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:star: Beyond the Western Deep - The Long Journey Ahead

This project has been in the works since October 2015! I spent over 50 hours on casting, promoting and audio production and so far it's coming along great! 

I even did some paintings:

Quinlan by darkspeeds Dakkan by darkspeeds Hardin by darkspeeds Janik by darkspeeds

And commissioned :icontoxodentrail: to compose an overture for the webcomic series.

So if you combine all the additional contributions I'd clock over 70 hours of work. It's been a labour of love being a fan, and I wouldn't have it any other way. In fact, this experience wouldn't have been possible without :icondreamkeepers:'s recommendation on Twitter many months ago. 8-)

Anyways just a reminder - I plan to get the movie complete sometime in February, which is next month - gee the year is coming along quick! Right now I'm waiting up on :icontdcpresents: & :iconkobb: to have the HIGH RES images for Chapter 2 ready for the project. Audio production wise I'm 65% done, totaling close to 40 minutes of audio.

So without further ado here's a sample of things to come!

I tip my hat off to my wonderful cast for their excellent performances and company so far. 
We have the following featured on this sample:

TheTigerwolf55 as QUINLAN
Wolfblade93 as DAKKAN
Fairfieldfencer as KENOSH & FELIS BANDIT
and Donniegirl12 as FEMALE FELIS BANDIT

Seriously guys you are amazing and thank you for being there with me on this awesome journey so far! We're almost ready for premier night! Woo! ;)

A reminder of who else has been picked for the casting:

Beyond-the-Western-Deep FULL-CAST OCT2015 by darkspeeds

If you have an audio project and in need of voice actors please don't hesitate to look up on these people. 

Also! I got the intro storyboard set up and ready to be illustrated and be used in the movie! Here's how it looks like!

Intro-storyboard BtWD-TheMovie JAN2016 by darkspeeds

Anyways it's time to get my ass back into gear with commission work and project development for the Edenspell series!

:star: Unleash the Beast In You!!

I've got two more commissions to work on before I finally get the opportunity to work Edenspell for the whole month of February, without interuptions (and it'll time to fly off to the US and Canada in March!).

This one is :iconedgetenebris: - I've been instructed to illustrate his character EdgeTenebris who has two persona's - Edge the Hedgehog and The Obsidian

Commission EdgeTenebris: Edge the Hedgehog by ShockRabbit Commission EdgeTenebris: The Obsidian by ShockRabbit

Long story short, he's a hybrid that has electrokinesis due to an evil ancient spirit possessing him. He looks pretty damn bad-ass.
And so to help me on this commission I read up on his character's bio, got inspired and tried to get into character. I've unleashed myself!

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I took several photos but I decided to stick with the ones above. After analysing the photos I sketched this:

EdgeTenebris Concepts by darkspeeds

Let me know what you think Edge! You cool with Version one: Full Frontal or Version Two: Side Profile?

Also if you're wondering where those poses came from for :icons-d-f-studios:'s commission here they are! Match it with the illustration below! Woot!

P1190311---Copy by darkspeeds P1190307---Copy by darkspeeds 
COMMISSION #41 S-D-F-Studios ($70) by darkspeeds

And for those who are wondering - I'm not ashamed of showing my body, your own body can make excellent reference points for your illustration! I encourage you to make it a general practice (go get yourself a camera, a stand, and a giant mirror) clothed or half-naked. ;)

:star: AUDITIONS! Dreamkeepers - Brotherly Love

I've been recently inspired after reading through Dreamkeepers Volume 4: Descent to the Archives.

In preparation for the next big comic drama project I'm going to showcase a 'sample' to the Dreamkeepers fandom and readers beyond, as well as be on the lookout for voice actors who will potentially be cast for the big project that's planned for mid-year of 2016.

This Dreamkeepers sample will span from Page 256 to Page 262.

If you're into voice acting, give it a go! If you're into voice acting and love the Dreamkeepers series - even better! Spirits, you better get in line and show me what you can do! Good luck and have fun! ;)

Characters available for audition include THREE PROTAGONISTS:

Bobby Dreamkeepers-The Big Brother by darkspeeds Bobby (aka Robert Frederick)
Vi Dreamkeepers-The Big Brother by darkspeeds Vi (aka Viriathus)
Mace Dreamkeepers-The-Big-Brother by darkspeeds Mace


Narp Dreamkeepers-The-Big-Brother by darkspeeds Gorse Dreamkeepers-The-Big-Brother by darkspeeds Deral Dreamkeepers-The-Big-Brother by darkspeeds Mailman Dreamkeepers-The-Big-Brother by darkspeeds Bobby's-girlfriend Dreamkeepers-The-Big-Brother by darkspeeds

AUDITION NOW via Behind the Voice Actors

Deadline: Thursday, January, 21 2016 [ 11:59pm PST ]

Prelude 262 by Dreamkeepers

:star: Dreamkeepers Volume Four - AARRRGGGHH!!!

It FINALLY stormed and rained back home (take note that it's been a scorching Summer over here in Australia!)

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You could see the storm clouds over in the distant South of where I am.
And you know what that means!

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It's time! Watch the video!

And now that you watched the video, here are some photos to share!

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I always, always, ALWAYS look forward to every book of the Dreamkeepers series. The golden rule is to never read it digitally (not until I read the story in person with book in hand). I must ALWAYS get the physical book, to me it's a respectful nod to the hardworking creators. 

As I turned the page I read EVERY detail - including the credits. The Foreword is an exceptional feeling of returning to an old friend who has some pearls of wisdom to share - and insightful they were. Did I understand it fully? I can safely say no, it's cryptic and always draw a fine line between black and white - it hits the grey area - making us think and ponder more on the meaning of the message. A truly satisfying experience.

This experience is eccentuated when you understand where the creator is coming from, story telling is a really important thing to do for him. And I could not have understood this without some research into his idealogy and the roots of where he attained it. Read up on Brian Mc Donald's stuff and find the footprints.

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Yay! I got VI! An outstanding protagonist to this volume, a lot of fans have been waiting a very long time for her to make an official debut on the graphic novel saga. And check out that opening illustration - wow. If you've been following this series from day one, you will understand where I'm coming from. That illustration above featuring the five characters just makes me smile.

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Clever. VERY clever. It was entertaining to see bits of Namah's personal diary, the story teller incorporated that into a narrative element to keep things fresh for readers ye faithful to the Dreamkeepers series.

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Karo's too smug for me (lol). 

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And YEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSS!! It's Bobby with a sweet-ass haircut and 'Rescue Rangers' jacket! Hoo-haah! Can't wait to see this guy in action with Vi's team!
Listen, DK fan, do me a favour. Remember this illustration?

Prelude 262 by Dreamkeepers

And play this track while you look at it for a while.

Tell me you didn't feel anything. Tell me. Aah? Aah? I know right? Right?!

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I'm really digging the character development with these four kids... Hip-hop Mace looks adorable. I'm expecting a hearty bromance between the two by the end of Chapter 50. And as for Lilith and Namah - their bond is strong and very relatable to some families out there...! Love it.

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Last but not least - so many new characters! And Commander Cal... Hoo boy, look what this guy did to me today, I got inspired and went straight to my recording studios...

Darkspeeds COMMANDER CAL (voiced by Darkspeeds)

Apologies for the profanity but that scene felt raw man! Had to do it! XX3 If you're thinking of getting involved in my next big project feel free to e-mail me your auditions for any of the characters featured in the Dreamkeepers series. I plan to do one in the month of my birthday which is April! Hope to get you on board. ;)

:star: One Hour Sonic - Closing Down

Hi everyone! I'd like to keep this short and sweet.

OneHourSonic logo2 JAN2012 by darkspeeds

Four years ago I've created a group on deviantART that encouraged the Sonic community on deviantART to challenge themselves creatively on a daily basis. The exercise involves an individual artist to produce a Sonic illustration within the hour.

The group grew to 1,315 Members, 1,338 Watchers, and 57,983 Pageviews till this day. 

I want to thank everyone who got involved, including the co-founders :iconludolik:, :iconmissyuna: and to all the wonderful participants of the exercise. There were some truly shining examples of what can be created in one hour and there were many that showcased the true spirit of 'giving it a go'.

It is time to say goodbye since the founders including myself just don't have the time to run it and the group has been made redundant for the past couple of years.

I don't plan to have anyone else running it and the decision is final. It's been great sharing the experience and witnessing your creativity! 

:star: Behind-the-scenes (TwinTailFireFox12 commission)

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Click on the image below to link back to the finished illustration (digitally contrasted and cleaned-up) with a description provided on the process.
COMMISSION #39 TwinTailFireFox12 ($30) by darkspeeds

:star: New Studios (The Concept Room)

Hi everyone! Let me start by saying two things.

One: I wish you all a Happy New Year - may the year be exciting, fruitful and fulfilling!

Two: Sincerest apologies for the lack of updates to my art commissioners! It's been a crazy Christmas and New Years but it's all good now that I'm done with celebrations, bookings for my holiday to the US/Canada, and did most of the setup for my new Concept Room upstairs. Kayla, you'll be first on the list as you have paid in full last week. Blackan will be next - please make a 50% deposit when you're ready mate so that I can get cracking!

Now then I've got some exciting plans for the year of 2016 - I've been giving myself a year to set myself back to a routine where I can source income from part-time work after coming back from studying overseas. Now that everything is running smoothly I can start setting goals for myself to become a freelance illustrator - specialising in storytelling through portraits, backdrops and sequential art.

I will list down my plans and goals for 2016 but I'll reserve that for next week. For now let's share with you some photos of my new studio set up upstairs (converted from my bedroom).

First I had to clean up the room and take out all the old junk to make space! 
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I went to IKEA and OFFICEWORKS to shop for furnirture, plants and parts. Time to construct!
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Next day I went to HARVEY NORMAN to get a new 'All-in-One' PC with a 27" monitor.
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With a new PC set up and everything fixed in place here's the result (sword included)
The large mirror, as well as the magnet strips and magazine holders will come in handy!
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And this is how the desk looks like! PC, drafting table, lamp and tools ready to be utilised!
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So essentially the studio downstairs will be where I'll do all of my digital painting and the studios upstairs will be a place where I can bring ideas to life from research, sketches and application.

Hope this will inspire you to start constructing your own art studio or even do a revamp of your current one! Good luck!

:star: Merry Christmas ~ (Part 2) Painting Process - Catching Up

It all starts with the humble thumbnail sketch. I did three and decided to pick the best one that would suit the project.

Catching-Up 01 by darkspeeds

I then decided to take photos of myself posing as the subjects (Mordecai and Rose) for my own referal when it comes to accuracy of posture, anatomy and the folds of jeans/pants.

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I continue to illustrate the elements that made up the illustration, making sure that I got a solid foundation before I began painting. Excuse my 80's cartoon references!

Catching-Up 02 by darkspeeds
Catching-Up 03 by darkspeeds
Catching-Up 04 by darkspeeds
Catching-Up 04b by darkspeeds

As you can see I've made some changes - there is one chair less outside the cafe and one of Rose's eyes is open. There is more appeal to a character's face when the eyes are visible rather than closed.

Catching-Up 05 by darkspeeds
Catching-Up 07 by darkspeeds
Catching-Up 08 by darkspeeds
Catching-Up 11B 2 by darkspeeds

I gave Rose a 1930's female bandanna to cover most of her curled hair, and as for her winter fashion I used an Americana 1930's fashion ad for reference.

f4d8551c2e15e0af92229d6f950896ee---Copy by darkspeeds 
1927-womens-winter-clothing-02 2 by darkspeeds

The waiter serving at the bar/cafe was referenced from the following two images:

142546734 2 by darkspeeds
1920  080814 by darkspeeds

The painting style I hope to learn and imitate was one of the famous American master illustrators - Norman Rockwell. I used these for inspiration.

Rockwell4 2 by darkspeeds
071224-4 Coca-Cola Santa 2 by darkspeeds

I love how simple his subject matter is illustrated on canvas - there is so much impact from simple storytelling: this is evident in the dynamic and interesting posing of his subjects and clever application of light and colour with each brush stroke.

I used a 1930's photo of a cafe outside of New York to get a clearer picture of the setting for my illustration.

tumblr lorld5kEmx1qdeuyro1 1281 by darkspeeds

In fact I even used the same font design from the image for the signage.

Last but not least I used an app called ARTPOSE (both male and female versions) to get the correct pose and LIGHTING to render accurately with accordance to the foundations placed. 

12310000 10156833188085131 4178210911337618758 O by darkspeeds 12322507 10156833188090131 7747770730008648344 O by darkspeeds

And so after hours and hours of painting this was the end result. I hope this has been insightful!

Catching Up by darkspeeds

:star: Merry Christmas ~ (Part 1) A Composition To Share!

First and foremost, may you and the family have a festive Christmas holiday!

It's been a crazy month of preparations for the holidays and I'm sure that many of you have purchased gifts for loved ones and written a good ol' fashioned X-mas card to compliment your thoughts and warm wishes.

You will know that I've been working on the an audio production for the past few couple of months based off the webcomic series by Alex Kain and Rachel Bennett entitled: Beyond the Western Deep.

Beyond-the-Western-Deep The-Movie-poster2 OCT2015 by darkspeeds

Well it is still in production and I can happily say that I'm halfway through completing the Prologue chapter and Chapter 01 so far - the total audio length comes to 30 minutes long!

I was in love with the series that I had decided to go a step further as a fan by purchasing a commission from the ever fantastic and talented artist (illustrator and composer!) Hugo Junstrand aka Toxodentrail :icontoxodentrail:

He actually approached me when he heard about my project and offered to compose music for the movie (well comic drama to be precise, but 'movie' sounds fancier doesn't it? XD). I took a look at his work on his Youtube channel and was blown by what he can do. His Uberquest Main Theme composition is my favourite on his list of commissions completed for previous clients. We quickly caught up on Skype and I was eager to get him to compose an 'Overture' of the series.

It all started with this melody that Hugo had developed about a quick discussion on my request. Have a listen to this first!

Beyond the Western Deep -Main  Melody

A month later and a couple more catch ups on Skype, we present to you, especially to the community of the Beyond the Western Deep -the Overture.

I'd like to say that it's been a real pleasure chatting to Hugo on Skype about the series, the composition, and music in general. We had fun and technical discussions on melody, orchestral music, video game music, the story and concept behind Beyond the Western and how it could be incorporated into the composition. You can imagine me going to Hugo with a suggestion for the mid-section to go like: "Bum, bum, BUUUUUUM!" here or "Vmmmm, vm-vmh Da-daaaaaah!!" and Hugo will go like - or maybe like this: "Dun da da da daaaaah!" - and I'll go - yeah that's it! Let's do that! Trumpets, strings, bass, flute, forest, journey, medieval, conflict, the rise to responsibility, the discussion just went on and on and it's an experience that I'd like to share once again with Hugo when I'm ready with my Edenspell webcomic series.

Also I'd like to share with you Hugo's thoughts on this project, both his experience and approach:

From my reading experience, Beyond the Western Keep felt like a story that's about the people and the consequences of war rather than war as the overall focus.

With the English Horn representing the forest and the Bass Flute the mountains, the importance of this overture were those instruments in particular, playing the main melody, considering where the story takes place.

In the beginning, they play each other off in harmony, in the middle where things are reaching for the worse they play each other off as if trying to obtain dominance, and after the climax they are separated with other instruments filling the gaps for them. Even though there might be a glimmer of hope, in the end, they're still trying to pick up the pieces from the horrible tragedy that occurred.

Beautifully explained Hugo. 

If you'd like to inquire about commission rates or anything regarding his professional work just shoot an e-mail to Hugo via His rates are very reasonable!

Anyways hope you've enjoyed the composition - you can DOWNLOAD THE HIGH-QUALITY AUDIO on my Dropbox (I will pass this on to Alex and Rachel so that they can put it on their website for download too!) What a wonderful thing to listen to as well as keep on your hard drive or music player!

Part 2 to this journal will arrive as soon as I finish a 'particular' painting dedicated to :icontracyjb:'s Lackadaisy series. See you hopefully in the evening!

:star: DUST: An Elysian Tail

The Humble Store is having a sale (same goes with Steam  in day's time!) Be sure to check it them out if you've been meaning to get some games you couldn't get in the past due to a tight budget.

I don't play alot of games, but there is one that I've been meaning to check out.

Dust Aet Logo2 by darkspeeds
Dust Sketch Holding Ahrah Transparent by darkspeeds

I have a feeling that you lot who are watching me have played this game. Let me know what you think of it! And if you haven't a clue what it is about, I highly recommend you watch this trailer - mind-blowing stuff!

I'm currently halfway through my download. I plan to give this a shot after I'm done with some of the commissions next week!

Oh and it'd be a shame not to mention this title too: Freedom Planet

I don't think I'll have enough time to play through all the levels and bosses so I'll watch a playthrough instead. XD Could anyone recommend which channel to watch?

Freedom Planet Artwork By Gashi Gashi-d5y2buo by darkspeeds

:star: Six Days Till Christmas!

It's amazing how time flies - we're almost to Christmas! Have you done your Christmas shopping? Have you watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens? I got myself a bunch of stuff but perhaps the most interesting item would be a 13th Century Sword (live blade). You're wondering - why? I'm telling ya - why not? (Actually I have a legit reason and it's a story to share for the New Year). ;)

Anyways this past week had been BUSY. So I do apologise in advance to :iconblackan: and :icontwintailfirefox12: for the lack of updates on their commissioned pieces. I will however commit to getting those done right after I finished this painting in which I'm about to reveal for progress. = )

All of those who are watching, you should know of the Lackadaisy series by Tracy J Butler (aka :icontracyjb: and if you haven't where have you been?), I'm doing a Christmas tribute illustration and this year it's dedicated to her series. I found a powerful connection and purpose with a particular strip she did recently - check it out below.

Lackadaisy Critique by tracyjb

This has become my most favourite strip out of all of the stories she's illustrated so far and I believe, in my opinion, that this is her strongest piece of sequential art up to date. There's so much I can say about this, it's like I'm literally sitting next to those kids and watching it all unfold - it's a surreal feeling. And the concept behind 'Lackadaisy Critique' is beautiful especially if you are already invested into the story and characters - the payoff for this flashback is immensley satisfying.

So because I felt a connection I decided to do a tribute piece connecting to the meaning of Christmas. For now I shall share with you interesting screenshots of progress on my Cintiq. You can have a good idea of how I approach my illustration/painting process and perhaps learn something handy from it. You can bet your bottom dollar that I'm utilising a skill that old masters use to recreate their illustrations and strengthen details - using references! There is no harm in using an age-old technique that has transcended throughout time - give it a go!

A-preview...! by darkspeeds
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A-preview...!3 by darkspeeds

Hope everyone is in preparation for a wonderful Christmas this year! Peace out for tonight. ;)

:star: It has finally arrived. It's been over two years!!


Allow me to take a brief moment to take pride of holding and owning a copy of David and Liz Lillie's Dreamkeepers graphic novel - their epic fourth installment in the graphic novel series.



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That one's for you David and Liz.

I don't think I need to explain to alot of you who are watching me that I've been an avid fan of their work since I picked up their first volume back in 2010 entitled: Awakenings.

Here is the full collection of their graphic novel series so far that's sitting in my home studios:

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Seriously. These guys are masters of their craft. And by craft, I mean storytelling (technically visual storytelling or stories through sequential art).

We take storytelling for granted, in fact, many of you don't realise that we subconsciously use stories as tools for survival.

I have David Lillie to thank for giving me a reason to embrace storytelling at a grass-roots level - in fact that leads me to give credit to the guy who has given us that vision in the first place: Brian McDonald (get his two books - Invisible Ink and The Golden Theme - it could will change the way you see how stories work and why stories matter). 

Anyways back to the Dreamkeepers stuff...!

Check out this monster of a poster!!

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That will be a poster of inspiration and to remind me that I need to get to a level of storytelling as close as I can to theirs with my Edenspell series.

May I remind all of you that this dynamic duo has done everything right as indy publishers of their own IP. Their most recent success was raising over $80,000 USD for their Kickstarter campaign for their Dreamkeepers project.

So yeah for the DK fans who watch me, have I read Volume 4 yet...?

Nope. Aww hell no.

Not UNTIL a certain special mood and day (specifically when it's an overcast/rainy day - afternoon to evening time). It's the moment you feel that the air is damp as soon as you open the window, like morning mist, followed by a breeze that's chilly, but not frosty. Then the rain falls. It feels heavy, hitting the roof of your home making sounds of pelting chaos - you feel safe under the roof of a bricked building. This is when I would snuggle up to my bed, warmed by a hot drink and blanket, all by myself, immersing myself into the world that is Dreamkeepers - a dark but fantastical place where it's a matter of survival, life and death. One moment it's all bright sunshine and laughter, the next, pure horror and gore.

There are characters that I've heavily invested in, 5 years so far that's locked up on the back of my mind, and I'm scared to see them die at any time, because it CAN happen in Dreamkeepers.

You see how special this book is? I've waited over two years for this. You know that feeling when you've been waiting for something that you've been highly anticipating? This is one of those moments.

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Before I dive into Volume 5 I'm anticipating once again a sense of curious adventure, mystery, high-impact action, drama, and satisfying conclusions and cliff-hangers. I'm looking forward to how Mace, Whip, Lilith, Namah and Bast will get into the Sabatton Tower and uncover some intriguing mysteries, I'm looking forward to what the Trioka are up to and how they will deal with their mission (omg we got Vi, Bobby, Rumour -AARGH WHAT A COOL NAME!! - and Karo + Bill, Woods and Damon + along with Igrath, Scinter, the Indi & Digo twins, Grunn and Nainso, I'm looking forward to what the bad guys will be scheming and whether they will succeed to achieve chaos and discord (we got precarious Randy, the Dark Dreamkeepers: Tinsel, Ravat, Wisp, and of course, the Nightmares - keeping a close eye on Nabonidus).

Let me also tell you now that I have yet read the PRELUDE series... Until today.

I just finished the PRELUDE book (and what a bloody HANDSOME book it is - check out that photo above with Mace as it's official bookmark!). Can I just say that having this backstory of the characters introduced into the series just makes me care so much more for them. The depth David and Liz go into character development whilst maintaining plot and story progression is unbelievable. And because I have read Prelude I'm SO packed and ready to go with Vi and Bobby into their first official mission with the Trioka.

If any of you have not picked up a copy of their books, I cannot recommend it more so. You're missing out, seriously.

:star: Jelessa's Commission - Painting Process

CM47 SonnieJaye 01 12-12-2015 by darkspeeds
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COMMISSION #38 Sonniejaye ($60) by darkspeeds

:star: Cop Posing!

Darnit, I literally have to go, like right now (to work)!!

I'll be back for updates on my latest commission but for now (i.e. for :iconsonniejaye:), have a look what's been worked on Jelessa. ;)

Poses I took with my camera rather than use references from Google that have already been taken by other people/professionals. It felt liberating to create your own pose! Check them out. ^^

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Anyways I decided to pick one and see what I could do with it. I think I may have found something that works! 8-) 

reference SonnieJaye by darkspeeds

Anyways, time to go to work *drives to the casino*!!
:star: Janik Painting Process

It started with off with a quick session of myself posing for photo references. :D

I pictured Janik holding a thick hardbound book that she carries with her on her early journeys as ambassador (perhaps a Diary? a Travel log? The book of Vulpin politics? Who knows. One thing is for certain, on this illustration I wanted to show her behind a backdrop of desert suggesting that she is near the Vulpin capital of Navaran - Nessa.

Anyways back to the photos - and oh look, guess who reads Usagi Yojimbo? X3

Pose01 by darkspeeds Pose03 by darkspeeds

I decided to stick with my third photo which is pictured below. I also used ART POSE ap on my I-pad mini to assist me with how the light bounced off the figure from a certain angle and thus creating all the forms of light and shadow to be rendered. These two references will be my primary guide to this speed painting session. 

04 Janik 01 08-12-2015 by darkspeeds 04 Janik 02 08-12-2015 by darkspeeds
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And after about 4 hours of illustration time, viola! I used a violet-infused colour for the backdrop since it compliments really well with the yellows of her tumeric/dress which is a dominant colour of the subject I'm painting. 

I'm not truly happy with how she looked in terms of looking like a girl. Still looks like a guy to be honest. X_x; Rachel manages to distinguish boys and girls in her anthro-cartoon style with ease - just shows that I still got lots to learn and to practice!

Janik by darkspeeds

:star: The Spirit of Giving

What a week! I'm thirty minutes into the audio production to the Beyond the Western Deep: The Movie project, completed a video game that I've been waiting anxiously to play, had a fantastic Christmas BBQ lunch at my sister's with the family and worked my rounds at the casino while trying to adjust my body clock to work from evening to morning shifts. Busy, busy, busy!

This week I'd like to share a quick story.

You see my company at Crown Perth gives to employees a Hamper every year during Christmas to the part and full-timers (they must work one full year at least to get their first one, so if you worked on March for instance you won't get one till the following year). There are about over 5,000 employees in this entertainment precint which houses a casino, hotels, world class restuarants, bars, nightclubs and a convention centre. It is gracious of the company to give us this Hamper which includes a turkey, persiables (like wine, biscuits, chutney and custard) plus a selection: Ham, Salmon or more Perisables. 

I'm lucky to get free food and X-mas nibbles like this. But what about the less fortunate out there in my city?

This year Perth has been hit with some pretty bad unemployment figures - graduates from university and young people who have done apprenticeships find it very difficult to get a simple job in Perth. It's not as bad as what we may see in some other countries (like in some of cities in Europe as of the recent economic crisis they faced) I can vouch for this because I talk to alot of people in my job. Alot of the people who sign up to our loyalty program at the casino are young people and when I have a spare moment I politely ask them about their situation with school, employment and post graduation. 95% of them tell me that it's been extremely difficult - some haven't found a job in a year after graduating, some apply 50 job applications a week (way more than I would have done so, believe me).

Then from time to time I hear about the homeless people doing it tough in our streets, the families who may be living in the car because they couldn't afford the rent or are still waiting in the list of government housing. Alot of less fortunate people in Perth are left with little opportunities, and for those who living in less fortunate circumstances they need all the help they can get from community/profit-free institutions like The Salvation Army, St. Vincent De Pauls, Red Cross and Good Sammys Australia.

On my way to work I notice the food bin that's always been set up for donations during the Christmas period. I know our CEO Barry Felstead, as a person, is very giving to the community. He donates to Telethon and does the CEO Sleepout event held annual where top executives do a sleepout in the park for one cold night with a sleeping bag and soup for nourishment. I make it a habit to donate when I can while I was working in Crown. This time I wanted to amp up my donation and see what one hundred dollars can buy.

So I went to my local grocery chain (we call it Coles over here, similar to Tescos in the UK or Safeway in the US/Canada or Lido in Germany), got myself a shopping trolley and see what I can get.

Good thing there were a lot of specials during Christmas so I took every advantage I could take to get myself a bargain. 

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Untitled by darkspeeds

It was amazing what a hundred dollars can buy when there are specials goin' on at the grocerries! It felt good to pick a wide variety of food stuffs for the amazing volunteers who will be helping out preparing, cooking, and serving the less fortunate during Christmas.

Check out the reciept - I've saved almost seventy bucks for the 42 items I've purchased!!

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I've spread out the items in the studios to see what it's like.

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Lookin' good! Makes me hungry seeing that. Time to box it up!

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Ha ha, I wonder if somebody knows what this Darkspeeds is all about... lol

Anyways I'll be taking those to the donation bin when I head out to work on my next shift.

I have to say that giving back feels good. You should do it more often (provided that you can).

Have a lovely Christmas everyone, I know we're not there yet, you're probably already doing some online shopping - but do take a moment and see what it's like to give back to the community. It'd help alot of hungry mums, dads and kids who are doing it tough this festive season!

Oh and also, to :iconsonniejaye: and :iconblackan: I'll be working on your commissions this week! Thank you kindly for being patient with me! And :icontwintailfirefox12: I'll be replying to your note on your commission now! Thanks! 

:star: Until Dawn - YEEEESS!! I SURVIVED!!! (well, just!)

"Jesus hot sauce Christmas cake" ~ Mike

I think that was the best line in the game. lol 

OMG. I finally played it.

If you don't know what Until Dawn is about, it's an interactive drama survival horror video game developed by Supermassive Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 4.

I spent three nights to properly complete this. 

It's 7AM right now as I'm typing this and what a magical moment it was when I crossed the finishing line with many of the characters in the game surviving the terrible ordeal at Blackwood Pines Lodge.

Want to see how I reacted when Sam, Mike and the others escaped the horror and were blown away by a firework of explosions to destroy the evil within, only to be invited by the light of hope from the rising sun in the mountains and the sound of a helicopter ready to rescue the survivors?

It was 6AM and I screamed of joy (after turning on the light and getting my camera).

Ready for this?

Here we go.

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Untitled by darkspeeds

Can you feel it? That overwhelming sense of joy for playing an incredible game (a genre that is one my favourite of all time), following a dramatic story through tough decision making (and a some skill - well I wouldn't say real skill, I kinda cheated with the QTE - Quick Time Events - because you can actually pause just before the action requires input, just press the R1 button, don't be shy and don't be ashamed cuz you're gonna get killed REAL FAST if you don't! lol) and getting the payoff that you'd expect from a happy ending (provided that most of the survivors make it?). 

It's beautiful.

That's why I screamed out "YEEEEEEESSSSSS!!!" and "HALLELUJAH!!" in the wee hours of the morning (when everybody is suppose to be still in bed).

Wait did I already repeat why I screamed of joy? Good.

Here were the results of my first playthrough.

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Hold on a minute? What happened to Matt and Jessica?

Well... *a-hem*...

Well... This is what happened to Jess (and it's right towards the f**king end of the game - I ALMOST SAVED HER!!! WTF**K??? How was I SO STUPID NOT TO HIDE??? The Wendigo senses MOVEMENT and I decided to RUN AHEAD with Matt. Just ONE mistake and it cost the loss of a friend, the loss of a life. Damn it Matt. So sorry, I was careless. But you know what? To be honest, this makes more sense because Matt and Jess were NOT EXPOSED to the information about the Wendigos like the others did (when they found the Mystery Man's journal) and how to survive if you spotted one (or have one hunt you down). The only way to survive in that situation is pure luck and intuition. So I guess it wasn't too bad... I really wanted EVERYONE to survive (minus Josh because... Well you'll have to play the game to find out), but yeah, to be honest I would be super devasted if Sam, Mike, Chris and Ashley died... As for Emily... What a bitch. She can go to hell for all I care! lmao 

(And to be polite, I know my watchers here are mature and have been exposed to gore/violence, but a lot more of you are actually YOUNG. So please be advised to either - close your eyes and PRESS the PAGE DOWN key several times until you've reached the comments to... Erm... Comment! 

Want to know what happened to Jess when I ALMOST saved her? Scroll down.



Actually, I got a much smarter way to do this. Here's the first shot.

Jess01 by darkspeeds

Now click on the following links - if you dare...!!!

Jessica's death scene - part two
Jessica's death scene - part three
Jessica's death scene - part four

Poor Jessica. ;___; 

Anyway, back to the game.

The environments were surreal (the mood and lighting set the scenes). The characters were super believable (thanks to a great script and amazing actors), the pacing and controls were engaging and intense, the consequences of your actions - lethal. Your choices really matter and I followed through as if I was really me in the story (despite playing different characters). 

That was what made it more rewarding. I was a character of somewhat sensible morals. I will honestly say that I'm not truly brave or truly charitable. I'll raise my hand up there and say that I'm not ever likely to be a hero. 

This game can actually reflect on who you are and make you understand yourself a little more than before, if you managed to immerse yourself in the experience.

Go play the game. I highly recommend it.

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And now, as always, when it comes to TRULY AWESOME games that have alternate endings and death consequences of the protagonists in the story, I can't help myself but go to Youtube and explore ALL the possibilities - even watching the heroes die from failure of the player. What a treat!

:star: Kitty Kitty Purr Purr!

After an hour and a half I've got my base done in H graphite pencil. Now to outline and render the details!

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And this is what it looks like after 3 more hours!

COMMISSION #38 Yung-tuna-fish ($44 - OriginalSent) by darkspeeds

The commissioner requested to have the original illustration sent over. This is how I'll package it as an example!

Postage Sample By Darkspeeds-d9hzrro by darkspeeds

Two pieces of cardboard will be used to protect the illustration from bending! I'll also send away any sketch work that I've done in preparation for the illustration work. Thanks Yung-Tuna-Fish for the opportunity and for requesting the original to be sent to you!

:star: Meow Meow!

My next commission contains dangerous amounts of cat and jingle bells. You've been warned.

:iconyung-tuna-fish: - here's a quick sketch of what I'm about to illustrate mate!

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Also, this is one of the first commissions I've done a in a while where I'll be posting the original to a client (at an additional charge of course ;)).

:star: Hardin Painting Process

03 Hardin 02 23-11-2015 by darkspeeds 03 Hardin 03 23-11-2015 by darkspeeds
03 Hardin 04 23-11-2015 by darkspeeds 03 Hardin 05 23-11-2015 by darkspeeds
03 Hardin 06 23-11-2015 by darkspeeds
Hardin by darkspeeds

:star: Role-playing as Hardin? (Hardin's Resolve)

Actually I was in the middle of taking a reference shot for my next Beyond the Western Deep illustration to put more hours into my digital painting milage. :D

I'll be using this for my next speed painting:

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03 Hardin 01 23-11-2015 by darkspeeds

And because I had a spare moment with the camera I decided to recapture the scenes I played in person for the Beyond the Western Deep: The Movie project.

Darkspeeds-as-Hardin01 by darkspeeds
Darkspeeds-as-Hardin02 by darkspeeds
Darkspeeds-as-Hardin03 by darkspeeds

You can listen to the preview below on how I'll sound like as Hardin if you've missed it a month ago. XD

Been busy with work and commissions lately - on my next set of days off I'll get back to the audio production of BtWD: The Movie and will also designing some characters for my upcoming webcomic - Edenspell. Catch you all then! ;)

:star: Strykeforce2005's Commission - Painting Process

CM44 Strykeforce2005 04 19-11-2015 by darkspeeds
CM44 Strykeforce2005 04 19-11-2015 2 by darkspeeds
CM44 Strykeforce2005 05 19-11-2015 by darkspeeds
CM44 Strykeforce2005 07 19-11-2015 by darkspeeds
COMMISSION #37 Strykeforce2005 ($160) by darkspeeds

:star: Strykeforce2005's Commission - Thumbnails and Studies!

Here's a look into the value, color and composition studies I've made on Taylor's commission.

CM44 Strykeforce2005 01 19-11-2015 by darkspeeds
CM44 Strykeforce2005 02 19-11-2015 by darkspeeds

I could do many more possibilities for value, color and composition studies, but I gotta stick to a deadline and be objective with my commission. I'm pretty happy with what I got from my first go. Let's see how it goes from here. 8-)

:star: Strykeforce2005's Commission! 'The Golden Theme'

:iconstrykeforce2005: you're next up! Here's a preview of what I sketched during my break at work the other day.

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Can't wait to see this in action! The colours and lighting will be really interesting to work with on this piece!

I went to the newsagency this morning to see what magazines I could get to inspire me for my research on Edenspell and also building up my general knowledge of all things. National Geographic sold me with these two compilations.

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I also go the 80's Sci-Fi Almanac, cuz you know, who doesn't love the eighties stuff?? Film back in those days were legendary!


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For any artist out there watching my work, I can't help but encourage you all to get this book. It's only my third time reading it through and I'm still in awe at the wisdom contained in it. Best $12.95 ever spent. Be a story teller. Share your stories. Live those stories.

:star: League of Legends - Ziggs (Painting Process)

CM43 Jasonbronkowski 01 15-11-2015 by darkspeeds CM43 Jasonbronkowski 02 15-11-2015 by darkspeeds
CM43 Jasonbronkowski 03 15-11-2015 by darkspeeds CM43 Jasonbronkowski 04 15-11-2015 by darkspeeds
CM43 Jasonbronkowski 04b 15-11-2015 by darkspeeds
CM43 Jasonbronkowski 05 15-11-2015 by darkspeeds
CM43 Jasonbronkowski 06 15-11-2015 by darkspeeds
CM43 Jasonbronkowski 07 15-11-2015 by darkspeeds
COMMISSION #36 Jason Bronkowski ($60) by darkspeeds

:star: League of Legends - Ziggs

My next commission is from the League of Legends game! Yes! Something different from Sonic for once! XD

Here is how my monitor workspace looks like when I condense it from three monitors (including the Cintiq21UX). Loads of reference for me to use! Let's go!

Workspace Zigg's-painting NOV2015 by darkspeeds