View Full Version : The Journey Begins Challenge (2D) Entry: Daniel Lieske

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02 February 2006, 09:05 PM
Daniel Lieske is entered in the "The Journey Begins Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: The Jouney Begins - Final Image (

02 February 2006, 11:09 PM
Good luck, Daniel!

Although for you it will not be a matter of luck but of your excellent skills of course :)

Looking foward to your ideas....

Lieben Gruss

03 March 2006, 10:05 PM (

Now, for a start I want to put down the very basic elements of my concept in a very simple sketch. I'm going to depict a child which is starting it's journey into a painting of a mystical landscape. This is, what we as artists all strive to achieve at the end: to send the mind of the viewer on a journey. The viewer on the other hand tries to free his mind and like a child travel in his imagination to places no one has ever seen before.

That is the basic idea for my artwork. From here on I now have to flesh the whole thing out. That'll be a long journey of it´s own. :)

03 March 2006, 10:10 PM
Try to sketch up a view in front of the painting.. and the boy already in the painting venturing deeper and with his tracks showing that he walked into the painting.. Will be awesome! Good luck and have fun! :)

03 March 2006, 10:22 PM
Nice drawing! Definitely depicts the beginning of a large journey
and might be cool to see him in the painting as already suggested.
Have fun!
The Journey Begins

03 March 2006, 04:49 AM
good luck mate

03 March 2006, 07:53 PM
Thanks for your wishes and your input!

@ artvandely:

Thank you! The biggest hurdle will be to reach the finish line this time. That´s not the first Challenge I subscribed to but I never finished one. :)

@ FrozZT:

I also thought of the possibility to place the viewer in front of the painting, but for two reasons I think I´m not going to do it this way. First, I want to show the character and his state of mind. I aim at a mixture of anxiety and fear that will always mix up at the beginning of a journey. And second, I think I don't really want to show the landscape the child is going to explore. Perhaps I give a hint on which type of landscape it is (like a forest, or an open prairy) but in the end I think it´s a cool idea for the viewer imagining his own landscape.

But of course I need a "stage" for this scene. That´s something, I'm still thinking of at the moment.

Thanks for the input!

03 March 2006, 08:55 AM
Don´t fret, Daniel. Believe me: this time you will be ready. I have ways of making you draw :scream:

To achieve this and since Duracel is in it as well i subscribed too. We make a wonderful DD-Trio, don´t you think?

Maybe you should give FrozZt Suggestion a second thought. It will be hard to make clear that it´s not just a boy standing in front of a Canvas. Or you turn the whole scene and place the frame in front of the boy and the viewer can look right through. I mean, hey, it´s mystical painting, isn´t it? Aaw, anyway, you´ll be doing fine.


03 March 2006, 05:57 PM
Ha ha, guys now you are challenging me and I have to proove that my idea is working the way I think it does! Makes the potential fall depper, but hey - that´s the essence of jouneys: the higher you climb the deeper you may fall. :D

Rock on art! I could stand losing the first place to you. ;););)

03 March 2006, 01:02 PM (

Now, I´m closing in to the actual scene this image will depict. I recently visited my parens house and I climbed up the ladder to the attic where I did spend a lot of time im my childhood. I had my own little "cave" there and it was always very narrow and dark and we even had kind of "canyon" there were two roofs met and a "bridge" (actually a wood panel) led over it. However, since my childhood I´m fascinated by attics and I thought it would be a cool idea to place this scene with the little child and the painting in such a place.

So, this is the first attempt to grasp the scene, to establish the space. There will be a lot stuff to do in this scene. I want the attic to look really wast and mysterious. I want to show the entrance to the attic in the background and perhaps let some light come up from there just to show, where the safe place is. Also, I want the left side of the scene look quite "normal" with normal stuff packed there like paper cartons, toys or drying cloths - the stuff you normally put into your attic. But the right side should become the myserious part of the attic. There´s the stuff from grandma and grandma's grandma - stuff from the last century. And there, on the mysterious side of the attic, there's the painting which calls the child.

Now, I see the scene very diffuse at the moment. It just has to evolve in my mind. There are some ideas thogh which put like flashlights on the scene. I see a wooden sword in the boy's belt. I see his cat watching the scene and representing his fear. I see a red woolen thread that he has knotted to a wooden beam in order to find back home. I guess I will place some hints to other stories in the scene as well. Perhaps there wil be an "alice in wonderland" toy somewhere or some old Jules Verne books. And the biggest questions stays unanswered for me right at the moment: what Painting is he standind before? I just don't know yet. That will come to me in time, I guess.

03 March 2006, 01:56 PM
It's very nice idea. But maby, it would look better in 3 point perspective with camera behind back of kid to show more what is going on inside the mirror, but as i said - maby, just for check.

Good luck on your journey ;)

03 March 2006, 04:08 PM
Very nice idea! Perhaps make the painting glow, with the arm of a mysterious being pop out of it seducing the boy to jump in on a magical journey beyond?! :eek: :scream: :D

Just an idea...

Your concept is great with the whole idea blocked down, but just by looking at the image, it's hard to tell what it's about. Give some hint that he's about to go somewhere, maybe he could have his hand magically peep thru the painting, or do the earlier version with the arm popping out the painting... Those are just suggestions... :) You've got something going here. Just needs a few more nudges beyond... :thumbsup: Good luck!


03 March 2006, 05:10 PM (

I went on with constructing a rough 3D model of the scene I'm going to paint. This helps me in two ways. First it would be very tedious to contruct the perspective of this interior, so I'm going to render the perspective construction. Second, I found it quite difficult to find the right position for the camera and the props. The 3D set helped me in finding the right angle so that all elements would nicely fit into the frame.

03 March 2006, 05:21 PM (

This concept was painted over a shot I took from my 3D reference. The shot included no lighting so that part was manually painted. This painting now is a rough concept I used to play with the scene. I began to populyte the attic with different objects, laid carpets on the ground, pinned drawings on the wooden beam and aranged the painting.

I'm going for three main lightsources. The most prominent is the painting itself. I decided to stick to my initial idea of the beautiful landscape because that way the attiv receives a lot of light form the painting. For a moment I thought of a dark dungeon with red gloomy light coming from the painting, but that would not provide the tonal values I'm looking for.

I added a lot of objects of which some are not right in perspective. I will go back top the 3D scene and add those bigger shapes to it just to make sure that the perspective is right. I'm going to spend a whole lot of time painting this image and I don't want to waste it.

03 March 2006, 05:42 PM (

After finishing the Concept Painting I tried to find out, what the compositional masses of the painting could be. Yes, that sounds a bit crazy because normally you would think that that's the first thing to find out. But I made the experience that sometimes it's better to start out and follow you stomach without thinking about composition so much. In most cases, a certain composition builds up itself without you noticing it. When a painting is at a certain point I look out for the composition and try to analyse it.

Now, here I found two circles around the paintings main focus points. The left circle has it's centre in the central vanishing point of the scene which also is nearly the position of the child's head. The second circle is around the painting's most bright point - the landscape painting. The two circles touch each other and on that point we see a globe in the background.

After I found out about this composition, which by the way I really like, I added several objects to support it (a second carpet, the candle, the foreground book).

In the next step I'm going back to the 3d set and adjust some of the elements to fit even better in this composition.

03 March 2006, 05:44 PM
Great stuff man, I like the mood and colours. Maybe you should post also the 3d render that you used for reference to show the changes you made :) good luck man :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 06:03 PM

Showing the underlying 3D-Render is a good idea, of course. I will do so when I have made all adjustments to the scene and start to paint the real thing.

03 March 2006, 06:38 PM
Wow, you're fast :) It looks awesome as far :)

03 March 2006, 06:41 PM
yeah man, very good composition, its very clean and apealling. looks like a movie still, good luck

03 March 2006, 07:03 PM
hello ^^

I love your pict !
the ambiance is realy good ^_^

good luck ^^

03 March 2006, 07:13 PM
wow! Wonderful idea, great paintings I love the lighting and colours!

03 March 2006, 08:30 PM
This is strong!

In my eyes its your best painting even this far and i just settle back into my armchair and enjoy this journey.

03 March 2006, 08:58 PM
I am liking the concept and I love the composition, I would like to see a more dynamic pose on the child though, right now he seems a little underawed as to the amazing thing he's just found. Also maybe something to suggest that he'll go through the mirror??

Aside from're doing fantastically and I love it! :love:

03 March 2006, 09:15 PM
Thank you all for your nice comments!

@ paperclip:

That's a good point and I'm surprised nobody came up with it, yet. The boy is a complete placeholder at the moment, though. I'm going to do some serious drawing on his pose since I really want the viewer to participate in the boy's adventure. That's gonna be the toughest part of the painting but I'm looking forward to it. That's what this whole challenge is about anyway - to travel to new lands, to do things you have never done before, isn't it? :)

Thanks for all youe encouragement!

