Whay I can't decide about his piece, and could really use peoples' input on, is how it fits the theme. One one side, I think it obviously fits the simple title "The Journey Begins." But on the other hand, it doesn't fit any of the descriptions in the contest rules: No vast, epic, sweeping landscape, no small creatures... The top layout incorporates a larger landscape, but it feels tacked on, part of another painting and not really a great fit (aside from the part about the rules.) What do you think?


03 March 2006, 05:46 PM
Fun idea Mike! I wouldn't worry too much about sticking strictly to the suggestions in the rules. I can't quite tell what's in the backround at the moment. How about a gloomy castle up on a creepy mountain? Get the backround mood looking a bit spooky and dark to counterpoint the "happiness" (Are vampires ever really happy?) of the newlyweds.

03 March 2006, 05:51 PM
i hope you dont have to stick to teh suggested guidlines otherwise everyone piece look very similar.. i myself have just though of a new idea that i am excited about with no grand sweeping landscape or smal bugs.. anyways i really like this concept.. cant wait to see you tighten it up

03 March 2006, 06:01 PM
I really like this idea! Quite original!

I like marcoracer's suggestion of the castle on the mountain, you could really play around with colour then, dark moody colours for the castle bright happy ones for the wedding folk.

Great work keep it up! :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 06:05 PM
very nice :thumbsup:


03 March 2006, 06:12 PM
Fantastic idea. And it does use small creatures if you consider the tarantula to be normal sized!

03 March 2006, 06:20 PM
Love you'r confident lines! I also like theese new concepts, the vampire theme is always a safe way to go at it. ;) Keep us updated!

03 March 2006, 06:23 PM
I really like your rough (farewell kiss) looks very good, and really looks the best of the one's you have submitted so far. I'm looking forward to more of your work.

03 March 2006, 08:38 PM
i too really like the farewell-kiss idea ... maybe you could do a whole group of characters and everyone gets a farewell-kiss ... like six little adventourers with their moms or whatever :D

03 March 2006, 09:15 PM
Hey! nice concept man!:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 01:18 AM
That's better!!

*sits back, happier* you have to do is toss in a bit of a twist there..maybe have them all looking really dour... think 'american gothic' (grant wood) and you're there.

Go with the bottom right one- great composition and I like the graveyard in the background-champagne glasses with blood many great details that you could fill it up with!

Give us one more concept, then I'll let you rest. :) You're doing great ,mike!

Theme fitting: They're setting off for their honeymoon to Ireland, of course. :D

03 March 2006, 07:15 AM
all you have to do is toss in a bit of a twist there.

oh, come on Theresa, having vampires and ghouls look dour is a unique twist? And here I was thinking that having them in love and celebrating a wedding happily was the twist. Silly me!

But anyhow, I don't do dour.

I don't know about the castle on the hill. I mean, I think it's a great concept, if this piece weren't for a challenge I'd doi it. But it doesn't really help to convey an epic journey. Going up the hill to the castle isn't that much of a voyage. Not that I'm sure what should go into the background... more work needed. If I even stick with this concept. I still could go with number 1. Or number 3... 'though I have no idea what number 3 is yet. Ahrgh! :banghead:


03 March 2006, 07:35 AM
oh, come on Theresa, having vampires and ghouls look dour is a unique twist? And here I was thinking that having them in love and celebrating a wedding happily was the twist. Silly me!

But anyhow, I don't do dour.

I don't know about the castle on the hill. I mean, I think it's a great concept, if this piece weren't for a challenge I'd doi it. But it doesn't really help to convey an epic journey. Going up the hill to the castle isn't that much of a voyage. Not that I'm sure what should go into the background... more work needed. If I even stick with this concept. I still could go with number 1. Or number 3... 'though I have no idea what number 3 is yet. Ahrgh! :banghead:


Sorry, Mike! You're getting really close though...I promise.... Each sketch is getting closer!

03 March 2006, 06:12 PM
I love the sketches Mike. I think it fits into the brief well. I must admit I was a bit concerned about those particular guidelines because they don't leave much room for broadening the brief if taken literally. To be honest, I don't know why they are there, as it could be taken that these are strict guidelines and not general ideas and themes people could run with if they wanted. Anyway... wibble...

03 March 2006, 06:20 PM
Beautiful work here. Great original ideas, The drawings are beautiful.


03 March 2006, 06:30 PM
Here we go again! Glad to be along for the ride with you.

03 March 2006, 09:24 PM (

Another completely different concept.
Man, those super-sized SUVs get, what, 3 miles to the gallon? Serves the couple right for driving one.

Hard to see, but off in the distance next to the evil castle is a McDonald's and a gas station...

03 March 2006, 09:30 PM (

...And here's another sketch of the wedding. The castle is worked in and doesn't feel like a total afterthought, it's a bit more integrated. And there's a lot more motion, for a journey. But the characters are smaller, a negative. Don't know if I like this more than the others posted so far.

As for the rules, I tend to try to be anal about them because I'm just like that. If it says "do small creatures," there's this huge gravitiational pull in my head to doing small creatures. But you're right, as long as we're generally in the right park... There have been lots of real winners in the past who (imho) weren't totally strict about the theme (but followed it enough, i guess) and there have been others who followed the theme rigidly and weren't rewarded for it. So I suppose the small creatures and linear perspective and all that isn't vital...

(but I'll confess I recently got my copy of the Ballistic Matte Painting book and it's inspired me to want to do a big, epic lanscape... hence concept #1! :) )


03 March 2006, 10:12 PM
I like the grumpy guy getting gas concept. :) Definitely more walrus like!

03 March 2006, 10:56 PM
Hey Michael, sweet looking concets. The one with the SUV reminds me a bit of "Rocky Horror Picture Show". :twisted:

Matt :)

03 March 2006, 04:41 AM
The couple without gas! Thatīs cool! And very well composed too. You should think about using this concept!

03 March 2006, 09:22 AM (

Thanks for the feedback, all! Well, I still ahven't set my mind on which one to work on for the final piece. They all have some good points. I have to confess that this last one - Breakdown - is my least favorite. It's just not quite there yet. I like the idea of the characters, specifically the guy carrying the gascans, but i don't know if the setting is right.

So in the meantime, I've been trying to flesh out interesting mounts for the first concept. Steeds in blue, female with no clothes designed yet in red, and the really roughed-in hero in green. Let me know which you like, in terms of both mounts and human positions... Thanks!


03 March 2006, 09:49 AM
pose #3 is more dynamic and the riderd does not feel like falling (just pulled for a kiss)
the head are a bit creepy ;) i'd go for the first or the second.

03 March 2006, 10:04 AM (

Thanks, Enrico. I assume you mean the mount's (creature's) heads are creepy, not the boy? (well, all of the boy's are creepy - i need to draw that better. For now it's just rough.)
But anyhow, in th meantime, here's one more i just drew...


03 March 2006, 10:22 AM
It'd be funny if she was an igor-like girl. Just an idea...

03 March 2006, 03:42 PM
The female character is really nice!
I enjoyed a lot your Master and servant entry, good work.

03 March 2006, 04:37 PM
I really like the second to last head- the bird head with the crest. It has great personality!

03 March 2006, 04:39 PM (

Another completely different concept.
Man, those super-sized SUVs get, what, 3 miles to the gallon? Serves the couple right for driving one.

Hard to see, but off in the distance next to the evil castle is a McDonald's and a gas station...

Hah! I love this one :D Some really great sketches here :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 05:01 PM
Really great sketches!! I personally prefer the 4th human position, and the 5th mount!

03 March 2006, 07:15 PM
I like nr 6. the mount looks like he is thinking, oh nooo.. they are kissing again...
humanwise I like the one you posted single... like the boy is just a few cm from falling of... only his foot around the mounts neck that holds him...

03 March 2006, 08:09 PM (

Thanks for the replies, everyone!
I'm tending away from the more horse-like mounts. They seem to conventional, and I'd like to get a bit further afield, and ratites have always been really visually intriguing to me. There was a sculpture once in the Washington DC Museum of Natural History of a Moa, one fo the giant flightlyess birds that roamed New Zealand once upon a time. They were HUGE! And very cool looking... a shame they were hunted to extinction. At least we still have ostriches. Theresa, you'll note i used the head you like! :)

I'm also experimenting with putting some more ground beneath the girl. It was just too forced before: I had to specifically have steeds with stubby legs, and it wasn't completely working.

As for the boy, I think Xillion;s comment resonated the most: We don't want her to be yanking him off the steed to land on his head, just pulled in for a gentle peck. So I've done some more sketches to reflect that (and it's easier with the girl up higher!)

Makaron - I like your comment about the mount's thoughts. Not what I had in mind at first, but it sounds good, I'll try to incorporate it into some of the next sketches.

Background coming up...


03 March 2006, 08:12 PM (

Earlier I had more horizontal sketches for the background but now I'm experimenting with something more vertical... as well as something a bit more fantastic and huge, so the characters are painted against an epic landscape. It's always a challenge to balance character size with background because I want the characters to be really large and clear... but in the end, one of the things pushing this ahead of the Vampire Wedding piece if that that one is a more traditional piece for me, whereas this pushes me to do a background with a lot of depth and I don't do that often enough.

The characters in the lower left are placeholders until i finalize, just to give a sense of scale and positioning.


03 March 2006, 08:14 PM
I like mount number Ten the most, although Iīm not so sure about the arms. Anyway It,s a cool character.

03 March 2006, 08:30 PM
The composition of the first one is clearer and reads better, but I love the stripes on the mountains in the second one. Also really like the mount's head. :D Good choice there! :p

It's unclear which way they're riding though. It looks like they could just be sneaking a quick kiss in the valley for whatever adorable though. :D

03 March 2006, 08:31 PM
Landscape b has maybe more profundity but the mount is placed too low and near the border of the image, in Landscape a they seem to be near falling over a precipice. Itīs only my opinion, I think this is getting great.

03 March 2006, 09:26 PM
I like composition A a lot and #10 for the mounted dude, but i also agree with Paperclip on the patterns of the mountains on B. Those are some really nice designing :thumbsup:

be back again dude

03 March 2006, 03:23 AM
especially like the swirls on your mountains, very original creative funky touch

03 March 2006, 03:47 AM
totally ove what ya going with here ,with all the character pose study,the chocobo/dino like character is cool and i like pose no.8.:scream:and yeah~i'd choose composition a with the pattern on the b as well~'a' has more depths in my oppinion

03 March 2006, 07:19 AM
I like a better than b, with b it just seems like everything is floating around to me. But im not really sure if im even qualified to comment, but thats just my two cents. great work though!

03 March 2006, 08:33 AM
At a glance both a and b are good. I prefear a, but the chars feel like the can't go anywhere because there's no path right off their foots. Keep it up, this will rock! ;)

03 March 2006, 08:58 AM
Annoying nerd comment #4=

Just seconding what Ramitxon said up there about them seeming as if they may fall over the precipice- the perspective seems a little off there.

Humorous comment #2= Just so you know, I'm not actually online most of that time- I just tend to leave windows open and go off into real life, lol. :D

03 March 2006, 10:46 AM
Hi walrus nice to see you here, lovely concept and good design of landscape

03 March 2006, 12:00 PM
great sketches, mike! i love these crazy patterns on the rocks too :)

03 March 2006, 01:10 PM
finally i found your entry, mate :) cae to subscribe and wish you a joyfull happy journy lots of fun and of course good luck! Go Walrus Go!

03 March 2006, 04:43 PM
Wow, thanks, everyone! Pretty strong support for the swirly lines on the mountains in B, it seems. That was my first idea, but I experimented with A too: I love the design, it's very Seussian, but as Xillion pointed out (thanks for more great insights, Enrico!) it feels less naviagble, and the whole point is to show soemthing that you could move through, 'cause it's a Journey.

Many people have had great points about the bottom left corner - thanks Theresa, Ramitxon, and Xillion. I've since done some good sketches of that space where it's NOT on a precipice and it's surrounded by relatively mundane pastoral fencing and/or stone wall, so it really looks like a home, a place he's leaving behind. But talk is cheap: I'll post those sketches when I get home tonight, in about 12 hours.

(I also did some great images of the bird creature rolling his eyes as Makaron suggested. It makes the piece, imo. Show you soon...)

Theresa: it's not that I see your name on the "who's online" list, it's that every time i open up a thread, there's a post by you in there. Especially my thread, but many others. Or yours. :)

I AM, btw, still doing sketches of the wedding picture too. A lot of people liked the gas can image, but i think it would be funnier if it were transplanted somewhere else. I like the people in it, just not the setting. If I could do it on an alien planet, I would... But where would they be going to for gas? I'm open to ideas, anyone...


03 March 2006, 06:39 PM
If I could do it on an alien planet, I would... But where would they be going to for gas?


it's not that I see your name on the "who's online" list, it's that every time i open up a thread, there's a post by you in there. Especially my thread, but many others. Or yours

Or maybe we just have similar tastes in paintings. :D I see you getting there before me a lot of the time!

03 March 2006, 06:46 PM
YoY, lovely ideas and sketchs, i like wedding one.

but for mount, my choice will be #8.

good work and have lots fun!

03 March 2006, 09:22 PM (

doodling on the other idea over lunch otday and on the morning commute. Here's a totally different camera angle... What the heck is the spider-carriage doing inside? Well it was too cool to leave out, it's one of my favorite parts to this.

Don't mind me, I'll just be going back and forth between these 2 or 3 concepts for a little while... :)


03 March 2006, 11:28 PM
I REALLY like this concept. It would look so cool, a funky wedding in this big gothic type mansion with cobwebs and bats fluttering around.

yes...! :)

03 March 2006, 05:20 AM (

Well, glad YOU liked it Theresa. This last sketch doesn't look to have excited anyone else. Oh, well. There's still this, the kissy one. Spent all evening combining various sketches and parts of sketches, and am pretty happy with the results. It's starting to feel more natural. I'm down to two possible heads, which I'm too close to to decide upon now. What do you all think? Thin or Thick...?


03 March 2006, 05:35 AM
me like the the spider-carriage... and they have to have huge door on that castle, if that spider gonna get outside... the angle is nice in that one too...

the head in my taste is the thicker one... he have "chunky" legs so that beak goes well to that... love the expression he have now...

03 March 2006, 07:20 AM
the one on the right, the thick one!
yes, maybe even thicker I think, makes him look goofyer also and more characteristic..


03 March 2006, 07:34 AM
the thick one too. Funny faces, huhu ^^
Keep it up, i like it!

03 March 2006, 08:01 AM
What i liked about the "Munsters"-concept was that itīs quite unusal. And that the beholders knows whatīs going on.
On the other hand the kissing couple is so cute (and those chicken wings..hilarious), i definitely like to see that in color and finished. The downside on this is that you donīt really know whatīs going on there. Where is he leaving? And why? Does he only commute to work or does he try to rescue the whole village they live in invasion of used bingo-cards. You should give us a deeper look in the story somehow.

But thatīs just me, and iīm only saying that because Iīm green with envy about your nice scetches. :argh:

03 March 2006, 08:07 AM
yo mate,I love your characters. great movement,nice facial expressions..nice line arts ,really like them, what else i can say is wanna see how u manage them in colours,wanna see something different :)

03 March 2006, 08:08 AM
i cant decide on any of your concepts... thyere just soooooooooooooo ree-heeaaaly cute my brain has tuned into a mush of potpourri

03 March 2006, 09:14 AM
I like the mount on the right. The thick one too. I'm not so sure about the eyes though.

03 March 2006, 09:27 AM
excellent drawing. I prefer version 11. The other seems a little weird.

03 March 2006, 09:52 AM
thanks for your advices

03 March 2006, 11:08 AM
Gotta say I like twelve the best. Love to see some spectacles on the creature, a few more rolls under the chin. Make it old, lol. Make the journey loooong.

