Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: Daryl Mandryk


Awesome. Truly awesome. I hope you keep heading down this road. It’s friggin’ great. These rings are perfect. I like the flow a lot more now too. Truly excellent.


beautiful rings! really beautiful! And beautiful lighting! Great work


Hi Blackarts,
It’s a really nice pict you have ! I especially like the light and colors resulting of it…
However I regret the explosions that we could see in previous entries : it added some action and drama, like in a large battlefield ; now the scene seems more confidential to me, but you said you would add some stuff…
Beautiful planet too!:thumbsup:
Good luck.


the background is much better now.
Very good.

good luck!


WOW! Just keeps getting better. I’m sure you’ll add some explosions and ships. Awesome.


It’s amazing to see this progress. The background you have is very dynamic but simple enough to get the eyes focus onto the character. Very nice indeed.


Daryl, the rings are beautiful. However, something dynamic was lost in the overall image

Here’s what my quick viewing before class suggests. I think the top area, including the rings, could be a little more vibrant and pronounced of warmer colors, so in turn you could make a smooth gradient of warmer colors into the forground without overpowering the cool colors you’ve added. The forground is too bland for me. I think a sharp contrast between a warm colored top [of the earth] and the cool colored cracks facing away from the sky/planet could give a lot of interest and focus down the image and in the forground.

It appears as though there is an army of aliens behind the first few, but it is very confusing because the background suggests there is no ground behind them for them to be on. It looks like it would be a shear drop-off, not a further extentions of the landscape. This is obviousy because of the right side of the image that shows it’s a canyon drop off there. I can;t make a solid decision whether I think the canyon is appropraite or not. I know that those explosions and near forgrounds gave it a little more tension as though they were surrounded, by all sides, forced onto this last resort podiem to get a good aim at all the surrounding enemies. Right now his guns are pointing in both directions, but the one point our direction appears as though it’s aiming at nothing, it’s aiming out into the nothingness that the drop-off suggests. I can’t comprehend enemies on this side of the gun, and I can’t comprehend enough enemies to be a huge threat that your numbers are suggesting because of the surrounding landscape. It’s almost Mona Lisa-esque, two completely different landscapes and horizon-lines on either side of the main character/s

I think you could also experiment with one more top layer of clouds to suggest the atmosphere is a little bigger and that it itself is a little threatening. Maybe just one more pummeling cumulus cloud to give a little more height to it.
Anyway, gotta crit, so I gotta go. Hope I made sense and it helps in what ever way it can.


Wow, this has moved a longe quite niceley since I first saw it.

one thing that bugs me a little is the position of the woman. It appears as though her legs should be reversed–Her left leg on the upper rock and her right leg extended down and back. It looks to me like she is crossing her right leg over her left to climb that rock…something that would make it hard for to fight and climb at the same time

other than that, you have a beautiful peice and a dynamic composition. As Steve said, a little atmosphere and those explosions from previous comps would help.


Thanks for the comments guys.

Steve Newport; thanks for the always detailed crit. I disagree that it’s less dynamic, in fact even without the explosions I feel this is stronger. Quieter maybe, more intimate, but also a bit grander and better composed. In terms of them aiming at nothing, the idea is to build tension. I’m going to add some subtle god rays to make it look like they are being illuminated or targeted by something. It doesn’t matter that the viewer can’t see what they’re aiming at, the only thing that matters is getting the viewer to invest in the image, ask some questions, and get the imagination working. It’s a little risky, but spelling everything out for people is boring. The BG still needs work, in terms of number of figures and landscape, and you bring up some good points about them feeling surrounded, that I think will be solved once I finish the BG. I haven’t decided if I’ll add back eplosions or ships or anything like that, it might be something totally different. Anyways, thanks a lot, I value your opinion.

draco_1967; you’re totally right, and I’ve been meaning to fix those legs. I think it’ll be in the next update.


hey i havent gone thru the whole thread, but i really think you need some sort of effex coming outta the guns, and an spaceship up in the atmosphere like you had earlier. but a ship so high that you lose the details, and the atmosphere fogs it.

it is awesome so far but the figures just feel like they are posing. i feel having some laser/gun effex and perhaps impact wounds that stand out would be nice, but perhaps would draw the eye too much to those spots.

i think youre one of the best!


Great, great; i love your work, the movement is excellent, good work, the choice of colour is like,… frazzeta, i love very much

My challenge page


Your image has come together nicely, really like the BG change. Those rings look great. in a nutshell WOW!! :slight_smile:


hehehe… waw! I like all about this piece. really… It has great composition, supergreat character design with awesome expressions that tell the actual happening, story behind it and marvelous coloring. really dont have anything to crit or add… im just not on the right level to do that :slight_smile: But I’ll much appreciate if u could stop at my thread for minute or two and tell what u think, maybe give me some suggestion, how to bring my piece to a higher level.
Keep inspiring me with ur work! :thumbsup:


I have absolutly nothing to crit. Awesome work:bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:


I agree with the off screen attacker that the heroes are looking at… good idea. and it works. The added effects to the comp are better in my opinion.


This work is simpy fantastic. It reminds me of Boris or Frazetta. Which is a huge compliment from where I come from. Keep at it Daryl and perhaps one day you will have the recognition level they do!


I took a random idea and blocked in a new BG - it was late, I was tired, and before I knew it I had some big rock heads. For some reason I kept developing it, and in a weird fun way I think it worked. I knew I needed something bigger in the BG, something a bit grander, and I also knew I absolutely didn’t want a big spaceship. I found myself liking the sense of mystery and time it added.

There’s a lot of areas of the BG I still need to break up a bit with various custom brushes, and some refinement here and there, but for the most part I’m finally pretty pleased with it.

edit ; I also changed the postion of the girl for 2 reasons: 1 it made sense to me should be closer to the wounded dude trying to help/protect him, and 2nd because i felt compostionally it was a bit unbalanced the way it was.

I’m going to give this another layer of polish,chaos, fx, and so forth, and then I’ll probably call it done. Anyways, this’ll be my last update for this year.

  • happy holidays everyone!


I like this composition a lot better, especially in regards to the female medic. I always thought that her pose (in the old composition) felt forced, this way it seems more natural and motivated.

I do think that this new composition feels a little monochromatic. I was really loving the palette of your previous update, especially the blues in the bottom right-hand corner. Just a gorgeous blend…

I’m sure that when you get into this new direction a bit more you great colour sense will come through again.

Great new direction and inspiring work as always!



Really nice. I don’t mind neither of the uploads posted. They both look fantastic. Probably this is the better one since that composition does make a little more sense and tells more of a mysterious story with the rock head in the background. Looking back to the previous one it seem as though the characters were falling off the cliff but I do like the colour scheme use with the water and clouds it shows a lot of space when compare to the recent upload. The new background seem to be more confine and intense and does well to convey the message. Great work, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year if I don’t see any new updates for the meantime.


Hi Blackarts,
It’s a beautiful painting, but I was personnaly more convinced by your previous composition, for 4 reasons :

  • The “grand” dimension was already given by the planet, that stood beautifuly in the BG : your planet’s texture was elaborated and sober at the same time, so that the foreground remained easy to read. It was the perfect balance for me. The rocks you added - though they are well painted in themselves - are disturbing shapes that litter the scene.
  • The position of the girl before was better, I think, because it strengthened the focus point on the main character : she is a nice coloured character that deserves to be detached from the rest of the action.
  • The previous colors seems to be softened now by a red smog of dust, that is probably more realistic. But personnaly, I prefer the previous iridescent colors, the nice harmony of gold, red and black/blue that were more striking before.
  • one last remark : the movement of the man’s red clothe has disappeared now : it seems solid.
    Here’s my feeling, and I’ve tried to be precise… :wink:

Good luck and merry christmas !