The Forgotten Way


SKU: forgottenway3 Category: Tags: ,


As you guys can tell, I take Leonardo’s quote (“Art is never finished, only abandoned”) quite seriously. This particular piece was started in the winter of last year and I abandoned it before I was 100% happy.

Fast forward to a few days ago and I was modeling objects for another new project and the idea came to me how I might “improve” this one.

I hope you like the new render. The old versions are still in the Pickle Jar so see what’s changed.

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108 reviews for The Forgotten Way

  1. Vega [plusmember]

    The first thing that came to mind when I laid eyes on this: “Oh my, it’s the Arbor Wilds from the video game, Dragon Age: Inquisition!”

    Indeed, this is a landscape out of a fantasy story or game. It looks like the remnants of an ancient mystic civilization. I can imagine elves or dryads hiding in the shadows of these ruins. I think Ryan’s wallpaper looks way better than the landscape rendered in the Dragon Age video game!

  2. Camille [nonmonthly]

    So I wasn’t seeing things. I won’t spoil the fun and let the cat out of the bag. This is lush, and just what I need in my basement office.

  3. Camille [nonmonthly]

    So I wasn’t seeing things. I won’t spoil the fun and let the cat out of the bag. This is lush, and just what I need in my basement office.

  4. pendrag

    the original 2 had defined depth to them. this one the depth, i can not quite focus on.

  5. Romarch

    You’ve got a version on the Member Updates page with a bit of light on the steps–I like that one because I can tell for sure that they *are* steps and that they’re not submerged; also it really shows off the carving on the one step the light falls on. Is this one your “final-final” version, or is it the one on Member Updates?

    Also, I think the translucent vine-covered rounded object is a *head*–a monumental quartz (or other clear stone) head, facing left, much worn by time. To me it definitely has eye-sockets and the bridge of a nose, the latter being what distinguishes it from a skull. (A crystal skull would’ve been campy, IMO…) I’ve seen monumental heads in many of your earlier works (“Visage”, “Regis” and others), and they’ve always fascinated me with their echoes of Ozymandias; I like them as much as I like your planetscapes.

  6. David

    This looks stunning on the screen of my surface pro 3 and I have had several people comment on it however the edges are missing due to the 3:2 format. I love your work and I finally have a display worthy of it! Please render for it. Thanks in advance.

  7. SP3

    Any chance we can start seeing wallpapers in the native resolution of the surface pro 3 (2160×1440)? Can’t really scale any properly with the 3:2 ratio it uses. Thanks!

  8. Mark

    Completely reminds me of Stranglethorn Vale in World of Warcraft.

    Don’t judge! πŸ™‚

  9. Jenanne

    So okay, I take back the part about “the missing leopard.” πŸ™‚

  10. horcruxhp

    I like the new version. It took me a while to find that scene element from the original but I won’t let the cat out of the bag and spoil it for everyone else. I like it better with the ruins as they are now. Excellent work, Ryan.

  11. Jenanne

    As I mentioned in the Work-in-Progress area, IMO the stairs are a big improvement over the pond; I love the added detail and the strands of ivy. Also, as I mentioned, after Kana pointed out the large vine-covered boulder to the mid-right, I can’t NOT see it, and I’ve figured out why it’s more noticable now — in FW3, the bottom isn’t covered with as much greenery, so more of the boulder shows. I vote for replacing it with foliage and the missing leopard.

  12. Littlemom

    This one is much better than the previous renders. Very nice

  13. Blindfury

    I can imagine sitting on a vine covered bench or wall, staring into the light with an clear mind for hours.

    BTW missing 1440×900 render. Please?

  14. Tyler

    The WIP is definitely a winner. I’ve said it before and will again, you have an exceptional talent for landscapes. This reminds me of the movie Apocalypto.

  15. Ryan

    Here’s an updated version that isn’t quite ready for the main gallery…. I’ve removed the water (which I was never 100% certain about) and added some vine covered steps.

  16. rdeforest

    First the boring nit-picky stuff: The foreground is still a little claustrophobic. There’s some graininess in the sun beams which breaks the fourth wall. I don’t know if it’s possible to solve that with your current tech, but it’s more obvious in this piece than others.

    Improvements over previous versions: Light levels feel more realistic and the human structure is more obvious and tells more story. I particularly like the water in the foreground which helps justify the viewers’ presence in the setting. Either I’m on a river or stream which runs near/through this structure, or a pool has formed within since the structure went into disrepair. There’s also a neat correspondence between the hole in the tree canopy which lets the god rays through and the broken roof of the structure. Maybe something big came through and did the damage and the trees still haven’t grown back that far? Or maybe the canopy hole is there because the remnants of the structure prevent them from growing any closer.