All the best!

03 March 2006, 01:06 PM
Ha! This is like a stereoscopic 3D picture. Right now I'm sitting 3 feet away from the computer trying to relax my eyes enough to get both pics together. This is my favorite creature head by the way. Just great playfulness in your drawings!

03 March 2006, 03:44 PM
About the composition, i still like the one in your first atttempt. The horizontal fits the charackters better i think. First of all, you have this "from left to right"(from mother and home over to the horse and then the epic landscape)".
Also, the ostrich/horselike creature needs more of a plane landscape than some high trees/mountains or something to really fit in.

Anyway, excellent sketches and i like how you pushes your work in an early stage to the best working combination of elements. Really interesting. :)

03 March 2006, 05:06 PM (

Wow, cool thanks everyone for all the notes!

Bunch more sketches here, trying to work out how everything all fits. (these are really small, btw, each no larger than 4 inches to work out larger forms first.) I'm tending back towards the landscape view again... and this before I even read Duracel's excellent commetns on the horizontal compositions. I tend towards vertical compositions almost as a default, from so much time spent doing book and magazine covers, but there isn't any real reason to stick with that here, is there? :) I still think the giant column/mountains look neat, but a landscape orientation does work better for this bird.

The biggest problem I'm having is using a wide landscape but still keeping a focus on the characters. Fact is, I just don't want them to get too small, or lost in the wider picture. Gotta keep the emotional core of the piece, right? (And they're just so cute!)

You'll see that in these latest sketches, I've added a home on the mid/upper left. Little shack, smoke coming out of the chimney, the occasional fence around the front yard... all stuff that says home and hopefully conveys that this is in fact the start of a journey, not the midsection. Oh, and a tree in the upper left. Helps corner the piece compositionally, and isolate the house from the rest of the landscape. And it feels homey because it's sheltering the house.

There's also a clear destination in the background of each image. Any other idfeas on how to add more story to the piece? Torsten, you commented on conveying more of that. I hope the house helps a bit... I wanted to out a sword on the boy's back, but it just didn't fit into the composition...

Oh, hey, and one more question: A couple of people have commented about the boy being kissed by his mother. I hope with the latest images, it reads more clearer, but I ought to check: Does it still read as boy and mother, or are they looking similar ages at this point? I though the skirt and hairdo helped, but them maybe I'm too close to it all...?

One last note: as with almost everyone else, I am tending towards the thicker bird, just because it's less common/expected. I really like ^tilite's idea about really aging the bird, though, and might give that a try.

Again, thanks again everyone for the comments!


03 March 2006, 05:20 PM
Hi Michael... me again.. this is so intresting to see, canīt keep away... :rolleyes: his time I vote for E... really like how the house and mountins surrond the couple...

and add something more, thatīs harder... if the first thing that comes to my mind is, maybe a chick for the bird in the right corner, acting goofy and wanna run of to the journey?.. or maybe to cute? haha...

03 March 2006, 06:55 PM
Hi... Beautiful concept! :buttrock:

I think that 'E' looks better than the rest...

And I dont think you should worry about this girl, she doesnt look like his mother at all...

As for adding more story to it... You probably thought of that already, but maybe you should put some more equipment on the ostrich, such as a rope, a water bottle, a map, stuff like that..

Good luck!!!

03 March 2006, 08:07 PM
Maybe she could be giving him the stuff to carry?

I prefer the 'distance' of f, but bring the house closer, as in e. That way you'll have him at his house with a seussian distance to go in the background. Did you ever think about doing a loop the loop in the road? :)

03 March 2006, 08:10 PM
Hey Michael you do some nice work and you creat some cool concepts. I like your wage slave painting it remineds me of my job as a designer for corperate america. Good luck and thanks for the advice.

03 March 2006, 08:16 PM
is very hard to choose, all r great compos,fantastic BG design, but i will make choice in C or D:)

03 March 2006, 08:36 PM
It has become just a matter of having an opinion. I like better C than the others, or even D, but just because I like the landscape and profundity, all of them are great.

only pony
03 March 2006, 09:02 PM
damn those sketches look nice. Really like the cartoonstyle. I'll keep an eye on this thread.

03 March 2006, 09:13 PM
i like the "e" option because the arc that ist in front of the characters gives balance the composition
cheers!!! :bounce:

Wayne jermaine
03 March 2006, 12:19 AM
sweet nice style... good luck

03 March 2006, 02:32 AM
yeah~i'd go for 'e' as well,a better focus on the characters yet the the background remain intact,the landscape format works fine in ur concept here:scream: i like the structure on the right for the 'd' composition.maybe u can try to replace that into compo 'e'?

03 March 2006, 02:39 AM
HiI have to vote for "e", as well, absolutely "e", although I can't tell you why beyond it grabbed me - it just FEELS right somehow. Maybe it's that arched structure to the right, the rhythm of the curves in the composition. I just like it :-)


03 March 2006, 04:51 AM
Hey, Mike - good luck - great start- a combination of C & E. I like the BG of C - the scale of character in E

03 March 2006, 05:03 AM
Hi, all! Thanks for your comments and posts. I'm seeing a lot of support for E, especially the building on the left... Of course, there are all really quick comps, and I'll end up recycling little parts of all of them to some extent or another. Like, for example, even witht he house and hillside from E, I really like the curve of the fence in F, how it angles back towards us to enclose the space (making it a place to leave, a home, a journey's beginning.)

makaron - I like the chick idea. My wife suggested something similar, some sort of animals in the yard to convey that it's a home, not a place to leave casually. We'd discussed chickens, in fact!

assafk - great idea for the gear on the bird... Now the only question is where to put it! Limited glove compartment space on those giant ratites, y'know?

theresa - I hope I'll get a strong feeling of distance no matter which i use... that's the whole point! But I don't think she's going to be giving him too many supplies: her arms are full (and i suspect she doesn't totally want him to leave.)

cory - thanks! Unfortunately, 'Wage Slave' reminded my of my job at the time, too.

Michael - thanks, glad you're liking them.

ramitxon - glad you like them. Why do you find C & D more profound?

Pony - thanks!

bandro - thanks for explaining why you like it - i guess it is nicer having that thing out of the way of the characters. I'll have to keep that in mind!

wayne - thank you!

other michael - yeah, funny how i was so worried about seeing the characters and yet the largest compositions also have the largest characters. I like those structures in D, too... but they remind me too much of something I saw Mike Mignola draw once, and I was cribbing from him. I'd feel guilty using them for real. Maybe I'll come up with something similar... or better!

d'arcy - thanks, glad it's working for you, whatever your reasons! to start combining them into something useful. Or mulling over the shapes for a couple days more... something like that... Catch you all soon!


03 March 2006, 05:05 AM
Looks like E is the winner, I have to agree too. I really like the large weeping like tree over their house. I think you could incorpirate the fence and coblestone path from F, or even throw a nice little bridge. Will help with the composition and could really help break up the color palette too.

Glad to hear you like my aging idea :) You have to post a higher res version too :wip:

[edt] Dammit you beat me to post, I hate that. :blush:

03 March 2006, 05:08 AM
oops, and Cliff got a note in while i was typing. Can't make you think i was ignoring you:
Yeah, i like the character scale in E too. I wonder if i can just stretch C horizontally 'til it fits the more landscape feel I'm tending towards... hmmm...

03 March 2006, 08:18 AM
c and d for me mate

03 March 2006, 08:28 AM
i'm saying number 'e'!

Oh... hang on... it's a letter... um...?

Nice concepts Mike! Like the funny beastie birdy thing. And the surreal stylised environment looks really promising too. Groooovy.

03 March 2006, 05:46 PM
really cool man.. i love your ideas :) ill bee looking at this thread i got to learn from the masters :)

03 March 2006, 06:13 PM
Nice sketches!, D seems to be my favorite! I think compositionally it works great! All still very nice!:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 06:44 PM
Nice sketches,for me.. I prefer "C" but perhaps the characters look too small.

good luck :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 06:45 PM
i think you have a very strong arsenal of sketches... now which to choose ^_^ good luck with it.

03 March 2006, 07:18 PM
Hi Walrus, iīve been thinking about this destination-problem, but the only things which came in my mind are like either heīs went off to get the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (which is kinda mean, because we all know heīll never come back...) or he is going to join some kind of race. BigBirdrace, so to speak.
Means: I have absolutley no clou.

It should be clear without explanation . :hmm:
The good thing about this is, that you will come up with something better :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 07:26 PM
Just wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying watching your thought process and all of your sketches are inspiring! You've probably moved on already, but I just wanted to let you know I preferred option "D" on that last round of roughs -- I liked it best because of the energy in the landscape, the way everything was leaning and canting toward each other, and although it's a little obvious, I liked the arch that connected both sides to the bird. Anyway, I can't wait to watch this progress. (*runs off to subscribe to your thread!*) :)

03 March 2006, 05:17 PM (

Two important things to keep in mind when world-building is how what you're creating fits into your WORLD and how it fits into your STORY.

We're all kinda agreed that we like having a house in the mid-upper left of the picture, but what should the house look like? It needs to fit the world: Feel like it was made by the people who would be there, using the technology that I imagine they would have. And it needs to fit the personality of the people who live there.

Storywise, it needs to be a place that you feel like you're leaving to go on a journey from. So it can't be exciting, and adventurous. It needs to be homey, safe, and maybe even shelterred (That's what the tree in the upper left does!)

Myself, I'm liking #2 and #5 because they are small & cute (like the girl) and echo the round shapes in the columns deeper in the landscape. So you'll notice that the farmhouses that will be in the middle distance (1, 12, 15) are attempting to echo the same style. But I put numbers on all of them because it's easier for discussion.

One thing I've learned in 15 years of doing concept artwork for games is that it's really important to do a LOT of sketches of something before you settle. It seems like a lot of people try one sketch and then they're done and off to the next phase of the picture. Some poeple put too much time into their first sketch and then fall in love with the finishes on it, or don't want to "waste" the time and effort put into it... But no effort sketching is ever wasted. I mean, think of it this way: Are the first words out of your mouth in the morning right after you wake up usually the most brilliant thing you're going to say all day? :)

Sketch and sketch, and then take the best elements from those and incorporate them into more sketches. Even people who are really good do a bunch of sketches just to know whether their first sketch was the best: They need something to compare it to! :)


03 March 2006, 05:21 PM
Nice sketches. I like number 2 the best but they are all great

03 March 2006, 05:36 PM
sweet stuff, i like designs!

gonna read this all too with better time.. ah well, gonna read it now, dunno
where better time is and how much it would cost anyhow


03 March 2006, 05:51 PM
nice stuff! and you made me understand how professional illustrator work! I'm lazy to sketch many different alternative , your work have nice style as always pal!

03 March 2006, 06:02 PM
I say go with no. 5, it has this really cute ramshackle feeling to it.

Also, thanks for the tips regarding sketches. Do you do the same thing for your people- sketch lots of variants of faces?

03 March 2006, 06:23 PM
Can't decide. So my indecision says: use 'em all! Make a whole eclectic villiage!

03 March 2006, 06:27 PM
my setaments exactly walus.. but i always go back to my first idea.. lol

03 March 2006, 06:38 PM
Hey Michael,
Great sketches and designs. they are fun.
I also liked some of your points about design. It is true in most creative works, at least for me, that the more you explore the better the eventual outcome will be. I also do tons of research visually and in words. Books can be very inspirational. I am biased because my wife has her PhD in lituratures and is a writer. But I would think that anyway.
So what I am saying is, I like the way you think. And you are local, we should do lunch.

See ya

03 March 2006, 07:23 PM
Hi Michael, hehe good concept and great sketches too! I like it , it should be fun. Great words and advices, subscribing to every one of them.
Keep up that standard, it'll become another superbe illustration.
Will be back of course! All the best man!

03 March 2006, 07:42 PM
love your style & your drawing it look very nice. Have a luck for contest :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 08:59 PM
Hey, all, thanks for the comments!

squibbit - Read? Who bothers reading thses things? Just skip that and look at the pretty pictures. And the other ones.

monsitj - good to see you around, as always. Looking forward to your entry - er, entries - again this time around!

theresa - I sketch a lot for EVERYTHING. I just normally don't bore people by posting it all, but these cottages all happened to be on the same sheet. I easily have this many sketches or more for the girl's face, the boy, you saw pages of the sketches for the bird creature... And look at the Vampire Wedding concept: The first few sketches were pretty staid compositions, and would have been... fine... if i'd stuck with them. But isn't the latest sketch for that piece much more interesting? But even I get lazy sometimes: I haven't fooled around with different camera angles on the main characters in this composition. Would it be better with a worm's eye view or a bird's eye view of the boy on the bird's back? I don't think so, but i didn't try it out...

I also do a lot of work combining sketches. If I like that leg, that hand, those feet, I'll scan them all in and Frankenstien them all together and draw over them in Photoshop. That's what I did for the characters on previous pages: You can saee parts of the birds reused all over hte place. I did a page of hand sketches just for the boy and cut and pasted them on 'til I found some that might work.

JTD - There will be a village or two underneath the looming columns, but I'll need to redraw the houses from the right angle, and incorporating some of the cylinder shapes from the final cottage I use.

Kory - Yes, I get a lot of inspiration from words, too, though I am less apt to put them down in that form as often. Both my wife and I have BAs in EnglishLit - do they add up to one PhD? I'd love to get together with you for lunch or something some time, thanks for suggesting it! ...Unfortunately I'm not on the penninsula any more since I left Blizzard, I'm working now in downtown SF. But if you're up in the area, we should hook up.

catch you all later...!


03 March 2006, 09:06 PM
they are sooo adorableee!!! i love them! keep it up my friend!!:D

03 March 2006, 10:03 PM
Hey Michael!! an excellent and funny beginning:thumbsup: Good luck to you!


03 March 2006, 11:07 PM
Hi Walrus, awesome quality on your work. Love the way you make lots of sketches about one concept. I'm afraid I am one of those who fall in love with their first sketch. Sometimes I get bored sketching always the same if the sketch worked the first time, but that's the way I work, everybody has his own way and I think everything is valid.

03 March 2006, 12:10 AM
Walrus, i totally agree your last but one post(real good posting! keep it one, the most interesting thread in here!) except one point - i don't think you have to sketch all the work, but you have to "think" about it.
So as going with your example of the first words in the morning, well better you keep from just saying something, it might be wiser if you think about your words first or you may keep quiet until you have something to say. ;)
Would it be better with a worm's eye view or a bird's eye view of the boy on the bird's back? I don't think so, but i didn't try it out...
Do you have to try it out while you don't think it might be better?
If you're not as sure you better sketch or if the scene is too komplex to just think about it in one step, but sketching a lot without taking your time to think about it first is even worse.(well in this case i guess you still do both thinking alot and sketching alot)
But still i agree, don't trust your "one and only" sketch, just because you're hanging up on it.

But oh well, beside all this, i really have to go back to my own picture which is still in the sketching-phase too. ;)

03 March 2006, 12:55 AM
No, you're totally right, Duracel, the thought is often the important thing. I didn't skip drawing the girl and boy and bird from worm's eye view because I was lazy. I skipped it because it would have exaggerated his height over her, which wouldn't have been right emotionally, and it wouldn't have shown off the landscape which is important for this challenge, and it wouldn't have been the best view for their kiss. Sometimes I think about these things a lot without needing to draw them, sometimes it's just something you know without needing it to even enter conscious thought.... the "unconsious competance" stage as I've heard it called.

