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


Bring back the old mob, I like the previous people. Like Walrus said, don’t be making work for your self.

Just one thing about the ship that bothers me. The God Rays are coming from the top right but the sails are facing left and drenched in sun light. They may need to be toned down a bit.

Go on, go on, go on. Maith a chaileen.



[color=silver]Hello [color=white]Theressa;[/color][/color]

[color=silver]Sorry for being so late on posting anything (useful or not) after you have supported me so much in my attempt in all of this.[/color]

[color=silver]I have to admit that I couldn’t follow up on some of your decisions, and why you have chosen to take some particular steps; after working so hard on them.[/color]
[color=silver]One of these is naturally the crowd, as [/color]Michael [color=silver]already stated
[color=silver]Well it is YOUR image as a result, and I would respect your personal doubts on how things should go.[/color]

[color=white][color=silver]Actually now that I come to think of it
most of the things I had wished to point; [/color]Michael has already said them![/color]

But I think I have a few more to add that I don’t exactly grasp about the boat:
And that’s its sails…
“Why they are not puffed up?” to be direct.

If the ship is going “Upwind” or even “downwind” there would be definite signs of wind on the sails (considering it is a multi-deck sailing ship
if I get it correctly
at least there would be something in the lateen sail
If they were not actually thrust by wind and not in meant to be in motion, then why are all the sails full scale open with no signs of any reefing or withdraw?
Even if it is JUST dropping its sails
a simple rippling of the act would add some sort of evidence that it is actually IN that beautiful sky you have created (Which I would presume has at least a light breeze)

As I examine your boat, I like what I see
it simply looks fantastic where it is… and the lighting, painting is marvellous
but it has many things I can not understand.

Now my goal here is not to wreck you down, but maybe give you reasons to find ideas

Like you can have the sails open and even the boat sort of heeling to the winds demands… but a variety of chains/ropes fastening it into place
even include the wind factor for the hair and the scarves of the crowd that’s going towards it.
Or you can remove the sails and work on detailing the masts and have it calmly sit there and wait for the people.

From the start of the image until the final stage it is in… You seem to have constantly tried to make it even harder on yourself.
Actually improving the image greatly and maturing it into an impressive piece of work

I have told you before that I have really liked all that you have put into this. All I wish is for such good work and hard effort to not go for waste.

Best of luck [color=white]Theressa; this looks marvellous. I hope you can overcome the doubts you have on how to go on with it.[/color]



hey theresa you finally made it this one is great however mike and black and jerome told anything that can help you. i just can tell i think you past the hardest part ‘deciding’
and you can finish the rest easily.

bravo :applause:


I worked on the building, fixed the sails somewhat, put a bridge up there, changed the faces and hopefully it looks a bit better. I need to change the perspective of the stairs, they look like they’re tilted. Oh well, back to the drawing board! I can feel the end getting closer though, can you? I’ll post individual replies in the morning, thanks guys for pointing out mistakes, hopefully I fixed most of them? I still need to work on the stairs, the trees, the background, fix up the people and just give a few more finishing touches. :slight_smile: Hopefully I’ll have this in on time!


I discovered a problem- when I shrink my painting in order to post an update and then make it larger, it loses details- becomes blurrier and sort of less contrasty. What can I do to avoid this? I’m downsizing from 3636 to 500 relative size and keeping both at 300 dpi. I then save a jpeg version and make it larger again. Is that not what you’re supposed to do?


very cool image. but i think you might of lost some of the dynamic curves in your earlier concepts! it still looks awesome but very restricted at the same time.

as for your problem go into the PS EDIT --> PREFERANCES --> GENERAL TAB

set and option called image interpolation to bicubic sharper. will increase file size but will fix any bluring with downsampling images.


It says it’s already on that preference. I guess there’s nothing I can do? Is it destined to lose quality every time I update??


well many will tell you that you should not up size images.

you can always size down, but its a really bad idea to size up in resolution.
that’s the way jpeg compression works, it averages pixels so you loose information. my suggestion is keep a few copies of your original either in lossless bmp (if you dont keep the layers) or .tif or psd if you do want to keep the layers. avoid saving your work after you downsize. always save as :slight_smile: i hope that helped.


Hey Clippie, probably I just don’t get the problem, but why don’t you work in a large PSD file, save, then decrease image size to 600 by whatever, save as a JPEG and close PSD, ‘save changes = NO’? That way you preserve the large PSD and you can show the JPEG’s here?

Hmmm, you must have already thought of that. I probably just don’t get it.

I think the colors on this pic look great now. The ship is also finished imo. My remaining problems are with the people in the fore- and background and the stairs.
The people in the foreground now fill too much space. Make less persons and move them to the left. Why? This way you’re losing the connection between fore and background. They are not leading the eye into the picture now, but rather blocking the view of the background.
The transition between fore- and background people is too big imo. The people far away look almost more like cones than people. I liked the way the crowd faded away in previous versions.
For the stairs, I think they themselves look good, but the people merge into them and that’s obscuring the scene. Somehow make it look like the people are on the stairs:). Also, the left side (for the viewer) of the first part of the stairs is a little high.