03 March 2006, 09:18 PM
Great start! Excellent idea, I like it very much :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 09:33 PM (

Before I post my final Color Concept, here's the 3D Rendering I worked from. Well, in facts that's not a rendering but a screenshot I took from the viewport. The set construction was done in Maya.

03 March 2006, 09:49 PM (

Ok, that's it for now. I established the main lighting sceme now and I populated the scene. I added lots of objects to the right side of the attic including a globe, a telescope, a sailing ship model, a medical skeleton, a suitcase and a bust of Homer (writer of "The Odysee"). Yes, you guess it - that stuff is all related to the theme of travelling (well, the skeleton represents "the last journey").

On the left side, there's everything the boy holds dear in his life. His drawings, his cat, the laundry which represents his mother and family.

I ultimately want to show what "travelling" is all about - leaving places and things we hold dear and venture into unknown territory.

The next step will be some lineart and I will scale the painting up.

03 March 2006, 10:08 PM
Wow! That's already looking amazing and you still have almost three months to go!! Great Job!

03 March 2006, 10:10 PM
All in your work looks perfect for me, Daniel ( It can be a reason to depress a guy as me ). Your theme & idea / your composition and the réalisation are ... perfect for this challenge. This picture talk a lot for me, and I will follow your thread with attention, it's sure. I wish you the best condition to can finish as you want your project. The only advice I could give, is why not include a foreground object on one corner , with dark and blur to increase more depth ?... Don't think it's necessary, I just write it to have an advice to give :D

Really good work :applause:


03 March 2006, 10:13 PM
wow i just found me a personal favorite for now:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 10:13 PM
Everything looks great to me. Reading your explaination of the image, and watching your development process is extremely interesting. Look forward to following it, good luck :)

03 March 2006, 10:16 PM
Excellent, in my top 3 so far. The only other problem I can see is that there is a lot of space that isn't really doing anything, especially in the bottom 1/3. I would suggest making the picture bigger (the framed picture, I mean, not the actual image!) and bringing the child closer to the viewer, perhaps moving towards the left corner also.

03 March 2006, 10:22 PM
wow.. ure so fast man.. take it izi uehueheuhe congrats.. best luck.. cya !

03 March 2006, 10:53 PM
I really love the idea, and you rendered it quite nice, even in this unfinished state.

The only thing that bothers me a bit here is the little window in the roof. the light from it falls behind the painting and the painting itself is glowing. I think it would be stronger if you leave the window out, or at least its light (or direct it to another place), so there is a stronger contrast between the thing behind the painting and the painting itself. Right now it looks to me as if all the light could come from the window instead of the painting (like the light spot on the globe).
Anyway, it looks better than most things I come up with :)

03 March 2006, 02:22 AM
that painting does look inviting!! I really like how you played with color, making everything less colorful and the painting with vivid colors!

good luck!

03 March 2006, 05:58 AM
Great concept. I definately can't wait to see this one completed.

I totally agree with Yoitisi on how the painting looks like it is glowing. The glowing makes it look like a really bright lightsource but the outside window is darkness from the window outside makes it look strange.

Good luck on completing it.

03 March 2006, 06:01 AM
Damn, this is flat out beautiful!!

The boy himself is the weakest point so far (apart from the mentioned window), but i´m glad to hear you going to fix that anyway.

Boy, I knew you would kick some a**- but i didn´t know it was mine .. :D
*tries to sneak out of this challenge somehow*

03 March 2006, 06:19 AM
Talk about progress, this is coming out extremely well, looking forward to more. Keep it up!

03 March 2006, 06:19 AM
Wow, this is really beautiful already!! Great job! I'm still not sure what the journey is about though... Is he going through the painting?

Really nice work!

03 March 2006, 06:51 AM
This last sketch is fantastic!
great how the painting is standing out, with the greyish tones of a dusty addick :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 06:55 AM
great !seems like a winner to me.great used of 3d angle to enhance ur painting:thumbsup:goodluck mate

03 March 2006, 08:33 AM
congratulations, i'm fan of your work

03 March 2006, 10:50 AM
excellent. Love the composition and idea. Nothing to crit for now.

03 March 2006, 12:50 PM
i love the idea of the searching/playing boy on the attic, a cold, dirty place full of different stuff and than finding this key to a new world....

only thing that comes a bit too short for me is the epic aspect. you have built up a whole scene around the core of the idea (ok, the emotion of the boy is important too) and just touched the idea with your small picture.
it would be great to see the whole dimension of the journey that lies before the kid. maybe something like the magic happens (the picture was activated) and the world comes out of the picture and shows all the aspects of a new world with dragons, knights, castles, would be a bit more than just a landscape with a castle on its top, that you could show on this little area.
hope, you know what im trying to say...

but overall your idea is something that most of us dreamed as a child.

P.S. ach - ich könnt mir so ein tolles 3d bild vorstellen, wo die vorteile aus beiden welten (2d und 3d) so richtig zur geltung kämen ;)

03 March 2006, 01:36 PM
very cute and great painting...

i really like this idea!

you could also have something comming out of the picture more than the little a butterfly or insect...dragonfly??
anyway its just an idea!!

03 March 2006, 01:48 PM
this is thid i miss this one?! great work man, good luck on the challenge.:D

03 March 2006, 01:52 PM
An amazingly well executed perspective. Can I suggest a more dramatic sense of movement through subtle detaling?
- a sense that the carpet is being "sucked in" or intergrated to the painting,
- more tension in the red tie or a sense of firmness and hesitation int he grip or stance of the boy,
- and perhaps some atmospherics to give the sense that the the image is either "drawing" the boy into the other world or "alluring" him in.

I look forward to the finished product!

03 March 2006, 01:53 PM
I´m loving that,
very nice colours and composition.

Good luck!

03 March 2006, 08:11 PM
wow very nice, nice idea and execution..

03 March 2006, 09:30 PM
That's really nice of you all, thank you!

And thanks for the great input!

@ the roof window:

Yeah, you are right! One of my notoric mistakes is, that I want to make every lightsource as dramatic as possible. But that means, that no lightsource will stand out because all lights are competing for the audiences attention. I will definetely take down the light from the window although I really need it to illuminate the stuff behind the painting, but it will be only faint. Thanks for that advice!

@ the boy and the painting:

The longer I look at the image the more do I feel that something is missing in there. There's this boy in the attic of his home. In the old stuff he found this painting and it revealed itself as a magical door. What the hell drives this kid to go trough that portal? Is it the pure lust for adventure? I dooooon't know. That's not enough. That's not the story of a hero. A hero always has to have a goal, a holy grail to strive for.
I'm reading "The hero with a thousand faces" at the moment. It's a great book about heroic archetypes and the mechanics of mystical stories. I found an archetype in this book that I deeply sympathize with: the old mentor. I guess that's a character that has to be in this image. And I already have a quite clear picture in mind...

03 March 2006, 09:40 PM
Maybe its also an idea to introduce more than one character, you know, like a couple of kids so one can be the big kid who dares to go into the painting, while the others dont dare do it. Anyway, would like to see what you come up with :)

03 March 2006, 09:41 PM
I really enjoy this concept.

I looked over the wips before reading anything (as I like to do for this contest's entries, to see if the story the artist intends is portrayed through the images alone). I love how it's progressing. You're information about your thought process has also been enlightening.

I envisioned this journey as one of the child's mind, and not a magical portal. Either way works. But I do have to agree with MFTitus a bit here, and with your own assessment Cory; The painting alone leaves the image a bit too ... believable? It's hard to articulate. Having the child's imagination/magic of the portal spilling over into the real world a bit more would lend a bit more oomph to this I think. More landscape from the painting bleeding into the attic, plants sprouting up around the painting, that sort of thing. I think it might better portray how commited the child is to the journey as well.

Very cool work regardless, and I can't wait to see it evolve.

03 March 2006, 10:07 PM
it looks like a different idea,
seems good,waiting for updates...

03 March 2006, 10:11 PM
the initial idea and concept are really strong. love it, and seeing your WIPs is a bless. keep it up and hope you figure it out with that mentor, if you do indeed bring him in there....have to agree with feyshtey, could also be an opportunity to bring him(the mentor) in.

not that you seem to need it, but good luck on this journey.-

03 March 2006, 10:41 PM (

This is the lineart I'm going to use to further detail the image. The lighter lines are rendered from the 3D-scene. Normally I use the lineart to completely define the objects of an image but in this huge scene (well, at least huge for me...) I found that it's way more convenient to add new ideas by just painting them in and checking them against some perspective grids I rendered form the scene. Now, this will be as far as I'm going with the lineart. The coming images will be coloring WIP.

