The Journey Begins Challenge (2D) Entry: David Freeman


Well having had time away from the image due to other work, I decided that I prefered my original composition and lighting, so I’m concentrating on getting the characters working first.

I prefer them closer together as there feels more of a relationship between them.

I still hope to have a robot in frame and am extending the canvass to include the childrens legs, so I can have the robot (smaller in size) perched on a toadstall or similar.

As far as the composition, I’m in the midst of trying several options including a more portrait composition with tops of mountains visible above the trees at top of frame at present.

All feedback is appreciated…


I’m concentrating on getting the characters working first.

Well, if that’s your goal, I’d say you’ve succeeded: They look great! Lovely colors and faces. The body and hand of the left bow need more definition, but I know you know that. The center lad looks great, don’t change a thing. The girl on the left… the expression on her face isn’t really reading as anything in particular right now. All of the emotions on the other faces are very subtle, so I’m having a hard time saying what’s different about the girl, but she just feels a little more blank. It migh be the eye, or the upper lip need more refinement… maybe the side/bottom of the nose could use refinement…? (which has nothing to do with expression, just seemed a tad unfinished.) I wish I could be more specific about what I think could change, I’m not being clear because I’m having trouble putting my finger on it… but I thought you’d want to hear and comments so I thought I’d toss out this unfinished thought. (It might not help that I just got out of bed and it’s early morning. Feel free to ignore me! :slight_smile: )

Anyhow, looking forward to seeing where you go from here. Good luck! (and don’t take too long!)



:slight_smile: Thanks Mike

Good advice and I’ll definitely take this on board. I see what you mean about expression, though I did want her to look quite serious and in deep thought.

Once I’ve added the minute robot / man figure sat on a toadstool or rabbit or something equally strange between the children, the relationship and emotions between the characters should make more sense (I hope)

The changes I have been working on through most of last night and hopefully tonight at some point should make all the difference - especially to the girl on the right who still needs some work.

I’m just finalising the composition and depth / space and should have an update posted soon -

Thanks again



Nice use of color, it really sets a nice mood. No crits just yet, waiting to see your final composition. Good job!


:slight_smile: Thanks SideAche

I was hoping to post an update tonight, but had a bit of a brainwave and still working to finish the composition incorporating this idea.

The space works a lot better now that I’ve added perspective references.

Well it’s getting late … so better get some rest…more soon :slight_smile:


Having worked out the key characters (except for the robot which I’ll probably add at the next stage), I have concentrated on adding depth and perspective to the image.

I’m working on a couple of options for the completed composition. The first is more verticle and shows the route the characters will travel above the trees, high in the mountains. The second is to the right of the composition, looking down at cliffs towards the sea??

I really liked the idea of the characters standing within a ruins of temple, working out plans for the journey ahead.

More soon


Lovely :slight_smile: It looks like a watercolor painting. I know your intention is to show a full horizontal landcape but I think the crop in on the children is quite powerful.


I love the lighting! It’s amazing how you made those kids look so serious without destroying the youthful look. Can’t wait to see the remainder of the background fleshed out!

Honestly, the “path into the cliffs” seems to be working for many others…that, and it would seem unrealistic for the kids to be journeying out to sea.

Than again, this is art–who the h377 said anything had to be realistic?

Excellent work, man! :buttrock:


Thanks Segvoia…I have been also thinking that this composition would work well as is (may be a little more verticle than landscape) and am currently developing this.

If I get too wide, you won’t be able to see the childrens expressions, but I do need to explain, visually the journey they are about to begin…so I’m working on another concept for this scenario

Cheers OliveBeard…actually having spent another day compositing (joys of being freelance), and so I’ve had plently of thinking time to come up with a better idea, so I’ll hopefully post an update soon.

Thanks for all the comments :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Actually, this can work on its own, David! As this close-up, adds expression of the children, as they seem very innocent, interested and ready for a journey, I am so digging ur color pallete, Somewhat reminds me of Boris Vellejo, in a sense! Cool beans, waiting for ur next update!:thumbsup:


I think it would be great to find a clever link between the riddle the kids are trying to figure out and whatever is behind them.
I’ll second what beelow wrote… The way it is, I don’t see how a grand landscape would be relevant with all the children being back to it.
However a vertical composition could do wonder.
An even bigger doorway is good. The map is so-so. Your task is to suprise and interest us in the children’s interrogation.

“I’m still making it up as I go along”.
Sometimes it works, Sometimes not. It is a risky way to work.
I am curious as to how you will resolve this one. Bet it is going to look fantastic.


:slight_smile: Thanks Bryce… I’m thinking the same thing, though think a slightly more vertical canvass will feel better.

Thanks jayday… I like that Idea of linking the elements, and I do think you are right in terms of landscape and whether it is required.

I have to say that I usually come up with a finished concept first, but this is one of those situations where I was keen to get the characters working first. I have a great idea now and all will be revealed soon… (sorry just woken up so hope this makes sense) :slight_smile:


Hi Freeman

I think your route to a vertical pic is probably best as the kids will be the main focus. How about putting in a mountain above the church window almost in the same shape with a path like you had in your earlier horizontal version. It might mean a slight change of light source.

I love the colours and the kids expressions. I like the map too but it looks like a Lara Croft puzzle map not a geographical map for a journey.



Thanks Ed

i was hoping to put in something above the church window as long as it didn’t take your attention away from the children too much.

As far as the map, I was intending this to be more a stone plinth with runes carved deep into the surface - but just have not completed this yet. I’m still keen on having a little robot sat on this…but hey who knows what ideas will come from my brain in the next few days… Thanks for your input :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


fantastic character design, color and composition. beautiful technique, too. really cool work, pal!


I love the three kids´concentrating face and their´s clumsy(I am not sure whether I used the right word) and cute clothes. Especially the red one, she reminds me the little girls in northwest part of China.:slight_smile:


damn - another day passes into the past and i’ve not had a chance to do anything more to the image (though it has progressed since the last post). After a day compositing and filming tracking markers, I can’t wait to get some serious painter time tonight (as long as I stick to only one or two beers - hey it’s been a long day).

Thanks jevinart… I hope to have more updates to post very soon…

Thanks also ciao… I’m pretty sure that’s the right word …thank you for your comments
I’m always looking for reference and inspiration so I’ll have to check out your reference to northwest China

:slight_smile: :slight_smile:


It’s been a busy week so I’ve not got as far as I would have hoped. but here is an update to show development of characters, colour and composition.

The composition may be even longer, but I’ll post a final layout when I get to that stage.

I was keen to have another source of light radiating from where the children are looking and like the idea of glowing runes / puzzle / map (it will all make sense…honest).

I’ve elongated the church / ruin window to make it more imposing and added pillars which will aid perspective as well as allow the addition of shadows.

more as soon as I can…


After a rather mixed week of starting and stopping this challenge, I feel this composition is the strongest.

I won’t put up another update until I’ve made a lot more progress, but feedback would be more than welcome at this stage.

I’ve had too much on lately, so should get a lot further over the bank holiday (in the uk)


This pic is very great i love the color and the emotional ambiance, good work i wait the next update