    Overall: As with all my favorites, what is most interesting is what is not shown. What was this thing? What clues are obscured by foliage or my limited perspective? Is this in any way connected to The Shaded Path ( or Canopy Creek ( Etc. I like when art lets me do some of the work.

  17. Anthony

    I love the new version. It adds so much more depth and meaning to the image when compared to the previous versions.

  18. Kana

    I’m torn between the old & the new, here. I’m loving the new contrast and the darker colors. Much more natural-looking. However, your description is a bit less fitting, now. I liked the pillars, as if it was a road leading to an ancient civilization – the forgotten WAY. This is now a forgotten town or civilization, not road. Nit-picky, I know. The newest one will stay on my wall, vs the old.

    Oh, and the rock, or crumbled statue, whatever it is center-right has too much contrast between the substrate beneath and the vines growing on it. More detail of the statue, or less of the vines.

    Keep it up! πŸ™‚

  19. Littlemom

    I prefer your other versions of this one. For me it would have been fine with a little less foreground foliage. The ancient ruins are great just don’t lie the foreground.

  20. anna_writr

    All it needs is a guy in a hat with a whip swinging over the top. I love the lost city jungle look!

    Though a leopard would be nice. πŸ˜€

  21. Jenanne

    The leopard isn’t in this render – look at Forgotten Way 1 in the pickle jar. πŸ™‚

  22. Kenny

    No offense, but I liked the final 2013 version MUCH better than this. It wasn’t quite a favorite (a lot of your other pictures offer very stiff competition for favorite status lol), but it was close.

    Whereas now it seems distinctly average at best. I’m also not a fan of images that contain a really HUGE brightness difference between one area and another. It would work better if the foreground were brighter and the opening were less intense.

    My last comment is that, while I appreciate the intricacy and detail of it, the pattern on the stone wall immediately makes me think of spiders. And also wasps. Both of which being things I’d rather not be reminded of, lol.

    I gave it a 6.

  23. Lester D

    Nice one Ryan. How about a sunset version?

    And … what Leopard???? I can’t see any leopard πŸ™

  24. Spencer

    Hello Ryan, long time member, first time commenting though πŸ™‚ I really like the colour scheme in this variation, the shadows are just fantastic! I can’t help but stare at the wall though; for something that was overgrown in a forest, the cut on the wall looks too perfect and it’s drawing my eyes to it, maybe if it looked a little more broken off with some more roughed edges it would be more subtle. Please keep up your amazing work!

  25. Romarch

    …I think I’d prefer it without the water. The one thing I thought the previous versions had going for them was that they put the viewer on this lushly overgrown path in the forest… The stream is a barrier, and it’s even a little odd=looking because it’s running parallel to the bridge instead of under it. I like the bridge; it could be passing over the gap between the two distinct landmasses in the picture instead… As it stands, the scene is intriguing but not inviting; I’m unsure whether the “path” is supposed to be running ahead of me (as in the dry versions) or across me (as in this one).

  26. Christina

    I like this one much better than the first (which had a “too green” which made it feel very fake). If you do add the cat in the dual screen, can you make it so the nose isn’t weird. the placement of the leaf in the last version took on the appearance of a nose and made everything seem misaligned.

  27. Jenanne

    Very happy you returned to this one, Ryan. I love the improvements, particularly the ruins you’ve added and the way you’ve framed the sunlit area. Definite 10.

  28. Ryan

    The links should work now.

  29. Greg in KC

    sorry for the dupe post… my browser did something funny when I tried to comment without being logged in.

  30. Greg in KC

    Ryan, the leopard did make me jump when I first noticed it. I loaded up the tri-screen version, and I was looking around and noticed the statue/rock pile on the right panel… then was scanning back left and litterally jumped when I saw the leopard. Well done!

  31. Greg in KC

    Ryan, the leopard did make me jump when I first noticed it. I loaded up the tri-screen version, and I was looking around and noticed the statue/rock pile on the right panel… then was scanning back left and litterally jumped when I saw the leopard. Well done!

  32. Ryan

    The leopard is supposed to creep you out πŸ˜‰ Really though, anything on the side-frame of a multiscreen image is going to be stretched out a little. That’s just how Vue works unfortunately…

  33. Sundog

    The leopard is giving me an “uncanny valley” problem. I’m probably going to cut down a larger image to make a differently framed dual screen. That leopard is creeping me out. It’s off in some way.

  34. Karl

    I have all the resolutions of the version that was overwritten, thought I don’t know how to securely share them with other members.

  35. Xandra

    While this is lovely, I have to agree with Sebastian. There just isn’t enough variation in the green, and its lack makes the image a little flat.

  36. Sebastian

    … but still too green (there’s no pleasing some people :D). Especially the jaguar is a very nice touch. IMHO, some more variation in the greenness of trees (you know not every tree has green leaves right?) or the background wouldn’t miss, but I guess you can’t have everything. πŸ™‚

  37. Tyler

    Spotted him on the dualscreen. Excellent touch. Reminds me of the movie Apocalypto; one of my all-time favorites. This image begs for a night version. Complete with tiki torches and you name it.

  38. LisaB

    Wow – just saw the leopard…have had this on my desktop for days – lol.

  39. Ockyin

    <3 the pickle jar version but updated to the dual screen today ~ and "bam"! Sleeping kitty hiding in the bushes. Ryan~ Thanks for all you do. (P.S. Keep the fantasy going; I get enough reality when I look up from my monitor O.~)

  40. colleen

    I love it. I hear jungle birds and feel the steamy humid air. Just what the doctor ordered as we hunker down for winter’s last hurrah.

  41. suab

    Thank you ryan πŸ™‚

  42. betsey

    see??? I’m not the only one who’d like to see them there!!!! but for once in my life I’ve got them both–one is labeled “no eyes”!!!!

  43. Lidia

    I actually liked the overwritten version more than the version that overwrote it, mainly because it was shadier. I’m glad I saved it before it was overwritten, but sad that now I won’t be able to download it in any other size. πŸ™ Can’t you bring the overwritten version to the Pickle Jar?

  44. Bill

    Thanks Ryan! Needed a little green for my Alaska Winter. P.s. 1440×900 missing for my old worries.

  45. Ryan

    Sorry, those were a mistake. I just was not happy with how the arch turned out in the overwritten version.

  46. James

    The new V2 version is stunning. Many thanks. It looks amazing! πŸ™‚

  47. Brian

    I thought I was the only one that saw those.

  48. betsey


  49. Ryan

    I’ve added the 1680 x 1050 render Not sure how it went missing…

  50. Jonathan

    No more 1680 x 1050?

  51. JMK in CT

    Methinks the creature either went back to sleep or Ryan made a minor change. Either way, its not so creepy now. hehe

  52. Ryan

    I overwrote version 2 with an improved render late last night. The new version moves the arch slightly to the left (for suab) and adjusts the vegetation growing on the broken stones.

  53. Adamtrons

    I think the lighting is much better than the first one which is now in the pickle jar. However, the archway doesn’t like right to me. With the center missing, I think the pillars would fall down. Also, they took on the appearance of cactus as another person mentioned. Perhaps if there was more stone and less moss, it would be more clear what it is. But overall beautiful!

  54. Jeff

    This new version is WAY better, and the first wasn’t bad at all. When I’m ready for spring on my desktop, this is going into the wallpaper rotation.

  55. betsey

    thought I was the only one who saw the “eyes”–shades of “Garg”!!! had almost decided they were a figment!!! Seriously–I really like this version!!!

  56. Lidia

    The lighting in v.2 is much better! I continue to love how much green this one has.

  57. Jenanne

    I love the new title, since this doesn’t look much like a road. The foliage is much better in this render — more detail and brighter colors. However, I think it’s still a little too bright and washed out in the background. A bit more detail and some sun rays would really bring the background to life (perhaps something on the order of Canopy Creek Spring, Untouched, or Lord of the Forest?). Also, it didn’t bother me until JMK in CT mentioned it, but the two yellow flowers at the top of the right-hand pillar do resemble glowing eyes. This is going to be a favorite.

  58. JMK in CT

    For some reason I think something is looking at me from the top of the right pillar.

  59. Winds

    I’ve noticed that usually when there are plants and such up close the pixels really come out and the picture ends up looking like a cutscene from a 90’s RTS game. But this came out super nice. Cant wait for a night version if there will be one.

  60. Kyle

    Not sure when the change went up but this version is much better than the last. The other felt too washed-out and bright in a way that doesn’t jive in my mind with the somewhat wistful concept of something forgotten.

  61. Nico

    Much Much better! I didn’t load the “bright” version but this one is an improvement by far! Thanks! By the way is there a version out there with just the bottom quarter showing? When I scroll up I the the bottom quarter with all the plants and flowers an I am simply knocked out by how vivid it looks!

  62. Roberto De

    It’s very nice but IMHO there is too much light or perhaps there’s too muck green. I can’t make up my mind about it. But I love the composition! Nice job.

  63. Roberto De

    It’s very nice but IMHO there is too much light or perhaps there’s too muck green. I can’t make up my mind about it. But I love the composition! Nice job.

  64. Roberto De

    It’s very nice but IMHO there is too much light or perhaps there’s too muck green. I can’t make up my mind about it. But I love the composition! Nice job.

  65. Nelson

    Sorry, I forgot something: For me it’s absolutely no problem that there are no animals to be seen. The scene looks lively enough with all the vegetation around. I personally wouldn’t be delighted to see an elephant covering half of the picture… πŸ˜€

  66. Nelson

    The setting really is nice, especially for a cold winter day πŸ™‚ I’m looking forwand though to see your tweaked version which hopefully will not be so green and bright. This shouldn’t be a problem for you, however. I was able to create a version that works for me, just with a few clicks of color regulation in GIMP, so yours is going to be much better, I’m sure of that πŸ˜‰

  67. Sebastian

    I’m not really convinced. Maybe because it’s way too monotonously green? A little bit of blue? Some clouds, somewhere? Others have mentioned it, maybe some animals? As it stands now, too green and too sterile…

  68. Craig

    This version is amazing.

  69. suab

    I love the original version and I love the tone-downed version even more…. I only which the pillars were centered πŸ™‚ Maybe its weird but the current position (a little to the right) makes me nervous πŸ˜€

  70. Josh

    It’s green and all, and pretty, as all DB wallpapers are, but “The Forgotten Way/Road”? What am I missing? The foliage grew over the path? Is that a broken archway in the background that has been overgrown with vines, two cactuses, or two giant phallic symbols? This one just doesn’t do much for me. Over my head.

  71. Littlemom

    Although the lighting is better the archway trees are now to dark for me and looks like two large menising figures to me so it’s still only and 8 out of 10 render for me. Love the rest of the render though.

  72. docsensi

    And yes, thanks for the toned down version. It is now much easier on the eyes to gaze down the “Forgotten Way”.

  73. Adamtrons

    This is beautiful and like the color very much. Kind of reminds me of an environment from Γ’Β€ΒœAlice in WonderlandҀ or the upcoming Γ’Β€ΒœOz The Great and PowerfulҀ. I did notice it seems to be overcast or diffused lighting. I would be curious to see how this would look with some beams of light shining through and illuminating some mist, pollen or whatever else floats through the air in these areas. :=)

  74. Eel River

    Kind of allegorical really. For so long, you wandered aimlessly in “Sleepwalker Woods” and now you’re back on “The Forgotten Road.” I wonder where this overgrown and long forgotten road will lead you next. Anyway, welcome back, Ryan!

  75. Eneelia

    This render is making me long to get out side and plant things and pot flowers for my deck. So cheerful, like a mini tropical vacation.

  76. Chris

    I like this one alot. Its maybe a bit early for verdant green pieces, but I feel you on the cabin fever. I would say tone down the light a bunch and make it more emerald colored, not lime colored.

  77. Eel River

    Finally, Ryan, your “Dark Period” is over! This is the most colorful piece you’ve done since “Sunburst Daisy.” And personally, I love it! Onward, Great Master!

  78. Leanna

    I totally feel you on the cabin fever! Illinois has been freezing this week and I NEED sunlight! Thanks for the greenery!

  79. celmendo

    Once you tweak it, it’s gonna be a place I’d love to be…not loving winter. The only thing missing is floating pollen and bugs and other such tiny details. Although I’m not sure anyone would really miss those except for a night version with fireflies and glowing stuff.

  80. David

    On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it an 11.

  81. Jason

    I like the look of it and all the green is awesome. Only thing I think could use tweaking is the lighting level. It seems almost to bright in the middle and back and you can’t see the detail of the green.I also agree with the looking blurry at the top but that could be due to the lighting.

  82. Clark

    The idea here is awesome, but, I feel it gets a little blurry and intense towards the “top” of the image and as the depth increases. Maybe have the sunlight be yellow instead of green and sharped the detail in the aforementioned areas. Honestly though, even if you left it as is, it’s still great! πŸ™‚

  83. Jen

    Just got in from an epic commute because of icy rain and accidents everywhere in the middle of a grey fog. This was an instant lift to my dimmed spirit and frazzled nerves. Thank you!!