03 March 2006, 11:34 PM
The line art looks good to me. But then, so does you 3D model, your rough color comp, and the whole works. Good stuff so far! Good luck with the rest of it! Looking foward to seeing how it all comes togehter. :)


03 March 2006, 11:58 PM
I've love your image/concept that you've got going on here.

As a suggestion, to add a sense of drama/movement you could turn the portal into a vacuum - sucking the kid in. Or have magic (lighting/dust) coming out of the picture enveloping him, pulling him in.

To round out the story and explain how he knew it was a portal, you could give him a magic book. And scatter a few pictures on the ground – pictures of his sister/brother/relation – who previously open the portal and got sucked in….and the rest writes itself…



03 March 2006, 12:15 AM
Kudos to your working style...

I myself have used my 3D program to build some complicated piece of machinery only to render it then do a line drawn layer above in in Photoshop... a reall time saver... and hey you built the 3D model.... so it can be used again....

I love what your doing here and the consept is top notch...

perhaps if there was a little girls face in the painting looking out .... or a favorite dog... with one foot steping out .. that might more convey the idea...

but I certainly can't say you don't allready have some powerfull feeling pumping energy going on there all ready...

Keep it going ! :bounce:

03 March 2006, 12:28 AM
Stunning! this is goin to be so cool to see in color!

not much to crit. one thing though, the image feels a little heavy towards the right since because it has more stuff, and you only have boxes to the right? I guess you were going to change this anyway...

other than that, great work man! ... subscribing

03 March 2006, 09:15 AM
very very nice concept and point of view, it's great

03 March 2006, 09:21 AM
Wow, what a great concept you have. As I see you have decided also your future line of coloring. I think yours will be one of the images to consider for winning the challenge. Let's see. Good luck.

03 March 2006, 02:24 PM
Unbelievable linework! (even if you cheated in places :) ). It's good to see an update too. I was hoping we'd get one from you soon.

03 March 2006, 09:45 PM
im looking forward for this one daniel!
very nice concept :)

03 March 2006, 11:21 PM (

Ok, here's my first color WIP. It's still quite low res and it's definetely unbalanced in several aspects. Storywise I decided to add the "dark mountain" into the painting. I felt like the boy would need a portal to a place that's both wonderous and frightening. for a short time I had a little dwarf in the frame, luring the boy into it, but it ruined the image, because it drew the attention off the boy. I'm now much more satisfied with the boy and his pose. He holds the sword in his hand which shows, that's he knows of the dangers. And he holds the thread ni his hand which is his lifeline but on the other hand is holding him back. When I'm getting high res I hope to model the boy's face in a fashion that somehow shows his struggle in a more compelling way. Right at the moment, everything is still very cartoony but by using the right light later on I will try to break up the whole scene in a more "impressionist" way. I'm not really used to images with elaborate backgrounds and I'm really intimidated by the task but hell, I started this and so I will have to deal with it. :)

03 March 2006, 11:54 PM
Excuuuuusemeee? You have to deal with it?

It´sme who have to deal with this !! O_o :banghead:

(Since this is only ´bout colors you should think about distinguish that rugs in front of the frame. Oh no, i shouldn´t help you any more *bitesonhistongue*)

03 March 2006, 12:01 AM
The image is F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C man. Why to depict the struggle on the boy's face? I would be impatient, full of joy in his place because i would be about to enter a misterious world. Perhaps Narnia?

03 March 2006, 12:02 AM
Oh, great idea and execution. Looking sweet.
Good luck man

03 March 2006, 12:09 AM
wow very cool ... it was fun to read the process. nice idea man and top execution so far. I have nothing to crit right now so ill sit back and let you lead me into the magical painting :cool:

:applause: :love:

03 March 2006, 12:31 AM
The string tied to the post is a really clever little element, he does want to be able to find the way home I take it. Fantastic so far :)

03 March 2006, 12:48 AM
man that is great! I give up... you win....


03 March 2006, 01:51 AM

AWESOME!!! ur definitely one of the finalists.

03 March 2006, 02:29 AM
Magnifcant concept and image! Youve really nailed all the subtle detail, so youre in no doubt whats happenning. Just great!

03 March 2006, 02:39 AM
Hi Daniel!
If You'll ever complain aboaut problems concerning "storytelling" again, everybody will call U al liar!

Stunning idea and with the time remaining, I'm sure this will become Ur next "Meßlatten"-masterpiece! I would wish U luck - if You needed it. ;)

03 March 2006, 09:45 AM
wahhh - your piece makes big steps.
i love the details - the starry sky, the teddy, the dark mountain, the skeleton, the little wizard-figure and the idea with the thread. please more of these little things - spiderweb, a rat sitting in the dark.....

how about an ant trail coming out of the picture for a better clarification, that it is a door to a new world where you can go in and out....otherwise you could think, that the boy is just dreaming how fine it would be to enter such a painted place.

03 March 2006, 07:04 AM
damn this is a good one, very cool concept, reminds me of a totally different illustration, in which a child drew a door on a sidewalk

03 March 2006, 10:25 AM
Great work. Has a classical touch to it. My favourite so far. Question. Was it done in painter or photoshop or a combo of both?

03 March 2006, 11:30 AM
Hi Daniel,

this is one of my favorite. Fantastic work, great concept and story.


03 March 2006, 02:40 PM
@ art:

Hey, and WHO has to spend hours and hours from now on to render out those details? I'm suffering! :)

@ kary:

Exactly! Just everybody at least once heard about Theseus who entered the dungeon of the Minotaur and found the way out with the help of Ariadne's thread. I guess this is even understood if someone does not know this story since this is such a strong symbol.

@ Chinasky:

Oh man, if you knew how hard it is for me to tackle all the problems of this painting. I've done to much "figure before nonsense background" stuff and now tonal values and shapes are going crazy in my mind. I indeed need luck to complete this one but it's nice to have you around here, too - fells a bit more like home now.

@ Titus:

Thanks for your input. I really thought about the problem that the viewer perhaps would not get the fact that the boy is indeed traveling into the painting. I even had a little white bearded dwarf in the frame who waited for the kid (as I mentined above). But in the end I asked my girlfriend if she had problems with getting the idea of the image and she said it was all totally clear to her, so I will go on with this setup. But just to make the point clear I will most likely add some flying pollen, which come from the painting and fly into the attic.

And if in the end, there is really someone who does not get the point and thinks the boy will only travel into the painting in his fantasy, than it is all right. Ultimately my message is, that we as artists send the viewer out to a jouney everytime we paint, even if he never really enters the canvas physically.

Thanks to all you folks for your nice words. You're really make me pushing my limits here, I'm gracefully thankful for that!

03 March 2006, 03:59 PM
Your concept is so poetic and imaginative, I really love it. The colour scheme is also nice. Very good work.

03 March 2006, 07:15 PM (

I blew the canvas up to 4200 Pixel width and now I'm working on the details. Today I worked on the left side of the painting and mainly on the cat. I shot a photo of my own cat for reference. If you ever try to get your cat into the right pose, plan to spend some time on that! ;)

I really try not to jump around in the painting a lot but working in closed regions. That way I can concentrate on the local light situation. Of course that will force my to do some color and tonal corrections in the end, but that's ok.

I forgot to answer the question about the software I'm using on this. It's Photoshop 7.

03 March 2006, 07:26 PM
wonderful details! Gosh this is such a wonderful idea, great work!! I adore the lighting!

03 March 2006, 07:28 PM
This is turning out so wonderfully- great details and beautiful tones overall.

I wish I could paint like this. :sigh:

03 March 2006, 07:45 PM
I just have to say that this work is turning out amazing. Love the mood, the feeling, the concept... everything!!! Wish you good luck Daniel and keep up the good work! :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 09:08 PM
I love everything about this. The concept has an original perpective, the background is full of story and symbolism, and the rendering just looks exquisite. I've enjoyed seeing your process, and look forward to seeing more.

03 March 2006, 09:32 PM
Should any of us keep painting?... this guys got it the bag... ha! :scream:

Fantastic work man...

Can't believe your using Photoshop and getting these good o' results...

Keep kickin' it...


03 March 2006, 11:15 PM
it rocks, I like it very much
It's just impressive :-)
reminds me of "chronicles of narnia" (already mentioned by someone else?)

(oder so) :-D

03 March 2006, 07:16 PM (

Today I worked on the boy's "creative corner". I imagine him a bit like myself - surrounded by stuff like Paints, paper sheets, toys ... I'm going to put drawings onto the papers but I will safe that for the end because it should be a lot of fun to paint some children's drawings. Kind of a reward after finishing all the painstaking detail.

