Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: Patrick Jensen


Happy New Year everyone!

Having a great and restful break, I came back to this project last night with a fresh outlook on what it could become. The original composition just wasn’t working for me, and the original intent was to have the viewer somehow stuck in the middle of this epic battle, which led to the formation of the ship and ultimately this new composition.

**Note: More ships are coming, heh. Just trying to get the composition and main action locked before I keep adding extras and mayhem, (while keeping the whole thing from getting cluttered), all great challenges I look forward to.

I’d be greatful for any comments or suggestions you have. And keep up the amazing work I’m seeing around here!




Heh he he he :eek: *

I just knew things would go crazy during the last few weeks.
I thought you had quit allready! There goes my chance for even honorable mention.

Is that sky from photoref?

If not it might be the best one so far!


This is wonderful, Tonsen! I agree with Falcor…it must be the best sky around. Simply stunning. The spaceship in the foreground looks wonderful, and those spikes pointing out worked out perfectly! I would like to suggest two things, that I think might improve your work:

  1. The planet’s horizon seems too curved. If possible, try to straighten it a bit, so the planet doesn’t seem so small.

  2. The rocket’s trail is calling too much attention. Try to make it less obvious, or remove one of the trails.

This entry is one of the best, definitely.

Keep it up!


Hi tonsen,

really beautiful picture. Outstanding what you conjured up in final lap. The atmosphere is great.

Just a question. How did you make the metal texture of the right spaceship in the foreground?

Best wishes


Great job indeed! I just love Your colour scheme! Can’t wait for finished piece


It, is made very good is controlled and your super sky have a
good luck.


This is just beautiful, Jensen! Great work! As for a secxond opinion, I am going to respectfully disagree with Andreas: I really like the fish-eye lens feel that you’ve carried over from your earlier concept, and hope that you’ll keep it. and I like the twin missile trails too. I will, in a vague attempt to be helpful, point out just two things that catch my eye, but it’s a really nice piece and would be wonderful without any changes. But anyhow:

It catches my eye that all of the spikes on the right ship all end almost perfectly at the horizon of the planet. I like that they add a sense of perspective, but i wonder how they would look is they were each a few feet shorter.

Secondly, with so much beautiful perspective in this shop, it feel a little unfitting that the attacking ship is seen from a near-perfect front view. A little more tilt and perspective could make it look much more in-place.

But anyhow, nonetheless great work!



Falcor: Thanks! The sky did originate from a photograph I took. It started as a mid-day sky which I then tweaked and painted into a sunset. I’ll post the photos I involved in the scene soon so you can see the before and after.

andreasrocha: Thank you! As you can see from the last pic to this one, I had to pull back the warped fish eye lens…and the curvature was an issue I was struggling with for a while. I think I can find a middle ground between yours and walrus’s observations. The horizon is not consistant from the left to the right of the image, which I noticed after reading your comments. So I’ll work on that one, thanks! And I’ve been tweaking the trails…adding more shadowing to them…and it’s helping…so good catch.

Fahrija: Hey there! The metal sheen is mainly use of a brush set to color dodge. Sometimes I lasso an area of an image, copy and past it…then use various brush settings on it, and erase which areas I don’t like from this layer. Always gives new results you might otherwise not think of with straight color painting.

KaleN and Tranchefeux: Thanks!

walrus: I’ve been trying to give the spikes more purpose than just compositional coolness, so hopefully you’ll like the update I’ll put up tonight. And your comment about the left ship’s perspective caused me to completely revamp it…which…thank you for that, cause I came up with a new style of ship that contrasts our hero ship much better.

Thanks for the help! And great job on your scenes as well!

  • Jensen


Stunning work, your painting skills are very high !
I would be interested to see the photo ref you have used for this pict.
By advance, congrats for the prize you will win for sure. :thumbsup:


Thanks to your great comments, and some more inspiration from around here, I give you the latest.

More refinements of some areas will be done soon. As well as re-thinking some of the smaller ships and where they’re placed.

In the meantime, enjoy! And have a good one,



Hi Tonsen,

I love this piece. The sequence really leads me somewhere else. My favorite.

Just some notes about the smoke trails.
The smoke trail of the projectile which hits the background ship I would make as thinner as is reaches the ship and just a bit bigger at the beginning of the flight path (with a bit more translucent character).
I would not paint the smoke trail all the way to the ship which fired the projectile because the ship itself also moves in the same time as the projectile does. That means the starting point of the smoketrail is somewhere else. By doing that I think you increase the impression of movement.



Hi Tonsen,
My opinion is that the perfect balance was reached by the previous pict you’ve posted.
The last one isn’t as good to me, so I’ll try to explain my impression :

  • The missile was a dynamic element, easy to read ; now the explosion disturbs the action, because it’s in the wrong sense, and because I can’t see what’s destroyed.
  • The missile gas trail is gray-blue now, so it breaks the red color scheme of the sky.
  • The previous shape of the firing ship was more dynamic.
  • The up-left ship disturb me : its shape and its direction are not clear to me, and I like your sky so much…
  • It’s a shame you hid a part of your city, at the bottom of your pict : it was so rich…
  • The new glow on the lights of the foreground ship are too strong : It was perfect to me on the previous version : striking and sober.
    Anyway you’re the only master onboard after God, so I wish you good luck !


Great work man:thumbsup:

There are so many things that hapends in your illustration. Like the concept. I can’t wait to see more.

My Grand Space Opera


Wow. Great composition and choice of colors. A lot of emotional value in this concept as well…can’t wait to see the next update!


Hey, Jensen, looking good! I love the new ship: The direction it’s facing makes it very dynamic. And I like your changes on the horizon, which now make the spikes read a lot better too. And your sky is still just amazing! A few comments, though, some of which echo many of Arctis’ good points:

I acree about the glow on the right ship being too strong now… Or perhaps it’s not just that they’re too strong but that they also have a blue tinge to them. Being one of the only cool colors in the shot - and definitely one of the brightest - it sucks your eye there, 'thoough there’s no particular reason that people need to stare at that part of the picture.

I have a lot of trouble reading what that missile is hitting. Fahrija and Arctis said it all about changes, i just really had to study it just to figure it out.

I’m not sure whether the composition needs that top left ship. On one hand, it does frame the piece nicely. But on the other hand, it closes in a shot that’s all about dynamic flight, and leaving it a bit more open really helps give a feelign of movelemt and open space and flight.

Anyhow, hope these are helpful. Really beautiful work, have fun finishing! And thanks for your helpful notes on my piece.



Nice explosion effects! :thumbsup: I like the scale and perspective in your composition!


wooo! lookin’ good. i like the progress you’ve made since ya showed me yesterday. cant wait to see ya sunday!


Fahrija: I was aware of that fact of the smoke trails…and have yet to address it. And since you spotted that as well, I think it’s time! Thank you, and thanks for the continuing crits and support. I have been enjoying your various sketches which are great to see as you progressed to your final result. Keep it up!

Arctis: Thanks for the great encouragement and your ideas as well. I agree with you on the color scheme…I’m actually painting it with a pallete closer to the more recent image…the one before having a reddish filter over it, which I agree in thinking it’s more unified that way. And I’ll try out some of your suggestions, thank you!

jbradley and Velinov: Thanks so much! New update coming very soon.

walrus: Great points as well. The top ship…I’m disliking more and more, and at this point it’s gone, heh. It’s competing with the grandness of the ship we’re on, and the scale of the whole piece…so it’s helping a lot now that it’s out. Thanks to you and Arctis for that one.

(and thanks a heap Worm!)

Next on the list of things to fix are those terrible glows. They were an easy stand in for what would otherwise be a very intricate powering device. And the smoke trails and explosion will be addressed, as well as the overall color scheme. Thanks again for the help.


  • Jensen


A well executed piece…I followed your process with great interest.

You’ve achieved a great bit of artwork




Wow incredible image, it’s the first time i see your project, it’s terrific the sky, the ship the city all yopur élément are terrible the atmospère and the light is very very welle render, for me it’s perhaps the best realistic picture of the challenge 2d, i really like this, very gret job, i cry on my work:sad:,… but it’s the challenge :), very great work:applause: