The Journey Begins Challenge (2D) Entry: Michael Dashow


Really love ya piece, very nice environment and coloring especially that cutie mood hee hee

good luck for your last process!


Oh wow definitely an improvement, I’m glad my criticism could help. Your chances are looking great now man! Good luck!


Hi, everyone. I’ve been working on just these faces (and her hand) for a couple of hours tonight. I think that’s about all I can do this evening.
I’ve made some more revisions to both faces: He’s got a more pronounced chin and sideburns, a nose-job, another haircut, some stuff to make it clear he’s a he. (and apologies to those of you who “liked it better when the rider was a girl.” I can appreciate that, but it wasn’t the intent of this piece, and so your comments helped me to realize that I wasn’t conveying my artistic intent clearly enough. As for the girl, a smaller chin, a little blush, a refined forhead, changes to the nose, and so many changes to the neck and chin, I’ve lost track of exactly what all I did. I also smoothed out her hand so it isn’t so masculine (serves me right for using my own hand as a model!) and made her feet a little smaller (you’ll have to see it later.)

Anyhow, I’ve been staring at it too long, time for some other eyeballs to take a turn. Let me know anything you can see to help make her face especially even better (except for changing her hairstyle.)

Metro - thanks! I’ll be sure to post this as a desktop-sized image, but only when it’s done.

Black - It’s not that I have you pegged as a dark, creepy person, just a person who was especially tuned in to that one CGTalk Challenge I was doing on Cthulhu. You were one of the most frequent posters in that thread, and were defnitely up on your Lovecraft, so I associate you with that.

Anyhow, I think you’re absolutely right about the tail - I’d intended it to curve around behind her, but it doesn’t really look like it has the mass to do that right now. You’re right, I think refining the shadowing on the tail could help fix that.

As for sketch #63, i love the guy carrying the gas, kind of like the woman, and didn’t care for the background at all. It was too much work to force it into this challenge topic. Maybe it will be better when I can work on it freed from a challenge constraint.

Yoff - You’re probably right that more Echium (trhat’s what those purple flowers are called) qwould make it look more consistent. But not having them isn’t killing the piece, so we’ll have to see how lazy I am and whether I get around to adding more! :wink:

Sam - Oh, if you only knew the whole story for this world, I’m sure you’d see that there si some perfectly rational explanation why he has no stirrups… but in fact I don’t really have any world story so there’s only a real-life excuse for not having the stirrups, which is that I forgot to put them in. (Actually, though, you pretty much hit the nail on the head as far as the columns are concerned.) Maybe I’ll add some stirrps in… We’ll again just have to see how lazy I am (and whether they look good.)

Fiduciose - Thanks! Can’t wait to see yours further along, too!

Ramy - Yeah, it does look better now - thanks again for the help!

That’s about all for now. If anyone sees a way for her to look less like a monkey-face but still keep her kissy-lips, let me know! :banghead:




This is my favorite piece of yours. By far.

My last comments (cause you can nitpick anything to death and I already think this is a masterpiece) are that his chin needs to be longer (distance from top of bottom lip to tip of chin). Look at it in comparison to her chin. And his hand right hand fingers look a little rubbery. If you made it more angular he would seem more masculine.

All the best,


well i was away for a week and i knew i was going to miss that much think so this has become perfect really. im sure youre going to be one of the award winners. all problems solved.
i wonder what more will you do



Awesome, so cute and warm :scream:


Hey Mike! Too bad I’m THE qualified King of the God-Rays Club now! Bwahahaha.

I always enjoy the friendly atmosphere in your piece! I have to point out that the guy’s neck look strange. The neck bone/muscle should be straighter not curvy? The environment is the best part of the whole thing because I know how much work went into it!

Now, now…where are the god-rays? :smiley:


What are you talking about? They’re in there! Just look at posts #505 and 516. There are “god rays” streaming in from the upper right, you can see them best in front of the far-right column. They’re on the subtler side… Not all of us have a lighthouse in our pictures! (which cast lighthouse-rays, not god-rays, sheesh! :rolleyes:

But you are right about the neckbone, I’ll check that out.

Jose - You’re right about the guy’s chin. I won’t change the fingers, though. There’s a wide range of finger shapes, and these pretty much look like mine… you saying I have effeminate fingers, huh? Anyhow, I like the hand in the picture, the fingers are expressive.

Individum and Crying Horn - thanks!


Wow… great work so far. I personally liked the birds in the sky ideea… maybe between the clouds. Everything else is awesome, especially the far line of sight with the pillars. it gives a sense of a huge fantastic realm.

Can’t wait to see the final result… this is my fav for sure.
Oh yeah… that bird’s killing me


Wahahaha, I was expecting something like this:

But I think you did qualify even on subtler ground!
sigh I hereby surrender my “The God-Rays Club” crown to King Walrus!


walrus, i have lot in mind where words can’t describe, i was folowing your work from begining step by step and get lot of knowledge you managed the details perfectly and got a brilliant piece, if i’m doing this i might say ok guys this is my final image may be several pages ago, i don’t say i’m good or better than anyone but definately i can’t do such this great job.

very nice village i would love to visit it someday, colors are brilliant man, what else ohh yeah amazing amazing great wonderfull job. :thumbsup:


hi mr walrus, thanx for the words … about the vulture. your work is looking great by the way!


Nice style, I like it! Good luck :buttrock:


Lipstick, much more blush, much, much, much thinner cheeks, longer hair (covering her ears) – some cleavage. It kills me to crit your work – it is so utterly beautiful, inspired, and gorgeous…but I swear she still doesn’t look like a she. Not that she has too, but, since that is your intention…anyhow, I’m a fan of this work regardless. It’s steeped in creativity and absolutely one of my favorites.

Good luck!


Yoff - You’re probably right that more Echium (trhat’s what those purple flowers are called) qwould make it look more consistent. But not having them isn’t killing the piece, so we’ll have to see how lazy I am and whether I get around to adding more! :wink:

Alternatively (and perhaps more lazily) you could remove some of the Echium in the corner and have the remaining ones grow at the base of something…

Her face is definately better now, perhaps rounder cheeks and a less pronounced chin might be desirable?



Nice work Mike!!!

This, as many have said, is the best work I’ve seen from you in these challenges. I’m not the biggest fan of the two main humanoid characters but the mount an the setting, absolutely gorgeous.

I look forward to seeing your name in the winners list!

Great job!!!


Well, here we go again. I completely redrew the girl’s face. I drew some sketches of my wife posing for me, spent an hour or so the other day just filling up a huge page full of faces of girls making kissy-faces, and took the best parts of those to form this face. In the end, I think the face reads as “kissing” better than the old. Is it better overall? Who the heck knows. I’ll leave it to you all to comment on, I’ve been staring at it too long this morning, I need to take a break. I also made her feet slightly smaller and some other subtle changes in her body. I tried a new hairstyle or two but it lost her character for me. The long hair may read better from a distance that it’s a female, but I have to stay true to the vision as well. And I don’t subscribe to the view that in order to look “feminine” she (or any character) has to have long hair, lots of make up, large breasts, etcetera. I think we can work towards a less narrow view, right?

There are also more changes that I’ve worked on since the last post: Made lots of subtle adjustments to the boy’s face, including a larger chin (thanks, jose!) and some reworking on the neck (thanks, jeromoo!) He now looks more masculine and perhaps more anatomically correct without losing his character. And I added those stirrups, Sam!

Anarki3000 - The birds are still in the sky. I just moved them over to the right hand side by the town. Check out post #516.

Jeromoo - Yeah, those are some nice god-rays you posted. I didn’t want to go too hard-edged and obvious in mine, it was too unsubtle.

Yoff - I can’t remove the flowers from the lower left. They have to be there compositionally. If you’re looking around the picture clockwise, they’re what curve the eye back in to the main area rather than letting the eye fall off the page. Plus they add another layer of depth in front of the main characters, which was lacking before.

cgkrusty - Thanks, and good seeing you again! (we’ll see you for the next challenge, right? :wink: )

And of course thanks to everyone else who posted and added comments and all everything else, it really is appreciated! Anyhow, that’s all for now, please let me know what you think about the new changes…


This is looking so great, the only issue I have left with the picture is their lack of foreheads. I guess it could be just the style, but I feel that if their eyes weren’t so…tall, then it’d maybe look a little better? Just a suggestion though, either way this looks awesome, and I feel that she looks feminine enough, I think longer hair might actually make her look like a drag queen for some reason.


“I have to stay true to the vision as well. And I don’t subscribe to the view that in order to look “feminine” she (or any character) has to have long hair, lots of make up, large breasts, etcetera.”

She looks great! Glad you stuck to your vision! Love those legs!


…Then again, there’s something to be said for long hair, too…

I kept fooling around with the hair for a long while afterwards, and this is where I ended up. What do folks think? It may even fit the face even more, and I kind of like it (plus it reminds me of my wife’s hair, too, only she’s a blonde. :slight_smile: ) It takes care of that short forehead as well…!