03 March 2006, 07:21 PM
just stunning.. fast turning into my fav piece... keep it coming

03 March 2006, 07:41 PM
I adore the textures! How did you do those??

Awsome work!! :eek:

03 March 2006, 09:29 PM
@ enialadam:

I mostly apply textures by painting them seperately on another canvas and then use the transform tool to bring them into the right perspective. It would be just impossible to paint those details all in the right perspective. In some rare occasions I also use photographed textures but I'm quite cautious with that since I do not want to get too realistic. But when I'm thinking about the red carpets in the scene I will definetely look for some photos on the internet to texture them.

As an example, here is the wood texture I use on the floor and the wooden beams:
it was painted by using a rake brush, and a toothbrush custom brush. The bloated holes were done with the liquify tool. The texture does not have to be perfect the most important point is, that it is put into the right perspective via the transform tool.

03 March 2006, 09:41 PM
WoW! Man, I see that working going very well! Fantastic style you have there, deatails are really amazing! Your work is one of my favorite for winning this challenge! Keep it :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 09:54 PM
Beautiful work Daniel! I really like the idea too. Keep it up! :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 10:09 PM
important point is, that it is put into the right perspective via the transform tool.

man that's another example of knowing what a tool can do but not putting it to good use...

you have shown me at least I need to mess around with PS tools more often... guess I get so use to using the few I know I forget about everything else...

Thanks for the insite digitaldecoy


03 March 2006, 02:48 AM
Very interesting thread you have here man :) Really cool how you're telling these small stories as you complete this piece. The realism of your rendering's top notch. Look's like you're almost done with this. What's up with everyone finishing up so quickly when I havent even started my piece yet? :P Anyway, goodluck. This'll be a very dramatic scene.

03 March 2006, 04:32 PM
wow. Just wow, you know how to do your stuff.. I have the speedpainting video of yours and even though I don't have a clue of your German, the video was very cool..

03 March 2006, 05:48 PM
I like all the small details you put into this piece. Yours is still my favorite :)

03 March 2006, 10:09 PM (

Ok, so I had some happy painting with this stuff here. :) The Homer bust is a bit screwed at the moment but I will come back to that later. At the moment I'm just trying to pump up the details to an equal level in the whole image. Later I will so some serious restructuring of lighting and colors, I think. Luckily I did not need to find a reference for the sailing ship since I'm working on a pirate game for a year now I can paint those things blindfolded. ;)
For the rugs I used two photos from the internet. I will have to enhance their look later to fit to the painterly style of the other elements.

03 March 2006, 10:56 PM
Adorable! :eek:

But You did use photoraphs for the carpets, too, didn't You? If not, I have to :cry:

03 March 2006, 11:39 PM
no crits just keep doing what your doing.

03 March 2006, 11:44 PM
duh, forgot to post before


plus 'boo cheat 3d user :p


03 March 2006, 08:04 AM
a winning piece here i must say~:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 01:19 PM
those details and lighting are really comming along very well :)

good use of texture on the rug too :)

are you going to be doing a dirt pass? it sorta looks a little "disney" old at the real dirt in there for such an old dusty place....

03 March 2006, 04:14 PM
Really strong piece that u are doing! I am blow away by your ability!:thumbsup: What's next, eh?

03 March 2006, 04:42 PM
this has got be be one of my definate favourites. Amazing detail, beutifully painted and above all, a great idea. and to think it's still early days, i can't wait to see how this turns out. Good luck.

03 March 2006, 12:19 PM
@ Cyberone:

are you going to be doing a dirt pass? it sorta looks a little "disney" old at the real dirt in there for such an old dusty place....

That's a good question. Well, the plan at the moment is, first to build the detail in the painting up to the level you see in my WIPs here. Then I will have to experiment with different techniques. You are right, that everything is just looking to clean and neat at the moment and I will have to work against this. Perhaps the best method would have bean just to render everything more loosely but that's a thing I'm not quite good at. Especially when the objects in teh scene are everyday life objects and when there is a clear perspective I just have to render them completely, I guess that's just my style. But I want definetely achieve more in this piece and therefor I will have to become a little bit inventive I guess. I will study paintings by the old masters to understand, how they rendered interiours without letting them look like Disney backgrounds. In the end it will all come back to the lighting I guess so that's the part I have to put my efforts in. Of course I know that it is quite a silly technique to render something out to a high degree and later perhaps dillute it again but right at the moment that's the only way for me to solve this scene and I guess I will learn a ton from this painting.

I'm planning to make huge progress this weekend so the next WIP should not be far away. Stay tuned! :)

03 March 2006, 05:29 PM (

Ok, I did pretty much of the detailing of the right side including the frame and all the other stuff. On the wooden floor and the carpets I'm going for a specular highlight effect which I will work out further when the details are finished in the whole painting.

The painting is not finished yet as you can see but that will be my next step (just the last step before I'm going to paint the boy *shiver*).

You also see that I smoothed out most of the overlayed textures on the wood and the carpets. That fits the overall style of the artwork much better I think. Overpainting those carpets was a hell lot of work but it was worth is, isn't it?

03 March 2006, 05:34 PM
This is awesome....both conceptually and visually......can't wait to see the finished version!

Congrats and keep up the great work! :)

p.s. BTW...u work at Ascaron Entertainment?'s the pirate game coming? I'm a fan of the port royale series. Or is that a different company? if so, oops, sorry. :P

03 March 2006, 05:35 PM
One nice thing I encounterd is, that the whole arrangement with those carpets let to a virtual "zig zag path" into the painting from the viewers point! I further developed this path by continuing the zig zag in the painting and by that suggesting, that ultimately it's the VIEWER who is lured into the paiting. Now, that's clever, isn't it? ;)

03 March 2006, 05:38 PM
Yes, it sure is clever! :applause: It is looking fantastic, wish I could give you some crits but can't find anything to crit. :scream:

Just wondering, which brushes do you normally use? You have a rather soft/hard look in there which I'm wondering how you came about.

I do think it looks better without the texture, nice move there.

03 March 2006, 09:19 PM
hey! i must say that has to be my fav painting so far in the challenge! keep up the great work and send me a print when your done ;)

03 March 2006, 09:23 PM
Yeah, It's absolutely stunning.

Some german words:

Mann , du glaubst garnicht wie ich mich auf die Convention freue. Ich hoffe mal, dass bis dahin die Gewinner festehen und du uns dann ein kleines "Making of" zeigen würdest. Mich interessiert im Moment am meisten wie du es geschafft hast die Teppichtexturen so malerisch zu machen. Hast du die einfach übermalt oder hast du da einen kleinen Trick benutzt ?

Achja, nochmal zum Bild: Ich finde,dass du noch etwas Gras (Grasbüschel) aus dem Gemälde rauswachsen lassen könntest. Sonst fallen mir im Moment keine weiteren Verbesserungsvorschläge ein.

03 March 2006, 09:41 PM
One of my favourites - excellent work!

Just one thing - the join between the floorboards stands out because it's not parallel with the edge of the carpet. No reason why it should be, of course, but to me it just looks wrong.

Oh, and another thing. Where the edge of one carpet is visible through the carpet above it, I think you've done the shading too deep and too sharp.

03 March 2006, 04:28 PM (

OK, I painted the landscape in the magic painting. I really like how it tuned out. I love the studio Ghibli movies and I decided to go for that very colorful, sunny alpine look of movies like "Howl's Moving Castle" or "Spirited Away". Of course I had to include my dark mountain, but I decided to let it look less like a vulcano but more like a dark alpine mountain with some type of magic going on on his top.

03 March 2006, 04:41 PM
The light you got there... it's really joy to look at. :wip:

03 March 2006, 04:46 PM
That mountain, BTW is the "Mountain of Gods" which originates from a colored sketch I did a few years ago:

which appeared also in another sketch:

and which ultimately is the place where the Firelord rised (which is a character I portrait frequently):

Ok, that for some background info. :)

And now for your questions!

@ paperclip:

I mostly use round standard brushes with more or less hardness and roundness. I do like to pull down the flow of these brushes to values between 30 and 50%.

I also use different custom brushes which I captured from spattered ink or acrylic paint.

@ snafe:

I adjusted the carpet and wood textured by simple overpaiting them with my standard brushes. Yes, it was a hell lot of work. :)

@ BaronImpossible:

Thanks for your input! I lightened up the edge in the farest carpet. The join between the two wood boards in fact IS paralell but the perspective is very wide so it does not really look like it. I guess I will experiment with that because breaking perspective sometimes helps to make it look better (I did break the perspective in the extreme near foreground for example)

Thank's for your nice comments, as always! It's very pleasing to come into this thread, thank you very much!

03 March 2006, 04:57 PM
Your work is simply amazing! I have no words to describe it. :applause:
It´s a pleasure to follow your work step by step.
Keep the excellent work up.

