Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: Daryl Mandryk


Nice picture, very well painted : that’s professional art !
I like your art, though i’m not a fantasy style fan !
It’s interesting that Vaportrail compared two pictures of you : I think you have improved your skill through the second one, especially concerning colors and lights. Great piece of work.

My space opera


Still a very good one. I especially like the mood on main characters faces, but I see that u have another human character laying on the ground. It would be good not pointing him out so much, coz the main focus should stay at the those one on the top on the hill. Maybe giving a helmet to that third person would not make him so personal to the viewer, atract too much attention. Just an idea.


incredible work… i am immpresseeeeeddddd… no wonder why u won machine-flash!


After not working on this for several days I came back and looked at it, and just wasn’t getting that fuzzy feeling.

I felt I was just trying to cram too much into the frame, so I spent this afternoon reworking it. I wanted to inject more of a painterly feel into it, I thought I was kind of losing that a bit trying out all the previous BG elements. Also noticed I needed to choose a bit stronger pallete.


I think your entry serves as a great example to others of how characters should be depicted in the Space Opera theme - you’ve managed to create a sense of action and drama in the image, whereas others seem to struggle with the dilemma of making mere characters evoke such ideas.
You’re definitely headed in the right direction. If you’re not getting a warm fuzzy feeling from it, then perhaps you need to take a short break from it :slight_smile: I know I get like that when I work on something for a while.


i think your edit was well called for, Daryl. At first I was thinking “where’d the cool spaceship go??”. But the image is a lot more easier on the eyes now that it’s gone. The vibrancy has definetely been taken up a few notches, and that’s great! It makes it feel more sci-fi-ish. But one thing I do miss is the cool rings! Also, the hatching/brush texture seems a tad bit overdone in this image. I’d make it a bit sparse. Keep up the good work!

oh. one more thing. what are the main characters looking/shooting at? maybe you can have an alien leaping at them (headcrab! :stuck_out_tongue: )


nghh… I liked the big ship… like it was SUPPOSED to make you

feel uncomfortable , looming over there all dark and foreboding…



I have to say that I liked the planet with the rings and the spaceship in the picture. Oh and the green blood splatter from the other picture was cool too.


one last little update.


Leigh; hey thanks leigh, those are very kind words.

teknotek83 ; thanks…I would rather imply something menacing off-camera than have an alien jumping at them…less is more?

Squibbit; how about I trade you an ugly ship for a cool looking flag? :wink: I was thinking about trying to rework the flag back in.

dragongirl; i enjoy planet rings too…I’ might try and work them back in. I’m not sure they are still needed.

thanks for the feedback all. In regards to the changes I made, I felt I needed a more inviting image…the previous idea was too claustrophic…making the viewer uncomfortable. I’m sure there will be more changes.




Hi there. While I really like your pic on so many levels, for me the removal of the spaceship has left it needing an element of the grand. I remember early on in your thread I said your focus on the characters needed to be balanced with a way of focussing on something happening in a wider context. Rather than remove the spaceship, how would you feel about shrinking what you’ve got at the moment, adding on some more canvas and finding a new composition? It’s just a thought, in general I find your characterisation and painterly skills to be awesome!


This is going sweet Daryl, can I print it as a poster? :slight_smile: Add some fire on those guns or at leest on the one in the right arm of the guy.

Keep rolling dude! :thumbsup:


Blackarts: Now this is looking more dramatic, the less is more works well. :thumbsup:


I personally like the original colour concept you had previously develop with the large spaceship hovering over the character, to me that had a grand and iconic feel. That element felt as if it was heavy and indestructible, something that is powerful which pulled the whole image together. It now seems to be a bit empty with little bits scattered here and there used to fill up the size of the canvas. I still like it and think your work is fantastic! but the previous attempts where better in my mind.


As a book cover I guess it would make sense to leave the top area with more space (no pun intended) for the title. But I liked it better with the spacecraft and the planet rings back there. Maybe all it needed was a different color for the spacecraft? Anyway, as a painting it is fabulous, great color and technique. I am sure the final, which ever way it goes, will blow people’s doors off.


Very good! I like those little ships more than that big one u had before. Maybe just make this pic deeper at the horizont, so there wont be just first plan. I need that the depth is needed here. Just a suggestion :slight_smile:


Hi Daryl,

Your foreground part of the image looks great but

I liked the big spaceship in the background very much. > It looked very daunting and loomed large from the left side into the picture. Its position gave the viewer also additional information about the perspective and increased the depth by pushing the planet a bit more backwards. As regards the content it underlined the desperate situation of the main characters because for me it gave the impression that the enemy appeared with an enormous superiority. The current ships look more like rescuer and the current arrangement reminds me of an air show. None the less it is a great image but I think it appeared stronger before.



thanks for comments…looks like I caused some controversy when I axed the big ship. =)

Well I’m going to stick to my guns here and say that I think the old ship idea was pretty awful and wasn’t working very well at all. A big ship might still make it in in some form, but I like what I have going on here now much more than before. I think the feeling it creates is stronger, and I have a clearer picture in my head about where I want to take this.

Anyways, looking forward to getting back to this and pushing it further.




Hi Blackarts,
Maybe I’ll be a bit tough, but I really dislike the “paint” texture : it looks artificial. It’s obvious that then you’re doing your pict, you proceed as a painter, no need for more. I wonder why a digital artist want a visible paint touch : Is the digital art be more noble by looking like traditionnal painting ?
From XIIIth to XIXth century, painters were looking for the perfect touch : the invisible touch. Then, when artists like Monet or Turner let brush traces appear on their canvas, it was not for giving more authenticity to their work, it’s because they didn’t care : for them, impression was more important than finition. I don’t remember brush traces on Frazetta’s oils…
That’s my perception, and believe that I consider you as a real good painter, no need effects or filter to see that.

Cheers !!!

My space opera


hey arctis,

I’m not really sure what you mean, I don’t use any filters or effects to get those strokes. Your pont isn’t clear to me.