The Journey Begins Challenge (2D) Entry: Steven Stahlberg


pssst, mike, just as well steven didn’t put in any god-rays, it would be hard to choose the king, wouldn’t it?


i know you want the rocky… kinda messed up apearance in the foreground… and that you have made the very closest part of the road a bit darker to meld the two parts together…

i still think you should go for the “road” version tho :stuck_out_tongue: but…

perhaps some dark straws of grass at the left corner?? i seems to change very rapidly from rock to “grass” … i know you might say that its the perspective that plays tricks on the picture… but thats the beauty of painting isnt it?? that you have the opportunity to make it look “right” instead of “real” (by real, i mean what it would look like if you took a photograph)

that was my babbling 50 cents… :stuck_out_tongue:



No crits about the artwork, it’s wonderful. The only problem IMO is I’m not sure what the foreground represents. At first, it looks like a sharp rise in the road, but that means there’s a hell of a bump there. Then, I think maybe it’s a collapsed bridge over the road. But it’s not totally obvious. If it is a bridge, then maybe another collapsed bridge in the middle distance would help define what it’s meant to be. I’m sure you’ve explained this in the thread, but I’m nothing if not lazy.


Which beautiful image, although we seen this unlimited road with the abandoned automobile, the landscape gives an impression of serenity, the differentes colors of fields reminds me the Provence in the South of France, mountain far off really gives the impression of far trip that is going to make the characters, really a beautiful image, some big art:bounce:


Thanks guys!
Yes that’s right that’s supposed to be a high-way overpass that has crumpled down onto the lower high-way, making a hige pile of rubble. :slight_smile:
Now, what’s shadowing her, I don’t know, perhaps a cloud, perhaps a big tower has been built right next to the ruins, using the rubble… toll collectors? The Big Valley Inn? The King’s last outpost?

So, I agree it isn’t quite clear what she’s standing on, and that’s a problem… another collapsed bridge in the distance, a very good idea, but I’m afraid it might not be clear enough either, and would interfere with the sensation I’m trying for, that she has a nice easy walk ahead of her.
Hm maybe the overpass isn’t collapsed, but still standing… just time-worn. That should make it’s nature and function more clear. I’ll try that.


Hi Steven,

How about putting an upright of a bridge on the left of the pic with part of the remaining road jutting out to the right at about the base of the cloud on the right. Am I making sense? Do you want me to do an over paint?



Oh yeah I get it… that’s an idea too. I’ll try sketching that
(in a little while, have to do some other stuff first) :slight_smile:


Changed the foreground, worked on the character


Hey - Good stuff - really conveys the sheer task of the journey ahead. At least for the character its a fairly straight road!!

The heathery colour palette looks vaguely alien which is cool. The character doesn’t look too prepared for that length of journey, but in this case it just seems to add to the challenge ahead of them…



Hahaha. That’s a cool take. I think I like this one the best. !!!


:slight_smile: :slight_smile: Hi Steven…

this is really coming along - the new / updated foreground really adds a lot more space and slight difference in colour helps to separate this from the road.

The additional elements and detail really helps with the scale.

good work - and you’ve even managed to make the traveller look sexy!!

Looking forward to seeing the final version :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Hi Steven,
A masterful job as usual! :slight_smile: The atmosphereic perspective is working very well. Looks like a nice deep canvas. The new foreground elements are working much better as well. I do agree with some of the other comments posted in that the foreground shadow is a little ambiguous but, it works for me. Great job.


Hei Steven!
Plager meg egentlig å si dette for jeg har mye respekt for deg. Men consept skissen din var bare så utrolig mye bedre!!!
Det var en sånn fantastisk fin og fri flyt i penselstrøkene og allt stemte! Nå ser allt veldig stivt ut. Skulle nesten ønske du kunne submitte skissen som final i stede.

Skriver dett på Norsk så jeg slipper å få alle Stahlberg fansen på nakken:)


This update does give the feeling she is well anbove the road below. It’s good to see more detail of the character.

Great stuff.



Hey, Stahlberg, I am not sure if I am liking that road peiced together as such, cracks in it will do it some justice. All I can think at the moment…peace. Will drop by later.:thumbsup:


Hi Steven, this is still one of my favourite entries in the challenge, though the last update, especially when compared with your very first colour concept, seems to have lost a little of its oomph. It might be that the whole thing has gradually got a bit flatter and less saturated, as the depth of the piece and the sense of distance is still wonderful. The foreground in particular is comng across as a bit flat, if you greyscale it, the value of the road that she is on isn’t that far from the one below her. Not sure how high up the overpass would be compared to the motorway, but if there is something casting a shadow over them both, that lack of difference in value is killing the illusion of height for me. But that might just be the way I’m looking at it! One other minor point, but the girl kinda looks like she’s wearing a coat and nothing on her bottom half (unless she’s wearing really short shorts, in which case ignore me!)

And I know you mentioned previously about the sky being realistic in its shade of blue, but you might get away with just a little mor saturation for the topmost blues, it could help really bring out those gorgeous golds and pinks in the foreground too.

Both suggestions are purely subjective of course, and regardless of any tweaking, it’s still an instantly clear and inspiring image when first viewed. And I hope this didn’t come across as too nit picky, i really do love the image.


Hi Steven,

Great update. I really like the fact that you choose more of a colorist palette as opposed to a tonalist one. It’s refreshing.

My only crit is the transition between the bridge and the highway. The elevation and perspective doesn’t read well for me. Perhaps introduce another figure or two as transitional objects climbing down the rubble by her right foot? Then again, it could just be me. In any case, the painting as a whole looks awesome.


Thanks everyone.

consept skissen din var bare så utrolig mye bedre!!!

the last update, especially when compared with your very first colour concept, seems to have lost a little of its oomph

Yeah I do agree with you both, and it’s a pity… but I’m not sure I can do much about it. I could not expect to do well in a contest like this by simply submitting that first sketch, or something similar. This is a contest for extremely ‘worked’ and polished images, not for ‘happy accidents’ that took a few minutes to make. :smiley:
Also, my initial vision - before the sketch - was of a highly detailed realistic landscape, with a very far horizon and a huge scale… the best way to show scale is by fine detail. So, I can’t have the cake and eat it too, I have to sacrifice something and in this case that’s the freshness of the initial sketch. Though I’ll try to bring the colors back a little to what they were.

The shadowing in the foreground, if it only hits the elevated highway, or vice versa, it might make it stand out too much, but I’ll have a look see.


For some reason, the pose of the character is sort of suggesting to me that she is about to say “screw this” and leave rather than go on a journey down this path. I’m not sure what it is about the pose. I suppose that maybe I’m still partial towards the abduction piece, I think it was so creative while this one is a much more “traditional” concept. Regardless, I can understand what you’ve been saying about wanting a realistic landscape. I think that you are doing a great job overall with the handling of this subject, but I think that the comments about the foreground that others have made I can agree with. Good luck finishing this piece!


The enviroment on ur piece is realy nice. from my opinion, u can add a few more people in for a little taste of bigger adventure. i imagine a group of boyscouts out to sell some cupcakes to the locals down the hill, lol