03 March 2006, 05:20 PM
your work is exciting. composition ideas are brilliant. looking for final image.

03 March 2006, 05:57 PM
fook, u almost killed me there, for a minute i thought u made all that for this challenge.

even so, all your work is amazing and this challenge entry is no exception


03 March 2006, 06:26 PM
One of my favorites...excellent work:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 06:28 PM
that's a fantastic and wonderfull paint you made!
composition , colors and concept are very strong.
All your work is powerfull!!

03 March 2006, 06:29 PM
WoW! Much better! I like it, picture looks great :)

One with knight and axe looks so cool :D

ramy badie
03 March 2006, 07:42 PM
This is beautiful work, the detailing is incredible. Everywhere I look, there are like five things that I hadn't seen yet. I can't wait to see more progress on this, it is turning out beautifully.

03 March 2006, 07:42 PM
Daniel, You are my hero! :applause:
Although I liked the colours of the landscape a little better before you rendered the details out. Now it's a tiny little bit too cold for my taste.

03 March 2006, 08:28 PM
very unique interpretation of the concept -- am impressed by your imagination and style. very nice work.

03 March 2006, 10:11 AM
promising close up. Nothing to crit just :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 01:49 PM
You are an inspiration! I just need a concept of my own now! :scream: I really hope you win man, fantastic work!

03 March 2006, 10:25 AM
Superb idea! Absolutely fantastic rendition of this contest's theme!

03 March 2006, 10:28 AM
Nice painting, Daniel! Magic picture is great idea. Good luck!

03 March 2006, 06:26 PM
I cannot say enough good things about your work. I like your concepts, your proces, your composition, the rendering style... Everything!

You seem to get an insane ammount of detail in there. If I recall early on you had said your image is abot 4000 pixels wide. Is that still the case or have you upped it any since?

Thanks for sharing the background images, I enjoyed seeing the stylistic variety.

03 March 2006, 06:37 PM
Oh, just discovered this and I have to say it really looks amazing.
I love the mood of the picture.

The tempting looking grassland, the menacing mountain, the thread, his teddy, the little mage the picture of the cat, it all adds together. I can't wait to see the details added together to form the big piece again.

Oh and I like cartoony, no need to work against its look. :D

That firedemon is just badass. Oh well, now I have to practice painting a bit. :scream:

03 March 2006, 08:58 PM
One thing, that I am wondering, are u gonna change the pose of the child, because initially the child and the painting are in angles where they are not really facing each other, I would think that the child would guage the painting, maybe try to crawl in the painting, or have like a hand in the painting as if he were entering the painting. Would be cool to see, I really love this entry though! Idea is tops!:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 09:25 PM
allow me to say....the details are looking delicious! great great job!

03 March 2006, 10:12 PM
Wow, this picture has what it takes to win the contest. Great idea and a masterfull realisation. Can't await to see more.

03 March 2006, 11:01 PM
I've been watching your progress, just haven't commented yet before.

An excellent idea and flawless execution. :applause:

This is one of my favorite entries - I'd say it definitely has what it takes.

Looking forward to seeing your next update. Keep up the great work! :D

03 March 2006, 11:29 PM
Wow, beautifully painted!

03 March 2006, 12:02 PM (

Ok, now for an intermediate overview! I finished all the detail in the scene to a point that I'm quite happy with. I did NOT tough the boy yet but that's going to be the next step.
I realise that the whole painting quite dark at the moment but that is ok for now. I'm planning to scale the baby up when I have painted the boy ant tough up allt the details with finer brushes to achieve a more delicate and broken look.

Thanks for all the worthy input!

03 March 2006, 12:10 PM
Now for soem answers to your questions:

@ Chinasky: You were right, pal! I warmed up the painting and now it fits way better into the scene.

@ werepumpkin: I'm still working in 4200x2526 pixel. After I have reworked thy boy I'm going to scale it up a bit.

@ beelow: I will definetely not change the position of teh boy in the painting since that woul ruin my composition. But you are right that his pose does just not look engaging enough because he seems to pose to the "camera" and not really looks like he is going to enter the painting. I will have a rework on the pose. I think I will going for a straight profile which (hopefully) will also enhance the drama of the scene.

Thanks again for all your supportive comments. This now is by far the most elaborate painting I have worked on ever and I really appreciate your support!

03 March 2006, 12:32 PM
Just perfect! I haven´t words, It looks great. You are still my favorite :D

03 March 2006, 12:34 PM
thats crazy..outstanding work ! sehr, sehr gut! :thumbsup::applause::bowdown::love:

03 March 2006, 12:41 PM

thats really fantastic.:bounce:
i dont know what to say. im sure youre going to be one of the winners. man how did you do that carpet(i have ideas but not sure :) ) . anyway i can ask many things in this picture it already looks finised but keep it coming. im curious about what more details to come.

leave some comments to me too.

you dont need luck but still good luck

03 March 2006, 12:44 PM
Yeah, I see ur point, of what u have already established compositonally, but it also never hurts to try though, But this is looking really really solid dude keep it up!:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 12:49 PM
Awesome. So many details to look at and such a nice mood.
I really feel like in an old dusty attic and that focuses the view on the bright magic painting.

I agree that the painting is pretty dark but I think that adds to the atmosphere, attics have to be dark and you have to see just a bit less than you'd like to for the spooky and old atmosphere. If you decide to add more light I would only lighten up the middle of the image not the corners.

In the big picture I think my favorite part is the cat, it looks so lifelike as if it would move any second.

This painting will be very cool when finished. :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 01:02 PM
uiuiui, very nice to see all the detailed out parts together. it seems that your picture is the most developed one of the others. if you hurry you can even make a second one :)

but i have to admit that i liked the colours in your first coloured wip more. i think it is especially the picturearea.
in your 1. wip i liked the complementary contrast between the red carpet and the green nature and the whole picture had a different atmosphere. it looked more like a difficult and interesting adventure with an angry mountain looking hissed to the boy from the top.
and the landscape was more interesting, fields, forests, variety....

your detailed out picture just looks nice and "boring". nice sunny fields, a lonely, open path and even the mountain looks wonderful less than a real threat.
much atmosphere is lost trough the new colours. the yellow-blue complementary contrast makes the picture look nice, before the background looked dangerous and toxic with the greys and greens in it.

you have shifted the effect with your new colour contrasts. before the picture poppt out cause of the complementary, it was really like a new, different world, a gate, that dont belong there.
now the picture fits too well into the environment (the attic) and the contrast lies within the picture - the transition is too smooth between his and the new world.

that doenst mean your picture is bad - it is great, no matter what you do. but it shifts more into a nice painted picture. you have lost the contrasts between old and new, safe and danger that made your basic idea so interesting.

03 March 2006, 01:08 PM
superb ! it has just enough details, the prespective is very interesting, i feel that you should paint some more spaceships or dragons lurking in the horizon (unless they are not visible from that distance) i think that mftitus has a good point about the colors.

over all i like it very much :)

03 March 2006, 03:50 PM
My only comment is to make the boy kneeling on one knee so it looks as though he is about to walk over to the painting. Really beautiful details, colors, composition and concept. 5 star work.

03 March 2006, 05:27 PM
I actually much preferred the painting's previous colour, when it was more green. It stood out more before - which was a good thing and looked more lively and exciting. I think you should consider reverting to it's previous colour.

Great work though. Superb details - I love it! :D

03 March 2006, 06:56 PM
that is honestly amazing, i love the look on the boys face and the yarn is cute. great job buddy

03 March 2006, 07:15 PM
amazing :applause: :applause: :applause:

03 March 2006, 07:21 PM
This work of yours is really my favorite so far; The guidelines and tips for this challenge you have followed, sir. But it is the extras that make me come back at it again and again. Even in
the confinment of an attic you can find openness to the world with all radio, telescope, books, suitcases, globe...Ohh...the open bird cage! Well done.
On a composition level I wonder if you considered moving the window to the middle part of the roof. It would also be in the general direction where the telescope is pointing.
I'll come back and visit.

03 March 2006, 10:35 PM
I really love the idea, great detail, nice work men, good luck

03 March 2006, 01:57 AM
Wow! excellent work. I really like the idea and all the details. It looks like a finished image.
I think that more light is not necessary, now the landscape picture looks like something real for the kid.
No critics, great artwork.

03 March 2006, 02:01 AM
woww, its kinda almost done!!
damn, I like the colour

one thing that bother me is the lbackground, its look like you lost the negative space becaouse the background color is little bit too flat comparing the house color

03 March 2006, 05:33 AM
WOW it looks real'! very nice man ur very good gudluck:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 07:46 AM
that seems a final image bro.
really good lighting, like a barok style.
and the shape on the child is interesting too.
go on

03 March 2006, 08:18 AM
Excellent. one of my favorite. And the idea with the ball (don't know exact translation, sorry) not to loose his way..just :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 03:14 PM

i'd say good luck,
but you seem to have already won ;)

03 March 2006, 03:55 PM
wow. excellent so far. i can't imagine what else you could add to this. i love the details around the room. i find my self spending ages just looking at them all. the ball of string is a lovely touch. well done.

03 March 2006, 05:50 PM
Wow, it starts to be the best painting of yours. I find it a little bit to dark, especialy for printing puroses.

03 March 2006, 05:57 PM
Amazing I really feel happy seeing this image. Good work.

03 March 2006, 09:40 PM (

To paint the boy I experimented with some sketches again. I had several attempts on the boy, some of which were quite realistic in proportion and pose but they did not really work for me. So I got back to the highly stylized look that also is depicted in the rough version of the boy. To work better with the scene, I have positioned the boy in profile now which lead to a very nice and simple pose. At least, that's what I think. I dumped the sword because after having some thoughts I really don't want to imply aggression in the boy's attitude. I just want to show a little boy and his struggle if he should really take the big step to travel into another dimension.

03 March 2006, 10:07 PM
i really loved the last one but this one is as great as the other.
but dont leave the wooden sword it was one of the best things in the picture.

03 March 2006, 10:25 PM
I love the face, it's such a cute little boy face!! The legs seem too short though, I feel uncomfortable looking at them...

Also, the pose doesn't really seem like he's going to be moving anytime soon. However, you said you tried lots of different poses, so this one may well be just the one that will work best within your composition....

I am really curious to see how the finished piece will end up- after all, you still have 2 months left!

03 March 2006, 03:00 AM
well, what if you placed that wooden sword between the boy and the painting somehow?
it could help to clearify his path, enhancing the adventure and stuff..

03 March 2006, 07:21 AM
Hmm, you guys really miss the wooden sword? Now, I'm not quite sure at the moment. It is quite a nice symbol, yes. The more I think about it, it also is not really a symbol for aggression but for courage. Because who would expect to harm anybody with a wooden sword? It's more for strengthening the own confidence. I will try to incorporate the sword again. Perhaps I find a way that fits.

Thanks for the feedback. That really helps to not lose the track.

03 March 2006, 05:23 PM
I also liked the sword a lot. It gave the picture a sense of adventure. Right now, if it wasn't for the boy's backpack, I'd say he had been happily playing with a ball on the rooftop and suddenly found this 'way' into another world, but is more questioning or puzzled about it, and not really interested in going in and trying it out for himself.
So I agree with paperclip, in this pose he doesn't look like he wants to start the adventure :/

03 March 2006, 05:58 PM
Hi daniel! Wow, this piece is a journey in itself! I love how you've attacked the whole thing, very thorough, and I can't even begin to image how much more detail you can get into the thing... I love the lighting on the cat in particular.

As for the sword, I actually rather like it without, having him holding just the string gives him more of an anxious feel which makes me personally empathise with him more. Whereas the wooden sword gives him more of the young boy wanting to play soldier, even thoughh he has the string too. But it's personal preference and what kind of feel you want the thing to have... Love what you have to this point though!

03 March 2006, 06:43 PM
woow i really must say that your entry it's the best so far, such a great work with details man. keep it up the good work!

03 March 2006, 09:05 PM
DEFINITELY put the little wooden sword back in imo!

Aggression?... That little thing couldn't really hurt anything. I think it's more sweet/adorable. Maybe it'd be aggression if he carried an Uzi sub. :D

Reasons to keep the sword:

1) It showed that the boy knew that he was going on a journey which may well have dangers - there is no misunderstanding of what could lie ahead.

2) Like you said; It showed courage. As if he would FACE his fears/enemies rather than run away and hide.

3) It is a strong icon of youth and shows his innocent, youthful naivety. Not saying you could mistake him for not being a young boy, but the sword would just emphasise it.

4) It gives him another thing to carry along with him. The more useless shit he brings gives the impression he knows he's going for a long time. Also, bringing lots of things he doesn't need, again also helps show his naivety.


03 March 2006, 09:22 PM
put the swordf back in, its cute, shows he has some courage but doesnt know what to do, so he figures "im going to just take this :/". oh and the bear is such a nice touch, i like ow its shoved in there lol.

03 March 2006, 09:24 PM
Well, these are quite reasonable arguments for keeping the sword in. Thanks for the time and effort! I will give it a try.

03 March 2006, 09:43 PM
Add one more for the sword or a similar object back in.

For me the sword indicates that he himself is going into the picture.

With the string alone that emphasis is gone - for all we know he might just be going to roll the ball of string into the picture. Granted the backpack indicates otherwise, but I still feel it loses some punch without the sword.

03 March 2006, 11:22 PM
That sword speaks adventure!! Keep the sword dude! There is a certain cutness to it!:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 08:45 PM (

Ok, good news for those weapon geeks! ;)

No, seriously, the points for keeping the sword in the pose are more than convincing. There was this short moment when I asked myself "why do humans always have to take up weapons when a new world lies before them?" and I thought it would perhaps be better to concentrate on the daubts of the boy if he should enter the magic portal (hence the clinging to the wool ball).

But you all were right. The sword is more a symbol for courage and adventure and since it is made of wood it also shows the attidude of the boy who thinks, that a toy weapon will keep harm away from him. That's just cute and makes us sympathise with him more.

So, the sword is back in! And I lifted the boy from his kneeling pose into a "getting up on his knees" kind of pose. It's supposed to depict the short moment just between kneeling down and standing up - a short moment of hesitation and anxiety.

I'm not quite sure on the facial expression yet, but I'm going to attack that in the coloring anyway since this wil be a very subtle detail and solving it in a sketch does not mean that it will also work in color.

Thanks again for your wonderful feedback. You are really helping me out on the important details here!

03 March 2006, 08:48 PM
i like and dislike the pose. in the way right one, with the sword, he kind of seems evil, Omen ish. But the first one, where hes cradeling the yarn, his support for back home, he seems scared for what he has to do.

what if u used the first pose, but had the sword on a sling on his belt? Either way, I like all of them, just my opinon. good work though =)

03 March 2006, 09:05 PM
Hm, I'm not sure about the sword. He looked much cuter in the first pose with both his hands grabbing the string. Too me he looks now like he would drop the string any moment and walk into the painting without it.

Maybe you could put the sword on the floor directly infront of him? Like he is hesitating to pick up the courage/sword to make the step into the painting.
I also liked his short legs more, man he is growing up fast, by the end of the challenge he'll be an old man. :D

03 March 2006, 09:09 PM
I agree with the sword. I appreciate your concern about introducing a weapon, but that is definitely o.k.. I also agree about not bothering any more with lineart, you will get a hard time with him anyway ;)

Right now he looks a little bit like praying or like he´s gonna sacrifice something...his wooden sword maybe?

Naa, o.k., lame joke, i´m just envious. You´re the best.

03 March 2006, 09:58 PM
I think the pose is great now :thumbsup: why ? Because now he looks he'll get up any moment to enter the painting. Also he looks a bit hypnotized or better, fixed on the painting wich makes a very good connection there imho :)

good work man :applause:

03 March 2006, 02:53 AM
I like it. :D The pose says that he is looking at it dreadingly, but he has already made his decision to go and is just taking a final moment to gather up all his courage and enter the painting without ever looking back.

I'm glad you've brought the wooden toy sword back in! :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 07:19 AM
Well, I guess it was pretty clear from the beginning, that the boy will be to hardest element to accomplish. I feel like standing at a junction now where there is no "right" way to choose. At least not on a logic level. I see the whole scene before me, animated. It's just very hard to chosse the one frame, that captures the feeling I want to convey. I see everything you suggest - sword in the belt, sword on the ground, kneeling, going. Every suggestion makes sense in a logical way. But what I have to find now is the pose that "feels" right. At least to.

I think, the best strategy now will be to step back from the painting and sketches, spend some time on other things and just wait for the moment the perfect pose will just click into my head. That's a luxury you always never have in your work because always there's a client who waits for the finished painting. But this is MY journey and sometimes it's nice just to take some time off the road and lay down and relax.

Thanks for all the input! That's what feeds my imagination!

03 March 2006, 07:39 AM
That is nice that u are gonna take time away from the painting dude, again ur work here is solid! I will be waiting for ur return, good luck with getting inspirations Daniel!:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 09:47 AM
I think it looks fantastic- what I get from that, the way his head is bent down and his eyes are looking up, is that he's afraid but summoning the courage to go in and he's excited...

Only, I think you should put his back leg (the one furthest away from us) up into a bent, half-standing position, would really capture the moment of him deciding to get up and go!

It's looking really good and I'm enjoying seeing you play around with the boy, every step makes it stronger and pushes the illustration sense of it more.

03 March 2006, 08:00 PM
i like and dislike the pose ..., he kind of seems evil... =)
It's very suttle, but I agree that the way the hair and shirt collar frame his face seems more menacing than the two sketches on the left.

Also, while the latest pose is more upright and therefore closer to standing/walking, it's still very passive. He's looks to me simply like an observer, not so much like he's taking some action. For that reason I don't think it yet says anything different than the first pose, other than incorporating the sword again. I would keep the original pose until the new pose is clearer in the boys intention to take action and get this journey started.

Having said tha, I too would step away from the painting, I think it's a sound idea at this stage.

Kepp it up! I've enjoyed seeing your progress probably more than any other in this challenge.

04 April 2006, 03:00 AM
You would be right to keep is head like in your latest sketches, but the boy facing us three-quarters was more dynamic. I feel you wanted to show more of the teddybear. He is cute but the boy is your main character.

1) Make him lean forward. Then he could have his left leg up.

2) Make him lean backward. Maybe strartled by a gush of wind that would ruffled his hair and animate a little bit the drape hanging over the frame....mmm...I do like how it hangs right now and how the brightness underneath shows through.

It is your choice but don't make him slouched like he is right now. He already made the decision to go in. He packed and prepared his tools.

Don't hate me. There is the cat. You did a fabulous job with it. I would throw a fit if an art director tell me to redraw the cat becauuuse he is too static. So here I am playing the baddie; Why does the cat stay straight in such a moment...especially when there is a thread involved? Without putting the cat in the spotlight, would you consider putting him in a hunting mode? It would also hint to an extra threath for the little kid, I mean...what if the feline severed his lifeline?
And then you could always say that he is some kind of guide, a yoda type of a creature watching is back.

Just suggestions... your work just inspires me. Maybe I should get to work on mine.

04 April 2006, 03:46 AM
This is a great piece man. I want to jump into the painting! its very inviting yet mysterious. Great job of capturing the mood. No crits really, but you were saying that the boy needs a reason to go to the painting... I think that would easily be conveyed with a determined look on his face, rather than one of fear, or hesitation like he has now.

04 April 2006, 08:26 AM
This is developing into an awesome image. For some reason for me it's plucking gently but surely at a buried childhood memory, I think. Eerie. I'll be watching this one closely.

04 April 2006, 11:05 PM
im not sure about the last sketches of the boy, the one on the left seems more cute but it really needs the sword. but i think sword would be better not staying between the boy and us maybe more front or on the other hand like the older one.

i love the symbolism of everything he carries everything is told about the sword already he's going to be a hero, fight with anything if necessary, but he didnt forget his ball for a game with the new friends he'll make or for his free time in his journey, and the teddy bear was already a protecting him from his nightmares while asleep and now its going to protect him when he needs help and it also shows that he wants someone to come with him but couldnt tell to anyone. and the rope is his only solution and hope to find his way back in case he's lost. and im sure that there are many more useless things and toys and maybe some choclate and candys in his bag too. so he is prepared well for anything in front of him:) but the unsure look on his face gives the feeling that he may be thinking also "there may be somethings missing".

haha he's such cute clever and naive boy.

the picture giving me the feeling that the journey will go like this:
boy somehow becomes the greatest hero ever that land has seen in his twentys and learns thet his crazy known storyteller grandfather was once known as a hero too (not as good as him) . and he somehow find a way back to his world after some more years.

one criticizm about the painting . about the carpets(the ones i loved yes :) ) intersection line of the carpets gotta be softer i think. i couldnt find another way to tell this so i hope its understandable. sorry for my weak english.

nothing else to say for now i guess. still i think this will be a winner.

yeah that was the last comment:drool:

04 April 2006, 11:52 PM
cute, very very cute. sad little orphan going on an imaginary trip. would love to see this finished some how :)


04 April 2006, 10:35 PM (

Ok, I jumped over the edge now and committed to a pose. I know, that there is no pose that everybody will equally like but this pose does it for me. It depicts the feeling that want to convey.

What I show here is the central part of the painting only. I officially rendered all objects in the scene to their basic level and a primary lighting. I'm now going to pull the lights up. The image became quite dark in the last steps but that's ok since I like to work from dark to light.

Most elements of the scene still look quite harsh and clean. I'm going into secondary lighting now and I will see how far I get with that. The plan is to make the attic quite a bit more dusty and creepy. I will have to spread more dirt, dust and spiderwebs, I guess. That, together with secondary lighting should do a good job to bring some "air" into the scene.

ramy badie
04 April 2006, 10:48 PM
I absolutely love everything about this except the boy's face. He looks like he's looking at the homer head rather than the painting, and his face looks distracted. I feel like something was lost between the lineart and the coloring in the face. Other than that, it looks great and I can't wait to see where you go from here.

04 April 2006, 02:46 AM
Hmmm, I liked the first pose, but either way it looks good! I think that the boy looks a bit to plastic? Is that what you wanted? His hair looks like it's a plastic cap that should be on a G.I. Joe doll insteral of a real boy... If you know what I mean?

I still love the whole piece! Well done so far and good luck!

04 April 2006, 03:18 AM
Haven't checked on this in eons . . . WOW! This has turned out to be one very solid detailed illustration. Love the composition and colors and that little boy is adorable.

I do agree with the comment about the hair but the fact that you are planning to 'mess up' the attic next leads me to believe that you will soften the hair and perhaps even mess it up since he's a little boy in an attic with a pull over sweater . . . though he may have just combed his hair for the journey *)

Beautiful work and after some R and R I'm sure you'll finish it off perfectly!

04 April 2006, 09:41 AM
Yeah, I definetely get your point. I tend to render things much to clean and sorted. That's a thing I'm trying to work on but the moment I imagining those details I just have to paint them thas way. Well, I have some techniques to loosen up things a bit after rendering them that way but that's of course a rather stupid way to work. But that will come in time I guess and so this time I will just have to render it tight and loosen it up later. Thanks for your input!

And that face, yeah there has to happen something but I can't imagine what it is at the moment. I'm quite happy to have the pose though so finishing the face will just be another step. I guess, I'll put a mouth in there. That gives some nice possibilities for the expression. We'll see!

04 April 2006, 10:12 AM
It's really a very nice pic, the light is amazing and i love the concept, very good job

04 April 2006, 11:13 AM
God. This picture. I Love It.

04 April 2006, 11:52 AM

04 April 2006, 11:59 AM
It's really hard to try to be inventive in describing a really good picture. So I won't...

04 April 2006, 12:29 PM
much better, love it :)

04 April 2006, 01:37 PM
What an adorable picture... One of my faves right now.:)

04 April 2006, 02:30 PM
Hey, i'm loveing your work.

From my experience of studying painters it's some times better to have the brighter objects on the left. Flip it and see what you think. Your eyes get drawn in to the mirror and then just flows across the picture and then goes back across the picture.
It's basicaly because people are taught to read left to right.

I will look forward to the finished product ^_^

04 April 2006, 03:03 PM
Hey, just discovered your entry! I am really liking this one! It has the Narnia feel which I like! The crease on the top carpet is a little too obvious. With that much light pouring in from the painting, I think the shadow at the crease part shouldn't be too dark. That's just my nitpick! So far I like it already. Add some dust floating in the air where light shines. That would be totally cool!

04 April 2006, 01:57 PM
Fantastic. The quality's really way up there... Adding more atmosphere to this thing might win you an award man, so take it easy will yah? :D

I kinda agree with ramy badie with the somewhat staring at the homer head thing. When I follow the boy's stare, it passes the painting and lands on that head. But it aint a big deal I guess. I only noticed it after reading ramy badie's post :) I second jeromoo's nitpick with the intense shadow on top of the carpet too.

You kick ass man.

04 April 2006, 06:46 PM
this is getting seriously good now. i agree that the boy's hair is a bit to sculpted, and that his gaze almost misses the painting. great pose though, he looks very aprehensive. I like the way he's gripping the warn close to his chest. Brilliant stuff. and you still have so much time to perfect it. Can't wait to see some dust in the air too!

04 April 2006, 10:30 AM
excellent this little boy has so much character.

04 April 2006, 10:41 AM
I have been looking at your thread from the begining and I must say I really like the idea and realisation of your picture. It is so cute and the atmosphere is great. There is nothing to critic in your art.

Well, good luck with your picture.

04 April 2006, 06:51 AM
that must be a really great journey for a boy at that age.great concept, i really loved it

04 April 2006, 09:00 PM (

OK, that might well be the last update before I submit my final image. That does not mean that I won't put much more work into the piece but all changes from now on will be in the detail and in overall color and tonal balance and the result of these final adjustments I will probably present you in the final image. So dare with me and the little boy. The goal of my journey is within sight!

This WIP again shows a cropped version of the painting. I rather like this crop and I'm going to tune the final image in a way so that this image area will be emphasized and the rest will act more like a frame for this central area of the image. Floating dust, bloom and other tough ups are reserved for the very end.

