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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 :slight_smile: ) 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:


cute, very very cute. sad little orphan going on an imaginary trip. would love to see this finished some how :slight_smile:



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.


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.


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!


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!


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!


It’s really a very nice pic, the light is amazing and i love the concept, very good job


God. This picture. I Love It.




It’s really hard to try to be inventive in describing a really good picture. So I won’t…


much better, love it :slight_smile:


What an adorable picture… One of my faves right now.:slight_smile:


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 :slight_smile:


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!