The Journey Begins Challenge (2D) Entry: Simon Dominic Brewer


It´s a pleasure to see how you follow the sketch to a finnished painting. I guess you have found an effective workfow…

It´s looking really good so far but a few things…if the guy leaving is next to the tree to the left of him either the tree chould be bigger or he smaller. That if that tree is supposed to be as large as the ones in the foreground.
I realize that the woman is very sketchy but she could use a neck.
Keep on doing what you do and have fun!


It´s becoming great! so much details! i know those are kind of nude trees, but i started to imagine some white folliage here and there and maybe dropping, well just an ideia…
great technique.


Norberg - The guy is supposed to be leaving the forest, hence the light and the trees becoming smaller. Maybe it’s not very clear. Ah well. Yes, and the neck is sorted (sketched in, anyway) :slight_smile: - thanks

renderwhite - Nice idea about the falling leaves, I’ll give that a go later :thumbsup:


OK, wasn’t going to post because I haven’t done much more. I did, though. A bit of colour experimentation, some more bark (argh, that bark!) and a sketchy neck. She’s so glad, now she can look left and right without twisting at the waist.


Really have enjoyed how this image has developed. I know the bark must be a tasking job but you have really done well with it. Looking forward to more. :thumbsup:


This is looking pretty impressive. Congrats!

Two questions:

1- I generally preffer working background to foreground. Do you always work FG to BG, or was there a particular reason you approached this piece that way?

2- Are you rendering dark to light, or mid-tone to extremes?


Hi Simon.

The broken branch looks much better now I think. Good job there. :applause:

I like the character updates. Glad she has a neck :slight_smile: …and her vibrant hair colour helps draw more focus to both the characters in the scene.

I do and I don’t like the new warmer colour. The foreground having a warmer colour works well I think, as it emphasised the security, happiness and comfort associated with what the male character is leaving behind; what he knows, his home, his female companion, etc.

However, in that respect, I think the warm colour doesn’t benefit the background at all. In comparison to your previous images with the cooler colour, it makes his ‘journey’, the path ahead, look more like a little stroll on a summer’s evening.

If you’re going with the warmer colour, I really think it should graduate from the warm in the foreground to as cool (or cooler than) it was before in the very background. I think this will then reinstate a sense of scale, magnitude and duration to his journey.

Also, the cool colours in the background compared to the warmer colours in the foreground would work in favor of further reinforcing the illusion of depth.

I apologise in advance if you had all this planned and merely colourised the whole image at once for the time being due to lack of time or something.


I see you only have one crow now. I prefer that. I don’t know why or how, but the solitary crow is more iconic/symbolic… More foreboding I suppose.

The crow/rook/raven/whatever, he looks nice, but after a while of looking at him, something is telling me he is not quite right. It’s the wings, they look too straight. I’m sure crows would put their wings like that, especially if startled, but for the painting’s sake, it’d be best to go with a more stereotypical posture - With either the wings spread, as they are now, but bent slightly at the knee or have him back in repose like you first had. :cool:


First off. Simon, you’re mad. Utterly (pardon the pun) barking. How have you not lost your sanity to those trees! Ai! They look amazing though, Tranchefeux himself couldn’t get more detail into them, and you’ve given it all such life and and and… just wow. Blows me away when people have the patience to do that digitally. The single crow is much better, though I preferred the shape of them just sitting, staring. I think Xeophex’s point about maybe putting a little cooler colour into the background is valid, just to give a bit of very subtle colour variation, if nothing else. But thats the only thing I could think of that I’d change right now. And hoorah for necks… its does your spine no good when you’ve not got one.

Best of luck with this, Simon, can’t wait to see it finished.


Now that I look at it, subtle blue colors could go in but this is not what u may intend, because it can easily change the mood of the painting. Maybe u can try or not. Its up to u dude, amazing stuff as usual!:thumbsup:


This is looking up to be another award-deserving (and no doubt award-winning) entry, Baron. My sole comment is perhaps you can add some shadows to both sides of the image to bring even more focus to the centre of the pic? As right now the amazing detail is unfortunately vying some attention away from it. I know it’s hard to do that after spending all those time working on it, but it’s your call. Either way, great work like I said, rock on!


looks very good!

althought it looks to me like he is entering the forest instead of leaving it…
the background with the fog and dense trees gives it a look of deep forest very nice
keep it up :thumbsup:

The journey begins entry:


Isn’t it supposed to look like he is entering the forest, or at least going deeper into it…and eventually out the other side to continue his long journey? His wife/girlfriend has come to the entrance of the forest to see him off. Well that’s what I thought anyway.

I forgot to say in my last post; I really like the idea of you adding some creeper plants/vines, like dried dead ivy and/or some parasitical plants.

Also, the flash idea sounds great too! :beer:


fantastic work! Trees are very expressive.:thumbsup:
Good luck to you!


The thing I like about this image is that I start to look beyond the male character and wonder whats down that path.
Most of the colours you use though are earth tones and I think there should be some colour somewhere to contrast it. For example her dress is that cream colour similar to the colours of the mist and sky, consider changing it to a red or green.

The details on the trees are excellent by the way. :beer:


:beer:Looking really good Mr Impossible

Really like the details and how you image is progressing.

I really love your early development sketches - really fluid and dynamic

Lets hope you decide to remain in the challenge this time around:arteest:


I kinda preferred it before the brown color addition…it gave the overall image a rather spooky, ethereal feel…is it too late to ‘change’ back?


Amazing piece man. I would say stay away from cool tones in this case. You have already successfully established depth and mood without blue tones. One thing though, the woman in the foreground seems a bit off proportions… check the length of her body from her waist down, it looks like her legs might be a little short.



Your colored thumbnail sketches are very impressive. As for your latest update, I love your trees. The only thing that bothers me about the image is the lack of dramatic lighting (but I suppose that’s more of a preferential sort of thing). Good luck!


Samanthie - thanks :slight_smile:

werepumpkin - I normally do foreground and background at roughly the same time. For some reason, it so happened that I did most of the foreground first in this one, not sure why. And I suppose I’m rendering from mid-tones to extremes; so greys first, dark purples second, light reds / oranges last.

Xeophex - Thanks for your comments. The lighting was just an experiment on the JPG, the original is still the same. I don’t like the warm light either, so I’m not going to keep it. I’ll owrk on the crow soon and see what I can do. :thumbsup:

Zephyri - I don’t really have patience, that’s why it’s taking me so long. Glad you like it, and the woman is equally glad she can now look left and right without twisting her whole body.

beelow - Thanks. I’ll probably keep with the original colours, but who knows.

Pat Piper - I think when I get some detail on the people that might bring out the focus. Cheers for dropping by.

omer-n - Entering, leaving, I’ll let you make your own mind up - I always think art is better when the story is left to the viewer. Thanks.

Xeophex - Creepers are a-coming! I’ll do them near the end when I’m tightening up the detail :slight_smile:

Nikolay - thanks

RedSquirrel - I’ll be giving the characters a bit of colour soon, but not too much. I want to retain a subdued atmosphere. Thanks for commenting.

MrFreeman - Thanks. Yes, hopefully I’ll submit this when I’m done :wink:

paperclip - Me too. It’ll be changed back, honest :slight_smile:

sean-a-murray - Thanks. I’ll have a look at the woman’s proportions soon. Maybe she’s deformed. Most of the women I associate with are, in one way or another, so maybe that’s why :wink:

robinchyo - This is probably the first piece I’ve done without dramatic lighting - I’m resisting any strong light to keep the atmosphere. It’s hard, but I’ll manage it!


Wow :eek: you have a fantastic mood here :thumbsup:

Great work so far :bounce: