Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: Jesse Speak


ah… no … u are going to finish this master piece … ! do u hear me ?


damn, I forgot about you…nice things going on! some of the nicest pics are coming out of your thread. do you do these kind of things on a professional level?
anyway, congrats with the good work and I’ll hope you get some credit for it…
greets, Francis


I agree - great piece so far just needs some activity. btw its great to see another designer who wants to be an illustrator around (looked at your site) - I am in the same boat man. You are off to a great start.


Fantastic work. I would add some more ships to this piece. It is wonderful otherwise. Keep it up!


thats really nice work.


A week to go! I spent an hour yesterday and a couple of hours tonight plugging away at my pic. Thanks to all of you for your support and friendly threats :wink:

The big change I’ve introduced now is the storm clouds in the upper right. I think it really helps to tie this area together. I’m also hoping that the dark area pulls the buildings which clash with the ship into the dark, leaving the ship bathed in light. Even further, I like the visual metaphor between the dark and the light, the turmoil and the calm. I’m getting a bit of a sense that this ship is a hope for this species, to drag them out of a wasteful, decadent and polluted existence. Maybe that’s just me!

To balance out the light to dark I’ve defined little zones in the right hand side which are catching oblique rays of the sun, and I’ve made the top of the waterfall and the left hand crater wall a bit darker. All subtle stuff designed to balance out the pic more. A slight cool gradient was applied in the upper right, balanced with a slight red gradient in the lower left, and now those lovely green (complement to red) engines seem more vivid.

As to the main ship itself, I’m planning a bit of a combination of things, a bit of steam / outgassing, light streaming out from the base. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Thanks for the very helpful suggestions everyone.


Hi, i look at your progress since the begin and this work is super, the picture is very beautifull and particulary the lighting. The ambiance is really realistic. I like all progress of your work but now i have a critic, the storm clouds don’t integrated with the rest of the compo, they are so cartoony, perhaps you don’t finished, i hope, because all the picture is very great


Just a quick thought, coz Im sooooo short on time :confused: I think that the clouds dont fit into this pic, the emptyness and clear sky really did a great job, but with clouds there is something too much. I think u should go further with the development and skip the clouds. Just my opinion. Good luck!


Just lovely, and the new clouds really lend a feeling of impending doom. I agree, i think that they could be more effective if they - or at least parts of them - were renderred a bit more softer. Perhaps one might even see parts of the clouds casting shadows on other parts, or rays of sunlight streaking through the dust in the places up there not quite obscured by the clouds… anyhow, just ideas. But it’s coming along nicely. I was checking out your site and there’s some lovely stuff there… But I think this is one of your strongest pieces yet, so bravo! Good luck in the final stretch!



Squibbit - Cheers, thanks for helping me see a future for this pic. I was so close to starting over, but now I’m enjoying it again I’m starting to like it more and more. Good suggestions too, especially the sharp rim of glow around the engines. :slight_smile:

Fahrija - Likewise, many thanks for the kind words!

NinjaASSN - Just want to thank you for your regular posting, you are a great help. The flurry of activity you suggest is a great idea to make the pic busier and more vibrant. I’ll tackle that in a while. I’m quite keen on the clouds though because they go a long way with filling in the very bare horizon. Ever since I started this pic I knew I’d have to deal with the fact that I didn’t really know if the horizon was curved, horizontal or even exactly where it lay! With the light bloom in the upper left and the clouds in the upper right the problem’s nearly gone!

Markovic - Glad to know that you were around to apply a bit of arm-bending to get me to continue. It’s appreciated!

Foane - Yeah, what with my three and a half week break while everyone was still working hard on their entries, I can see why I’d be overlooked! Professional level? No, though perhaps one day when I’ve learned how to draw figures properly. Hell, I’m enjoying it so much as a hobby, being able to draw what I want, when I want… you know…

x_se7en_x - Someone like me! I’ve always wanted to do illustration for a living and have done a couple of small-time illustration jobs in the past years which turned out well, but those corporate websites, business stationery and brochures really pay the bills, know what I mean. Fingers crossed, hopefully one day etc etc… Thanks for the reply!

||) |V| |^| - Do you mind if I call you ||) ? More ships = good, will appear in a couple of days hopefully. Cheers

magnethead - Thanks!

MDN67 - Thanks for appreciating the lighting. I’d say it’s one of my stronger points, and it all comes from really thinking hard about both how the light might occur properly in this situation and how the light might work to help the composition and achieve the most dramatic effect. I know the clouds are a bit basic right now, but I’ve only just put them in. In progress, and will hopefully look a lot better later. :thumbsup:

walrus - Great ideas for the clouds there. I think some softening and very subtle light rays would work very well. Thanks for looking on my site (and please feel free to leave a comment, somebody!) and I agree about this being possibly my strongest piece yet. As I’ve said, I’ve only really gotten into digital art over the last two years and all my practice and study of the basics seems to be paying off at last. You’d laugh if you saw what I was producing a year ago!


Good job dude!
I still prefer the latest version (less contrasted, more “subtil”).
I think you’ve reached the finish line.
I think you’ll be on the podium!
Good luck.


Sorry for not replying that long(Hollydays and Tattoowork). Excellent work. For the clouds, well,… I like the new mood of the pic, but the clouds are to solid, to intense for my taste.
Besides that::thumbsup:



Wow Jesse, this is fantastic, it all looks great, wonderful even.

Cheers to you sir, good show!!


The clouds are good but they need more work so they fit with the rest of the image wich has a very smooth feeling to it.
Absolutely great pic dude! :thumbsup:


Starbuck - Thanks a lot, I like subtle too but I may end up tweaking the final for a bit more contrast in certain areas.

Tommy - I’d love to see some of your tattoo work… got a website or any examples online? Yeah those clouds need sorting. I put in a bit of work late last night and they look a bit better. I’ll hopefully post an update tonight.

Newcenturydsn - Thanks for your constant encouragement from start to (near) finish. It’s helped immensely!

Cocoknight - Yes, smoothing out those clouds is priority number one, next only to making that damn ship/building look more ship-like and imminently taking off. After a period of frustration with my pic, recently I’ve begun enjoying the process again and that fills me with hope that it might end up working!

Check back tonight, I’ll post an update. Cheers you lot :wavey:


Here’s an update, I’ve not had that much time to work on it this evening, but then that’s always the way isn’t it?

What’s changed here, well I’ve made a few areas in the left hand side a bit darker to balance the pic out a bit more, and I’ve given the waterfall a fresh lick of paint. Lots of detailing of smaller structures and I’m still trying to get those buildings to the right of the ship to look ok.

I’ve worked the clouds a bit too, though they’re still a bit rough and ready, I feel they are really serving their purpose which is to prevent the eye from getting lost over there. I’m trying to keep the focus on the centre-to-upper-left area.

Now the ship, I’ve added some fins at the top, and I’ve begun to block in some extra bits freehand (not much fun with my juddery tiny wacom penpartner) and am generally working on making the ship pop out a bit more. Now I’m in two minds as to go with some thin bright light cracks appearing at the base or some kind of full-on thrust clouds.

Any crits and comments are very, very welcome!


This is comming along well. The yellow is almost too overpowering, but you have managed to balance it well with the shadow.


As said: Besides the clouds… nothing to crit. Its a beautyfull image.:thumbsup:

And about my tattoowork. Have to get new webspace, because i am not hosted on cgnetworks no more.
When I have a new site ready I’ll anounce it.

Cheerz buddy



I’ve snuck in a few hours this afternoon to work on the pic, specifically the problematic cloud region in the upper right. There wasn’t a very good response to it so I’ve revisited it and tried to make it much less severe. Did I succeed?

This is the first time I’ve posted a detail of the main piece, though it’s still only 60% zoom. At 100% you’d notice both how big the whole picture is, and how sketchy and loose a lot of the detail is. It’s always nice to save out a small version because it looks so much tighter!

My next bone of contention is that awful building just to the right of the leftmost pair of little ships. I’m going to try tackling that next, though I’m not sure it can be saved!


The streams of light are really nice, and exactly what I was talking about! It’ll be nice to see them not in a cose up, jjst to see how the angle works with the whole composition, but they look good from here. That one dark cloud on the bottom-ish right still sticks out as looking a bit solid, but everything else appears to have been adequately beaten back into fluffiness. :slight_smile: You might want to consider adding some more atmospheric hazing to those small ships which are obviously far in the background… but again, hard to really tell unless we saw the whole thing.
But no other crits: It’s just looking great!