View Full Version : Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: Jordan K. Nieuwland

10 October 2004, 07:52 PM
Jordan K. Nieuwland has entered the Grand Space Opera 2D.

Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: Surprise Attack (


A big thanks to those that gave constructive criticism and helpful suggestions. I also like to thank those that left encouraging comments and stopped by for a look.

So..I've made some pretty big changes in terms of composition and I think they were necessary ones. The most obvious of these, is the change in aspect ratio, so it feels more like a still from a film making the scene more cinematic. Made the clouds a bit more puffy in the foreground and scaled them up a bit. Removed the fight and the bg and replace it with some more derelict ships. Increased the intensity of the light rays shining down so they direct your eye toward the action.

That's it, hope you like it. Had a blast painting and I like to say good luck to everyone with their own space opera entries.



10 October 2004, 07:31 PM (

a hasty concept of a pirate dreadnought hijacking a civilian ship..

location will be higher in the atmosphere with super structures reaching almost as high as the ships

C&C welcome

10 October 2004, 08:12 PM (

Yarrr, another pirate attack

a quick concept, this time an ocean scene. not sure which of the two I'm going to finalize yet.

used a real photo of clouds to boost the idea stage.

C&C welcome

10 October 2004, 08:33 PM
WOW!:eek: Great atmosphere!!!
Good luck!:thumbsup:

10 October 2004, 08:41 PM
great start! both of them looks good. The first one has good perspective and the second has nice atmosphere to it.

keep them coming.

10 October 2004, 10:27 PM (

same themes as before in this paint sketch . really liking this idea of two ships in heated battle like two old galleons shooting cannons at each other with lots of smoke and atmosphere. the battle is taking place in an old ship/scrap yard with broken derelict ships in the background.

C&C welcome

10 October 2004, 11:11 PM
OMG! Man! You know how to draw there! It's really nice!!! If only I could draw like that :(! Anyways man keep it comming really nice! :thumbsup:

10 October 2004, 12:10 AM
Fanatstic start man!

All 3 sketches are great, i like the first and third one best, i think you may need something happening in the background of both

In the first one maybe they are racing to reach something in the distance that you can just see and in the third one something has just happened in the background they are escaping from just ideas...

Good luck man.

10 October 2004, 04:46 AM
Good Luck :thumbsup:

I like your idea alote, reminds me of Captn Harlock, was think of going that way myself but I wanted something no one would do. But I really like your sketch

10 October 2004, 06:35 AM
I like your second concept sketch the most... it has a great atmosphere, and the lighting is fantastic.

10 October 2004, 06:57 AM
These are great!! The atmosphere, scale and lighting is fantastic on all three!!

The second one really reminds me of 9-11 photographs... which isn't no bad thing. I think it's the water and the tall buildings engulfed in smoke.

And i like the two ships in the third one broadside and balsting away at each other like a pair of 18th or 19th century battleships!! It's almost like they want to be up against each other smelling the blood and sweat rather than doing it anonymously from a distance!! Cool!!

Good luck deciding and developing....

El Toro
10 October 2004, 07:27 AM
Wow really great sketches! Keep them coming. :bounce:

10 October 2004, 07:50 AM
Really great work here !!!

I Like the second one best... just has this awesome atmosphere about it. I would love to see it from another point of view though, a little higher… it might make this scene more interesting and dramatic.

Keep up the good work !!!

10 October 2004, 07:55 AM

Your search are very interesting I am in a hurry to see the
Good luck.

10 October 2004, 04:50 PM
Looking good. I like the concept of the third one the best, but I like the composition of the second one the best.

10 October 2004, 06:33 PM
I vote for the second concept. It's a great composition and seems more original than the other two for some reason.

10 October 2004, 09:57 PM
hi there,

great concepts thus far... dropping by to see some great work.

10 October 2004, 05:58 AM
most recent one is a bit busy, I'd say the second one is the best, great atmosphere in all of them. I hope you'll keep posting more sketches ;)

10 October 2004, 08:17 AM
I like your work very much. Very interesting colors research (maybe not enough contrasted on the forgrounds).
Keep on working.
Good luck for the challenge.

10 October 2004, 08:20 AM
The second sketch is freakin' awesome. Maybe have the control room be filled with terrified people? Like they are helpless and watching this massive invasion?

10 October 2004, 08:41 AM
Im voting for the second as well. The colors are butter and I think it definitely has more potential for an amazing illustration. Well, all your sketches have that but the 2nd one takes the cake in my opinion:)

10 October 2004, 01:51 PM
some nice concepts, cant wait to see more :thumbsup:

10 October 2004, 03:17 PM
Your concepts are very nice! Great sense of scale and use of colors. I really liked the city scape with the ocean. Hugh potential!

10 October 2004, 02:38 AM
The ocean scene is very cool! Lots of stuff going on, great colors and composition.

10 October 2004, 04:41 AM
Really nice sketches man - I like the ocean idea. Cant wait to see more.

10 October 2004, 05:23 AM
captain harlock... yes man! I agree with that sentiment... especially when you look at the main ship in the first one, and then the similar ship in image 3... very nice. i like the overall feel. :P

theres something nice to the whole scurvy swabbs thing and space people that appeals to me.. :P

10 October 2004, 01:13 PM
Good stuff bro! I love the atmosphere in the 2nd one

Still haven't decided if I should join up... but best of luck to ya!

10 October 2004, 02:49 PM
I like the second one a lot. Just balance the composition a bit. The first and the third are a bit empty.

10 October 2004, 08:01 PM
love the second concept. Great use of colour on city. Think perspective on first concept more dramatic.
Good luck!

11 November 2004, 11:15 PM
pirates day2 is awesome.. more!

12 December 2004, 10:24 PM (

very rough sketch...maybe too rough as I struggled to get the design and composition down this is one of two ideas I'm painting

12 December 2004, 10:25 PM (

started colouring...

12 December 2004, 10:30 PM (

Now you can start to see where I'm going with this one. I have to say I'm entirely pleased with how it's coming along, there's a lot of changes I'm gonna make. The ships in the foreground will be repainted(didn't really come up with a solid concept just blocked them in), the buildings in the BG need lights and details as does the FG, can't really tell that there are poeple in there yet

anyhoo...comments, suggestions nad criticism welcome

12 December 2004, 04:17 PM
quite nice picture - I think I kind of prefer the colours in your initial colouring wip (sorry :) ). You could maybe reserve the stronger hues for the points of interest (liek teh ships) and keep teh kind of washed out/muted look for the scenery/enevironment... anyway just a thought. Look forward to more :)

12 December 2004, 05:28 PM
You have that nice land structure in the middle. In your sketches you show more of an opening in the middle but in you WIP it's covered up by low clouds. I think it would be nice to see more of that formation middle. I like what you have done so far. I also like the new colors. (Sorry bolchover)

12 December 2004, 12:51 AM
Nice the background :thumbsup:

12 December 2004, 01:24 AM (

just another concept I was playing with..I'll be posting my lastest and greatest soon

12 December 2004, 04:32 AM (

Decided to go with my third idea because I feel that it would a bolder, stronger image than the city scene which can get too complicated.

so here I'm just skecthing out the shapes of the ships experimenting with different shapes.

12 December 2004, 04:41 AM (

putting the subjects in an environment now. playing with composition and design

In case you're wondering the pirate ship on the left is surprise attacking the the other in an old ship/graveyard

12 December 2004, 04:43 AM (

added a wash of cool colours as well as some local colours for the pirate ship

12 December 2004, 04:52 AM (

working on the environment, building up shapes and atmosphere...not sure about the fighters in the foreground.

12 December 2004, 04:56 AM (

building up the design of the pirate ship as well as adding it's local colours before I properly light the scene. Also added swirling nebula clouds in FG to show the "surprise attack" but I think it distracts from the central subject by blosking them too much

12 December 2004, 05:04 AM (

biggest change here is obviously the lighting..much more dramatic. added more ship detail as well

cropped the image to improve the composition, I felt the right side was pulling your eye too much in that direction. the same goes for the fighter craft in the fg, replaced those with another derelict ship

12 December 2004, 05:09 AM (

-started to add the explosion effects from the canon fire.
-changed the fg elements a bit
- detailed the main ships with lights and surface texture
- changed some bg elments

12 December 2004, 05:11 AM (

- added lighting from canon fire
- improve the smoke around the ships
- increased overall contrast

12 December 2004, 05:25 AM (

This is the Final colouring stage..Probably should have posted all my WIP shots earlier but I've been so busy and side tracked lately.

I decreased the saturation here because I thought the colouring/lighting was a bit too cartoony for my taste

added some lighting on the foreground debris to improve the composition

any comments,criticism and suggestions welcome before I submit my final image!

12 December 2004, 11:04 AM
Nice mood, nice lighting : you have a good hand at digital drawing.
However I have a few crits :
- I think there is still missing a dynamic element that carry the spectator into the scene : maybe a closer ship (flying towards the attacked ship to rescue it, for ex...) would add more depth and close action.
- The clouds and smog need to be detailed : cumulus clouds are not that smooth. If you don't want cloud's details to interfere with the ships, just keep a low contrast on it, so that the action will be detached.
Good luck !

12 December 2004, 02:27 PM
Great, i love the clouds, and the two ships the color is beautiful, i like the ambiance of your composition, it's great

My 2d challenge page (

12 December 2004, 09:47 PM
Looking great.

12 December 2004, 11:59 PM
Jordan - It's looking great! You've certainly gotten a lot done in a short amount of time! But you do have 3 more weeks, don't be in such a rush to submit the final version a.s.a.p. It's good but more refining can only make it better. Arctis has some excellent points: The clouds - especially the ones closest to the viewer - could look much better if they got tighter and more refines. And the idea of using ships to draw the viewer in could help a lot too. (Arctic's own piece uses them that was to wonderful effect, just to site one example.)

I really liked the earlier coloring more than the current version. By comparison, the current one seems somewhat bland. I see your point about cartooniness (but I like cartoony!) but would a fireball explosion really be so pale? My favorite color version was post #41. I loved the colors, and the hints of warm tones in the upper right and on the ship's markings that made it stand out really nicely. I also liked seeing the sun in the background.
compositionally, I feel like the missile or fireball that's heading leftwards and leaving a trail is leading the eye right off of the page, and there might be a way that you can help curb that somehow.

anyhow, good luck with it, and hope you don't mind the notes. It's great work so far!


01 January 2005, 03:18 AM
Just enough to keep me interested. The colors are beautiful as is your lighting and detail...I LOVE the smokey/coudy/misty feel in the atmosphere....My only commnt would be that just looking at the piece I wonder what the detailed light going off to the left is.....I think that the change in space is necessary, but it is mildly distracting.

Good Work!

01 January 2005, 06:11 AM (

So I'm back to a work in progress and a good thing too!
many thanks to those that have replied with suggestions.

Arctis - I think the fighter craft entering the scene was needed to guide your eye into the scene though the composition of them still needs work...wondering if I should change the colour of their engines to a cooler colour? more detail in the clouds helped too. thanks!

Walrus - yes, Artics did make some good points and so did you. I removed what was suppose to be canon fire from the other ship that missed, added more colour where I though it was needed and made the main light source brighter. thanks ..sorry no moon/star in the bg, but I think you get the idea

Shinwa - yeah I think that fireball did end up being a distraction.. thanks for pointing that out

oh yeah...gonna take out that fighter flying behind the two ships..doesn't look right no? and I'll be refining the smoke trails as well as toning down the brightness of the fighter closest to the viewer(not sure about size and placement of that ship).

crits and suggestion very welcome!


01 January 2005, 06:55 AM
Hi Jordan, somehow I've not seen your entry yet. Got to say I like it, I like it a lot. It's got a great feeling of depth to it and the soft clouds are inspiring me to rework the clouds in my own pic. More than that, your pic has a classic feel to it, in a very good way. Nice subdued colour scheme making the explosions and engine lights pop out. Lovely.

01 January 2005, 06:59 AM
The mood and lighting in this is great! It really feels like an ambush in the fog/clouds.

There's a space ship in the background under the lightsource that looks like the Enterprise :)

01 January 2005, 12:42 PM
brilliant colours and moody atmosphere! quite hard to get a feeling of action and that sort of mood at same time, so well done. Hope you do well.

01 January 2005, 04:35 PM
Jordan - It's good to see that you had time to get back to this. Not that it wasn't nice before, but I really think the changes have made it much stronger. The ship coming in from the left leads the eye into the picture well!

One very small area that isn't working for me is the open docking bay in the back of the big right ship. It's a big parallelogram that's a lot brighter and cooler than anything else in that part of the picture, so it draws the eye to it. And because it's so bright, it almost reads to me as a giant TV screen! (sorry!) Maybe changing the shape, toning it down, turning it into an engine, breaking up the silhouette, or having a ship come out of it could help. (options, options!)

One other small note: Even without the stars and planet out there, that distant light source is working well, and it provides a good vanishing point for the perspective too. However, it seems like not all of your shadows are aligned to it. In particular, that dome behind the new left fighter... the left border of that dome's shadows seems to be not quite aligned to the light source and thus keeps grabbing my eye.

Anyhow, good luck finishing. Glad you're getting torefine it more, it's really looking nice!


01 January 2005, 11:59 PM
well you definately fixed it lol, I love the motion you have added - I light the docking bay, but perhaps you could tone it down a little, or ad more of that sort of light to other areas of the ship for balance? Hope that helps lol

01 January 2005, 03:02 AM (


A big thanks to those that gave constructive criticism and helpful suggestions. I also like to thank those that left encouraging comments and stopped by for a look.

So..I've made some pretty big changes in terms of composition and I think they were necessary ones. The most obvious of these, is the change in aspect ratio, so it feels more like a still from a film making the scene more cinematic. Made the clouds a bit more puffy in the foreground and scaled them up a bit. Removed the fight and the bg and replace it with some more derelict ships. Increased the intensity of the light rays shining down so they direct your eye toward the action.

That's it, hope you like it. Had a blast painting and I like to say good luck to everyone with their own space opera entries.



01 January 2005, 03:17 AM
great atmosphere, like the skechtches too.

01 January 2005, 04:30 AM
Great mood and tension in this piece... feel like I'm watching a sequel of "the Wrath of Khan"!

Great work...

01 January 2005, 06:22 PM
Amazing pic, very good lighting, a big ambiance, the clouds are particulary good, very great work, good luck

01 January 2005, 09:23 PM
I really like the mood you've put in your piece, though I still think your clouds remain a bit smooth... Nice lighting too !
Good luck :scream:!

01 January 2005, 11:08 PM
Congratulations on finishing your entry, your entry has a great sense of scale, nice colours and great visuals, Good luck! :)

TT oey
01 January 2005, 03:05 AM
OMG!!! That is soooooooooooooo AWESOME! All I know is how to model clouds from squished spheres.... ah well maybe one day I'll be able to do that!

How was the haircut? ;)

01 January 2005, 04:09 PM
I love your lighting, and the great sense of space you captured in this image.

01 January 2005, 11:35 AM
I somehow missed ur thread.. maybe coz of my hurry all the time and really no time in last month.. but anyway, I just stopped by to congratulate u for ur great piece! I really like the technique and colors u used, so good luck with the voting!

01 January 2005, 07:54 PM
I am sorry for missing this thus far..................But am happy to have found your art now Jordan........It's a wonderful and atmospheric piece,very intense and's just an all around great and fun picture to view.Just dropping off two of these and my support..........:thumbsup: :thumbsup: ..................

01 January 2005, 01:28 PM
Excellent Work
You Had my Vote!:deal:

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