The Journey Begins Challenge (2D) Entry: Kevin Soderlund

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  04 April 2006
Coloring WIP: Journey Into War: WIP 3

more work done on the foreground & foliage, as well as some subtle smoothing of the background stormclouds...
  04 April 2006
I like this one... like the contrast between the blue "happy" sky and the dark clouds... really like his thoughtful face expression... to me it says, war is not "funny"... and you don´t use a lot of big gestures to show it...
just me... and my GP...
Sometimes life is at its cruelest just before it is its most kindest
  04 April 2006
Hey Kevin,

Got lost in some other battles and haven't been able to follow up in awhile . . . you're nailing this . . . I don't like to 'go there' but seeing the additions you've poured into this gives me goose bumps! I almost did a variation on the war theme but decided to take a different approach to this challenge . . . I'm very satisfied to see someone with your talent going into the trenches and doing it justice *)

  04 April 2006
makaron: many thanks, pal. appreciate the cool words -- your take on this is exactly what i was trying to achieve....

elrond56: don't even need an award for this piece -- your words alone have made this challenge worthwhile & a success for me. thanks so much for the feedback -- i'm humbled.
  04 April 2006
I figure you've been doing your homework, but just in case, thought I'ld pass these 4 links along.

You'll notice that often there would be colored(purple) smoke used to single the incoming (link 3) "It was a smoke war. Historians speak of the "fog of war." Well we carried it in little cans and we had as many colors as Jamba Juice has flavors. We had cranberry red, lime green, sunflower yellow, and purple passion. This was my favorite, marvelous magenta.

When you wanted to go home you threw out a can and asked the pilot what color they saw. If there was a match, you got your ride. If Charlie also popped smoke and it didn't match he got his ass handed to him on a platter. If there were two smokes of the same color then there was a problem.

You could also throw it to mark your position and tell the gunship drivers and fast movers to kill every living thing more than x meters from your position. And for photographers, we just hoped that it went well with the background." R. B. Hawkins

. . . of couse you've got such a strong composition going I couldn't suggest adding anything. It's all just for reference *)

paint on!
  04 April 2006
Final Coloring: Journey Into War: Final Color 1

all of the color in this piece has been blocked out. now for the tweaking, smoothing and detailing to pull the image into finality...
  04 April 2006
elrond -- you are truly amazing, pal!! thanks for the excellent links -- i bookmarked all of them for reference -- not only for this project, but for other military-themed paintings in the future. what a wealth of information!

really appreciate your input on the smoke, too. to be honest, i didn't really know the whole meaning behind the colored smoke, other than it was a signal method. i think i'd like to add a smoke signal in my piece for added realism, blending it subtly with the background. really didn't think of that till you brought it to my attention. definitely food for thought here....

i can't begin to tell you how much respect i have for you, your service & experience, and for your willingness to share your knowledge and expertise with me. thanks again, man -- you totally made my day.
  04 April 2006
Coloring WIP: Journey Into War: Final Color 2

here's an update to my final color comp incorporating a key element suggested by elrond56 -- color-coded smoke signals used in the vietnam war by military personnel. even though my image is created using my own "stylized realism" approach to documenting this young man's journey, important facts actualized by history and military strategy only serve to enhance this image's accuracy. hats off to elrond for this wonderful suggestion -- your input is greatly valued and appreciated!

Many thanks, pal....

for anyone who's interested, here's a WIP screenshot of the painting in production using Painter:

(i normally dont like revealing my reference material while a painting is in progress, but feel that during this excersize, "baring my soul" as it relates to the production of my work is all part of the game...) this screenshot gives an idea of my original reference piece, in comparison to the changes i've incorporated thanks to the wonderful suggestions of cgtalk artists. i think my work is all the stronger because of your input...

*** the original reference piece is a composite created with photoshop and after effects; reality -- as i have been fortunately enlightened by a participant in this conflict, and cg challenge -- has had me embrace compositional changes to reflect historical facts and strategies.

Last edited by jevinart : 04 April 2006 at 06:26 AM.
  04 April 2006
I like the way you arranged this image. the injured soldier's, and smoke on one side, and the helicopters and clear skies on the other side. Quite an emotional piece. Lots o things goin on, on this guys head. lookin forward to more updates man, good luck!
  04 April 2006
hey, thanks, cok3 -- appreciate the kind wordz. i kinda thought while i was working and incorporating the suggs from my peeps, that i would have the casualties of war on the dark side, and rescue / relief being framed by blue skies and "hope". you're the first to pick up on that compositional element. as this is a wip in the truest sense, your comments are greatly valued. my goal with this painting is to portray the emotional side of a soldier entering into his own personal journey of warfare; i've been fortunate enough to have the guidance and expertise of an actual soldier involved in this conflict to steer me in the right direction (elrond56 -- plase check out his own entry at: ).

thanks again, dude, for leavin' your mark on my progress....
  04 April 2006
Hey Kevin . . . I'm getting goose bumps man!!! I'm glad your still at it and I had no idea if, or how you would use the smoke but you pulled off a nice way to seperate foreground and mid ground and cleverly frame the new recruit with a veil of color . . . you are a master *)

So glad to be along for this one! Ciao 4 now . . .
  04 April 2006
yo kevin, your piece it's coming up great.
I like also the new smoke. Impressive.
  04 April 2006
hey, elrond & notpill -- thanks so much for the cool words!!!
  04 April 2006
been gone for a while, super busy at work. i'm lovin these updates.
keep up the good work.

my Master and Servant entry
my The Journey Begins entry
  04 April 2006
thanks, anizibon! i've got a pretty busy work scene too -- put in a little art on the side whenever i can catch some time at night.... apreciate you checkin' in and throwing a comment my way.
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