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:star: SPARK OF LIFE comic drama & Archie Comics sales


Just woken up, had a long day at work and the rest was much needed for more on-stage work tomorrow for the next few days! Resting the vocals is paramount for this job and I'm started to learn the limits of my projection on stage per shift which has been an enlightening experience.


Nevertheless it's raining outside in the evening, one of my favourite feelings of the day, and I just got on and found out that my friend Tasha's (aka Donniegirl12 - my go to for Tails' voice and she also voiced as Freki recently on the NORDGUARD the Movie project). Do check it out as she is considered in my books to have some of the best audio productions in the realm of comic drams (most of them being Archie Comic's Sonic the Hedgehog/SONIC UNIVERSE series).







The character that I played is slowly becoming a bad-ass... (I still haven't read book three or four yet so I'm sure he's got his reasons for his behaviour towards the end of book two). I mean look at him! 



Snopping Around by darkspeeds


*DUN DUN DUUUUUUN!*

"You got any last words for me... Punk?" He's doing a dirty Harry over there mate!


Nevertheless do check out Tasha's latest comic drama, you won't be disappointed! In fact, I'm going to do that right after I finished writing this journal - there is one last thing to point out and that's the recent post on TSSZ news on Archie Publications sales figures on the comic book series (post-reboot). You can read all about it here but I shall share with you my personal thoughts.


 vtDRbeY by darkspeeds DSwXSxj by darkspeeds
uVUearm by darkspeeds


I used to have that complete optimism for the series where regardless of how good or bad the comic is making it's run for it's money but you know what, I'm keeping an open mind this time.


Keep in mind that the figures you see up there are sales figures from DIRECT DISTRIBUTION to mainstream comic book stores (of all sizes from across the United States). The sales, from my assumption, are not a complete reflection as we have yet to consider distribution through magazine stands at giants like WAL-MART and digital sales through e-commerce. However if you use these figures to compare to what's out now - February 2015 Comic Book Sales Figures  - you'll get an idea of what they're up against in the competitive comic book/graphic novel industry.


I'd say they are hitting the mid-minor-to-low range in comparison to the other IP's available - is this a good sign or not for the future out Sonic Archie comics? Well it's something for you to think about.


I believe it's surviving on four factors:

i) It's Sonic, the IP in itself is hugely recognised worldwide and it's been going on for over 20 years. Every kid on the block should recognise his face.
ii) Pre-Genesis Wave era (starting from the time team Ian/Tracey/Paul was on).
iv) The quality in the artwork has improved by miles when compare to the golden age stuff.
iii) Worlds Collide IP


Now that you have some info equipped I can share with you my thoughts on how the series (based on the figures) is going.


So far what I've read in the past 6 months, it just doesn't have the same magic as it did pre-Genesis wave. I remember vividly that I've always looked forward to purchasing the comics at the comic book store in person and proudly unwrapping it at home and reading it in my favourite spot over a nice cuppa. I smiled at the fact that I'm a proud fan of the series and that I support the artists and publishing team every step of the way... Until my experience in the United States.


After coming back to Australia I've been trying to generate the same magic in hopes to embrace the stories and new content post-Genesis Wave and sad to say that I'm in line with some friends who don't find the characters or stories as exciting or that great as all.


With respects, Archie Publications has done ALOT to get it's two feet back into the game post-Genesis Wave, no doubt about that, but in my opinion it's going to take some time before it may perhaps reproduce the same magic as I once saw in the series.


Also, there have been people asking me on my thoughts on World's Collide - I'm not interested in that concept to be honest and I'm certainly not looking forward to the next. I'm an adult fan of the good stories that came out during the Ian/Tracey/Paul era... Like just when we were going to find out if Team Freedom and Fighters will bring Sally back from robotisation, and how will that collide with the conflict that Silver has in tracking down and eliminating the traitor; the Secret Freedom Fighters, the Mercian Freedom Fighters, Knuckles saga, St. Geoffrey and how he may get out of that horrible curse that is Ixis Naugus playing host in his body - and perhaps his wife Hershey Cat may have been key to breaking that curse (I had a feeling she wasn't dead, yet).


So there you have it, that's my two cents on the matter for the moment.


Oh and don't even mention about SONIC BOOM the comic, I've unsubscribed it last week. It's great with the kiddies but it sure didn't stick with me for long. Here's hoping that the following issues of 'Sonic the Hedgehog' and 'SONIC UNIVERSE' will get me back in a healthy mindset to continue supporting the series.


Feel free to share your thoughts on the subject, I'm curious to learn what you guys think on Archie Publication's Sonic the Hedgehog comic series!

:star: NORDGUARD - The Movie








It's been three years since it started as an idea, and until now it took about one and a half months worth of preparation, work, and enthusiasm to complete the dream.


It's finally here...!


