I'd like to send a thank you to everyone who have inquired for a commission for the past the 12 hours!
I have made my selection and I believe that this project will be a worthy one to take on - a fully colored and rendering GRAPHITE ILLUSTRATION (I don't often get those)!
is my new client and he has an idea that is of intimate nature and it will be dedicated to his girlfriend - which is pretty sweet if you ask me!
Looking forward to posting some thumbnails soon!
BREAKTHROUGH! Also, One Commission Slot Available!
While I was on my break at work last night and doodlin' away and jotting down notes on a piece of paper regarding the Edenspell series, something struck me.
I finally found something that I can work with for an introduction to the story!! I was really excited about that prospect, there was a mix of emotions - joy, confidence, and relief (got all giddy in the room while surrounded by other employees... XXD). Currently, I'm working on character designs that will be used in the prologue chapter. I'm looking forward to bringing the introduction to the series to life! It's going to work, I know it!
Anyways on to the next subject!
I'll be having four days off soon so I'm going to offer ONE commission slot that will be open to everyone. First come, first serve basis - just send me a note with the details I'll confirm the slot closed should I agree with your terms and conditions of the commission. Please don't take offense if I don't agree to work on your request.
Please review my updated commission info below for full details of what I can offer:
Time for another catch up with the creative process behind my upcoming webcomic series - Edenspell, but first, some people to thank personally.
I'd like to give a big thanks to , and an anonymous person for donating some monthly subscriptions to my deviantART account! Your support is very much appreciated guys. And a super thank you to Simon 'Foreversonic' Shirley, yet again, for donating A YEAR'S WORTH of subscription to me! You're a generous soul and I couldn't thank you enough for your continued support.
And now it's back to Edenspell news!
I'm going to try to make it a habit of illustrating concepts and storyboards on my sketchbook to flesh out ideas for the series at least once a fortnight. I hope to produce at least 6 x A5 pages a time and showcase it like I'm about to show you.
So let's start with the first two pages.
I had this idea that I introduced Ashworth in a tight situation where he needs to escape from fortune seekers, whom he initially allied with, with stolen treasure. It's the classic two against one scenario where a betrayal occurs by getting rid of one partner and splitting the spoils between two - Ashworth being the victim.
I wanted the first page to clearly show that he was surrounded, pinned to the edge of a cliff, and pressured to give up the prize.
suggested some handy critique to stick with an action shot and cut back on the dialogue (at least on the first two pages). You can see on the revision that it has three panels and four pieces of dialogue compared to the six by six in the first (the dialogue was waffling on and on!)
At the time of revision, I tried to flesh out what the other fortune hunters looked like. You can see that I was pleased with Julius's design but Fawkes needed more work.
On to pages three and four!
So it seems that I tried to see if a reptile face would contrast well to Julius's cat-like design. It failed. So I stuck to something else. I drew in a rather large rounded nose, bushy hair and eyebrows. Yeah, let's just assume that he is a toon dog. XD
The next thing I did was to design the shape and size of the fortune seeker's bodies. I was pleased with the result of Julius' tall demeanour and Fawke's stocky design. The last thing I drew here was Ashworth on the left-hand side - I wanted to see how he looked like in terms of the contrast of values for the entire body. So on my first go I assigned full blacks to his hooded cape and hunter gloves, dark values to his hunter trousers and boots, and whites to his flesh, bandages and metallic attachments (the rounded crest holding the hood and the metal guards on his shoes).
I'll experiment the contrast of values some more in future for Ashworth and hopefully showcase him in detail when I'm happy with a combination.
The following day I was at a local cafe sampling some excellent coffee and was doodlin' at the terrace. I got inspired to work on the kind of people Ashworth will be dealing with on his first story. I researched on rural medieval towns and villagers (serfs to be more precise) and dug into building what the town would look like as well as two secondary characters whom Ashworth will encounter early on.
Gordon's Peak.... Gordon River.... Greenburg. I liked the sound of those names as I was devising the locations for the story.
Those symbols - I thought to myself: "What would Edenspell look like...?". At the same time, I thought to myself: "What the hell is Edenspell...?!".
Based my spontaneous urge to nail some form of meaning I illustrated symbol samples of what may resemble harmony, chaos and unity at the same time. Perhaps Edenspell is a religion, a god that the people had faith in? Who knows, this is the ideation phase, which can be exciting but also frustrating at the same time! lol
That hunched old man who looks like a monastery monk is the village elder if you were wondering. I'm diggin' his Brock-like eyes (same goes for Haratio).
And so I leave you all with some focus shots of the symbols I've designed (you guys can see which one I picked in the end), and that thumbnail of what may be the last page to the first story! Feel free to discuss what you thought of what's been illustrated so far!
Edenspell News #001 - Sticking to Black and White!
I want to first and foremost thank EVERYONE who has DONATED me a deviantART subscription throughout the past 12 years - it just shows the generosity of you folks out there for giving me the ability to post content ad free and also allowing me to post my own images and photos to compliment my journals.
Right now my DA CORE subscription is going to expire within the next 2 weeks and without shame I'm asking for your donation to keep my work up and running.
I do my creative projects out of my own free time and if you are enjoying the stuff I post (e.g. behind-the-scenes on art processes, project updates, tutorials, audio drama stuff etc...) on the regular then please donate a DA CORE subscription to my darkspeeds account.
My aim is to reach one year's worth. Whatever you can offer would be awesome!
Anyways back to the studios, I'm itching to begin the tales of Edenspell in sequential art form!
During work this week I had breaks where I could doodle stuff that came in my head for a potential story arc. That first batch was just me playing around with Ruby's face at difference angles (and nude body), a quick sketch of Fei's face and how his roundhouse kicks would look, and the rest were Ashworth in action.
One idea was to work on a story about a travelling doctor who had made a promise to his best friend (whom they met in medical school at a very young age) to cure a gravely ill patient who happens to be the daughter of his best friend. However, this doctor is apparently wanted by authorities for his 'questionable' practices. So he hired Ashworth as his personal bodyguard in order to evade the authorities and get him safely to his destination.
I imagined the doctor to look a little something like this if he was human!
Anyways when you get a chance you should practice sketching quick poses via POSEMANIACS.com as it'll come in handy in getting the most out of your character's acting in any illustration! Practice 30 seconds for an hour (which equates to 120 drawings) on a sketch book and pen - doing these daily will not only be a great warm-up exercise but it'll make it easier for you to bring your characters to life through application of dynamic posing!
Last but not least, I think it'll be the right thing to welcome a BLACK and WHITE INKED approach to my sequential art. It is something I'd like to try it out for now as colored comic pages are still a killer for me. I'm not confident with my color scripting and the whole process is extremely time-consuming for any solo artist. So if you have read the likes of JEFF SMITH and STAN SAKAI then you'll know what to expect (of course, my work will not be of that level, but one would hope so in time! XD).
Excited about the prospects I dug right into my sketchbook, using my trusty Pigma MICRON 01 pen and did a quick 10-minute exercise of a mock half-page of sequentials. This scene was not planned and is sporadic in nature. I drew what I felt and aimed to get a feel for what's to come.
Anyways that's it for tonight! Gonna go and start up on a script for the first 10-page story! Let's see how I go!
I won't delve into too much detail since its five in the morning and I need to head for bed before I go to work at half past nine! lol
I love behind-the-scenes stuff and here are the usual photos and images to share with you - the pictures will do most of the talkin'.
Liasion with my client (a regular may I add) and offer the option of realistic anatomy of 'toon' styled. I presented a thumbnail and a sketch of the newcomer Static with realistic features of a porcupine and human body. Also found below is a 'toon' version of Static's face - almost looks like a wolf!
Some screenshots of my progress at the studio.
Contrast on each of the characters expressions was a crucial element in the illustration. I fixed up some anatomical features to the pose to keep things grounded to reality (Artemisa's arms were stretched too long in the original - so I had to fall back on just showing her hands rather than the extension of the whole arm and elbow bending as she is hugging both of her companions).
After fixing the characters expressions and poses, I scanned it before I went ahead and did the cleanup process.
Here's what it looks like after outlining, darkening of the edges and semi-rendering the illustration. It was scanned in color and it produced the following result, where it was ready for one final edit on Photoshop (notice the warm greyish color of the scan). Oh and I almost forgotten to add in Static's whiskers! Always remind yourself about the details!
After desaturating the image I duplicate the original and adjusted it with MULTIPLY to darken certain lines. I played around with the CONTRAST/BRIGHTNESS filter to instantly drive away minor smudge and line marks leftover on the paper. Finally I made sure that Static the Porcupine stood out from the other three in terms of contrast by darkening him more so than Cooper and Artemisa. This was the result.
Crisp, clean and ready for submission! And that is a quick insight for the week into my illustration process!
It was wonderful to catch up with all of you in the chatroom - was especially humble when hosting the chat and sharing her compliments and praise to the cast and myself on the project. It was really cool to get everyone's feedback - so once again thank you for sharing your thoughts on the work put into this!
My next project (as I mentioned in the chatroom) will be either one of the three following series in a few months time:
DREAMKEEPERS - BLACKSAD - USAGI YOJIMBO
However, I think will be my first call since I know what I'll need, in terms of resources, for the second half of Dreamkeepers: Volume 3. Keep a lookout for updates in the coming months, it's time I took a break and get back to commissioned artwork and my comic series Edenspell.
Sketches of Mordecai - 3 Hours To Go!
Just celebratin' my mornin' before we hit the premiere time of Lackadaisy Audio Contemplation.
Been playing around with different styles, free-hand with a Micron 01 pen to discourage me from erasing stuff and just going with the flow. I really want to get this drawing of Mordecai and Atlas done before the premiere! XXD
Official Premiere - See You In 5 Hours!
Hey everyone! The official premiere is going to happen real soon! I'll be to be in the chatroom from here on and working on a commission. See you there for the party!
And thus after 2 months, the journey of audio production & editing has come to a close for the Lackadaisy Audio Contemplation - clocking at 54 mins!! Now it's time to do one final review and make sure that all the elements sound balanced, in harmony, and with clarity.
Personal favs include the conversation between Elsa and Ivy scene in Brokerage~Antidote and Young Mordecai meeting the mysterious man guided by the spirit of De Loa in Thaumaturgy. My proudest page? I'd say Nightmare. You're gonna get a kick out of that one if you're into your suspense/thriller/horror atmosphere.
See you all at the premiere coming soon, and don't forget, I (urge) encourage everyone to do the following on premiere day:
i) Get your best headset/speakers and tweak it to a little higher than your usual volume.
ii) Grab a drink, a snack, and get comfortable - it's 54 minutes long!
iii) For the fans of the series you can either 'blind it' or 'listen and read the sequential art' - trust me, each method will be a unique experience in it's own subtle way. Listen for the details.
iv) Try not to get distracted from anything (including the temptation of posting something on the chat while you're watching ~ resist!! lol!).
v) Don't be afraid to give constructive criticism on the day! Do tell us the bits you didn't like, however, you're more than welcome to give praise where it's due!
Official Premiere - LACKADAISY Chatroom link!
has kindly set up a chatroom for everyone to use on the date of the official premiere of Lackadaisy Audio Contemplation!
(Please ensure that you have a social media account ready at hand to gain access)
Also to make it a little easier I've set up some world time guidelines for fans across the globe to keep track and bookmark in their schedules! I'll be in there at least 10-15 minutes earlier to get things ready. See you then!
Official Premiere of LACKADAISY Audio Contemplation
I've decided to put the release time based off the timezone of the actual serie's setting of St. Louis!
The audio is projected to be around 50 minutes long including an improvised 'previously' trailer and ending credits. About two months have spent on this project so far - from research, preparation, casting, compilation, and editing.
If you got an excellent set of headphones, I highly recommend you listen to the audio with it to get the maximum detail out of the audio contemplation.
Looking forward to having your company at the grand opening! I'll see if there is a place where I can operate an open chatroom and stick around to interact with fans of the series - and also try to get the cast to show up there too to answer any inquiries! I think Tracy may have a chat room for the group, I'll seek for her advice. If you guys can recommend a chatroom that is easily accessible, open and free then do let me know! See you there and then!
Lackadaisy Project Update
Been busy with work, and applying for a new job in the city.
Gonna post these audio samples of the project for those who missed out.
I'm about one and a half months into the project and I'm about 60% done! The full version will run almost at feature-lengthed film - around 50 minutes to an hour!
I know for a fact that majority of my watchers are not kids of the eighties, but man were cartoons really cool back then. Unforgettable (and catchy) power anthem intros, colorful characters with charm, good vs. evil (and how good always triumphed over it) - anything was possible with the eighties.
To get a feel of how an 80's cartoon used to look like when it was recorded in VHS check out the alternative below:
Now a guy named Wesley Louis has brought his childhood imagination to life with the help of a team of directors from THE LINE (independent creative design studios based in London). From humble beginnings of a comic drawn when Wesley was a kid to a full-fledged animated intro (traditionally laid out mind you, like as in painted animation cells!) this could potentially be a revival of an 80's cartoon series.
I really hope they do a Kickstarter campaign sometime in the future, much like what the original creators of SWATCATS did most recently on their successfully funded Kickstarter campaign to bring back their series (who here has seen SWATCATS? It was also published by Hanna Barbera studios, the guys who made classics such as The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, Yogi Bear and more!).
Hi guys! Here's the process behind the recent painting - Solitary. And just letting you know that I feel much better after speaking to my friends about the issue. Thanks for your well wishes. Let's move on and see how I have approached this painting!
Step 01: Thumbnailing
It's always handy to do rough thumbnails of what you intend to paint!
Whether it be a portrait, a landscape, still-life, every drawing starts out as a sketch and it is encouraged to do at least a couple more thumbnails to explore your concepts further - you can even do some sketch studies of how each element will be presented in the final drawing. In my case I was got lucky with my first doodle without further study. I was very pleased with the overall composition and my focal points. Once you're invested you can move on to the next stage - a value study.
Step 02: Value Study
Again I was lucky to have found a light and shadow combination that worked for me on the first go. Relying on my instincts I decided to keep it simple and apply my teachings on atmospheric perspective to create a visual interest using depth and distancing of my subjects. The closer the subject the darker in value it gets, and the further away the subject the brighter the value.
Take note that the change in values will also effect your composition which ultimately effect how your eyes moves around the drawing. Make sure you plan well so that you can get the eyes to move to the focal point effortlessly.
Step 03: Color Study
This is an opportunity to create some interesting drama in your drawing using light and color without sacrificing time on getting the mood correct at later stages of your painting. Simply create another layer and set it to 'OVERLAY' 'SOFT LIGHT' or 'COLOR' mode, depending on your preference, and paint away. I used a combination of options to create the colors I was looking for.
Also it helps to have an understanding on color theory and how it works for visual development. I have my Color and Design instructor Michele Goodwin to give thanks to for her instruction on the subject. If you do not have a qualified art instructor to teach you then I highly recommend you to look into James Gurney - creator of the Dinotopia series - and his works. Get his two books on painting realism with light and color - I guarantee that your work will improve by a milestone if you apply his practical theories and instruction on your next painting project.
In the end I decided to stick with the limited cool palette - with a warm color accent to highlight areas of interest. The thumbnail I used as a guide would be the third thumbnail on the bottom-left hand corner. A warm back-light and red-orange accent was added in later to the final painting.
Step 04: Start Painting!
Do take advantage of whatever you can get to be inspired and well prepared prior to painting. I will say that I had watched the following videos in the past to learn techniques and be inspired by the methods used to create stunning artwork.
On this video I learnt alot more on how to apply light and color into a painting to create drama. This kind of stuff I have already learnt in school, as well as in James Gurney's books - the ones I mentioned earlier, but Jeremy Vickery here shows those principles in real time based on a simple landscape illustration he did for a tutorial featured on #124 of ImagineFX. Also I have Jeremy to thank for his awesome CUSTOM BRUSH he provided in the tutorial - I was using it over and over again on my painting!
On this video, the incredibly talented Feng Zhu has taught me how to use textures from stock photos and apply it on digital paintings - it is such a time-saving, cost-effective method on adding visual interest into any painting very quickly. However be warned, if you abuse this technique your painting will look cluttered, unnatural and overall a mess.
One last bit of inspiration that I gathered for the project was an American illustrator and master painter of the early to middle twentieth century - Mead Schaeffer.
I love his paintings because of the limited palette he uses to create such striking impressions of his subjects. I had decided to use one of his paintings as a guide to help me in the painting process.
And so I started out blocking the big shapes with the biggest brush possible.
Following the original thumbnailed color study and Schaeffer's painting I used the EYEDROPPER to borrow colors to use on the canvas. Stay true to what you had originally planned for colors otherwise you'll get carried away and create some funky colors you don't need for the painting.
From here I used a big soft brush (set opacity to 15-20%) and with a new COLOR DODGE layer I slowly painted in the warm light that is exposed behind the large structure. Technically Ashworth shouldn't be hit with the orange light as he is far behind the large structure that is blocking the warm light. I fixed this later on the painting but you can already see there is a nice visual contrast with the cool and warm colors. If you know your color theory blue and orange are compliments and when used properly you can manipulate a visual interest in your painting real fast.
Take note that I also decided to change Ashworth's posture and kept his arms asymmetrical so that they don't look the same - in other words I wanted his posture to look a little more dynamic. You can see the change from the bottom left to the bottom right image.
Also, on the images below, you can see that I've applied textures from stock photos. What I used for textures were photos of European architecture, abandoned buildings, and secret gardens. Make sure you use Gaussian blur on those photos, set the layer to COLOR DODGE and adjust the OPACITY levels and let it blend naturally into the painting. If you are unsure on how to do this check out Feng Zhu's video above - i.e. Design Cinema Ep. 80 - Mixing Surroundings.
To help me define Ashworth's posture as realistically as possible I used a photo reference of myself.
At this stage of the painting I blocked off the big shapes and worked on the details - such as the stone blocks, the angel wings, the steams of water trickling down the cistern, Ashworth's anatomy and boots etc...
Looking at the two images above you can tell that there is a change in scale of the foreground. I did this because I wasn't too happy with how small Ashworth is in comparison to the landscape. I needed to enlarge him (along with the foreground elements) and bring him closer to create the depth I was looking for in the thumbnail - after all he is a primary focal point.
Step 05: Making Final Adjustments
From time to time, throughout the painting process, I make sure that I stay true to my values from the very beginning by desaturating the image and squinting. I also made sure that my composition works with the values so that the eyes won't have difficulty reaching the focal points as it wanders around the canvas.
I've reached to the end of the painting (the image on the top right) and decided to enhance the values to boost atmospheric perspective of the foreground and background elements.
During adjustment of the values I use this technique where you flatten the image and go to IMAGE> ADJUSTMENT > POSTERIZE > Value of 4. This is what it looks like.
Thanks to the enhanced values I managed to achieve my intent of having the eyes wander around and hitting at two focal points starting from the top to bottom. The focal points are the head and upper torso of the angel statue and Ashworth.
Don't be afraid to use shapes and curvatures to help guide those eyes. Look how the curvature on the top-left corner is darkened (it wasn't present in the thumbnail but I added this towards the end for an adjustment to the overall composition) and naturally guides the eye to move from Point 1 to Point 2 very easily. The triangular darkened shape (just above the slant is the highlight of the pillar) helps direct your eyes to move from Point 2 to Point 3 with little effort.
Design is very important in any illustration. Take advantage of it and develop a composition that works during the thumbnail stage.
Speaking of composition, let's see how the rule of thirds apply.
I made sure that my points of interest hit close to either of the four intersecting points (see POI 1 & 2).
If you look at it from another angle at how the rule of thirds can make a painting work really well visually is how you create portions of the canvas for the eyes to wander, rest and pay attention to. Check out the image below for a scan of the portions used in my painting.
As you can see on the top right I kept that area deliberately as breathing space or a entry point for the eyes to wander. Next you see the orange part as a second priority - I want people to move their way to the angel statue and study the details within it. Then the red-orange box is an area of greatest interest - this is where I would like and would expect most viewers to end up. So to generate that interest I added Ashworth in there as a primary focal point - who doesn't like to see a face and a body in a lonely place? Furthermore I wanted to direct the attention of the viewers to the peculiar but very inviting warm light in the background and make them study it, get curious and ask questions about the details.
Now I mentioned about my focal points - I made sure that those elements are where I would spend most of my time to get the details right. Use a smaller brush and paint away the details. Having an aim and purpose will serve your time wisely in any painting project.
So once again, a reminder about the benefit of developing a composition that works for your painting - it makes your eyes wander around the canvas to embrace the subtle details as well as the focal points.
Let's have a look at all the possible pathways my viewer can make during observation. I found ten ways for the eye to make it's way to the primary focal point. Having multiple paths in your painting can be exciting and add visual interest!
So there you have it, I hope this painting process will help inspire you and give insight to techniques you haven't used before on your artwork.
Do plenty of research, plan ahead and paint with purpose.
Doing this will give impact to the final painting.
Never have I imagined that I would find myself feeling this way about it - maybe once in a blue moon, but it never gotten so bad that it became a potentially long-term issue.
I had great fun. I was professional. I was dedicated. I took initiative. I was happy.
I'm currently in the process of a looking for a solution to the problem.
Also there is another thing that still bothers me a tick. First I'm going to express myself with a painting. Starting off with this sketch.
Last but not least, a big thanks to the following for their mentions on a recent questionnaire - you've been most kind: &
Whatever the gesture, be it brief or extended, whether you've been inspired by my works and persona, or simply admired some pieces of my art throughout my history as a hobbyist illustrator, the thought is very much appreciated.
Here's a sneak peak of my latest audio adaptation project based on the hit web-comic series - Lackadaisy - created by Tracy J Butler!
This was done in a couple of hours - it was lot of fun! Shame Rocky's 'unconscious' presence wasn't heard on this sample - Tyler who will be playing him is currently on a short holiday to Texas with friends (who are also casting in the project)!
Big thanks to the wonderful Kate Halstad who voiced Ivy Pepper, she simply nailed her role and as a bonus Kate has finished most of her recordings already for me to start editing! Amazing.
Big thanks also to TheTigerwolf55 who played as Abelard brilliantly, and will also be the voice of Mordecai! He's gonna knock you socks off and he's helped me write some ad-lib for a scene in 'Coercion'!
Super shoutout to MrsArkban (who will be playing as Serafine, and boy does she do a bloody good impression of her), we had a very interesting consultation today and I'm looking forward to her recordings!
Furthermore, super shoutouts to Wolfblade96 (who will be playing as Narrator, Viktor, Wes Clyde and Young Mordecai, and had recorded pretty much 98% of his stuff) and to the people whom I've caught up for consultation, as of late, receiving instructions on the project!
Keep up the awesome stuff guys and gals!
And of course, this project is not only dedicated to the fans of the Lackadaisy, and to my VA team, but especially for Tracy who created this amazing series in the first place!
Let's rock on and finish this within the next couple of months!
And that's it! Ladies and gentlemen it's been a pleasure listening to your auditions and I'm very pleased to welcome the official cast to my latest audio adaptation project based off the hit web-comic series: Lackadaisy by Tracy J Butler! You can also visit her deviantART page via
Thanks once again to everyone who have taken the time to submit their auditions to the project and didn't make the cut.
I will be spending the next couple of months working on this project whilst working on my web-comic series Edenspell.
To those who have been successful in getting a role please add me to your Skype (via darkspeedselson) and we'll arrange a one-on-one consultation to do a run-through of your character alongside with me and receive feedback in real time.
To the successful applicants who are working on a minor role do send me your e-mail so that we can keep in touch. I will give you instructions on what to do next!
Okay then, let's get cracking!
FOUR CHARACTERS LEFT! (Lackadaisy Audio Drama)
Think you know someone who has a knack for voice acting? Does that somebody also love compelling stories and richly diverse characters to role play as?
Then look no further, the Lackadaisy Audio Contemplation project has...
Auditions Close One Week! (Lackadaisy Audio Drama)
There was a total of 60 submissions at the end of the first week and I've been listening to them all critically.
Here are the next batch of characters who have been chosen for a voice actor to be assigned to:
Congrats you guys and gals!
Also I'll be looking for someone who can imitate close to a Joe Pesci accent for this guy:
And more importantly for the character Bobby aka , if you are able to imitate/now someone who can imitate close to the voice of the Narrator to this Lackadaisy comic drama then you're gonna get the role!
Good luck and looking forward to the remaining auditions to be reviewed!
Congrats Willow and A-log (Lackadaisy Audio Drama)
To the two who have auditioned as The Bellboy and Elsa, congrats! You made it into the project.
Right now there are some excellent candidates who have portrayed some of the other characters to my standard and my interpretation but I'm still holding it off to encourage others to have a chance to get in and have a shot at this opportunity to voice act in Lackadaisy.
Do spread the word to other VA's (especially those who have read up on the series) to audition!
Audition closes in 3 weeks time! Good luck!
Oh and Viktor is added to roster too, he has but a couple of lines and plenty of violent grunts to record! Have fun!
28 Auditions & Counting! (Lackadaisy Audio Drama)
Great Scott! It's been fantastic listening to your auditions thus far! Thank you and do keep them coming!
Also if you want to listen to how I preach like a madman to a poor little girl then head to the link just below you and look for
It's been about four months since I worked on Nordguard the Movie that involved 15 cast members including myself as a voice actor and director of the project.
It was my best audio drama production to date, from picking the cast to engineering the sound to film quality. Now it's time to give Tracy J Butler's web-comic series - LACKADAISY the same treatment.
I can't confirm that it's going to be in comic drama format but I can guarantee that it will be an audio adaptation of a choice selection of her stories.
Right now I've got the following casts available for audition (in order of appearance):
So as you can see there is a wide variety of roles to play, whether they are minor or major roles I do encourage you to audition! Just click on the link below to make your way to the BTVA page and start submitting your files! Auditions close on the 10th AUGUST 2016, or prior if I managed to find all the people I need for the project. Looking forward to listening to your auditions!
Damnit! Why can't I sit down for three to fours hours straight a day (during work week) to get these illustrations done faster!?
Hope to get this two-parter done by tomorrow!
The 5,000 Krims Bounty
Here's the next work-in-progress to showcase!
I'm really starting to dig into this sepia tone and sketched world of Edenspell - I'm starting to develop my own voice for the series in terms of visual presentation (i.e. the way I brush my stokes to create each illustration). I'm lovin' this new application of hatching lines and curves to give definition and form to the 3D space of characters and the setting, I usually do it in one direction but I've got my Clothed Figure Drawing teacher (aka Thomas Gronbukt) to thank for reminding me to follow the form while rendering.
Think I'll sleep in for today and aim to finish this by tomorrow - hopefully before I work in the evening! Can't wait to show the contrast between adolescent and adult Ashworth!
(Oh and last but not least - ASHWORTH, YOU DAYUM SEXY!! Can't help it! XP XXD)
Cocky Bounty Hunter
Only the fearless (and perhaps foolish!) will take on the big guns.
The other bounty hunters are using some sort of i-phone technology to take pictures of their bounty for record. Ashworth does it the old fashioned way - without a care what other's think!
Also I just finished reading up on the latest of Bryan Talbot's GRANDVILLE series: Noel. Loved it. I'm going to draw a badger on the left to pay tribute to his main protagonist to the series aka Detective Inspector LeBrock! XXD
Finally, another thing to share photo-reference-wise is this: illustrating a tricky scene where the hand grabs the poster and scrunches it up!
Not planning on ordering pizza anytime soon! lol
What It's Like To Be Broke...
Thankfully I've never been in that situation, I've seen what it's like for others around the world (bless them). Ashworth shares the same pain. It's a tough out there.
This Will Suit Me Just Fine
Drawing angel statues is a lot of fun! They can express so much emotion even for an inanimate object. What I also like about angel statues is that you can totally derail it's symbolic meaning by smashing it to pieces.
Let's illustrate the point. Above you see two statues. One standing and one fallen. What does a broken down angel mean? All hope is lost perhaps? What does that tell you about the setting where an adolescent Ashworth is atm? Pretty creepy to be there all by yourself don't you think?
A Question About Your Character's Outfit
For those who have already taken initiative of designing their own original character have you ever asked the following questions:
What is your favourite outfit?
Why is that important to you?
As Chris and Lora had discussed on their Paperwings Podcast episode, it made me think just how complex (and fun!) character design can be. Sometimes we miss out on the simplest of details and dive straight into the design, specifically in this case, giving a character a piece or full set of attire to wear, but for what reason is there behind it?
You gotta ask yourself some questions: is your character dressed to impress?Are they wearing rags or riches to distinguish their social status?Or are they wearing very little? Does that portray a lazy personality?
The more questions you ask about a character's outfit the more you get to know about your character based on just the element of 'what they wear'.
Imagine what James Bond would wear (and take with him) and why. You would think 'sophisticated', 'suits', smart toys (of the weapon kind that is...), pair of black Crockett & Jones diplomat shoes, 'black and white'... All of these elements may and may not, but do on a common scale of cliche, associate with the outfit of what a spy would wear.
Now try to apply what you learnt here to your character and see how much further you can develop in terms of design, and making them more dynamic and believable!
For more notes on this topic head over the Paperwings Podcast link above and download their cheat sheet via PDF.
Right now I'm taking the time to work on Ashworth's outfit and emphasising on the reasoning behind his choice (please excuse my messy block handwriting, I was on break at work with not much time at hand to jot down some critical notes about my character!).
First and foremost thank you to all who have been postin' their feedback and words of encouragement on my previous journal! It's really nice to hear your thoughts on the Edenspell project, it's something that I don't take for granted. Do be patient as in the following months I'll be focusing on building the foundations before I even hit any of the legit sequentials to the story.
I mean, why would you even invest your time in my story if you know nothing about them? It is my job to make them feel believable and interesting.
Also equally important is the premise (i.e. what is the story about it and why am I telling it to you?). I'm starting off with 'characters' because I feel that I can communicate with my readership more effectively with engaging illustrations via the visual development process. I can draw my characters in terms of design and also illustrate scenes that can answer the 10 questions that I've mentioned earlier. However if we look into illustrating the 'premise' - you wonder 'how' when you don't have the players to guide you along. It's possible but I may probably have to illustrate concepts of the idea that can span several pages and I don't think that's time and energy well spent. So characters first! Anyways...!
If I could sum up Edenspell (at this point in time) in a sentence, it's this:
"How does one ascend from the depths of torment?"
I feel that would be a good start as I'm curious and motivated to find out how my characters who will be/have been experiencing personal hell(s) can find salvation - that very light at the end of the tunnel. I have a personal stake on this too because of my own experiences IRL that have put me through some very daunting times with family (though it's not in the extreme case of perhaps something like suicide but I know what it's like feel hurt emotionally when circumstances in life don't go accordingly to how you see it). I will use this premise as a guide for now but as the story progresses, it may alter, who knows. Perhaps you may be able to find your own meaning behind the story and the characters that live through it, that'd be another interesting prospect to look into too!
Anyways I decided to break away from character development this evening and build a setting for the story.
Right now as we speak I'm thinking of a periled metropolis that has experienced endless cold wintered nights... The city is vulnerable, helpless, but from what? I don't have a solid idea yet but all I know is that they are feeling troubled and insecure, and Ashworth's story begin in the middle of it all while he is a small child.
During the day I've been Googlin' for specific images and also downloading textures from CGTextures.com that will help me on my quest to building this city. Included in my search were abondoned, church, Victorian/Gothic architecture, angel statues, snow, winter, and Czech Republic (a city I visited way back in 2007!). I find that setting appealing for what Ashworth will be going through along with the citizens who live there. Here are a couple of photos of my progress with different angles of the metropolis of which I named it: Argoyle.
So that's a preview of the thumbnails, I plan to bring them up next time for an upload on DA (whether it be in color or the special sephia/historical scroll & textbook tone) and hopefully it'll reach a standard that is presentable.
In fact, allow me to indulge you a channel that ALL artists should check out. I can't get enough of Feng Zhu and his awesomeness... Just WATCH and LEARN.
Oh and last but not least... This one's for David and Liz and the Dreamkeepers fans...
I'VE JUST FINISHED DOWNLOADING DK Volume 4!!! (Took about half the day! Damn!! lol)
Oh and will I be reading the PDF? HELL NO...!! I'll be waiting for the real thing, by post! XD Just like the previous three books... I CAN'T WAIT to read it.
For now... Here's my impression of Bast - scarf included
Hi everyone! There's been a bunch of stuff happenin' these past couple of months, one of them being a family-related matter that has been resolved as of recent. It was pretty stressful but thankfully I was able to move on from it. I have a clearer idea on how to deal with situations like it in future, and in the process, I've learnt a lot more about myself and how to accept myself for who I am, and how I live my life, happily.
Secondly I'm going to apologise in advance to my clients: and some others who have already requested for a commission slot weeks after, but as of today I'm going to have to cancel my commissions. The reason for this is that I'm at an exciting period of building the world of Edenspell - the ideation phase is something that I cannot ignore and commissions have been a burden on the process. So my apologies once again to you guys for the cancellation.
Last but not least, we are half way through the year (and it's tax time! Woo!). But besides that bit of factoid, I'm going to make something clear.
It's been at least a few months into it and I feel that it's taking effect (for the better).
I'm moving away from Sonic the Hedgehog.
I'm not gonna go into depth on it, but I'm just going to let you know in case you weren't aware of it.
The Sonic Archie comics, the Sonic comic dramas, Sonic fanart...
I've been told by fans to watch their SCD's, e-mailed to join them for a Sonic-related project, even ask me what I thought of the latest of the Sonic Boom series.
I'm just... Not as interested in it anymore.
Having said that, it doesn't mean I've lost touch with friends I've made through the Sonic community (especially those whom I've met IRL, many a time, bless you) and it doesn't mean that I won't be doing the odd bit of Sonic fan-art from time to time. I'll still be keeping watch of friends who are doing wonders with Sonic-related fan projects and perhaps there are times where I still get a kick out of bits of Sonic news or some bad-ass fan-art/fan-comic/fan-fic, but just lettin' yas know that I'm not as proactive as in the past, and thankfully many of you are understanding of that.
Anyways thanks to everyone who have been supporting me on the Sonic stuff, my creative projects and my illustration work in general (and this goes from way back).
If I have some parting words to share as a proactive Sonic fan I strongly encourage those who are inspired by the blue hedgehog to continue to share that positive energy and compassion of the series for the like-minded friends you've made and for the new generation to come too.
Trying to get Marcus to do a villainous speech while holding onto his staff was quite the challenge! Should I have his mouth wide open in mid-speech? How should his head be tilted - high up to look smug or lowered down to look sinister? Side or quarter view for the pose? Should he be carrying his staff at all? So many variables to play with but ultimately I think having him hold onto the staff with the mouth open (indicating that he's in mid-speech) adds drama to the final pose - hands raised with a posture that is not too stiff. What do you think Geoff? Stick to the previous pose that showcases his DK power or these ones where Geoff prepares for his speech to an audience?
While I wait for a reply I'm going to take a power nap and hop back onto rendering the first two poses!
Just postin' progress on 's second commissioned character sheet!
It's gettin' late and was plannin' to sketch out some ideas for his dynamic pose. Little did I know that I got stuck on one and kept on going. This was the result.
He's a lot of fun to draw! I wanted to showcase his Dreamkeeper power rather than havin' him studying schematics on a table. lol I can still look into that option if you wish but I think this is more dramatic. What do you think Geoff?
It's my second day off work, and I spent the whole day helpin' mom with house chores - it was very therapeutic! Life back home in Australia right now couldn't be more sweeter.
In other news let's talk about a few awesome things that need updatin' and sharin' - comic related news that is!
Dreamkeepers Kickstarter - 60K reached!!
To David and Liz - CRICKEY!! What a stella achievement so far and with only a week to go on their campaign to release their latest Dreamkeepers graphic novel! Their KS campaign has also reached the top-100 most funded comics projects in Kickstarter history so a huge congratulations to them on that front!
If you're into your epic fantasies, richly detailed comics, highly engaging cartoon characters with depth and personality, and stories with purpose then you can't go wrong with purchasing yourself a copy of their book (you can even go digital, but seriously you'd rather go for the real thing!).
Can't wait till I get your latest book as well as the one I've missed out on last time (aka the PRELUDE Collection 1! Fire ain't going to destroy it! HA HA!).
A reminder to those who watch me here (and there's a lot of you out there!) you can check out their devaintART page via as well as their official website. Let the descent begin!!
Son of the Thunder God
I've been approached by several months ago and he shared with me his story behind publishing a comic book featuring a character who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I admire his honesty, openness and vision to send a powerful message about respecting and embracing people with disabilities through his comic. In fact, he was even featured on the local news (how cool is that? Watch and be inspired)!
Furthermore he managed to commission one of my favourite 'pre-Genesis wave' Sonic Archie penciling artists: STEVEN BUTLER to pencil his story! They're locals and Steven took the initiative to help and encourage Adam to get it pitched to some comic publishers (what a top bloke)! Here is their pitch of 6 pages, beautifully illustrated and rendered. Please do check them out (take note also that the comic pages were colored by Matt Herms - veteran colorist of the Archie Action comics)!
You can find out more about Adam and his ambitious comic project on his deviantART page: Wishing you, Steven and the team all the best!
Lackadaisy for those who don't know already is a web-comic created by Tracy Butler and "OH. MY. GOD." is what I'll be saying to you if you haven't been following her work!
Do me a favour and watch her stuff if you haven't already. Be a Patreon to her cause, support her masterworks and... OMG!! NEW PAGE!!
Two words to describe her work.
Simply the best.
And if that's not enough, look what's sitting right next to my studio table?
Support this artist, NOW. lol You can learn more about Tracy via PATREON or conveniently on her deviantART page via
Ghosts of the Future, The Murder of Me and The Vulture!
What do these four artists - - share in common? Well they're creatively talented in their own right but they also have developed personal comic projects that involve a fundamental denominator: Sonic the Hedgehog! (actually... Not in Knockabiller's case character-wise but you get what I mean! lol).
Get ready spirit-believers cuz Evan's in the process of rendering her latest in the GOTF series (I've seen samples and they look freakin' amazing). Chapter 13 will be unleashed in the first half of Summer (i.e. late June/early July 2015) so be prepared for a climatic clash between the good guys and the bad guys! Also Evan is officially writing for #79-82 of Sonic Universe, bringing Silver the Hedgehog back into action! Looking forward to it.
Gigi's 'The Murder of Me' series has been constantly updated these past couple of months, and pages have been posted on the regular! Find out what it's like to be the hedgehog trio as they're slowly discovering their true destinies and the powers that be to be harnessed to defeated Gods! Also, her comic is available in Spanish & French! Sacre bleu!
It's been a while since I've seen a comic about Silver the Hedgehog that is drawn in a manner that's captivating, funky and... I don't know... Sexy I guess? Sexy as in super-awesome-cool! Or... Uhm... Nevermind. Knockabiller has done everything right to create a kick-ass story that embraces dynamic artwork and dialogue that connects at a human level.
Last but not least a big congrats to Cooper for recently completing her Penpals comic which embraces the relationships of Sonic and Amy Rose! I can consider her the queen of Sonic fluffy relationships cuz her pages showcase some very telling pieces, with just the right amount of it for any fan to go "Awww....". All the very best to Cooper on her next Sonic comic project where she states: "It's going to be more action/adventure oriented and it's also going to take place in the Sonic Boom Universe".
I highly encourage you to do this at least once a month to get involved with the online art community that is deviantART. If you're up for a challenge try to do this on a regular - 4 times a month, making it a commitment to do 4 illustrations in 8 hours. You'd be amazed to see what you can come up with if you and your art trading partner really dig into it.
Here are the entries from the first challenge with the theme: "Bad-ass".
It is truly terrific to see each and everyone's entries, I'd like to thank you all once again for participating in the challenge and gaining something out of it!
I'm going to see if I can make it a regular thing for me personally so my next challenge I've invited over to draw some of my characters for my upcoming graphic novel.
Both Knockabiller and I shared two things in common with this art-trade exercise. One, we both stuck to the theme of "bad-ass". And two, we agreed to focus on two of our very own OC's. And this was the result!
See what two hours of your time out of the weekend can do?
If you're artists, there ain't no excuse to kick back for a couple of hours and get creative! The two hour time limit really makes you think, it forces you to think. And believe me, if you know what you're doing, and you have done a little bit of research, the results can be uncanny.
Give it a go everyone! There is still this Sunday to submit your entries in for my next journal post where I'll be compiling people's entries!
For those who are unable to commit to this weekend, fear not! I'm going to give everyone an opportunity to get their artwork exposed by next Sunday, 6th JUNE 2015 - that's one more week which is plenty of time!
During that period I'm going to do perhaps one more trade with another artist of my choosing (sorry, but I gotta be picky with my choices!).
So grab your pens (digital or graphite) and start drawing!!
PINKALICIOUS: Speedpaint Video + Bonus Drawings!
This was crazy fun to do! It started out with these early sketches!
Check out the entire process of my art trade with on the video below - all done in just under two hours!
So far we've had some brilliant examples of the 2 Hour Art Trade Challenge - the theme being "BAD-ASS". I'll post them altogether on a separate journal!
Keep up the awesome stuff and don't forget to link them to me so that I can showcase the ones I feel deserve a feature!