  84. Scarr

    Foreground: 11/10. Beautiful. The veins on the leaves is spectacular. The lighting is perfect.

    Backgroun: 8/10. The lighting seems to mold it all into a very pastel-like blur. That being said, it looks fantastic, I just prefer crisp lighting where details are enhanced and not muted (like the foreground).

  85. Sheldon

    Nice art … not realistic for Illinois though, because all that undergrowth would be poison ivy! πŸ˜€ Keep up the good work!

  86. Nic

    Love the concept and I would love to be there on a nice hoot day but to my tastes, and others I see, its a bit too green at the top. I think it needs somthing at the top of the picture to break it up a bit. I do like though thats it bright.

  87. Tom

    Thats a bit to much green for me, its very busy and the detail upfront is nice it blurs as the depth increases. Also the sun is very indistinct, I would of expected rays in this sort of setting. Not going on my wallpaper this time

  88. John

    Would be nice if there was a bit more of a hint that a road had been there. Maybe just a couple small spots where the road shows through a little.

  89. Nhaleen

    Wow!I love the color green and nature and this has both in abundance!Very beautiful,although I think there’s too much light in the middle.

  90. Doug

    I have to agree, the overall brightness is a bit much and it’s washing out the background, maybe if there were more of a canopy overhead filtering out some of the light…..

  91. Littlemom

    I love the green but parts of this look sort of cartoonish tome so that’s why I gave it an 8. And the tree’s look not quite right to me in some way maybe to much vegetation on them I don’t know.

  92. Kana

    Wow. Great potential here, but my eyes are overwhelmed with so much bright green. I would love to see shadows and such like your “Forest Lord” scene. Looking forward to future versions before it goes on my desktop, though it’s still downloaded πŸ™‚

  93. Eli

    Will there possibly be a night version of this? I think there could be a lot of potential for one with moonlight and fireflies.

  94. Beer’s Law

    Absolutely not too green, and definitely what the doctor ordered for cabin fever. It’s visually interesting, it tells a story, and we’re complaining about the palette? I think we lose some detail & depth in the upper half, but this is very nice. Looking forward to the dual-screens!

  95. Maggie

    This is a beautiful image…so lush and lively. My gripes with it are that the light source is far too bright, and I think there needs to be some variance in the type of life showing. Perhaps include a multitude of butterflies?

  96. Lidia

    I love the fact that this piece is so green. That said, I agree that it is too bright and so I am greatly looking forward to shadier version 2.0.

  97. Laura G.

    I don’t think it’s “too green”-I’ve been in places that look just like that! Like you’re standing inside of a green filter. I did give it a 9 out of 10, though because I hope that the next evolution will have a bit more detail.

  98. Jeff

    I agree with what was said below: Way too green. Also the sun is a bit strong across the top. But, I long for spring, and I look forward to seeing this one develop.

  99. Jenanne

    I love the overall concept and the detail and colors in the foreground, but the background could use some tweaking. It seems washed out and the plants could use more detail. Looking forward to the next rendering!

  100. Tim

    I can certainly sympathize with cabin fever, but I think this one is a bit too much unrelieved green. The little hints of color with the flowers only seem to highlight the overwhelming green. I don’t know if making the tree trunks actually brown, or the sky blue might provide a little relief or not. Even the double and triple canopied jungles I have been in are not this green at their “greenest”. However I do think with a bit more of something not green I will enjoy this immensely.

  101. Russ

    Ryan, it is 9 degrees outside. NINE! This picture reminds me of a steamy warm place and now I am itchin to get out of the cold. Not cool bro, not cool. All kidding aside I rated it a 10 πŸ˜‰

  102. Ryan

    I agree with you actually. I’ve spent the last two days trying to get the light and shadows right. I decided today, however, that people have waited long enough for a new render…

  103. Ben

    That is like Rawr in your face green. If only that’s what I saw outside my window. Love it. Can hardly wait for the multi-screen versions πŸ˜€

  104. Gary

    I think I need some sunglasses… it’s almost too bright… but don’t get me wrong, I do really like it. I just think we could turn down the brightness a little.

  105. Paul

    Finally found a successor for Sunburst Daisy! Amazing as always Ryan!

  106. Wraith

    Makes me want spring here even more. πŸ™‚

  107. Ryan

    I’m was tired of the grey and brown outside my window I just had to do something green and colorful. Let me know what you think!

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