You’re almost there!! Keep going.:thumbsup:


It’s looking good Theresa, I like the people, I recognise a few from earlier updates.

I think there should be a few more people further along the steps close to the building. Why are they crowded and the bottom with all that pace up there?

Regarding the saving here’s how I do it. Firstly collapse all the layer on to the background, then resize it to about 1100 pixels high and the width in proportion, don’t worry about the dpi as the forum just reads the pixel size. Now ‘save as’ in jpeg and you’ll keep the image as good as jpeg allows.



That’s what I’ve been doing! Oh well.

Right now I’m putting leaves on the trees, giving it some bushage and I moved the building a bit higher up to make the drama more absolute.


I put in some trees, raised the building up a bit and exaggerated the curve somewhat. I also fixed up a few other things…


Well you are now viewing your image on a tessellated square pixel monitor (Such as 72 full per inch)…
If you like what you see and how you see it. Get a screen grab of the image (Alt PrintScreen)
And upload that.

If not; even go for the option of “save for web” options to really control the optimise.

The reason is that the screen gives a great optimized tessellation for viewing it in the size you are looking at it. Sort of like viewing it on the web as it is. What we mostly forget about is that per each pixel… there is not only one colour information stored…
That’s the thing about optimising… removing the amount of data that the eye can not really figure out any ways.

Before the times that particular optimizers were out, we had to always screen grab stuff.

As obvious as this may sound… It doesn’t seem mentioned.
Thought I would remind you of it.

Another thing you should keep in mind is to try to have numbers that are a power of two while shrinking… like if you have an image that is 100cm… and you shrink it down to 96cm… then the size will possibly be even higher depending on your rescale settings.
Try dividing it to halves or quarters.

Hope this can help you out… Would really like to see your work in it’s best :slight_smile:

(If your screen is a small one… Just for the screen grab, you may want to increase the resolution through the display properties)


Oooh, good tip! I’ll do that from now on.

Is it just me or does the picture look too contrived now and not fresh enough? Sort of overworked but underdetailed? It’s hard to describe. Or is that ‘forest syndrome’?


I love the concept, somewhere between sci-fi, noah’s ark, and the pilgrims.

The mood is confusing however. The sky is moody and the people seem concerned (heck the ship is leaving) but the path is lit suggesting hope.

The people nearest us have the appearance of walking toward us and not toward the dock, seems to mess with your objectives. Showing their faces is very important, but maybe having them look over their shoulders or at each other while heading the other way would be better.

I like the sky and what it says. its dark close to the horizon but looks better in the distance where the ship is heading.

The only odd thing about the ship and the dock is it appears that the dock is both in front of and behind the ship because of the arm sticking out from the dock and past the ship.

Also look to your light-source. There appear to be multiple sources that aren’t working together (Foreground man highlight on left side of face, foreground 4th person highlight is on right side of face).


I think it is looking more real, not contrived.

I like what you’ve done to the trees but the heads below it seem too small for the proportion of the tree. You could make the heads bigger or bring the trunk of the tree down more so it is behind the head of the guy on the right.

Velk has a point about the bridge, if you could extend it to the middle of the deck it should be fine.

Ta she go haileen.



It’s getting better and better, I don’t think it’s overworked.
But some comments, first about the perspective. The building seems not flat but tilted, and the ship perhaps could be tilted a little as well. The lower part of the stairs or path seems tilted to the right. Here’s an overpaint with red lines to show what I mean (not sure exactly where you want the horizon, perhaps it’s a bit lower than I made it):

Then we have the composition, it’s basically very good but just a reminder concerning the 'Rule of thirds" (which is a simplified version of the Golden Rule). Your main focus is the ship I think, and it’s very close to one of the optimal focus points, just try to shift the focus to the front of the ship.

Finally, about the tones - I think the house and the ship, and perhaps the tree too, are a bit too contrasty, the blacks are too black. I mean, they shouldn’t be full black. :slight_smile: Here’s my last paintover for today, I promise (sorry for the barrage I just think it’s a cool image and it was fun). It’s also incorporated the other changes I mentioned above. I also used Linda’s smudge tool on the clouds.


Great paintover by mr. Stahlberg.
I don’t know if it’s intentional, but your tree looks huge.
Instead you could turn it into a small bunch of trees.
But if you keep the huge tree, move it a bit to the right, away from the front guy’s head. But still keeping that open space between the tree and the stairs.
Just some ideas.


Go, Theresa, go!
The only serious advice I can offer at this point is this:
When you’ve got Steven Stahlberg giving you advice like that and doing multiple paintovers for you, by all means, take his advice!



I am, mike, believe me! I’m on this like an american on a burger…ehm…I mean…like…someone who’s really excited about something. I mean, stahlberg, twice! :smiley: Either my stuff is really bad and he’s taking pity on it (most probably!) or he had photoshop open with spare time on his hands. Either way, it’s all good for me!

Seriously though, Steven, thanks so much for your help and pointing out these things to help me improve- your second paintover even! I’m glad you found it fun, it’s fun for me to wake up and see how my stuff could be further improved. Ah, I love cgtalk and especially the challenges. :love: Thanks again, steven.