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:star: Making Hedgies Look Sexy is Hard Work!!



Ya damn right! I'm currently taking a day off to do something fun for once (and something rather cheeky... :giggle:).

I'm exploring ways to incorporate elements of real life anatomy and applying the right amounts of it to Sonic characters to get a particular look I'm aiming for. 

During my study I've found out that keeping it simple works best - less detail on realistic anatomy and maintaining a cartoony presence connects with the fans more. Overdoing the anatomy destroy's the illusion for fans who are very invested (visually) with the characters based off the SEGA style). 

Two of the most popular hedgehogs that have sex appeal to fans are Sonic and Shadow - hands down.

I found three elements that make up a sexy illustration of a Sonic character:


i) The right amount of realistic anatomical structure applied to the character's body (the SEGA way is unrealistic and toony). I discussed this point earlier and here are my thoughts on the percentages: 15% realistic anatomical structure + 85% toon style = perfection.

ii) Curvatures and quality of line art (95% of the time thin lines work best). Keep in mind curves are beautiful on human bodies, girls and women have them. Curvatures give that extra sex appeal especially on the male characters (which is reverse-psychology at work - majority of men usually have straight, squarish, and bold shapes to define their structural look).

iii) The position and mood the character is being positioned and expressed (this is usually defined by the artist's intention and his/her use of props and other elements to enhance the sex appeal - for instance Sonic spreading his legs wide open on a couch with drapery/sheets casually laid all over beneath him).


Here are some of my favourites:


Pervy category: 

 A bleek future by f-sonic sonic019 by aoki6311
 I'm all yours by AngelofHapiness I'm your gift by AngelofHapiness


Mixed:

What? by Myly14 Pfff by Myly14 Shadow by Myly14


Non-pervy category:

hey cute boy by D-Winter On the run by Swirlything  Ace and King by EvanStanley


Right now my artistic process of drawing Sonic characters have been 80% realistic anatomical structure + 15% toon style for the intent of this exercise - and it's been hard trying to replicate something more along the lines of my perceived perfection of a sexy illustration of a Sonic character (having said that sometimes other combinations work just as well like Evan's 50/50 and Swirlything's 95/5 ratio).


Anyways I should be posting up some doodles tonight, presenting my findings and experiments on paper. 


Let me know what you think! Feel free to share your favourite artists who draw what you may perceive to be a sexy illustration of a Sonic character (I'm sure I've missed out on some of the others but when I find them I'll post them here for an update). ;)

:star: Sel's Fully Rendered! Now it's Silver's turn!



I'm getting there! = )


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Also...

OH MY GOD!!! ;___________;





Read my comment on his video - it's another one of TEE LOPE's AMAZING Sonic remixes/compositions reinterpreted.

For those who missed out on this piece of factoid about me - Museum Theme from Sonic Jam (essentially the SEGA remixed version of Data Select Screen from Sonic 3) was the song that got me into drawing Sonic when I was a kid! That and the concept art that came with the game.



:star: Pick Dem' Hands!



Picking the right hand gesture can be a challenge. I wanted my client's main character, Sel (the lovely vixen with the sword), to be at the forefront of the illustration and dominate with her posture, expression and hand gesture. More importantly we need to be able to communicate with what those hands may mean.


Sometimes you just don't have the answer and have to experiment for yourself on what message you're trying to convey with the character. Is she trying to lead the way, point to something or perhaps she's breaking the fourth wall and is trying to communicate with the observer altogether. So I started taking some snaps based on my original thumbnail for the details.



Hands by darkspeeds


After taking those photos I drew it on my illustration. This is how it turned out.


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I wasn't too happy with the fact that it looked awkward and confusing. Why did she her fingers like that? Is she animating her fingers midway to ask Silver to come to her right? Visually it didn't work for me and neither will the audience get it. 


So I decided to take another photo with another self-improvised hand gesture.


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To me that made more sense because I wanted Sel to be assertive with her discussion with Silver - I wanted confidence in Sel who is trying to making a point to Silver while walking towards school. I know there is not much background information for observers (lack of backgrounds) but my client knows and has requested this particular scene where two schoolmates are walking together to school and having a chat at the same time.


Anyways that hand gesture to me tells me that the character is telling Silver: "Yes this is how it is" or "Things could be better if we do it this way". I wanted to encourage my observers to imagine that moment and connect with her hands along with the discussion she's having with Silver - in fact it is up to the observers to fill in the gap and use their own artistic initiative to complete the story.


Hope you may have learnt something here. Again this may not be the best example since I'm still learning the language of our body and how to best express it in illustration. When I come back home from work in the morning it's time to render the final drawing - can't wait! Oh and I'll use the garden image below for reference on the background - I love secluded cottage gardens.


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:star: Schoolmates


My next commission for :icontwintailfirefox12:. Behind-the-scenes stuff to share about!

As always I do my thumbnails and give my client some choices. 



Twin's commission thumbnails DarkspeedsJAN2015 by darkspeeds



It was a tough pick between #2 & #3 but Twin ultimately decided on #2! Using my Faber-Castel Goldfaber HB pencil and drew away. This is where I'm at.


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And don't be ashamed to use references - photos from real life are best (including photo shots of your own for the more tricky bits of the drawing)! 


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:star: Tracey Yardley's package arrived!



Look what came into my mailbox the other day? 
 

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That sketch of Marine on the parcel was a nice touch - she made it to Australia! Strewth mate!



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Been meaning to share this with you all after the success of creating a dedicated graphic novel for Mr. Yardley last year. The book was made as a way of saying thanks for his many incredible years of input to the Sonic Archie comic series. He thanked me personally and would like to let you know, of those who have contributed towards the project, how amazing and humbling it was to see your artwork in the book as well as the quotes and words of encouragement you've shared with him!


Nevertheless here's a rare opportunity to showcase four of his originals - fully penciled and inked on US professional comic paper, up close for analysis!



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So once again to Mr. Yardley thanks for the fantastic gift in return! I'll be sure to look back into it from time to time for inspiration! You can check out his artwork and inquire for commissions on his deviantART page via :iconyardley:


While we are on the subject artists who do an incredible job with their story tellin' through engaging and beautiful sequential art I'd like to share with you what Evan Stanley (via :iconevanstanley:) gave me for a gift during my time studying in the United States a year ago! It's now back home with me in my studio in Australia ready to be observed again from time to time for inspiration too! 



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Let's compare the page with the comic book side by side! Neat!



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Last but not least the penciled drawing that Evan did for the song I did with Tasha: Sonic and Tails Headin' Home by darkspeedsand...


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My final assignment for Foundations 110-  Analysis of Form done at the Academy of Art last year, all framed up and compared with the original comic cover!



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And that's it for now! Look ever forward to the New Year of 2015! Don't stop drawing, there's much to learn! Make it a goal to learn something new every month with your artwork! Good luck! 

:star: Time To Render This Bad Boy!


I'm constantly inspired by David Lillie's art style used on his graphic novel series: Dreamkeepers (you can check out his deviantART account via :icondreamkeepers:).

I mean look at the magical transformation below:


6-25-2013 Mace Watch by darkspeeds

10-17-2014 Sample 1 by darkspeeds


Incredible right? That can only be achieved with the following:

i) Very tight penciling work.
ii) Adept knowledge of light and colour applied during rendering.
iii) A lot of patience.


David has done it so many times that it becomes natural to him. And now it's my turn to give it a go.


Summerfest01 preview Darkspeeds2015 by darkspeeds

Summerfest02 preview Darkspeeds2015 by darkspeeds


I've spent countless hours penciling and base painting this illustration (aka :iconchicago-pd-stars:'s commission), and now I can finally get to the fun part where all the magic happens - RENDERING! 8-)

:star: Get Ready For a New Year!



Hope everyone had a festive Christmas this year! I spent my past couple of weeks spending quality time with family on Christmas lunches and gatherings, also caught up with friends on Skype before the New Year. I was working over the holidays back at my old job at the casino earning double time and will be saving up for a big round the world trip for next year. I've also been taking time on my commissioned artwork and planning ahead on my next graphic novel project featuring Ashworth.


Nevertheless it's going to be an exciting New Year, let's enjoy what we got since it's tough times out there and there are plenty of crazy things going on around the world.
Right now I just got back from a painting session with my bro on his Warmachine figures, played some awesome streetball, ate mum's awesome dinner and am chillaxin' to two blogs that I can get guaranteed laughs being a Sonic fan.


I'm going to share with you some of my favourite posts I gathered this past hour - I haven't been on their blogs in months! So much new content has been added - score!



My brother drew sonic the hedgehog

what a cruel and merciless god

My brother drew sonic the hedgehog.
What a cruel and merciless god.


spiritsonic:

fini-mun:

carudamon119:

熊倉隆敏 0662-3656-7542 ‏@kmakra 
フォルクスワーゲンの部品で作った蟹カッコいいな。2013年の記事。

CRABMEAT
IT EVEN SAYS EGG

I want one.



tumblr newg9zdoEY1sh77t5o1 1280 by darkspeeds

Are you going to trust a dog grinning like that?




"Do I have to do it"

"Quit your whinin’, soldier. Pump out that merchandisin’."





Tumblr Nc304vmsd91qlj42ao1 400 by darkspeeds

tumblr ncuet7QVCs1rlmkzto1 1280 by darkspeeds

Who has it better?

tumblr newx7k1Xyg1ryjfrjo1 500 by darkspeeds tumblr newx7k1Xyg1ryjfrjo2 500 by darkspeeds tumblr newx7k1Xyg1ryjfrjo3 500 by darkspeeds

tumblr neqhrjr0HK1rcatnso1 500 by darkspeeds

tumblr nf45lcq7ZP1rlrnwdo1 400 by darkspeeds tumblr nf45lcq7ZP1rlrnwdo2 400 by darkspeeds 

Somebody save this child now.


tumblr nfd73hyyZC1tlfjtro1 1280 by darkspeeds

tumblr nb7gpupDxA1rlmkzto1 1280 by darkspeeds tumblr n6gk3vXNa71tb9ynso1 500 by darkspeeds

tumblr nelv3aWnBA1rlmkzto1 500 by darkspeeds tumblr nelv3aWnBA1rlmkzto2 400 by darkspeeds 

Really?


And there's loads more to check out! Some of them are just too darn creepy, I didn't post them here but I'll let you discover those yourselves - 'Chilli Dogs' for instance...

Check out the blogs via Oh My SEGA Genesis and Awkward Sonic Photos



Last but not least I couldn't help but make one myself.


Datass! by darkspeeds


 I dig hedgehog asses... Shameless I am! *SHOT*

:star: A World In Color



The lineart for :iconchicago-pd-stars:'s commission is complete! Adding the details was fun and calculative - reference photos of fun fairs really helped!


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I just finished penciling the outlines to focal point's Tails and Wave. Then it was off to the scanner. This was what was scanned and edited in digital format!


Rob FINAL00 original 26-12-2015 by darkspeeds



I'm still thinking of whether to render in graphite or in digital color... Both options have their own set of pros and cons but I think it'll be worth the investment to colour this... Let's see how I go!


Rob FINAL02b color 26-12-2015 by darkspeeds




:star: Somebody's Jealous...! (Make that Two!)



Can you pick out who? :D


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Not these two... Though they're up to something!

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Nope not these two either... 

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Ah-HA!

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So all eight important characters have been established. Time to throw in a background and refine the details! Looking forward to doing this on my two days off - right after I finish my 5th shift this week... Which will start in 3 hours time... *looks at the time* HOLY IT'S 5:30AM!!! *dies* XXXXD




:star: Point That Way Tails!



Photo references help the more challenging foreshortening poses! Use a camera and a mirror to your advantage!! My photo pointed too far forward so I adjusted Tail's arm to move more towards us (i.e. he's shifting his arm to the right a little more), hence the difference in angle and tilt of the right hand pointing.



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Also, work out your perspective for big illustrations, define your horizon line and vanishing points before ruling the lines into place - prepping up with helpful guidelines go a long way in setting up for a successful illustration!



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:star: CHAOTIX QUEST - SONIC UNIVERSE #49 Comic Drama



And here we are! Two Sonic Comic Dramas within the month! I'm on fire baby! 


Chaotix Quest like I said is one my personal favourites in the SONIC UNIVERSE arcs Pre-SGW (i.e. Pre-SuperGenesisWave). It's got an involving story about family, interesting antagonists, and friendship. Team Ian and Tracey predominantly did an incredible job with all four issues and I give my applause to their masterful and creative input into some of the best stories that the Sonic Archie comics had to offer - it was a lot of fun, it had action, drama, and a lasting impact on fans of the Chaotix and their adventures in the series.


Also this would be one my most emotional performances in a Sonic comic drama and I'm super pleased with the results. 


Special thanks to Tasha for her contributions to Charmy and Matilda. And I wish The StarPost Productions team all the very best in completing their ambitious FULL CHAOTIX QUEST Sonic comic drama that is set for release next year.


Have fun and enjoy the show (oh and... Do me a favour. Turn up the volume! ^_~)








:star: Chaotix Quest - 106 image files complete!



And now it's time to merge everything together! :)


Images by darkspeeds



I may actually play it safe and call it a night after a couple of hours, I got a family Christmas lunch and work in the evening (9 hour shift! Bugger! X_X;...). I'll need all the rest I can get and not become too greedy working on this like I'm in a hurry... I'll enjoy it while I can.


Be expecting Chaotix Quest complete by the Sunday evening US time! ;)




:star: Mighty & Ray's Quest to Find Matilda...!




Su 49 01 by darkspeeds



Chaotix Quest - my next Sonic comic drama coming in 8 hours time. One of my most favourite Sonic universe arcs of all time - in this particular episode I have recorded some of my most emotional/dramatic performances yet. See you then! ;) *continues editing*


In the mean time, feel free to discuss with me and your peers on what you love about the Chaotix and if you're a Sonic Archie fan - what is it that you really enjoyed about the Chaotix Quest?


I'll start off be saying the whole adventure aspect of it all (Chaotix first solo for four complete issues), the Mercian Freedom Fighters, the investigative/mystery elements and the family affair that comes from it (i.e. finding a long lost sister AND looking for two 'missing-in-action' team members to the Chaotix). It was grand and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride from SU#46 all the way to the conclusive SU#49!


Okay time to go back and finish this off!

:star: Your next Artistic Challenge - Paint Your Friend with Acrylic/Oils/Gouache!



Go on, give it a go - I dare ya. ;)


Anyways so far so good! This is very good practice for me, and the same goes to those who watch my artwork. I strongly encourage you to take a break from doing digital stuff and get hands-on with a brush, dabs of good old paint straight from the tube, and onto the canvas. Challenge yourself and learn how you can render more effectively with light, colour and a bit of intuition!



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:star: Back to Portrait Painting class (in my studio!)



It's my two days off and I'm in the mood to revisit the classes I took at the Academy of Art - this time in my art studio!


I've been really inspired by my instructor Carla Crawford who taught me the essence of figure drawing at foundations level and to enjoy the process with every stroke and careful measurement. Combine this with what I learnt from Sheldon Greenburg (my Still Life Painting instructor) and taking bits of inspiration from reading James Gurney's instructional painting books (I HIGHLY recommend any artist to invest on his two books: Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter  & Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist) and looking through the amazing stuff that is created from the Grand Central Atelier I've encouraged work on my next portrait painting and replicate an environment similar to a class setting as I have experienced back at the Academy of Art university one year ago.


Here are some photos to share on how I've set it all up: three monitor screens for visual reference and the actual portrait I'll be painting, my wooden and portable easel, canvas, ACRYLIC paints, brushes and water.



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Over time I'll be doing more portraits of people whom I've met during my travels in America, and I'll take priority of those whom I have a strong connection with (especially my friends whom I know personally and the instructors/colleagues/students from the Academy of Art university). 



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I'll start off with someone whom I met at Clothed Figure class (our instructor being Thomas Gronbukt), and he goes by the name of Chris Duty. He's a talented and humble artist who was on his third year at the Academy of Art: Illustration. He was my class to act as a TA for the semester (i.e. teacher's assistance), there is an added advantage to this where Chris was able to invest more hours to practice on his clothed figure drawing whilst helping out Thomas on student inquiries during class. He was very helpful and insightful with his techniques and above all sincere. Hope to do justice with your portrait mate!



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:star: Sonic and Friends at the Fun Fair...!



And so begins the next commission piece - and this one's a massive one.

A full blown illustration on an A3 sized 225gsm Card-stock Paper, much like this one that I illustrated commissioned by :iconkafelnikov: 


COMMISSION #09 Kafelnikov ($135) by darkspeeds  


My next project is a scene that was envisioned by the creator :iconchicago-pd-stars: for his Sonic Archie fan-fic - Fallen From Grace. The setting of a fun-fair/carnival holds roots to a fond past-time of his which makes this commission fulfilling to work on! Also do give his fan-fic a read if you haven't done so already - it's tailored especially to those who are looking for a brutally mature tone in their Sonic Archie stories.


FALLEN FROM GRACE by CHICAGO-PD-STARS


So what have I thumb-nailed for the time-being? Well this! 


Thumbnail for Rob DEC2014 by darkspeeds



Have fun studying and making sense of it! :D For those who have questions about the process or what some of those ideas mean (e.g. rule of thirds composition, VP1 & 2, HL) feel free to ask! In fact how about I leave you guys with this question - what kind of perspective type am I using for this project? You'll be a well informed artist if you know the answer.


Anyways, it's time for bed for me and to go to work for the next two days before I can continue on with my commission for Rob! 8-)

:star: AAGH! Drawing Feathers Can Be So....!



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..... darn AWESOME! XXXD


Anyways here's a peak at how Shadow in Angelic Armour is progressing!


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I'm almost done with the pencils! Just gotta render and that's it! I'm genuinely havin' fun rendering his wings - it's a lot of detail but it's also a good experience to draw wings with care and make sure that they blend with the other elements! 



:star: Shadow Bare Chested And Half Armored... XD



Some photos to show of my WIPs - it's tradition and who doesn't like to see behind-the-scenes stuff?


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I've also taken a photo of two acrylic paintings I did in the past couple of weeks - a quick study portrait I did from a photo (I actually envisioned my friend :iconelisebellatrix: while painting this... Don't worry Isabel I'll paint a proper one of you so long as I get a nicely composed photo/portrait of you ;)) and a plein air of a street in Fremantle in the wee hours of the evening (I was intrigued by the light and shadow produced from the lampost on the solitary tree sticking out of the street).



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:star: Finally Back In The Mood To Draw...!



And I kid you not, I just couldn't do it for the past month. I just didn't have the right-mindset to sit down with my pencil and paper and just draw - it wasn't... Fun?


So I decided to take a break like most people would do. I focused on my new job, spent time with family as per usual, did some plein air with acrylics (that was alot of fun and different! Definitely doing more of that in future along with portait paintings of my friends and people I've admired throughout my life), caught up with friends I'm close to on Skype and made new ones recently.


But what got me back for some strange reason is the comic dramas. So a big thank you once again goes to :iconashie-kins: giving me that spark I needed to get back into a creative zone.


I've just spent the past couple of days off work fine-tuning my next SCD project - Chaotix Quest. I just completed it this morning and was immensely pleased with the audio. I can't wait to pull it off in SCD format! But that will have to wait cuz I have other priorities to tackle from the hobby side of things - and that is my commissioned work.


So to :iconchicago-pd-stars: I do sincerely apologise if it has taken so long for me to get myself back into the groove of things but I'm now ready to tackle your massive commission - I've upgraded it to Australia A3 sized paper which is slightly bigger than the one I did with Bristol board for :iconkafelnikov:'s commission.


Anyways I'm going to work on the preliminaries/thumbnails after I come back from work. For now I have :icontwintailfirefox12:'s illustration to complete.


Twin, I'll ask that you take a look at your options below. Please let me know which one of the three you'd rather I tackle in terms of composition - each has it's pros and cons in details and impact. Looking forward to completing your illustration on the weekend! And Rob yours will be right after (along with :iconironhedgehog:'s commission).



TwinTailFireFox12 thumbnail2 by darkspeeds

:star: SONIC UNIVERSE #43 Comic Drama [Covert Chaos]



Woot! This was fun to revisit! Hope you'll enjoy it, I sure miss the Secret Freedom Fighters. 8-)


 



:star: YES! 85% complete! Ready in 2-3 hours! XX3  



Missed the Secret Freedom Fighters?

Be sure to stay tuned for Covert Chaos featuring the voice acting talents of:

:icondarkspeeds: as Silver the Hedgehog, Larry Lynx, Shard, Ixis Naugus, and Geoffrey St. John
:iconkovabomb: as Narrator, Mammoth Mogul and Harvey Who
:iconnanko-yuki-haruno: as Leeta and Lyco
Jeremy Baker (aka Gamebuddy) as Elias Acorn


30 by darkspeeds


I should have the comic drama ready in the next 2-3 hours! Go get some popcorn ready, it'll be about 16 minutes long without the credits at the end. 8-)




:star: 89 Files of Awesome!



I spent the past coupe of hours trimming and editing the transition panels on all of the comic pages to SU#43. Check it out!


89 Files Of Awesome by darkspeeds


Gonna go get some sleep and then, tomorrow I shall work on the video production at full speed ahead! Be expecting COVERT CHAOS ready by tomorrow. 8-)



:star: Audio Complete! Half-way to Victory!



I didn't realise how much faster and better I'm getting with my audio work, it would have taken me twice as long in the past all thanks to experience and the utilsation of new and improved techniques.


I'm going to get on with the motion works of the visuals of the SCD, not long till we get to see the Secret Freedom Fighters in action again!


Just a reminder of what's to come!








And for those who missed out on the earlier adventures of Team Silver!







:star: The Secret Freedom Fighters return!



Lately it's been difficult to get myself back into the Sonic Archie comics. I have my personal reasons as to why that is the case but I've only shared it to my closest friends. It just doesn't have that same magic anymore. I've been suggested to take a break from it all and so far this piece of advice has been a very good one.


Four months pass and :iconashie-kins: a couple nights ago shared with me a recently produced SCD. I watched it and was surprised to see it done really well, I was entertained. Watching that, talking to Ashley about the SCD and giving feedback to the team involved in the production of 'Waves of Change' certainly gave me a spark, I was quite excited again and well I got inspired to spend the next couple of weeks to dig up an old SCD of mine and finish it.



Sonic-Universe-43-0 by darkspeeds


Two years ago I remember having a lot of fun voicing as the heroic Silver the Hedgehog, the bashful Larry the Lynx, the crazy wizard Ixis Naugus, the sly Geoffrey St. John, and the fan-favourite Shard. I was at the peak with the Sonic Archie comics, 'The Secret Freedom Fighter' arc was definitely one of my top favs of the series' arcs.


Anyways it's time to bring it back and finish off what I started! Mobian Theatre is back, for this brief and special occasion. 


Finally I'd like to give thanks Ashley and the guys behind the recent SCD, it's a stunner. Check it out and be sure to post some feedback!






Another one that has been produced with a very good amount of effort and attention to detail was from :iconchaotixfangirl11: with her take on the second installment to Sonic Universe's recent Shadow Fall arc. Good job Jordy!





Also I want to give a shout-out to Michael154 who did an exceptional job with Sonic the Hedgehog's 200th issue special. He's another class of his own, just like Chris, myself, and Tasha. Keep it up dude and please do listen to what your friends have to say about this invaluable piece of advice - ONE PROJECT AT A TIME, YOU'RE GETTING TOO AMITIOUS THAT IT'LL DRAIN YOUR SOUL!! XXXD


:star: That Looks Much Better! Time To Paint His Ears!



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Listening to The Sonic Hour hosted by Svend Joscelyne & Rory Frederick Joscelyne while painting my bust sculpture of Ashworth of the Edenspell series. Good times, especially fun when I'm trying my best not to laugh and paint details during a Police Lieutenant Smith segment.

"Police  Lieutenant Smith pocketed his p...? Penis?"
[laughter ensues behind the scenes!]
PLSmith: "Look at me Lord...!!"

Anyways he looks alot more of a warm yellow than a pale orange colour (see my previous photos posted last night) which is exactly what I wanted. This would be a third coat of Acrylic paint on the primary fur colour on his head and torso. I still need to coat his eyes, pectoral muscles and cheek side of his face a second time.

On this photo you can see that I mixed RED + BLUE + YELLOW to create that dark and rich brown that I'll need for the edges of his ears. Let's continue painting!



:star: It Needs More Yellow...! (Ashworth Bust)



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Okay time to take a mini break! Gonna go play some Dead Space 3 - I'm getting closer to finishing the game!




:star: Let's Paint - Ashworth Bust!



Woot! It's been a long time since I've done 5 days straight of the daily grind at work and now I've earnt my two days off!

So what to do? Well I actually did a sculpture 'bust' of my character Ashworth a few weeks ago. I just didn't find the time to paint him and now I shall take the opportunity! Check out the photos for now and you will see the end result sometime this evening! Catch ya then! 8-)


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(And if you're curious, I'm using student acrylics for this project - cheap stuff but it's lookin' pretty good!)

:star: Sonic and Tails... HOT DAYUM!!!



I managed to get the opportunity to watch :icon:'s stream of Sonic Boom's debut episode - The Sidekick. It was funny how Gordie had the same reaction as I did (which was cool, listen to it on his stream) but mine just went overboard because of not the fact that I was rooting for Tails to get badly injured but for the fact that after 15 years being a fan of the series I've never seen something officially depicted like this on any of the TV series. I'm like 'YES!' they finally didn't show Tails recovering like nothing had happened to him after crashing his plane (after SO MANY ATTEMPTS in both the video games and cartoons - count them!).


Hotdayum! by darkspeeds


I got excited because this was refreshing to see! Ouido Studios was bold and showed some real consequence to Tails infamous plane crash. Finally! Something for the mature audiences (and the young~ens'!)


Listen to my reaction if you don't believe me!


LISTEN TO MY REACTION TO TAIL'S PLANE CRASH



All I can say is HOT DAH-YUMM! I LOVED IT!! XXD Now to watch the rest of Sonic Boom: The Sidekick.

I'm going to thank :iconsailormoonandsonicx: for pointing out the livestream and to :iconradicalruster: for livestreaming and watching it like any fan would with honest anticipation.

I'm in a good mood so both of you will get a FREE SKETCH from me! Just let me know what you want sketched - your character, a Sonic Boom character, whatever it may be! I'll post it up when I'm done! 8-)

:star: Felipe's FRED GUARA and XDRAGOON #29!


About a few weeks ago my friend and creator of the XDragoon series from Brazil :iconyuski: caught up with me on Skype and kindly shared with me his next big and exciting comic project entitled - Fred Guara.

Now before I talk about Fred let's dig into a little background on his Xdragoon series.


Felipe's been working on XDragoon for over 6 years non-stop, producing a whooping (coming to...) 30 chapters and an incredible 1400 pages worth of story content for his series. The heart of the story is about an alien (that is anthromorphed like a dragon) named Rocky who befriends a human named Renata and ever since their first encounter they've been through all kinds of adventures facing danger, rivalry, alien invasions and tyranny that would threaten Earth.

We get to see the evolution of their unique friendship as more characters are introduced - both friends and foes - and as the story progresses we begin to witness the two developing a platonic love for one another through their experiences of good times, hardships, sacrifice. This utlimately helps Rocky evolve into a very powerful guardian towards the end of Morphs arc where he realises his true power involving an artifact known as the X-Gem.



The Powerful Burst Fist by yuski



I couldn't believe that 6 years have passed since his vision for this comic came into fruition. What I'm most happiest about is that, despite following this series every once in a blue moon - I won't lie, I've been able to witness (just as a much as the fans have) Felipe's evolution on his artwork. From the earlier pages and animation work up till what he has at present you will clearly see improvement on his illustration work - whether it be the expressions and body language from Rocky teasing Philip about his 'fish lips', dynamic poses during action sequences, the narrative's composition and flow of the panels used to progress the story, the colouring and rendering of each page, and finally the consistency of his drawing style.

Although the illustration and rendering style may not look as complex as it can potentially be (i.e. you'll see that alot of his backgrounds are dominated by speedlines and emotive screen tones to create the mood and effect relative to the panel) you have to keep in mind that this guy did everything by himself (with the exception of the English revisions) and drawing comics sucks up a huge chunk of your life - especially if it is your baby project! You gotta time manage as well as cater for your finances, it's not an easy life to have.

So yeah please do check out his stuff, and congratulations to Felipe for making it this far with the XDragoon series! You can visit his website by 
clicking on this link.



New XDragoon Website! by yuski


Now then, let's talk about his new series Fred Guara. 



Fred Guara - The Lobo Loco by yuski



Now that Felipe's gained alot of experience writing action/adventure orientated comics involving his own unique human and anthro-cartoon styled characters he's able to apply this accumulation of experiences towards his next big project. The really awesome thing about Fred is not that it's something new but it is also something that Felipe has always wanted to work on for comics - tackling the comedy business.

Felipe loves his action/comedy stuff, in fact it immediately reminds me of the time when I watched some Ranma 1/2 and Dragoon Ball (not Z or GT, Dragoon Ball when it first came out XD) stuff back in the early nineties - it's going to involve fighting, alot of crazy things happenin' and perhaps less on the romance stuff. I think Felipe may have substituted the romance for more pervy and random fun stuff - why you ask? Cuz I read a full chapter of Fred Guara myself - in Portuguese.


I mean I didn't even need to understand the dialogue but I was immediately entertained and hooked with his new wacky character designs and their charming yet outrageous expressions (mostly coming from Fred himself) on each panel. There is definitely more attention to detail on his backgrounds (I forgotten to mention that this is done in black and white, but I'll get back to you on that in a minute) making you feel immersed to his universe, also there is alot of story telling just from the body language of the characters and their actions on each panel - I really feel that he's come a long way when it comes down to the crunch of making comics.

Going back to the format, it's currently done in professional manga style inks and screen tones, and I stress no bias on the quality of his black and white comics as of his standards today - it really is done professionally, even better than the standards on my previous GRAND HUNTER project. It is also in Portuguese and plans for an English translation is very likely but not anytime soon. Here's a sample page of his first chapter (Western comic-reading format of left to right):



P007 by darkspeeds



For those curious to know more about Fred Guara I will update his translation on Felipe's website:


The series happens in a little city called Uaná, where there´s a freelance service agency called, “Lobo Loco”. You can contract this agency for anything: from rescuing people, finding an artifact, protecting the president, being a babysitter, all the way to presenting a kid´s show at the local school. Lobo Loco is formed by four members:


  1. Fred Guara-01 by darkspeeds
    Fredenilson “Fred” da Silva Guará:
     Fred is the agency leader. He´s a maned wolf who is crazy and has an insane sense of logic! Most of time Fred can be seen smiling, but behind that smile covers a wild personality he has where fights are a welcoming sight to his eyes! He has a strange fire power that is related to an ancient creature of Brazilian folklore.


    Fred Guara-02 by darkspeeds
  2. Zé Poça: Nicknamed 'Zep', he is a possum, who loves to drink. He usually hangs around in the city, so it´s normal routine that he finds clients for the agency. However this does not discount the fact that he can´t escape from Fred´s dangerous and wacky attitude!


    Fred Guara-04 by darkspeeds
  3. Josué: A young sparrow whom Fred adopted. Because he´s… Hmm… Round and is always a victim to Poca's tricks. He loves video games and cakes.


    Fred Guara-03 by darkspeeds
  4. Talita: A 14 year-old girl who arrived at the agency as a client and eventually ended up as a team member, because of an agreement she made with Fred. Talita hates how the agency is always dirty because of Fred´s bad habits. Also, she lives with her mother and brother, Paulo. Her father however is unknown.

 

The one last thing I'll point out about his new Fred Guara series (based on what I remembered during my discussion with Felipe on Skype) is that it is very much inspired/influenced from Brazilian folklore - the concepts and theme that is. I love it when a comic is based off the artist's nationality and culture because it's not often you get comic artists who work on a project of that nature - I feel that it will resonate more with audiences especially those who understand the folklore and culture better. Also the main character Fred - and no lie, I LOVE this guy's design and how he's portrayed in the comic - is based off a South American mammal called a maned wolf - resembling a large fox with reddish fur and is well known for stealing chickens from farms! Cheeky bugger!



Maned Wolf 11, Beardsley Zoo, 2009-11-06 by darkspeeds



Now I know that Ashworth was originally based off a Wombat (and that is an Australian native species) but I'm still debating on whether or not to keep him as a wombat or to keep it a mystery as to who and what he is. I've been doing research lately and tried to find a link to the story and character's origin and it hasn't been easy. I won't confirm until I got something concrete. Anyways!

Work at the casino has been keeping me busy lately but I plan to work on a couple of things during my three days off starting Tuesday: :iconchicago-pd-stars:'s commission, and the latest of Felipe's Xdragoon series - an alternatve cover for Chapter 29!


XDragoon Iss. 29 Alt 00 by darkspeeds

XDragoon Iss. 29 Alt 00b by darkspeeds


So yeah that's the update I have for this new month of November! Hope everyone has a fun and spooky Halloween and be sure to keep on inspiring with your illustrations! Take care!

:star: Knuckles You DUFUS (XD) + Revisit Sonic Jap Ads!






Awww... Isn't that sweet...? = ) I get where this is at, and many will say why the hell didn't Tails just fly over and save the cat that way - simple right? Nope, the marketing team at SEGA wanted to see how fun and outrageous Team Boom can be in our world! :D

Kids love this to see this kind of BING-BANG-BOOM scenario where there's excitement and enthusiasm, gettin' physical (and I don't mean the adult kind), wicked gadgetry, swinging hammers and boomerangs, things messing up - it's almost like having your own kids who are a bundle of fun but can be loose canons if not watched over, I can't explain it but it felt like I was a kid at heart watching this and it worked for the adult in me too.

The animation quality was fantastic, the rendering and immersion of the 3D characters (very colourful aren't they?) into our photorealistic world is smooth and seamless. The only thing that bugged me, and it's already coming, was Knuckles. DARN IT! WHY YOU?! You could have been the intelligent, and cool guy who knows all about the ancient history of the echidna civilisation, but then again what can you, the game needed contrast and familiarity based on the character design (big, strong brute but not so smart), also he would have been competing with Amy who is the archaeologist of the team. Anyways I'm digressing. Great ad from the Western counterpart and also, Sonic is the hero at the end of the day, great save mate.

Oh and be sure to watch these ones too from the East!







Three things I love from watching those two ads:

  1.  I LOVE the enthusiasm and clarity of the Japanese announcer, he gets 11 points from me! 'SONIKKU TOOON!'
  2. Jun'ichi Kanemaru is the nuts. He still sounds awesome and has always been consistent with his Japanese voice for Sonic. I would play the game in Japanese dub once I'm done with the English dub!
  3. The music! We finally get to hear some concreate BGM from the actual game. Really fits the adventure mood - orchestral style!

Now that you watched those let's see if you remembered these ones! 





Which one's your favourite? And how many of the quotes/sounds/jingles can you remember that has been stuck in our head for years? I'll share some with ya:

"SEEGAA!"
"Hello everybody!! ~ Orawa Sonic! Sonic zah Hedgehog!"
"Sonikku-do-pinballru! ~ Pohtey!"
"Megadrive-da-matteru-de!
"PINBURU GAME! AMERICANA-FUNNKEEE ACTION!! SONIC SPIN-BALL!"

Oh and 100 rings to the person who can figure out what the hell does that French chauffeur when Sonic spins around and does that slick pose! "Zah-ze-pression!!?"
This CANNOT go unnoticed. 




Great job :iconjoeadok:, I'd love to see an episode of the Super Detective Team in action. Imagine the blend of mystery, comedy, and action you can get out of it. Japanese voices with English sub please! 

:star: Back on Course



Hi guys and gals, it's been three and a half months since I got back from studying in the United States and now I'm finally back to my old job at Crown Perth. Life has been amazing - I've spent more quality time with family, did a whole bunch of cool stuff with friends, and played some survival horror games as of late (just finished 'The Evil Within' and I'm almost done with Dead Space 3 - both very fun to play).


I also had one of my artworks from the Academy of Art University successfully picked and exhibited by my local council on it's 12th annual Emerging Artists Award.
Out of the +500 entries this year 82 got picked and I'm pretty proud to have been one of the chosen. It was a privilege to check out the local talent and admire their finished artwork for presentation with my family. It will be exhibited for the public for about a week and artwork at this stage are available for purchase. 


Anyways I haven't been drawing alot lately and that's because I had focused on getting employed. I took it for granted that it was going to be easy to get myself a new job in my specialty area but I was naive and underestimated the job market in Australia at the time. Now that I've confirmed to have passed the group interview and commencing work on Monday it is quite a blessing. 


As the title suggests I'm back on course and I'm looking forward to this new life in Australia - and a very good one at that.

:star: Pencil Types and Photo References (Easy Hands)!



I recently had someone by the name of :iconamalika: to ask the question about the pencils I use. It was a good question and upon answering her question I felt the need to show what I was using and where it was applied! But first let's take a hands on look at how using references from your own photos can really help tighten your illustration - especially for those hard to do poses from any part of the body.


In this case we'll focus on the hands (hands are a pain in the ass to draw right?)

I started out with a quick thumbnail of :iconcooperthehedgehog:'s commission (featuring his friend's character :iconsonniejaye:). I had a solid idea at the time and it only required a couple of thumbnails to solidify my idea - it was a matter of choosing which orientation would best capture the moment between the two characters Art and Cooper.



Untitled by darkspeeds



Now I'm pretty confident with my figure drawing by now but I still need some extra help with hands. So I took them myself with my brother's Lumix camera. Here are some shots I came up with to match the idea I had based on the thumbnail.



Hands 1 by darkspeedsHands 2 by darkspeeds
Hands 3 by darkspeedsHands 4 by darkspeeds



Great, so I had dome my prep and research, now let's do some sketching...!



Untitled by darkspeeds



Not bad huh?

So after I've laid out the framework it's time to render it fully, this was how it looked like:



COMMISSION #20 Cooperthehedgehog ($40) by darkspeeds



Not too shabby at all! Now then, let's giveyou guys a little exercise, which of the numbered photos matched the hands on the illustration?

Well I'll make it even easier for you and show how it compares and matches from photo to illustration:



Show of hands by darkspeeds



So what's the lesson here? DON'T BE AFRAID TO USE REFERENCES!!! Encourage yourself to put in that little bit of extra effort on research cuz it'll go a long way in the long run. ;)


Now then back to our earlier inquiry about the type of pencils I use for this commissioned illustration - trust me you don't need any smancy-fancy to create stunning graphite drawings. Just go to your local art store and buy some graphite pencils, any brand you like - they'll do the job, seriously.


If you really want to know what I have been using then it's the standard 'Goldfaber' Faber Castell GRAPHITE PENCILS - the horizontally striped ones that has blue and gold coating on it. Yup you can get it at your local office supplies or newsagent, they're cheap and reliable.


You can get yourself the whole range that comes conveniently in a box - i.e. 5H, 4H, 3H, 2H, H, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, and  8B but that's a lot of pencils that you don't really need if you're just starting out. Try out a few of the basic ones first like H and 2B, then when you want to get more technical with your rendering then it is advised to purchase more types of pencils that range outside the H and 2B


On this project I used 3H, H, HB, & 4B. Really that's all you need. Something really soft and something really hard in value.


Also important when it comes to adding arsenal to your graphite drawing tool collection are MECHANICAL PENCILS. God damn they will come in handy for the more pin-point stuff you need to draw for lines. If you want precise and clean strokes, you'll be thankful to have purchase some. And because I can afford some smancy-fancy stuff I paid a little extra to get myself Engineer/Draftsman/Architect quality mechanical pencils - they are much more durable, holds your leads tighter than your cheaper brands and they look sexy. Go on, spoil yourself, it's worth the extra. I bought three sizes - 0.3mm, 0.5mm, and 0.7mm (thinnest, thin, thicker lines).


I decided to grab all of my tools in one hand to show you what it looks like while I was working on Cooper's commission the other day. Why? Because I can.



Untitled by darkspeeds



Now here's the fun part, now that you know what type of pencils I use on the regular for graphite illustrations, let's take a look at which specific pencils have been used on certain sections of the illustration - I take into account the LINE-ART and RENDERING. Go and have a wander and observe carefully - you may learn something useful!



Pencil shading diagram Darkspeeds by darkspeeds



And that's it! Hope you'll gain something out of this mini behind-the-scenes.

Remember my article on how awesome it is to have three screens? Well here's how it looks like for my next quick project (my client being :iconja-the-shadow-hunter:):


Untitled by darkspeeds



And once again I'm using the same set of graphite and mechanical pencils like my previous projects.



Untitled by darkspeedsUntitled by darkspeeds



Anyways it's adios from me! Now go out there and start drawing! Get the right tools, get inspired and tighten your illustration work! Good luck! *thumbs up*

:star: YUSH! More SONIC BOOM TV Footage!



Just sit back and relax. This is fun to watch!





Share your thoughts! And also let me know if you have attended the SONIC BOOM Convention in New York City! Share with us your experience and what you did at the event.


Last but not least, why does Tails look SO ADORABLE with every new screenshot. They look like brothers having a conversation:

Tails: "Sonic you suck balls."
Sonic: "Bite me."

:D :giggle: :D


Screen-Shot-2014-10-05-at-00.15.22 by darkspeeds

:star: The Advantage of Three Screens!



As many of you know I'm currently working on Geo's commission that involved the production of two character sheets. Having more screens means you have the ability to hold more visual information at any one time. I potentially have another screen but it's not in the form of a monitor but my ipad mini. 


I just want to show you how beneficial it is to have this visual information when you're illustrating or working on a project for a client.


Shots of my Workstation 
Screen00 by darkspeeds
Screen01 by darkspeeds


Screens 01, 02 & 03 (Left, Middle, & Right)
Screen02 by darkspeeds
Screen03 by darkspeeds
Screen04 by darkspeeds


If there is a downside to having three screens well I guess you can say that it will eat up more on your energy bills (not much in the US but in Australia electricity is pretty expensive). If you manage your usage well you can conserve energy during studio time.


Another downside some might say is that having too much information can be too jarring for the eye or that it'll complicate the process but I think if you have a strong idea and have solid references that go with your idea (arranged and managed properly) then you'll be able to enhance the visual impact of an illustration. In the long term it's worth - give it a go!