I was perhaps exaggerating a bit to make a point... but only a bit. I didn't draw all those houses just to make a point, they were all legit drawings as part of exploring a theme. But if one person sees that post that and understands that they have to not rest after one doodle, my post served a purpose (and yes, one person, you know who you are! :) )

Anyhow, thanks to everyone who's enjoying seeing my sketches and enjoying reading me blather about them! :)


03 March 2006, 02:28 AM
nice mike~its so enjoyable to see u work on ur concepts here~u have this character poses study,the composition and now the architectural study~great variaty of designs,not sure which would be the best coz all of them looks good to me.again~its very welldone:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 08:35 AM
greate sketches man ! hope you'll start soon to color it ! Very intresting to see it )
Good luck in journey !

03 March 2006, 08:51 AM
Yes! Great sketches! I'm once again amazed of your talents... I know that thumbnail sketching is highly recomended, but my own thumbnails often turn out to be footprints... I can't seem to fit that much information into such a small area. But I must say you've done an excellent job!

I can't wait to see some colors!!

03 March 2006, 08:33 PM
those houses and how you explain why... is just great!... thank you Michael for a good lesson... and if I vote for a house, I would choose nr 5... like the round windows and the shape of the house... itīs as cute as a house could be :) and I hope to see some chicks later on...

03 March 2006, 06:44 PM
those houses look great. cant wait to see how you will add all these elements later on :)

03 March 2006, 11:57 PM (

Hi, all! Thanks for the notes!

Zycho - the main reason that I sketch so small is precisely because sketches that tiny CAN'T carry too much information! It forces me to develop an image that has strong silhouettes and reads well even at a teeny size. Don't get bogged down with the details, concentrate on the important, larger forms and all will fall into place.

So on that note, here are my latest sketches for my layout. I've pretty much abandoned the pencil at this point. These are all in Photoshop with all sorts of layers cut and pasted from my other doodles. I start with one sketch, add in the fence from another, the house froma third. It's like playing with colorforms!

You'll see I chose house #5 on the left. In addition to fitting into the Wolrd and the Story, the other thing a sketch has to fit is of course your Composition. #5 just fit the space better than #2 because its door was farther right.

I'm not sure which one of these i like more. G emphasizes the columns more but lacks a goal off in the distance. H has the goal (the huge tower) but is the space around it too crowded and does it look like it fits? The idea is that these huge columns in the mid-foreground are the same size as the ones around the base of the tower... so the tower is REALLY tall. Or maybe the tower will look like it fits more if i stop being so topsy-tuvy with the columns and just straighten them all out...? I don't know right now. Love to hear your opinions... especially if you can back them up with Whys, not just Which Ones. I enjoy hearing which choices people like, but it's especially helpful to hear why people think they work or not. Thanks! :)


03 March 2006, 12:18 AM
for me all your sketches looks great and have the same level anyone you use won't make lot of differance i think, i don't have any critiques all drawings are high quality. good luck to your final piece.


03 March 2006, 01:31 AM
It's me again...yes, afraid so...

I like the top one best. (g) and here's why: Having the tower there makes the journey seem too short- I like the idea of the landscape receding, maybe having more of these towers and as you go further away, they change and you go into another terrain. It would make it seem like he's going on a real journey, rather than a quick dash into town to pick up some milk.

Really loving the stripes,...ahh so cute...I can't wait to see your color palette either. May I also say thanks for inspiring me for my own stuff with all your talk of research sketches.

Ohbedooobedoo, I wanna be like youuuuu....

03 March 2006, 03:24 PM
Thanks for the well-reasoned response, Theresa!
I'd been tending towards the bottom one myself... until I read your post. That makes a lot of sense. I had envisioned the tower being so huge that it would be a really long distance to get to it. It works in theory, but you're right that it doesn't really read that way in the composition. Also, it's nice to have the same form - the column - repeated thematically, not scrimped on.

Funny to hear you say I want to be like you - I'm flatterred, of course, but we actually have such different painting styles!

I think i have a couple of weeks to go 'til I get color into this. I'm on crunchtime at work, and I really need to finish off the composition on the Medusa piece that I'm working on so I can start painting that too. (but that's watercolors, not digital.) Also, once I nail the composition on this, I was thinking about going the extra mile and mocking the scene up in 3D to get lighting right...

Anyhow, thanks for the great post. Anyone else...?


03 March 2006, 04:03 PM
a vote again... hurray... :bounce: I agree in what paperclip said about image G... but then I start thinking... are you gonna have a lot of DOF maybe the H would be better... and me like that the bridge is more visable on H... but I like those cliffs on the right side in G... so now I really donīt know who to vote on... :rolleyes: haha... Iīm not much of help today...

03 March 2006, 04:32 PM (

I wanted to see how that one landscape looked if I straightened out all of the landscape some, made it less Seussian. I kept some angles when i took them all out it looked very undynamic. And I imagine that some of them are titling at interesting angles anyhow. But maybe it doesn't look like there's such weird gravity going on...?


03 March 2006, 04:39 PM
Maybe, Walrus:) How if you go down a little bit the main characters to increase the weight of the background and the left house on the screen?

Anyway, love your work Michael:thumbsup:


03 March 2006, 04:56 PM
i looks better to me, seems like the rocks not gonna fall down in the valley now... at least not fall today...

03 March 2006, 05:17 PM
...the main reason that I sketch so small is precisely because sketches that tiny CAN'T carry too much information!
My words exactly. Thanks for pointing that out.

And about the last two versions: Well, it depends. Maybe a matter of personal taste, in my opinion the latter looks better. First the landscape doesnīt copy the angle of the bird anymore and second i only like those exaggerated angles when they somehow make sense in a picture and it was by some reason important.
So if itīs not that important for you to show something like" Hey, iīm sooocrazy, i donīt even have to care about gravity!" :D i would pick i.

Btw one of my favorite threads. Thank you veryvery much for bringing so much useful information into the contest. :applause:

03 March 2006, 05:50 PM
i dont think it is a big difference as far as the quality of the piece is effected. both good and all a matter of taste... to be honest i really can not deside which one i would prefer. there is an attraction to g but i probably works better viually.. soz.. really cant say.. i like em both.. lokign good mate

03 March 2006, 09:04 PM
how sweet!!first time I see your work but I can't wait to see what's next!

good luck!

03 March 2006, 10:23 PM
haha! Great sketch man! I love idea, fantastic characters there, most I like expression on bird creature face. Backround is very good too. Keep working :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 10:41 PM
Your lineart is amazing. Never in a million years could I produce anything like that.

03 March 2006, 10:46 PM
Yeah, well I can't start with a blank canvas like you do and throw together those beautiful roughs with all those amazing colors without relying on line art and layer adjustments as crutches, so we're even... (wait, no, that puts you way ahead!) :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 01:00 AM
Now my 2 favorites are together in one thread!


I die a happy paperclip. :p

03 March 2006, 02:27 AM
very nice bluelines...

Really like the concept alot...

will be interesting to see how you develop everything...


03 March 2006, 08:11 AM
That seems so cute scene bro...
General forms about the scene are really elastic and impressive.Both of the village and runners designs seems really so enjoyable.
And a different concept for this subject bro...
waiting for updates....

03 March 2006, 10:08 AM
Actually, you know what? If you made some of the curves on the ground mirror echo the curves in the sky (clouds), then it might solidify the perspective while at the same time keep the cool angles you have going on now.

03 March 2006, 11:53 AM
i has a little better balance on the right bg side :thumbsup:
( in g you have a little mirror form with the beak of the bird and the tree on the rock in the bg ...thats disturbs it a little for me )

i love your style...update...update! :D :D

03 March 2006, 02:22 PM
No fair, Theresa! You're not allowed to convince me that 'i' is the right choice and then come back later and try to tell me to use 'g!'

