Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: Daryl Mandryk


Daryl -

I really hate to say it because I love your stuff, but this composition is not working for me as well as the others. With each revision, there ends up being more and more space around the main characters: Originally they were bunched together, now they’re no longer in a clump. (Especially the medic, who is now much furhter from the Celt gunman than she’s been) In earlier shots, they were surrounded or trapped on a narrow outcropping of rock, and now they’re in an open arena. This larger layout has given the characters a lot more breathing room, both compositionally as well as emotionally. It feels to me like they do not feel as threatened, the consequences don’t seem as dire, with so much space.

While I like this palette that you’re using, I feel like the more vivid palette from the last post and others conveyed more drama and tension.

Sorry! Anyhow, just my opinion… Good luck with it and have a great New Year!



interesting! wow- What varied opinions.

cgkrusty; thanks - I’ll probably bring back some of the color when I finish it off - I thought it needed to be toned down a bit though. Everything was too yellow…and almost a bit too happy.

ecura; thanks, interesting that you read it as confined and intense, while walrus feels its more open…maybe I can find some sort of middle ground. I am planning on adding more stuff around them - bodies, attackers, fx - maybe that’ll help.

Arctis; damn I kind of liked the heads lol. You could be right though - maybe it’s too much head, not enough planet. One of the main reason I like them is that they add a bit more of a narrative element, while the planet was really just a big circle placed there for composion. As for the girl, that was the problem - she was detached from the action doing nothing. I guess it didn’t work for me.

walrus; thanks for the honest opnion, I appreciate it! - don’t worry about hurting my ego, I have thick skin. I think I addressed most of your concerns above.

thanks guys. Any more opnions? let’s hear 'em. This is almost done, so speak now or hold your peace…


I really liket the heads–they really do add a nice touch. The color harmony, composition, everything is working really well, and you’ve done a tremendous job!


thanks Nathaniel - I’ll probably change them somehow…repaint them, or change the scale or design…make them look a little more ancient and menacing - that type of thing. They’re a little flat right now.


Man, I wish I could give you more constructive comments, but I’m just in awe of your skill. The piece just keeps getting better and better! My only small crit would be the kilt on the main guy. It feels a bit straight, I like it flowing out, but maybe if it curved down more (on his right). If it started right by that red sqaure by his knee. Maybe a bit more “swoop”. Does that make sense?

I could be way off. The stone heads are awesome. They are very subdued, and don’t overpower the piece. I also like some of the looseness in the bottom corner too. Really amazing work.


Hi Blackarts,

The current composition reminds me of a classic painting of Théodore Géricault. I know just the german title but the translation could be “float of medusa”. Castaways are struggling for surviving in open water and in the horizont you can see an indication of rescue in form of lightning shapes.

I was one of those people who liked the spaceship topic very much but the current idea is a excellent alternative I have to confess. The arrangement in a row might be a bit boring but that´s just not a big matter.



Daryl, great painting once again. Sorry I have not really contributed much in the way of comments or suggestions. At this late stage I don’t have anything major to add, but I thought it might be good to make the giant background head a little more obvious? Maybe more definite planar forms or something. It took me a second or two to notice that they were head sculptures and not just interesting rock formations.

Great work!


This is a really exceptional image. To tell the truth, as you kept changing backgrounds so often and so completely, I was wondering, ‘what the heck is it with this guy?’ However, the stone faces in ruins adds something extra to the painting that all the planets and color swirls etc couldn’t contribute. Proof of vaild process. Nice job.


you’re a rel master with the colors mate…allways loved that at you…cheers


So this is the final coloring…
Are you sure of that?

Where are the space ship? You should do few of them.
I know that you have made a lot of changes on this picture but…For me it need spaceships.


well back from holidays - time to finish this thing.

dougbot; thanks for the support man…it’s nearly done…woohoo!

Fahrija; thanks…I’ll have to see if I can find that painting.

oldhobo; haha - yeah, what a skitzo painting. They give you so much time for this contest though, I just wanted to experiment and have fun. Every weekend when I sat down with this I found something to change, or had a new idea to try out…it was definatly an interesting experiment in free-form painting.

francis001; good advice on the head - I’ll be making it a little more obvious what it is. Even though there isn’t much time left, any comments are always useful - thanks.

techart; thanks!

Riddick; final coloring…yep - not final image though. I’m still undecided about ships…maybe some small fighters in the distance?..I’ll see what pops up.


Theres some major conflict in my mind with the upper portion and the lower portion of the picture.

Everything below the main hero looks good. Great colors and they seem to be packing some depth and volume. :thumbsup:

But when it comes to the upper portion of the pic. That planet really looks like to be too close of the planet surface. Look like huge buzzsaw. Stonehead and the planet with rings should be separated slightly. Give more depth to it also do something with the colors so the planet wont be appearing as dead.

One time you had these superb colors on the planet rings wish you could bring them back somehow.

So hows the pretty wacom handling the picture :smiley: ?


been out for a while, but glad to see I didn’t miss out on too much progress, look forward to seeing what you come up with, you’re definitely coming along very well. 17 days is plenty of time for you to polish up your piece, good luck and hope your holidays were enjoyable, take care


if the planet back was a little smaller ıt would be better.In my opinion.:thumbsup: :buttrock:


Almost finished. Thanks guys for all your constructive comments. Now I’ll just be tweaking away, but this is defintatly nearing completion. Some spots are still too rough and will be refined more (like the alien adversaires)- and there might be a couple spaceships zipping around up there, as well as some additional aliens. The colors have been re-worked a bit, and I re-did the planet and gave it more room to breathe…also changed the orientation to something I felt worked better. I’m pretty satisfied with it at this point, I think it evolved into something pretty cool. I don’t think I’ll make any more large changes to the painting, I’ll just concetrate on improving what is already there.

Thanks again for the feedback all, I really appreciate it, and feel free to post any comments you have.


edit - i uploaded a sharpened image, it came out a bit harsh reduing the image quality, so I linked a better one from my webpage.

  • falcor; the cintiq is nice. I just got it the other day and have been having a lot of fun with it.


Upper portion looking lot nicer. Im glad you decided to use different hues for the planet and the rockhead. It made it previously so cluttered.

Planet rings are back with vibrant colors. And those energy blasts are working good even thought they are very bright.

Only thing i do miss is the view for the world. It is slightly getting over run with the below energy blast. I liked looking at the horizon with clouds and all kinda things.

Keep working still few days left :slight_smile: If you have nothing to do why dont go and give critic to my piece :thumbsup:


frankly, i didn’t like it at first, when you presented new version (of enviroment). but i must admit, it turned out as much better than previous one. these impacts create a very strong feel of danger and i like it very much now. one thing bugs me now, and it is how hero holds and aims his gun (on the right), it seems to me like a bit off axis from his point of view and hand. anyway, very good job.


The vibrant colors really spiced up your wonderful piece. I think you could exaggerate the blast glow behind the man a bit more. Like this you could play with some nice translucency effects on the man’s “skirt” and define the falling alien with some rim-lighting.

Beautiful piece. Congratulations!


Falcor_; I was sort of wanting to go the saving private ryan desaturated look for a while there, but decided bolder colors might be more operatic, and almost more mythic - as if this were from a scene depicted in an ancient legend or something. Anyways, good call on the rings and planet orientation. It was a bitch to fix. =) I’ll go take a look at your thread!

turbinea; thanks, it’s a lot different…the gun is supposed to be in motion, almost like he’s swinging it up and doesn’t have much time to aim. I should probably tweak it a bit more.

andreasrocha; I agree the light from the explosion should be stronger. I don’t think the skirt will be translucent though, that might seem a bit toooo girly, and he is after all, already wearing a skirt and has long hair. =) thanks!

Do you guys think it needs some ships flying around? Would that be overkill and unecessary clutter? I am thinking about having a few ships come swooping in from behind the big rock head. hmmmm.


Hi Blackarts,

In this current composition I would use ships only as indications in the far background to add something in term of the story. (Rescuer are coming or even more enemies) I would keep the focus of the established head-rocks.

I think the contrast and shades of your whole environment looks to nebulous. That gives a lot atmosphere. I just recognized that it got a bit harder to gather the scene in your thumbnail version.