Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: Blaz Porenta


even if you are desaturating the bright colors the highlights need to be a lot brighter to “pop” out the pic

if there are going to be birds, i think there would be a LOT more than that…i see birds now migrating where i live and they are in such thick swarms…you’d think with the destruction and wave coming they’d be coming in hordes, yeah?

love the drawing so far


Even though my knowledge of color is not that great, I’ll try and speak what I know.

The problem that you have with this image is that the colors are too muddy. When I look at it, nothing really pops out, it’s all of the same dynamics and intensity. The first thing you need to work on is making a clear distinction between the warm and cool colors (lights and shadows). And see how you can use it to your advantage to draw in focus and lead the viewers eyes across the canvas and back again.
One thing to think about would be this. If they’ve been in an ice-age for thousands of years, there would be absolutely no moisture in the air, it would all be frozen on the ground. Clear blue skies. The only clouds that I could comprehend existing would be the very highest of altitude flat clouds that could maybe give some shape to your sunrise. So if this were the case, most of the sky except for the parts immediately around the sun and close to the horizon, would be a darker blue, i believe. One of the problems I had from the start of your coloring was I did not have a clear distinction of the horizon and the objects in the background, it was hard for me even to tell that there were mountains there. The skie would be less of the muddy orange and more blue I believe.
The shadows of the mountains and landscape would become closer in color to the blue of the skie the further it went out in the horizon. If the mountains were very far out, maybe the shadows would be indestinguishable, but the highlights around it’s ridges and crevasses would give a definite shape to the mountain. It would just all be this flat orange.
I would leave the oranges and yellows, ie. where the sun is directly hitting, saturated in the foreground, and of course becoming more muted as it travels to the horizon. Focus on contrast, sharpness in shape and color.
Also, look at any photo with the sun in it, or better yet, look at the sun in real life. Our eyes and cameras naturally adjust to the light, so when there is an extremely bright light in our view, our pupils dialate and less light is let into our eyes (in other words, everything gets darker except the brightest of brights) So, the sun is in your image, and I think it would help you realistically express your idea if the entire scene, minus the parts of direct sunlight, were darker
I’ve included some referances to kind of explain what I’m saying

On the issue of perspective, I do think it should be considered a little more. Maybe a view of someone actually on an island, so the viewer feels themselves on the island, see’s how large these islands are, see’s them in referance to other figures around the viewer on these islands, and sees the sheer power of the islands crashing down around him/her. If you’ve ever been on a plane, you’ll know what I mean when I say, from a height, everything looks simply like a model or toy, no matter how large it actually is. Huge buildings and semi-trucks look like little child play-toys. The same thing with this. With this raised altitude, even if it were an actual photograph of a city going to ruins, it wouldn’t look as large, scary, and convincing unless you were actually on the same plain as it was. In order for something to be grand, it needs to have a relationship with something that is not. Notre Dame, in all it’s glory and grandeur could be floating in space with nothing around it and not be intersting or grand at all. It takes that building to be jutting up in the middle of the city, next to small houses which are still larger than the cars which are still larger than the pedestrians walking by to give it that sense of enormity and grandeur. Give the ‘grand’ things in your painting a relationship to something that is not grand, and make the viewer feel like he/she is not grand by placing them in a position to feel as such. When you place the viewer above it, you give them a godly position, out of harms way. They can sit and watch the destruction with no fear (no sense of grandness). If you place them on an island that is about to fall with multiple islands around them already careening down to the base below, the viewers going to feel a little differently.
I don’t know if you watched any footage of the twin towers on september 11th. it was a horrific, scary thing. But did you get the sense of how bad it was with the footage capture by helicopter or by the person running away from huge clouds of smoke (that wouldn’t look so huge from helicopters) on the street with hundreds more people being consumed behind them? Just rethink it, make some more quick sketches to see what works!
Hope this helps a little, take care!


Steve Newport: a great bow from me to u :bow: U opened my eyes in many ways and I just hope, that I’ll manage to put everything that u said into my pic. I’ll do my best! First I’ll doing some more on the composition, again resize the canvas, so I’d put some closer island into the image, the people and so on… than I’ll go to the colors. Respect!

AirbORn: Maybe I’ll put something to the background… For now its just a wave, maybe there will be a city under the wave in a future… Thnx for stopping by!

Nomad: the lights will be back later :slight_smile: But the mushroom bulding stays for now… I like it :slight_smile: Thnx for ur comment!

hpslashluvr: I will saturate some places again, but that will come later. Also the birds… Now the reconstruction of the composition, than colors, than details (birds and so on). Thnx!


Hey dude, I’m just going around to all my subscribed threads and posting this link.

It’s an article written by Greg Martin (quite an accomplished space artist) about, you guessed it, space. It tries to convey the passion he has for it, the beauty and mystery it contains and just a bunch of inspirational stuff that I believe is very fitting for this challenge and I think it will help all of us. It has a wealth of hubble space images and images from other great artists (and their websites) So anyone reading this, download it and read it all, I believe it will be of help

take care


OK… I resized a canvas size again, now to a4 format. I added some closer first plan, where will be some action going on (not fighting, but something will happening anyway… there wil be a life to help read the scale of the islands). I also completely desaturated the image and give it a blue color scheme… but just for now. I was confused with all those colors at the beginning of the coloring, so I will put back some warm lights at the end of the process.
Now ?m planning to finish those icy rocks in the first plan, than I’ll resize the image from 1000px high (right now) to at least 4000px high to start putting real details into the image and start final coloring and prepare it for a print version.


Oh yes… I forgot to mention it… Im planning to lighten up the sky a bit and due to that also the background… I hope I’ll get more depth.


this all looks incredible no crits here.


I really like your subject, but I agree with Steve Newport about colors. But I’m sure you’ll find a fine solution.
The cliff on the foreground makes me think of a huge wave, so I imagined that the scene could take place in the middle of the sea, like an offshore station. I know that’s not what you represented, but I just tell you what I got in my mind…

Good luck !!

My space opera
My website


NOOB!: thnx

Arctis: Thnx man! U have a good point there, but I just wanna not so smooth surface in the first plan. I think it makes the pic more stable that way. Anyway thnx for ur opinion! :slight_smile:


Just wanted to say that I agree a bit about the discussion on the colors needing some tweaking, but I really like the direction your work is taking. I love the sketchy quality with which you handled the icey cliffs in the foreground, to me I can almost hear the crunching groans that the ice would make as it shifted in decay. Awesome!


I go away for a while and look at this, lots of experimenting…cool I can see this will look great. No crits nice stuff :thumbsup:


I like what’s going on , but when I first looked at it it seemed like one of the islands is coming out of the water. Maybe you can have more pieces fall into the water, show more of the destruction.


I’ve been contemplating your picture for a while and I’ve thought about some things.
Do you get a clear image in your head if I were to describe the way ice breaks off from an ice-sheet landscape into the ocean? Starts as one solid landscape, then it slowly, with cracks, then eventually whole pieces make their way off… kind of like a large puzzle fragmenting apart. I think that would be a good visual to base your islands off of… without the water. Starting from the background ice-landscape, there is a city with domes or something, then as it gets closer to the viewer less and less pieces are attatched, and eventually, some islands are only attatched by long ice-walkways (which are probably breaking because of the sun). I think that, with all those supporting pillars, it would make some very nice textures and incricate intersting shapes and the pillars that these things are on extend down into an abyss, instead of water. Because I really think there wouldn’t be liquid water, you know, with the whole 10,000 year ice-age? And it takes away from the grandeur to see the bases of these things… it’s just right there, and you’re like, ok. But if it were extending beyond sight, the height of these islands from the abyss is only limited by the viewers imagination. More suggestive and less obvious. The people falling into these things could be falling forever, you know? No one would know and they’d have to imagine (and naturally they’d imagine the worst, using the mind of the viewer as a vehicle for demonstrating disaster).
Here, again, are some pics of referance simply to help me explain. Just imagine those chunks of ice your islands, with no water, simply those huge pillars of ice holding them up from some unkown distance below.

I just think that there’s not enough of a transition between the land, as to why they’re floating there? This way, maybe there was once water there, and the ice was floating slowly drifting away, the water somehow went away and left these pillars of islands which this race came to inhabit themselves upon.

I do like the cliff, i think. Definitely if you were to add some small people on top of them looking on at the disaster, that would be great, definitely showing some scale to things, you definitely need scale referances. Maybe even have this extreme foreground focally blurred out eventually. But again, as with the other things, I think it would look even greater and more pronounced if there was no water/ground there

these are all the suggestions I could muster up, use them at your discretion! You’re doing great work


Hey Ninja,

I think this is going to be a great piece. I do agree that you are going to have to add some more colors, although I know you are in a preliminary stage. I think you should definitely focus on graphic shapes, as your value structure thus far is blending together too much in my opinion. Many of the example images posted by Steve Newport have a graphic quality where half of the image is light, and half is dark. Or half is warm vs. half cool. This is very important, and usually makes a piece stronger. These photos tend to divide themselves into two basic masses of value, which your piece is lacking at the moment. Think of the big shapes first, and remember to group your values as much as possible. I know you are going to make this a really strong piece. Keep going with it! I have a lot of confindence in you!


Hi, your latest update is very very cool - I do like the colour scheme, very dark and gloomy… very epic… but also, gives the impression of being at night, which seems slightly contradictory to the content, as I believe you need the sun to melt the ice (Which wouldn’t be out at night)… so I dunno how you can get arround this one.

Anyway, apart from that it looks stunning!


I llike hte icy scene PLEASE continue with it, it would be great great great great

I’m Subscribing


Thnx guyz! Its so encouraging hearing so many advices or just comments. U r the best, I really appreciate it! :slight_smile:
I will work on colors and lights later, for now, I’d like to get clear shapes of elements on the pic (islands, water, icebergs, background… etc) and some amount of details, untill it’ll fits my idea. Later than I’ll doing just lighting and when the pic will work fine, I’ll search for the right color scheme… I hope it’ll work that way… So dont bother too much about lights and colors :slight_smile: Im still not so skilled to do all at the same time, without mistakes which would make pic read incorrect, but Im learning that (at school mostly).

Starzchica23, element5, kaajey, stevetwist: Thank u so much! :slight_smile:

2kre8: Thnx for this remark. I’ll add some more broken pieces of ice(bergs) into the water… some of they will even still falling down. I’ll do my best to read that pic correctly.

Nathaniel West: Thnx for stopping by! Ur words r always pleaseure to read :slight_smile: Like I said some lines upper, I’ll do that brightness values later, when I’ll have the define shapes that Im looking for in my piece. I found myself some references which I think show that light/dark parts the best… and of course… lots of Steve’s stuff :thumbsup: Im so glad to have him here :smiley: Thnx again!

Steve Newport: Every ur post is like a school class lesson. And it helps a lot so I really have to thatnk u to take so much time writing these posts. I see where r u pointing at with ur last post… I gave me some great ideas, not just how to make good textures but also how to show better the scale and perspective with those pillars and cracks. Hmm… I also get some ideas reading ur post what to do at the bottom of the abyss. Maybe I’ll replace the water, or maybe I wont… I sort of like the splash that the falling island makes. We’ll see about that how it works with some other stuff downthere.
Thny again for stopping by, U r in great help :buttrock:


I like more your comp three steps ago, before you desaturated it, but I suppose that it rocks when you put some warm color and the rest of what you have in mind


Just popping in its been a while!:bounce:

Nice progress. Oh it might be good idea to use some of those real photos for helping out the colorwork.

If you want to achieve GRAND space opera look… use hard perspectives and tighten up the shapes… That instantly gives some bigger feeling to things.
I might be wrong… Hope you continue on :slight_smile: Use penciljutsu :thumbsup:


You have some very interesting concepts. I like the elemental themes ice, water …
Some really promising work! I look forward to seeing more