Anyhow, I have decided on 'i.' Torsten's right, too: I may be craaaazy... but not that crazy. I still has enough dynamic angles to be interesting without looking gravity-defying.

Besides, I started mocking the scene up in 3DSMax yesterday and refining details on a higher-res version of 'i.' It'll take a few days, but I'll post final line art some time this week.

Thank you everyone for the notes. No need to be impatient, we still have 11 weeks, right?
(and if you're all dying to see color work, here's an unabashed plug to go look at my 'Medusa' pic, that I updated with a color rough yesterday! :D )


03 March 2006, 02:27 PM
nice, very nice man! the layout is great! :thumbsup:

good luck walrus

03 March 2006, 02:48 PM
Hi Walrus, I see you've decided on the final layout. Once you are convinced it is always the right choice. I am looking forward to see all your process cause it will be a great image, I'm sure. Iīm expecting to see some colors soon. Keep it up man.

03 March 2006, 02:51 PM

Thank you everyone for the notes. No need to be impatient, we still have 11 weeks, right?


Only 11 weeks?!?!

I DO like 'i' the best.... I just thought you see the curves in the sky? If you had similar curves on the ground, it might make it look a little more in perspective while maintaining the angularity.

03 March 2006, 03:30 PM
Hi Walrus!
I liked your idea, I wanna see how it will develop...
Keep it up and good luck!

03 March 2006, 07:21 AM
Hi Michael, sorry I came in so late....looks like I've been missing all the fun! And your wip process is really educational.

I know you've decided on "i" which I think suits the mood better....I mean the start of a journey to me should always have a more sedate compositon than a dynamic one. And also because in "g" all the rocks are tilting at parallel, which gives a feeling of a somewhat unnatural up-angle perspective.

Anyhow, I know you will always figure things out to make the best picture in the end! And thanks for visiting my thread and giving me all those helpful tips...keep them coming! Good Luck...I will check back frequently for sure.

03 March 2006, 09:50 AM
I wanna your colour scetch :) Nice bird, man

03 March 2006, 04:41 PM (

Hi, all. I took an hour or two to mock up the scene in 3D to see how the lights and shadows would fall. I was hoping to get some interesting shadows from the columns to fall across the hills... but in order to make those happen, I had to stick the sun behind the scene, backlighting everything, which was nopt what I wanted to do. So in the end I ended up with this. Meh. But at least it gives me a little something to go on, even if it wasn't really as useful as I'd hoped.

The colors, btw, are nothing like what I'll eventially be using.


03 March 2006, 05:42 PM
Why I don't draw like you warlus? :cry:
Really good sketchs man.
One day i can do skecths like you !:argh:

03 March 2006, 05:54 PM
U seem to be moving along pretty nicely! Ur compo will depend on the way u light this, should be interesting what u come up with! Good luck!:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 05:56 PM
Hi Mike,

Blimey, thatīs what it looks like if you can spend more time for the challenge as usually.
With a bigger repertory comes the pain to choose a direction. That approach brought me
into time-management-trouble every time. But what am I comparing myself with a pro.
Youīll do well.

Iīm happy you decided to go with your first sketch. Indeed not funny but very cute. If I
were him...I wouldnīt leave the place. I very much like the horizontal composition and the
scope view. But I would like to mention that it currently doesnīt feel like if heīs competing
a longer journey. It looks like the boy is going out for a ride into the city and coming back
in the evening. Just a personal impression.

Youīve read this several times but it allways good to read it more often > gorgeous
line-art sketches - I put myself into the same position like simon.

long words for someone who just wanted to subscribe.



03 March 2006, 06:23 PM
Fahrija! Good to see you around! See, I knew that CollabBattle would get in the way of doing the Challenge! :)

But what am I comparing myself with a pro.

I don't buy that! We've all seen your work, and having done so, I wouldn't call you anything but a pro.

I really would like to push the depth in this piece a lot. I'm not known for big outdoor landscapes, so this will be a fun experiment for me. But I am hping that when it looks like the landscape stretches on for a lot longer, it will seem like he's making a bigger journey than just down to the town. And I guess I should really add a lot more supplied onto his mount, eh? There's probably still some more room...

Anyhow, good to see you around, thank thaks to you, Bryce, light_angel, and everyone else for the comments.


03 March 2006, 06:48 PM
I can't help but wonder how it would look if you raised the viewpoint a little?


03 March 2006, 11:05 PM
What about the boy kissing the girl goodbye?
Hum...maybe it's because my wife goes to the office every morning while i stay home to draw.

Anyway, you're having the Monoke breath !

I am jiggling on my chair waiting for the next step.

Have fun!

03 March 2006, 11:12 PM
Thanks for the notes, PapaRaf...

What about the boy kissing the girl goodbye?
Very simply, whose legs would look better arched like that while on tippy-toes?

Anyway, you're having the Monoke breath !
i'm not quite sure I parsed that, but if I guess correctly, did you mean Mononoke-breath, as in being heavily influenced by Princess Mononoke and Hayao Miyazaki? If so, I would be guilty as charged. :)

And as for you, Theresa...

Go away.



(but seriously, it's a valid note, but too late in the process, and I quite simply love painting skies. Raising the view means less sky, and I don't wnat that. There will still be enough layers in the distance to convey the depth, I think.)

03 March 2006, 11:29 PM
i still vote for a whole group of guys heading off , with everyone getting a goodbye kiss :D

hehe ok i confess....i just want more cute girls on tippy-toes! :love:

03 March 2006, 11:50 PM
Cute girls?!? I seem to recall you suggesting a lot more adventurers getting kisses from their mothers!


03 March 2006, 12:14 AM

And as for you, Theresa...

Go away.


I knew we'd come to this someday!

Ah no, I'm just kidding. You still love me, right? :D


and yes, when I read your reply, I can understand why you want to leave the viewpoint the way it is. I can't wait to see your skies!

03 March 2006, 07:30 AM
man it took a long time to read up to this point in this thread. i'm sure glad i did though! i feel like i just had a siggraph course in concept sketching. great stuff man! and while i'm at it, thanks a ton for the tut on your master and servant piece.

keep up the OutStanding!! work,

PS - for my $.02 i like the kiss goodbye. your characters are great, but i'd love to see you render a really beautiful landscape. i think the kid on the bird has a great pose too. much more dynamic than most of what you'd get out of characters at the end of a wedding. you still have a lot of room to throw in interesting animals and stuff in the bg. just remember to keep it simple. thanks again!

03 March 2006, 02:18 PM
bwahahaha, tried to write something nice but teresa/walrusfight bashed my brain back into the fogs of numbness. erm, sweet sketch mate, and as for duel liga, the avatar wars should come up weekly and be frontpaged :p

03 March 2006, 08:58 PM (

Someone at some point asked for a close-up of the characters. So here a new one is. I did a pile of rough costume sketches in my notebook (they're really rough, I'm not posting them) and took the best elements of thsoe and scribbled them in a new layer (the black parts) over lunch-break today.

I tried to incorporate a lot of leather cords holding things together because that seems suitably low-tech. And beads here and there for decoration. How do you like the new pack? Hopefully that and the bedroll help convey that it's not a trip to the store... maybe..? I still would love to have a sword in there: no one takes a sword for a small jaunt, but I still can't find a place for it. Oh, well.

This is as detailed as I'll get or need to be for the final. (this is about 50% working size, btw.) But soon I'll print the whole thing out soon and redraw it all cleanly in pencil on a nice tracing vellum.

Omigosh, only 73 days left to go!!! :)


03 March 2006, 09:01 PM
Looking goooooooood! Great outfits, reminds me of something out of shrek.

Funny how the girl has short hair and the guy has long hair.:D Role reversal?

03 March 2006, 03:22 PM
all i have to say is WOW!
and its only sketch,
i might be out of my league here

03 March 2006, 03:27 PM
Really tight line work! Are the figures on the same layer or do you have the boy and girl separated so to speak?

03 March 2006, 05:17 PM
Nice costumes and also the emotins are terrific..cant wait to see the colorations..

03 March 2006, 05:37 PM
Great sketch n concept . All the best, Micheal . :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 09:16 PM (

Theresa - yes, quite intentional role reversal ('though only in the hairstyles.) I think the hairdos look cute, though, don't you?

Shaggy, idyeaaaaah, and shinryushou - Thanks for dropping in and commenting!

JTD - I constantly work in a process of Add Layers to Make Changes, Flatten, Repeat. I will generally make a lot of the new layers different colors so I can tell what I've got separated. So on these last 2 posts, the boy and girl and bird are all flat on one layer (seperate from the background) but all of the changes are on a new layer: They're the ones on black.

If you look at some of my earlier posts, like #68, #70, and #77, back then the girl, bird, and boy were all seperate layers and you can see by the colors. So the girl was the same for all of those posts but I was just working on different versions of the other thwo characters. Generally everything comes in from the scan blue, but I'll command-U (Adjust Hue/Saturation) to quickly turn a layer into some other color. In the end (i.e. soon this week) I'll desaturate the whole thing, turn it into black and white, and print it out to do final line art.

So anyhow, today I'm just doodling new hairstyles for the guy. The first one looked maybe a little mullet-y. So here are some new tries... What do you all think?


03 March 2006, 09:23 PM
I like the last hairdo. mostly due the bangs, make him look like a youngster... the other two is kind of "boyish"... :)

03 March 2006, 09:28 PM
Sweet. Thanks for the tip!

03 March 2006, 10:32 PM
i like the one in the middle. and you ? :)

03 March 2006, 12:07 AM
I would pick the second one, because with its clean cut it makes a nice contrast to this quite wild hairdo of the girl.

Top work as always.

( "Role Reversal". Youīre not only a gifted artist, youīre also a revolutionary. Formidable. :D )

03 March 2006, 03:31 AM
Hahaha! Make them all black eh? eh? eh?

And maybe make the one character on the the creature, like a fat man or something! Hehe that would be nice, I like fat!:D

All jokes aside, I like the second one, but they are all cool though! It's up to u though!;)

03 March 2006, 05:46 PM (

Thanks, folks. Yes, I decided to go with hairstyle #2, too. #1 was out of the question: I wouldn't have redrawn it if I were happy with it. And #3 was too long.

I redrew the legs of the bird-creature, this time more informed by some photos of ostriches that I took in New Zealand. Another important principle of Concept Design is to borrow heavily from the world around you: It makes things more realistic, and resonates with viewer more. (Just be clever in how you use them.)

I have a redraw of a body, but I'll post that later today. Cheers!


03 March 2006, 05:52 PM
Nice little update, Nice to see someone that shows no shame and show reference, cool stuff dude! I will be watching out, for ur work!:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 05:59 PM
Nice legstudy. systematicly aproaching. kewl of u to show so many steps. keep up the great work :)

03 March 2006, 07:22 PM
Great idea ! keep it this way ! Good luck ! I'll keep an eye on ya !:scream:

03 March 2006, 11:34 PM
hi there my friend! I finally found some time to stop by. thnx for ur post in my thread, I found it very helpful, althoug I will be probably going with another theme.. but that fits into my thread :)
I see u already decided the theme that u'll doing in this challenge, and u r quite far with it (or its just me that didnt do anything serious yet, hehe). I think that the lineart, compostition and the characters r marvelous, I always love the way u do the sketching phase. Ur style is so great! About the hair style, I'd go with the second one, where the hair r quite long (which fits perfect for a young boy from a fairy village.. if may I say that way) and shows a nice movement of him bending towards the girl.. everything looks so smooth and natural that way. and it also gives a lot to his good personality.
about the sword u were talking about. I think the is a very nice spot to put just the detail of a handle of the sword under his left arm. And it doenst need to be a whole sword (that how u wont bring another detailed and interesting element to the pic which could just distract the viewer from the overall impression of the pic).
I hope I helped a bit, otherwise just ignore my post and do what u do best :) keep up the great work man, I'll try to stop here more often.. Its always a pleasure to watch u creating!

03 March 2006, 03:02 PM (

Finished the character line art, which I do at a slightly higher res than the background, because there are a lot more small details to hit. Minor amounts of digital touch up afterwards.

pencil on 55lb vellum, 11 x 11 inches.

03 March 2006, 03:38 PM
excellent characters! I love bird a lot, also kids are great. Keep great working mate! :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 04:04 PM
Excellent drawing Michael. I always enjoy the expressions in your characters.

03 March 2006, 05:10 PM
What lovely clean pencilwork! Which one is it- 3B or something?

Another question: Why vellum?

03 March 2006, 06:48 PM
Hey, Micheal, I've been hearing from one of my teachers that vellum is pretty good material to work on! Have u ever used color pencil on vellum, Prisma of course, with turpenoid?

Really nice line work! I can't wait to see what u do next!:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 07:44 PM
Thanks, folks!

Theresa - I like vellum because it's transparent enough to see line-art through without needing a light-table, but is a very thick paper, unlike tracing paper. And I like the feel of the surface. It takes pencil well. For pencils, 3B is an excellent guess, that's generally around what I prefer. Darker lines get a 4B, smaller details get something harder. I really like the American Naturals, a standard office pencil, which say they are a 2HB but feel a lot softer to me.

Bryce - Thanks, man! I sometimes use col-erase on vellum, but I've never used turpenoid. What do you use it for?

see y'all!

03 March 2006, 07:54 PM
I just love the faceexpression on your bird now :)

03 March 2006, 10:10 PM
What do you use it for?

I am pretty sure u know what turp does to oils!

Here is a thread that one of my teachers here at school, put up here at cgtalk!

Maybe u should try it! U get nice results!:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 10:52 PM
Very cute characters and great animal expression Mike. The child's open spread hand (on the critter) seems slightly over stretched and its running a tangent with the index finger to the belt. Other than that small nit-pick it looks like a great start!

03 March 2006, 10:45 AM
I've been looking for vellum for ages but can never find it- is there some secret vellum storage plant in America that no one outside the country can get ahold of??


03 March 2006, 10:10 PM
hahahahah...that's a wonderful sketch! You really got the character and capturing emotions part down well. I love the look on that creature's face...hilarious!

03 March 2006, 02:20 PM (

Final Line Art - woo hoo!
For the record, this is scanned in pencils that I leveled to make more intense just so it'd show up in this JPEG. It's not really this dark. And by the time I'm done, half of it might be erased anyhow. Thanks, for the comments, folks. Glad people are digigng the expressions on the characters: They're always my favorite part of any piece (and imho, the most important part.)

Bryce - I had never heard of that technique before, thanks for posting the link. That was really informative (and your teacher is really good!)

Theresa - Really, you can't find good vellum in an art strore in Dublin? How weird that you have access to hi-tech computers and Photoshop and Painter, but not a pad of decent paper. :/ (Well, don't look at me, I'm not hoarding it all!)

v_shane - Thanks as always for the detailed comments. I appreciate the nits being picked. I'm happy with how outstretched the hand is (What? Me exaggerate for comic effect?) but I rotated the fingers some to avoid that tangent. Not that you'll be able to tell in this small-res version.

On to value studies and early color... See you!


03 March 2006, 03:44 PM
I've enjoyed the process of watching you make this (I learned stuff too). This is a great scene! And now, as you say...on to color...:)

03 March 2006, 04:45 PM
that looks really good mate... love teh landsape and patterns on the hills... remind sme of super mario for the super nintendo.. ahh memorys

03 March 2006, 05:14 PM
Sigh. It's looking so fantastic. (What, me jealous? nooo...)

I can tell this is gonna be good! I love the detailed scenery, can't wait to see your colors next!

