The Journey Begins Challenge (2D) Entry: Eric Machmer

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  03 March 2006
The Journey Begins Challenge (2D) Entry: Eric Machmer

Eric Machmer is entered in the "The Journey Begins Challenge" update: View Challenge Page

Latest Update: Coloring WIP: detail from coloring wip
  03 March 2006
Concept Sketch: love cycle (...water cycle)

Hi! This is a very, very loose sketch whipped up at 3 in the morning (so I don't forget it...although it will probably be quite forgettable). The formative ideas in the background of my mind while starting this sketch were to keep it very much obviously in the realm of 2D illustration -- especially since it is necessary to establish a creative distance from the thought process behind the 3D Challenge (in which I also have a submission). In keeping with an obviously 2D painterly feel it will therefore also be possible to use many of the products offered as prizes by sponsors of this challenge -- thereby in a sense thanking them (to the extent anyone follows this thread) by advertising appropriate and innovative uses for their applications. (It would be especially neat to include miniature quick tutorials in these posts (as seems to occur occasionally in these competitions -- particularly in those posts provided by previous winners as evidence in their archived submissions...worth checking out.) The suggested boundaries and guidelines for this challenge also suggested characters could be cartoonish small creatures in their own fantasy world. “It is recommended that entrants focus on physically small characters (bugs, Hobbits, Elves, Children, Faeries, birds, animals, micro robots - whatever) in a foreground setting against a vast backdrop of epic proportions (by comparison).”

The third motivation behind this sketch is to just have fun, enjoying free-time with wonderful tools, creating light-hearted, beautiful artwork. Ridiculously happy...unapologetically uplifting...simply joyful. No guns dragons dark cheesy space scenes. Ugh. Man, this is just for fun.

Okay, so, our tendency is to float through various moods -- inevitably incorporating many of them into a single piece of art. I want this to just be totally FUN...negativity will be expunged. --That said, the scene upon deeper inspection reveals unorthodox bizarre qualities from its color palette to its theme...this is a world in which characters read books to levitate themselves into clouds of loving happy hearts for the purpose of bringing joy to the world…raining love upon the world. --Hoh! How many artists today write "loving happy hearts" with glee! There is a smile on my face!! Okay, this should be fun. It's weird -- but definitely G-rated. So the characters float by use of LOVE such stuff. Rudolph has a red nose, Sam likes green eggs and ham! Imagination is nevertheless subversive to its core. Hope you enjoy this one. I will! (Thanks for the opportunity.)
  03 March 2006

Okay...this will require a color correction...its barely legible reduced to a jpeg (sorry)
  03 March 2006
Coloring WIP: starting flat shades of characters

The characters are floating up to clouds of hearts, in their individual reading-induced journeys of love-cycling. They need to stand out from a background sketch which will incorporate more depth, landscaping, and atmosphere – so, I have temporarily flat-shaded them with broad brushstrokes in Photoshop (against a currently transparent background). --Still having fun!
  03 March 2006
Coloring WIP: WIP: flat fill completed...triptych

The initial sketch will be incorporated into a rough draft for a triptych which will serve as the background to a ceremonial blessing performed by funky little animals carefully following their own elaborate religious rite blessing a journey, its ship and crew....ah, that sounds corny. Another floating leaf with mice-men or a snail-house. The idea of a religious ceremony taking place in front of an actual triptych as a piece of furniture veers into 3D preproduction. So many entries seems to just be pre-production 2D concept sketches for what would eventually become 3D models or practical sets in a actual production pipeline. I'd like this to remain a work of illustration -- difficult and inappropriate for reproduction in 3D. Celebrating the virtues of 2D.

Brutally honest suggestions welcome...

Last edited by oceanbluesky : 03 March 2006 at 08:42 AM.
  03 March 2006
Coloring WIP: dimensional background layer and research

After flat shading the rough forms for characters in the triptych a simple background layer has been added. I would like it to be similar to the eerie bizarre swirling fantasy-like scenery so often used by Da Vinci for distant backgrounds of portraits. After flat shading rough forms for characters in the triptych a simple blue background layer has been added. I would like it to be similar to the eerie bizarre swirling fantasy-like scenery so often used by Da Vinci for distant backgrounds of portraits. Not detailed and interesting in its own right so much as adding a sense of atmospheric depth.

Hopefully this will be a work of 2D illustration rather than just another essentially preproduction concept for 3D. It will be interesting to surf through sites of other illustrators for inspiration...the work of James Jean in particular is interesting:

His images are complete in their own right; modeling, texturing, and lighting scenes derived from such work in 3D could detract from the original 2D inspiration.

Also, in order to find inspiration I’ve done a few Google Image searches using keywords associated with this challenge. Thought the results may be interesting…seems triptychs are a favorite format of many artists, with quite a bit of variation.

Unusual forms within a traditional triptych set:,2,3.jpg

Cool colors: (particularly beautiful) (a bit cheesy but nice colors from a distance) (Rothko)

Traditional: (detail)

Journey themed:

Stained Glass:

Google image search for "Journey":

Depth, haze, moon: %20in%20THE%20SEEKERS.jpg

Interstellar photos:

Spiritual: (Indian Yogi) ("Journey to the heart")

Google image search for "The Journey Begins":

Space Travel:

Spiritual: (beautiful colors)
  03 March 2006
Coloring WIP: detail from coloring wip

Simple section showing coloring progress with extremely rough background clouds.

This is intended to be a part of an eventual children's book about the importance of nurturing our neurons.

No kidding.
  05 May 2006

I totally love youre intuitive way of working! This has the same feel as youre cloudsketches in your 3dchallenge, very free and happy, innocent yet very wise... I really hope to see this and the 3d challenge when finished! Keep on working like this, it's a joy to see such true creativity!
We have exactly same taste in images... I am a big fan of James Jeans work, especially the covers of the Fables series, I have them on my walls to inspire me... I have a big motivation to make pictures with the same kind of beauty, feeling, freedom(justice/wisdom) and animals seem to be the best way to describe those things.
And a big thank you for your comments on my challenge, this is my first one.

And good luck with the chilrens book, it sounds better than good! We all need to nurture our neurons... most of all children, because they have the most ability to do so and grow up wise.

Right on!
  05 May 2006
Sirkku, thanks for your encouraging comments...I'm floored anyone has found this thread and can't believe 159 people have actually clicked on it! I've got to figure out a way to hack these images off this server! What the heck...with zero time left from the 3D challenge...somehow I'll finish this entry eventually...(I'm really into the idea of a children's book as expressed above)...but, it would be a work of love and leisure...and the quality of work posted thus far is abysmal and embarrassing. Enough with the excuses. It will be finished!! (eventually...going to sleep now)

Your post really made me happy! Thank you
  05 May 2006
Wild . . . wonderful . . . and whimsical! It's nice to see something 'different' and unabashed.

Keep up the courageuos journey *)
  05 May 2006
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