2 weeks of auditions, 1 month of audio work and 1 week of graphics & video editing, I present to you NORDGUARD the Movie (...  technically a comic drama!).


Here's the original BTVA page for auditions from February: www.behindthevoiceactors.com/m…


Thanks once again to the creators of this graphic novel: Tess Garman & Teagan Gavet, their publisher: Sofawolf and of course to the StarPost Productions team for delivering stellar performances throughout.


May the fans enjoy this and the creators too - we hope this inspires you to continue working on Book 2: Under Dark Skies!



:star: Change of Plans...!



Nordguard comic drama - ready in an hour...? You bet!

See you soon for the premier tonight!



:star: NORDGUARD comic drama - Premier time and date!


Nordguard comic drama promo MAR2015 by darkspeeds


See you guys for the premier in a week's time! It's gonna be one hell of a comic drama, probably one of my best works so far in terms of audio production. The length of this comic drama is close to a feature film - so be sure to bring your friends and nic-knacks for premier night! See you there on my 'Darkspeeds' Youtube channel!!

:star: Kaze Base Colors Done! Sel's Next!



WIP Sel and Kaze 1 by darkspeeds
WIP Sel and Kaze 2 by darkspeeds
WIP Sel and Kaze 3 by darkspeeds


Only one more evening before I head off to the Philippines! Hope to get Sel colored by then!


I'll be using the below references/tutorials to help me out with the painting and rendering process!


Step by Step - Hatsune Miku by alchemaniac Nissa WIP by Quirkilicious HAHA by BBrangka 11.11 by Lenmeu




:star: Ready To Be Painted!




CM32 Twintailfirefox12 1-Sketch MAR2015 by darkspeeds



Wow, this was actually a breathe of fresh air... Keep in mind I haven't drawn in over a month and it feels good to be able to illustrate something so quickly. 


This was fun to draw and I'm really enjoying the rhythm in this (almost like an ad infinitum flow around the canvas). Once again the emphasis is on Sel's fire fox powers hence her stretched left arm and hand as one of the focal points. Kaze looks smug. X3


Anyways it's time for bed! I'm gonna try a different painting method and aim to imitate something like this:


Zone Runners - Angel Roots by KetrinDarkDragon


If I can get anywhere near the above painting I'd die a happy man. *SHOT* :giggle: 8-)




:star: Nordguard Update, Commission and a Holiday!



Wow, it's been a while since my last update!


I've been really busy with Chinese New Year celebrations with family, work at the casino and time spent on the NORDGUARD comic drama project.


To keep it short I had spent quality time with family for Chinese New Year which was wonderful, I've recently completed my probation at Crown Perth meaning that I'm accepted there for the long term - and on top of that I've been accepted for a higher duties position as a promotional host (training starts in two weeks, it's gonna be quite nerve racking to do promo work on stage in front of a live and large audience!), I'm more than 70% complete with the NORDGUARD comic drama (had an amazing time with the StarPost Production crew who helped voice acted the characters in the project), and finally I'll be heading out to the Philippines with my brother for a friend's wedding this Thursday for four nights - it's gonna be great spending time with my brother outside of home for a change! 

Regarding commission work I've just managed to get my ass back into gear this evening to scratch off the previous ideas (cuz I wasn't happy with it, poses and composition too boring - you can find them here Fox Fire Sel - Fast thumbnail, value + color study:star: Fox Fire Sel - Fast thumbnail, value & color study
Twin decided to opt out Sel's sword and have her character focusing both hands yielding her Fox Fire powers. She also had a specific colour palette that she wanted me to follow. I improvised with a colour combination that I felt would work using Paletton.

Just some visual notes on eye flow and prioritizing on which character pops out first in the illustration can be seen on the photo below.

I transferred the sketch into Photoshop and did a quick painting.

Doing these quick studies can really help alot in terms of giving the client an instant idea of what the final illustration may look like. This took me about a little less than an hour to create - you can do this instead of spending hours on end coming up with something that the client may not like.
:star:
) and replaced it with some new thumbnails that have been approached with a new top-down perspective. You can check out them out below.



New thumbnails Sel and Kaze by darkspeeds


I consulted :icontwintailfirefox12: and she says she's happy with either #1 or #2! I stuck with #1 and utilised the facial expression found on #2! I just finished drawing Kaze (a visual design based off :iconevanstanley:'s). Also I gotta thank ya Evan for making me use the 0.7mm mechanical pencil straight on for sketching - it feels great to be bold and loose at the same time - I've been stuck on 3H graphite since Academy of Art days for preliminary sketch-work on final illustrations!



Untitled by darkspeeds


Anyways see you guys back next week! Have a brilliant week ahead of ya!