03 March 2006, 05:18 PM
very nice walrus ! very nice!

03 March 2006, 06:30 PM
Hello, walrus, what a cool journey you've done so far.
In your final line art i guess its clear that the boy is going away for a journey, that its a goodbye kiss. At least its how i interpreted.
Its really cool the movement that the scene has. Like the girl pulled the boy on the "last minute" and gave him a warm goodbye kiss. And she's a very cute girl :P
The enviroment remenbers me some kind of aztec landscape, because of the motifs youpve put.
I just would suggest that the front menbers may have feathers, like wings.


03 March 2006, 07:14 PM
hey real neat lineart there, those pillars look great too, very unique, wasn't
sure they'd work at first, looked too candyland for me

um.. like nuthin wrong with that , but it was like sorta beyond carebears..uhh

u know, like dancing waffles around n stuff?

ah , carry on, hey btw , seen my latest concept? there's a walrus in there!


03 March 2006, 07:25 PM
lots of fun stuff goin' on here -- love the whimsical nature of the characters of the piece, as well as your stylized design attributes in the texturing of the background elements. creative & enjoyable....

03 March 2006, 08:17 PM
Yeah, I've learned a lot from Sheff! I go and pick his brain, whenever he is around. He gives the best of advice!!!

Nice linework dude! U have done an excellent job with this entry, Looking foward to more progress!:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 10:33 PM
hey micheal, great detailed lineart, mate! here was someone busy as a bee;)
i love the birdy and it's expression, wonderful!
lookin' forward to see more of your great work.

best wishes

03 March 2006, 01:22 AM
I know i havenīt been commenting, but i want to say i liked your final line art a lot!

03 March 2006, 01:50 AM
Yar, maty! be there the best of luck to ya:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 03:44 AM (

Wow, thanks everyone for all of the kind posts! Really nice of you to drop in. While I'm here to say hi, I might as well post a w.i.p. pic, even though it's really boring: I'm just starting to block in all of the seperate sections that need to get painted, and figuring out where they are depth-wise. More than anything, this is just really masking out areas to paint, and quite boring. (But necessary.) Each value change you see is a seperate layer so that I can keep all of them straight from each other.

as for notes:

Joao - yes, it is a farewell kiss, which is why I made the comment in your thread. At least I can be glad it's reading as such! :) But I'm not going to put feathers on the bird's front wings/arms, because without them, it looks kind of like a plucked chicken, and I think that's funny.

Squibbit - glad the pillars are starting to redeem themselves... at least until I paint them hot pink. (j/k) Thanks for pointing out the purple walrus in your concept sketch. I'd seen the image but totally missed the walrus!

warhammer - ahrrrrrrrr, me thanks ya!

And thanks, too, to everyone else for stopping in. :)


03 March 2006, 04:50 AM
I like this approach to your drawing dude, really handy, I should try that next time around!:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 09:22 AM
You are working like a mashine! The character design is most beautiful. My first impression was the house on the left side looks a bit to small. Maybe it could be an idea to increase the scale a bit and show just a section of it. But I could be wrong with that point of view. I very much look forward to see the look/haze/depth of the colored background and especially the pillars.



03 March 2006, 09:55 AM
While I'm here to say hi, I might as well post a w.i.p. pic, even though it's really boring: I'm just starting to block in all of the seperate sections that need to get painted, and figuring out where they are depth-wise. More than anything, this is just really masking out areas to paint, and quite boring. (But necessary.) Each value change you see is a seperate layer so that I can keep all of them straight from each other.

Not at all boring! - This is what CGSociety is all about for me - stealing other peoples more ordered Work-flows for myself :D


After your spectacular meteor strike in the last challenge, I'm really looking forward to seeing how this one ends up.

03 March 2006, 01:20 PM
Hi Michael, I can feel that judgment team realy like this, this is one of the best works i saw until now on the journey begins 2D, please visit my 2D work and give me comment it will be helpfull for sure, at least i get comments from masters of 2D work.:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 04:45 AM
lovely! :D
look forward to seeing how this progresses :D

good luck for the chalenge!

03 March 2006, 08:38 AM
I am loving this :)
Excellent linework you got there mister Walrus.
I like how you seperate the piece into blocks of value.

Just some small ideas :shrug:
The round marks on the rocks in the background are too similar in size, I think they should decrease in size the further the rock is away. I love those rocks and trees btw.
And maybe make the place more lively by adding villagers here and there... birdfarm in the distant... :)

03 March 2006, 11:05 AM
Hey Wally,
Love the line art and the concept.
However I have noticed some technical issues. There are some 2d perspective cheats that you should watch out for. The glareing one for me is the ledge that the girl is standing on is
too low or the bird is too far forward.
well it's a little hard to type and explain what Imean and I am a visual person, soooo
I did a paint over. I hope you don't mind. Just some of the thing I think would make the space seem more believable. for example I added an intermediat hill in the mid ground to expand the distance and complete the zig zag into the frame.

Best of luck to you. I really like what you have gong on.

03 March 2006, 11:35 AM
Hi Walrus, what a wonderful concept you have here. I love your way of working, I hope your image achieves the prize it deserves. I agree with KOryH though that the foreground needs a bit more development. I'm permanently keeping an eye on your thread.

03 March 2006, 12:45 PM
So nice, so fun! I love the cartoon style! Good luck, Michael!

Sabir 3D
03 March 2006, 01:00 PM
Hey Walrus!

I like your concept Sketck :thumbsup:

Good luky

03 March 2006, 04:04 PM
Thanks for the comments, everyone...

...but especially thanks to Kory for the drawover, and for calling out stuff that I need to fix before I got to into the piece. ( See what happens if you hurry through your piece too fast? See?) No worries, buddy, I really appreciate the visual posting, it said a lot more than words would have conveyed. I printed it out and I'm going to mull over it for a few days. I'm heading down to the Game Developers Conference tonight, so I won't be working on the piece for a few days anyhow.

I totally agree about the ledge in the front, it looks much better when scaled correctly. I'm going to have sit with the house that size for a bit. Both you and Fahrija suggested it but I'm not sure it works quite yet in the drawover either - that corner gets too messy: I may have to open up the scene to the left to make it work. The added plane in the front left I'm just going to have to think about. And as for the clouds... well of course I was going to add big puffy clouds in the back! They just didn't need line art at all. :)

Art2 also has a good point about shrinking the columns. Mostly tehy're okay, but that center one could use to be shrinked some. Let me fool around with some more drawovers and post something later. Obviously lots of tweaks to work on...
Thanks everyone!


03 March 2006, 04:10 PM
its no wonder you've arrived at an ace concept with all the work you've put into this. Inspirational stuff. I love the characters in this. very acomplished. The ostritch, chicken, lizard thing really well designed and i also like the quirkyness of the world. Full of character. can't wait to see your choice of colour. keep up the good work.

03 March 2006, 08:02 PM
I really like this one, specially the landscape. I'm agree with KOryH, maybe if you add the intermediat hill it will looks better.....anyway, the character and background are great.

03 March 2006, 08:03 PM
Dude, very nice overall designs. I like the depth and the little touch of wonkiness.
Cant see anything else to critzs since KORYH already pointed out the perspective issue.
Keep it up dude :thumbsup:

cheers, cant wait to see the colour comps

03 March 2006, 06:35 AM
now THATS creative, cant wait to see where this one goes! i love the bg and the design of the bird! =)

03 March 2006, 06:40 AM
so lovely. always loved your style and this romantic piece is so playfull and promissing, cant wait to see your further progress, go go go Mike!!!:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

03 March 2006, 07:18 AM
I already know that this will be one of my favorites in the show.Yeahh!!
Korys OP makes perfect sense to me and i canīt wait to see some color on and how youīre going to illuminate the scene.

Have a successful conference and thanks for sharing the secrets of your workflow:thumbsup: