The Journey Begins Challenge (2D) Entry: Theresa Ryan


your characters really getting there… looking really fine


Wow been missing out on so much here lately…

I love how this is turning out, the characters look great and I think it’s kinda cool how some characters in the bg seem to be looking at the viewer, don’t know if that was intentional but it’s a nice touch, it helps draw the viewer into the painting, kinda like standing in that crowd yourself.
I love the dramatic mood in the whole painting and I think your concept is one of the most original I’ve seen in the challenge.


Looking good, Theresa… Now you just have, like, 300 faces to paint in!
What are these people feeling about the journey? Are they excited? Scared? Are they heading for something or merely heading away from something? Your really early caravan sketch was one of a happy parting, but it doesn’t look like you’re shooting for the same thing any more: Gloomy clouds, everyone wearing black, the few defined faces having looks of concernation.

I love the woman turned towards us, the one with the big eyes. The eyes are too large and low to be proportionately correct, and i point that out in case perfect proportions was what you were aiming for. Me, I like it just how it is and hope other peoples’ faces are also slightly exaggerated to emphasize their emotions. (which, knowing my work, stands to reason. :slight_smile: )

The 2 people on the far right do not appear to be showing any motion whatsoever. If they’re the largest heads in the painting, give 'em something to be doing and feeling!
Whatever emotions you want for the entire painting, these faces should be showing it more than any others.

But anyhow, it really is looking nice. Good luck going forwards. Catch you later…!



Hi Theresa. That’s a lotta faces :slight_smile: Looks like you’re all the way to the finishline with this. Seems details are all that’s left… Checked out your gallery, you’ve got a pretty cool style when it comes to rendering your characters. Keep it up :thumbsup: This’ll be a great addition to your collection. Will look out for this. C yah round.


Hey paperclip, long time no see, first of all, I love how you dare to show a close view with so many people, love it, but whats going on in the background? I’m guessing their homes were destoryed, and their smog from a fire going up into the air? I cant wait to see the details your going to put into the background .


Faces in the middle distance are excruciatingly difficult - a couple of pixels out and they look mutated; I don’t envy your task. I like your characters so far, just wondering if the beardy guy on the right could be doing a bit more. I was thinking of what it would look like with the closest character facing the viewer, gesturing off into the distance, drawing you in. Probably crap, but that didn’t stop me wondering. Look forward to seeing this one finished, not long now *

  • white lie


I like the people now, they are making progress. Yer man on the right needs a bit of a definite expression (he looks bored now). I like the girl with the big eyes, she’s real Irish. I thought you wern’t good at detailing, what you’ve go here looks good but what would I know, i’m a noob.




I was all hopeful for a moment, there…


So, here’s another update of the characters. I still don’t like a lot of the characters, but I decided to just keep going until the entire picture is generally detailed, THEN make more changes. Right now it’s really about tightening things up.

The guy on the far right is totally against the balance of nature. I’m going to ignore him for the time being. Try and rip your eyes away from him and look elsewhere…

Time for some replies:

Elrond: Oooh, great idea with the burning lamps! I’ll add these in. Thanks!
Hungthai: thanks!
sacha: Happy easter to you too! Bunny’s coming in the morning, you know!
Makaron: Thanks and what a cute easter emoticon…aww…
Rudeone: I really appreciate that, as I’m still learning and it’s rather overwhelming in the presence of so many great people here who’ve been working for years… I’m just taking this fantastic opportunity to learn from them all, including yourself!
Mike: good point there and I’ve tried to make some more of them happier. I’m going to make the clouds less foreboding and give the whole piece some more of a adventurous slant, rather than a grim feel. Thanks for the heads up there.
ahbeejieh: Details? Details? That’s the toughest part! Thanks for checking out my gallery…
Corey: When you see the whole painting, it makes more sense. There’s a ship floating in the sky, but I like your idea of putting what they’re going to flee away from in the background. I’ll think about that once I fix up the painting some more.
Baron: shhh…I’m trying to convince my mind that it CAN be done! I thought about putting a gesturing person there, but thought the gesturing would be a bit too obvious?
ED-P: Ah you know I had to put one of our countrypeople in! :smiley:


Hey Theresa! If I have to paint 300 hundred faces, I think I’ll collapse. hehe. Painting 300 hundred faces in less than 2 weeks is a feat! But luckily this challenge spans 3 months! So far, you are doing good on their expressions. I think I know how to help you fix the foreground guy at the very right. Make him darker and out of focus! Or change his pose: he could be resting his head on his hand in resignation or sorrow. Have some vairiety of expression for the same emotion will work well to make the crowd look interesting. The woman with a look of concern in the middle really has a good focus point, but she looks a little smiling like she has a hope for a better future. Not sure if that’s what you intended.

Man, so many more faces to go. Keep going, Theresa!


hi theresa,
i always have a tendency to make hard concepts for myself and sweat thinking “no i’ll never finish that stuff” while working but at last i saw someone more crazy than me :slight_smile:
thats a real huuuuge work but looking wonderful and great concept and i think you wont have any problems of finishing it.

there are so many faces so even that guy on the right didnt bother me.


nice work Theresa And good Idea I like it . good luck for u :thumbsup:


Nice expressions. Damn, you have nearly finished :wink:


Sat down with a cup of coffee and told myself I would detail for a few hours and this is what I came up with. I flipped the image and I really think it reads better this way around. (From left to right and all that jazz.)

I also put some grass and started detailing the trees. I need to know just how detailed the faces in the background need to be- it’s all ahead of me! I still haven’t done much to the ship or the building yet, that’s all to come! I’d like to know what you guys think of the colors being used here.

Now I’m off to treat myself with some Easter chocolate. :slight_smile:

NOTE TO GLENN: This is the version I want to go with.


Wow this is looking really great! :smiley: Ok that said, I have two comments. First of all, the grass color looks too saturated or too green or something, I feel like it stands out too much, maybe go for a slightly bluer grass and a bit less saturated. The other thing is, am I seeing the same face around 15 times in the background? Whether I am or not, there are like 15 faces that look too bright in the background and they look exactly the same, maybe make then a little darker and less saturated so that they don’t stand out so much. Ok other than that, this is looking awesome, I am really excited to see the completion of this one, hopefully you won’t start doubting your idea at this stage like I did XD


I guess it looks okay viewed from this angle, although I loved it better flipped, because it had some heroic and spectacular features. Now, the ship sails backwards compared with the logical reading direction of the eye (left to right), creating a claustophobic effect. When it was flipped it had an ascendant direction, giving it monumentality. Anyway, I like your idea and coloring. Hope I’ll see a great work out of you! Good Luck!


Hi Theresa, I’m afraid I’ve not followed your thread, and now that I see it I ask myself how can I have missed it, you have a fantastic and strong concept. I agree that maybe the former orientation was better, it makes the image to read clearer. You have a hard work detailing all the faces wish you all the luck and I’m looking forward to see it finished. :thumbsup:


Ramy: Good suggestion. I put a hue/sat adjustment level with saturation turned down on top of the stack (as suggested by walrus in his entry) in order to check the values and they need a lot of work, especially in the bottom right (as it stands right now). I do need to desaturate that area a bit, thanks for the pointer! As for the faces, I did three and multiplied them, then changed most of them with a 1px brush, I guess I left some out. :blush:

Black hand: Does it not still ‘ascend’? I was thinking the eye would follow the crowd up the stairs, from right to left. I might flip the ship though?

Ramixon: Nice to see a new face in here! Thanks for dropping by, it would appear that the other orientation seems more popular? I’ll see what I can do with that.


wow honey :slight_smile: youre really going ahead of yoursefl with this one. im so sorry that i was so lazy posting on your thread, im such a bad person scolds herself

i would have been too lazy to do so much people and faces. the only thing is maybe you should give the faces of the front people some more remarkable highlights so that they really stick out more than those in the background. you know just some nice highlighting colour. that should give them a bit more saturated look to so that you have a gradient in your piece a bit. i know its your way to go with colours a bit more desaturated, but maybe this could add a bit to your piece.

hopefully youre ok und alles liebe zu ostern :slight_smile: hoffentlich hattest du eine gute zeit mit deiner familie.


Changed the overall hue slightly. Better? Worse? Indifferent?

To be honest, it feels like the whole painting is getting worse every time I touch it!

(NOTE TO GLENN: This is the version I’m NOT going with- it’s the other version above! Thanks so much for the help, I appreciate it!)