Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: Tom Probert


Tom Probert has entered the Grand Space Opera 2D.

Challenge Page

Latest Update: Coloring WIP: colouring on new composition

right, been busy recently with other illustration work, so it’s good to get back to the opera!

i’ve stopped looking at other compositions now and i’m just going to steam ahead with this one.

i thought i’d just post up what i’ve done so far, get some feedback…i’m going to try to get it looking less stark, but i want to retain the retro feel…any ideas?



i am working alongside michael hill on a common story line for this challenge, we are each taking a different viewpoint.

my piece is set on mars, where a soviet force is preparing to leave for earth.

this is my first impression, i want to get a few consept sketches down, then develop the ideas i’m happy with.



coloured version of the concept is on its way…


I like your comp, it looks promising…
Good luck !


This could be nice. It looks a lot like a book cover.


Nice composition so far! The strong diagonal lines really lend it a feeling of drama. Keep pushing that, it’s doing great. Look forward to seeing how you make out with it… Best of luck!



I agree with Walrus there. Nice work so far, cant wait to see more!


Nice one man!

What is the story behind it all? =)


Thanks for the positive feedback people, keep it coming! I’m glad the composition has been recognised as i’ve put a lot of thought into the composition from the start (although i’m not 100% happy with it yet!).

The story is on its way, there is a solid back-story that links my piece with Michael Hill’s entryi’m just finalising a few details with Mike. Check back soon and it should all be here.

again, thanks and keep the crits coming!



A variation on the first idea, this one makes better use of the composition, although i prefer the characters from the first. there are elements from both that i can encorporate.

my biggest problem at the moment is finding ways of getting that sense of scale with the background ships.



i messed up the submission of this image, so i’m just posting it again. i’ll be keeping along these lines for the characters. the idea is they’re walking out to get into their planes, or to get loaded up into one of the huge ships. the idea was to convey the tension, excitement, and sense of awe and importance they would be feeling.



Here’s a quick concept for the huge soviet landing ships. The idea is that the ships are purely functional, and have been built in the crudest, cheapest way to get the job done. this shape was distilled from hundreds of small sketches.

for launch, rocket boosters are strapped onto the side of the ships, just for the journey over to earth.

check out Mike Hill’s thread


I think you caught well the “soviet design”, and I don’t see no problem about sense of scale. It’s just a question of finition. Just take a look at how a guy named Atmospheria resolved the question, if you have time…
Good luck.


Hi, you’ve great skills.
The composition of your first sketch could be more interesting if you added some middleground elements. There’re those ‘Astronauts’ in the extreme foreground and ther’re those ships in the background… maybe if you enlarge the canvas size on one side (I’d take right) and don’t add more ‘Astronauts’ there, then there would be room for some interesting middleground elements…


prity cool, prity cool,

The composition is very simple, and i like that, but i think the profile of your rocket ships need work. They dont have very much character to them.

cool work, reminds me of classic sci fi movie posters!


I’m happy with the composition of my cosmonauts, although it’s always open to change.

I just wanted to get some proper colour and detail down and the overall composition’s changed a bit too - I’ve added a plane in the middle ground, so that’ll be up soon.

Let me know what you think of this rough colour study, have I overdone the yellow?!



Nice work Freefall Alpha :bounce:

I also liked the picture of russian cosmonauts celebrating under the big rocket. Looked quite nice indeed.

I dont think you have overdone yellow on that pic… Makes me think of early morning launch.
Also try to consider that if they are supposed to be launched they are sitting propably back towards ground so keep in mind the sun position. Or are they supposed to be on the ground?

About the yellow … maybe just adding some other color into the shadows might help?


I wasn’t that happy with the composition of my cosmonauts so I’ve dropped the camera angle down a bit. This will allow me to put all the background elements in - the gargantuan rockets etc.



just a quick helmet concept i did as relief from trying to get the composition right.

C&C very much appreciated, i’m trying to get the soviet feel but get away from just a cosmonaut helmet, any ideas?



nice work,

such a cool design. definitely very soviet it would be cool to see the interior hinged sections down and get some nice visor effects on that puppy.

also the hinge pivot point on the side could look really nice with a bit of development


Freefall Omega