The Journey Begins Challenge (2D) Entry: Clint Cearley


This is an amazing demonstration of painting skills! Great Job!

Did you change your mind about the balloons going away to the horizon? They are so many scattered around, that there’s no sense of direction from them.

I was surprised to go back to your earlier posts and find out that the kids are climbing UP the ballon, not DOWN. None of the children’s body language suggests that they are going up. It’s probably too late to do anything about it now.


Awsome! the kids are looking so realistic, and the entire scene is just great and oniric, good work! :thumbsup:


The boy leaning back creates a delicate balance for the image with all the buldings tilting in the opposite direction. A lovely concept and such sweet looking children!


This is simply awesome.


I ment that, in my opinion, this would be one of the top 6 pictures … :wink:


sehr gut !!!


Working with the picture flipped the other way for a couple of days has helped me notice some things that weren’t quite right. I also put to use some of the great comments you’ve posted, Thanks guys!
I had painted all the children in separate files then copied them into the main image which left them with a very cut-out look. So I softened edges, especially in the hair and blowing garments. Really helps to meld them into the image I think.
I also added a couple of big pocketwatches hanging from the basket. They play into the story and I thought they looked kinda neat so there they are. What do you guys think, cool, not cool?
There’s still some things I want to tidy up, nothing major, just some stuff I’ve been meaning to get to (cleaning edges ect). Oh, I do need to add a couple of kids in the balloon at the top of the pic.
I’m still committed to making it as good as possible so any last comments are very welcomed.



what else can i say, i want to see full res.


domo_arigato - Wow, your confidence in my piece is wonderful, thanks!
thanks Tyranx!
werepumpkin - good comments about the balloons and up/down. It’s one of those things you start to overlook when you yourself know what’s supposed to be going on. As you’ll see in the last post I removed a number of the balloons and directed them more at the horizon. Think it’s better or maybe a little more? I did the simplist thing possible to give the impression the kids were going up; I made the climbing boy’s head look up. I tried having an arm reaching down to help him but it look cut off and odd. Still not enough?
Climax, thanks dude!
webwings - wish I could take some real credit for the balance you mentioned but that’s just how it worked out. One of those wonderful things that just happens :slight_smile:
Art2 - glad you like it!
InTerceptoV - let’s hope the judges think so to :slight_smile:
Dank zaimingX !!

Gracias to everyone and here’s hoping you all get your pictures just the way you want them (in the next 3 days)!!


Very nice feel to this image.


Some steps missing but the final is great!

I wish you the best!


Nice colours! Reminds me of those Max Payne graphic novel inside the game! The clocks hanging under the hot-air balloon? What are they supposed to be for? I think you don’t have to put them there.

Really like the mood and atmosphere! All the best!


Hey, Poet! I’m glad my feedback was of help. I think the boy climbing to the ballon is a definite improvement.

The removal of ballons does help a bit, but is not as effective. Maybe having some kind of loose alingment between the balloons so that the viewer’s eyes can easily jump from one to the other until they settle on the horizon is a way to tell the viewer that that’s where the baloons are headed. Of course, you don’t want the ballons in a row, just enough of a visual connection for the viewer to move from one to the other in the direction you want. Gustav Klimt’s work is much more abstract than this, but if you look at his work, he was constantly “weaving” design elements or patters in this fashion.

Again, great job! and Good Luck!


definitely fresh!

good job. now i want to see more work from you but there’s no website?? D_;


Once upon a time there was a package, small and wrapped in brown paper with a white bow. The package was carried a very long way by a man with a tall black hat and shiny black shoes. His name was never learned but some of the children that were by the second story window agree that they definitely saw a man with a tall black hat and shiny black shoes and he was the one that left the package on the orphanage’s doorstep that Christmas Eve night. They hurried down to meet the man once seeing him approach but he was already gone into the darkness when they reached the door. Only the little packaged remained there which had a small tag with gold writing on it that read, “For the Children.” They put the package with the few others under their tree for the next morning. Amid the festive cheer the following morning a dark-headed little girl unwrapped the package and in her hands laid an old book. It had no title, no author and indeed no words at all anywhere on it. She puzzled over the book for a short while before deciding to leave it on her bed stand and return to the festivities.
That night however, when she idly picked up the book to look at it again before bed, she was astonished to find that the book was filled with words! She gathered other children to show them the book and crowded on the little bed, they began to read it. They read of the City of Books that sits abandoned and in never ending twilight. Of it’s great stacks of books as tall as the tallest buildings and it’s libraries that held more stories than have ever been told. They read of hot air balloons that visit the city every night to see if any of the books had brought children from afar. Late into the night the children sat on the bed and read of the adventures that the balloons took those children on. Great journeys through the stars, fierce battles against teacup soldiers and perilous quests across hot desert dunes. Night’s calling though could not be ignored and slowly the children drifted to sleep.
They awoke not to the morning but to find themselves at the top of an incredible stack of books. Mighty gusts of wind blew a curtain of snow all around them and in the distance the children could see hot air balloons like great lanterns floating towards them…


Beautiful image! I love the colors.Great lighting.


Just remembered I needed to put in a little background info. Let’s see, this was created entirely in PS7 at 4k wide, my inspirations were primarly the story of Peter Pan, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the work of the master, Craig Mullins. Like about everyone else, if I had to do it again I could do it better but I’m pleased with how it turned out under the timeframe.

A big thanks to everyone who commented, I appreciated every kudos and seriously considered every suggestion!! Hats off to you!



very welldone mate,a lovely final image,i love the way u lit the entire scene with such mood,the lighting looks almost 3d,definitely love the magical taste in it and the hovering balloons gave a great sense of depth to the image.:thumbsup:good luck mate and all the best in the final judgement


Congratulations, you made it!!
This is a great, great, great image!! :thumbsup:


Nothing much to say here, really great work!