04 April 2006, 09:55 PM
I won't be surprised if you're announced as a winner in June.

04 April 2006, 10:20 PM
This image is amazing, and the detail put into it is superb but the pencils seem a bit bright, compared to the objects around them. The little touches that you have added really make this image great, like the light reflecting off parts of the globe. Great work!

04 April 2006, 11:03 PM
Hey, I gotta get over to the 2d entries more often! This is really good!

04 April 2006, 11:13 PM
I won't be surprised if you're announced as a winner in June.
i agree with theresa about this

only little problem is shodows of the carpets are still too strong it needs to be very soft in my opinion

04 April 2006, 02:09 AM
I love this image. So many cute little details.

04 April 2006, 07:19 AM
One of my favorites!
The idea is very good. And your Style is wonderful.

04 April 2006, 07:22 AM
hi . it is nice .watch mine and tell me your idea

04 April 2006, 12:05 PM
WHOUHHHAAAAAAA!!!Hey amazing, thumbs up...Surely be hanging around here a lot!!he,he
Winner man!!!

04 April 2006, 12:16 PM

04 April 2006, 01:15 PM
Hi Man, how i didn't be here before this is great piece and also the coloring is professional man, i don't have critiques it is just awsome.:arteest:

04 April 2006, 01:23 PM
:) Very Very Very Nice

I love the details and picture frame / doorway idea

Great work!!

04 April 2006, 07:38 PM
Great one :) I love it :buttrock:

04 April 2006, 08:15 PM
I realy love this image, it has a beautiful and perfectly rendered story behind it. So many amazing details there!

However, the child's sword seems a bit broken to me. I painted quickly what i mean:
Not sure it looks perfect like this... just a suggestion...

Awesome work, my very favourite piece in this challenge :thumbsup:

04 April 2006, 06:53 AM
Hallo Daniel,

didn`t realize that we got so fantastic 2d artist here in Germany :wavey: brilliant artwork and really lovely story you present us in your wip here...

04 April 2006, 07:38 AM

Just some words: thank you.


04 April 2006, 04:24 AM
Wonderful image Daniel, the ball of string is just priceless...good luck!

04 April 2006, 07:07 AM
Beautiful! Simply and satisfyingly beautiful.

04 April 2006, 08:12 AM
I agree!! That image is fantastic!!!
It decorates already my Desktop.

04 April 2006, 09:33 PM
I love the addition of the spiderwebs. They look awesome and make for a great atmosphere. Also, as others said, very nice details. I particularly like how the painting shines through the piece of cloth and how the grass grows out of the painting into the real world. Makes me wish I could go to the convention in May to hear you talk about it :)

04 April 2006, 12:16 AM
It's been said before, simply amazing!:bowdown: I won't be surprised if you're a winner at all.

05 May 2006, 03:45 PM
your overpaint changes the perspective of both the hand and the sword.
If you have a closer look at the hand you can see it is bend to left side
but your overpainted sword looks like bent to the right side...

Daniel: einfach geil :-D

05 May 2006, 09:10 PM
im going to be honestwith you, I think the boy looks too flat now and kind of cartoonish compared to the rest of the painting. I originally loved the other pose, it fit so much more. I feel this one just stands out too much, and distracts. It's not painted poorly, it's awesome..but just doesnt fit so much. Just a suggestion, anyways its gunna be awesome :) I just ran through all the phases u did, and im very impressed. good work

05 May 2006, 03:15 AM
Thanks Daniel. There is always a way to find time to learn something new. Now I know where Congo, Uganda and Namibia are? :) Too bright?

Great work.

05 May 2006, 08:57 PM
Very very nice and clear in the style. Good luck.

05 May 2006, 02:07 AM
No word to say...fantastic! I'm really love your concept.

Good luck!

05 May 2006, 09:45 PM (

Now, this is one of those moments you try to avoid in your life - calling something finished and let it go. I think, I could still spend plenty of hours painting on this but it just won't getting better. More likely it would just getting worse.
So I decided to end my journey for this time and declare my painting finished. Thanks for all the great input and your words of encouragement. I really enjoyed this challenge and I wish you all the best for your own entries!

ramy badie
05 May 2006, 09:55 PM
This is awesome, you did an incredible job. I think I liked the painting more when it was a little darker though with a slightly more ominous look, now I just don't understand the apprehensive look and the sword in his hand. Other than that though this is great. Congratulations on a job well done.

05 May 2006, 10:06 PM
uufffff !! i know i'm going to say the same things that other people there, but it's a really impressive and amazing work. I love the concept, and i think the fact to put an illustrated (good) story is excellent. and moreover, the execution (with 3d for a perfect perspective and the colorization) is awsome. All the details in your picture give a really nice atmosphere, the luminosity is well done and shows the most important zone. Our eyes are attracted by this zone. Anyway, as we say in french "je kiff" (= I love) :p

Great job :D

05 May 2006, 10:18 PM (

The Journey Begins

My jouney begins on an old and dusty attic. A little boy unveiled a passage to another world and prepared his jouney. The moment is there - the moment of gathering courage and beginning the journey.

I wanted to paint a picture about the nature of journeys. I wanted to show, that you always have to leave something behind if you want to reach for a distant goal. The boys belongings are on the left side, as well as his cat and the place he calls home, which shines a warm light from below the attic trapdoor.
On the right side I painted things that symbolize the journey. There you find the globe, the telescope, the ship, the bust of the great Homer and the skeleton which stands for the last journey.
My goal was to create a tension between the two worlds, so the perspective lines are arranged to build a subtle drag into the glowing painting.

I also wanted to paint a picture about us artists. We constantly struggle to open doors to other worlds with our artwork and by creating foreign landscapes and fantastic creatures we fuel the imaginations of our spectators.
Our paintings literally become portals into the realm of fantasy and that's why in my painting the zig zag path formed by the road and the carpets ultimately leads to the viewer - to invite him on a journey of his own.

-Daniel Lieske

05 May 2006, 12:01 AM
Daniel, this is truly astonishing, like everybody else has pointed out already. The story, and the way you explain your intentions, really back up this wonderful piece. I hope you will be among the winners!

05 May 2006, 05:53 AM
fukkin'-A, compadre! this is the first finished work i've seen yet in the challenge, and a winner it is! if you don't take first place, i'll eat a pizza. well, that didn't sound too difficult -- but, hey, i've been in a diet and lost 43 lbs in 4 months, so, that's like saying i'll eat an elephant!

really think you've done an exceptional job in all areas: idea, composition, emotion, execution and presentation. congrats on a job very well done....

(saved this image as inspirational wallpaper, if you don't mind....)

05 May 2006, 12:43 PM
I am drooling at the gorgeous details and lighting you have here. The glare from the painting is simply brilliant to say the least! I do hope you win! :) Good luck and all the best!

05 May 2006, 02:36 PM
This is a awesome pic with an incredible lighting very great work. Good luck for the challenge:thumbsup:

05 May 2006, 03:05 PM
Outstanding work ! I'm looking foward to your Illustrationtutorial. :)

05 May 2006, 11:09 AM
Really strong entry. I'm pretty sure you'll win something for this :) Goodluck man.

05 May 2006, 11:52 AM

can't believe i hadn't seen this one before. so much detail. i just stared at it for about 15 min straight. i love the overlapping rugs and the cobwebs look great. great concept great execution.

5 thumbs up!

05 May 2006, 01:05 PM
Congratulations on finishing! This is a fine work and I wish you best of luck in the judging!

05 May 2006, 09:17 PM
Thank you all very much for your encouragement! I slowly realize how hard it is to commit to a final version when there is still time left to change things. It leads to thoughts about when an artwork is actually finished. That painting is a very important one for me, since I never really worked on one artwork over such a long time (2 month in this case). It's hard to keep an open mind when a subject is so permanently presented to you. At the end I could not even say if the painting turned out good at all (even the flip test looked familiar to me after some weeks...). I'm not fishing for compliments I just want to say that this contest was a great opportunity for me and indeed a real challenge. I want to finally thank you all for your support!

05 May 2006, 09:23 PM
This is a stunning image! Love the character design!

05 May 2006, 02:06 AM
Good luck man!
Great idea :)

05 May 2006, 03:07 AM
good luck my friend, hope to see this one in the finals :)

05 May 2006, 01:23 PM
Ooh, nice concept. I really like the yarn he is holding so that he can find his way back :)

05 May 2006, 01:30 PM
Man! i love this pic

05 May 2006, 01:33 PM
Way to go, Daniel! congratulations on such a wonderful piece. The detail and amount of love that's going into every inch of this is apparent. And, while I'm not usually a fan of write-ups, I have to say that I really liked yours, tying together the subject, the use of metaphors, and your own artistic intentions. Now rest... you have a big long wait in front of you! :)