Oh and the SONIC BOOM comics from Archie Publications - ........... Wtfudge am I reading..?? *takes note to unsubscribe from his local comic book store*

:star: NORDGUARD comic drama - OFFICIAL PREVIEW



Woo-hoo! It's out! :D This is just a snippet of the entire graphic novel. X3





It's been a month's worth of research, initiative, auditions, motivation, and hard work.


This fan-project that Nate and I have always wanted to work on is finally coming to life.


Based on the original graphic novel by Tess Garman and Teagan Gavet, we hope this preview will inspire you onwards to book two. The full (almost!) feature-film length version is soon to come!


And to the amazingly talented team at StarPost Productions I thank you for your contributions - it is such a joy to be working with top quality performances based off your assigned characters for the project. I tip my hat to you for your commitment!

:star: Fox Fire Sel - Fast thumbnail, value & color study



Twin decided to opt out Sel's sword and have her character focusing both hands yielding her Fox Fire powers. She also had a specific colour palette that she wanted me to follow. I improvised with a colour combination that I felt would work using Paletton.


Just some visual notes on eye flow and prioritizing on which character pops out first in the illustration can be seen on the photo below.



P1180243b by darkspeeds



I transferred the sketch into Photoshop and did a quick painting.


Sel-and-Kaze thumbnail-with-values by darkspeeds


Doing these quick studies can really help alot in terms of giving the client an instant idea of what the final illustration may look like. This took me about a little less than an hour to create - you can do this instead of spending hours on end coming up with something that the client may not like.




:star: Fox Fire Sel - A look at Twin's next commission!



Twin's been generous to offer me to do two commissions in the past few months, now she's onto her third one - with an upgrade to full color!

Previously she received the following illustrations:



COMMISSION #21 TwinTailFireFox12 ($50) by darkspeeds 

 COMMISSION #23 TwinTailFireFox12 ($50) by darkspeeds


This time round we're revisiting her character Selena Fox who explores her Fox Fire powers.


CLB - Selena (Twintailfirefox12) by adagadeprata


She will be accompanied by her friend Kaze. :iconoriganlgaming: and :iconevanstanley: were kind to draw her a reference - each with their own very unique designs!



Jiyu (Kaze) OC by OriganlGaming kaze-sketch---Copy by darkspeeds 


So far I've focused on thumb-nailing multiple options of poses for my client. I wanted to get a feel for how her character Sel will be expressed in form and pose with her sword Lilium and Fox Fire powers. She will take priority in terms of getting the most attention in the illustration while Kaze will compliment her in the background. 


Quick poses Sel by darkspeeds


After asking Twin for her favourite she picked poses #4 & #5 in which I further developed in sketch. Using my micron-pens I added more detail which resulted in this.


Untitled by darkspeeds


The next step is to incorporate Kaze into the picture and doing some value studies. Let's see how I go!

:star: Evelyn's "Worth the Effort" Sonic comic drama!




This was actually a pleasant surprise! The music selection was what got me hooked instantly into the drama for this particular short story from an issue of 'Sonic the Hedgehog'! Well done Evelyn!







My feedback:

Wow, that was really refreshing!!

What's beautiful about this mini Sonic comic drama of yours is the simplicity behind it - the SFX's were not overdone and were carefully place on parts of the narrative where it required it, the sound levels were balanced for all three elements - including SFX, voice-work and BGM, the sound track selection was perfect and the performances were very good (I instantly knew that was Michael154's Sonic voice)! This minimalist approach will inspire me on my next comic drama - this is the kind of thing I need because the animation was easy to follow and there wasn't the need for all that flashy effects or transitions that I've seen on other SCD's (including my past ones). 

This was entertaining and sincere, I loved it! Thanks for sharing this Evelyn, you continue to improve on your comic drama projects, do keep it up!


P.S. (Also, lovely job voicing as Julie-su and Amy!)

P.P.S. (Oh it's time I gave you some upgrades for SFX's - here's more power to you to use for your next SCD. Good luck and have fun! ;) www.dropbox.com/sh/f2wos3wbvgs…)






:star: Tasha's SONIC UNIVERSE #71 comic drama!








My feedback:

"You know after watching this... I think something magical happened. 

I think... I like Sally now!

lol

Wow, where to start? I mean this was an SCD that I genuinely enjoyed watching in a long while - not because of the fact that I also played a part of it in the project but I'm talking about the overall production of your work, as well as your casting and highlight performances from the cast.

Aena WAS Sally, she sounded sincere, not over the top like most other Sally VA's I've heard (professionally and fan-interpreted), and she naturally lead the story with a head-strong performance (and you even played a younger version of the character very convincingly!). Aena, your VA was incredible, to the point where it convinced me to give Sally another chance to enjoy who she is in the reboot series (only Tasha and a few close friends would understand what I mean by my thoughts of Sally and this was kind of the breakthrough I needed) - so thank you for that!


FairFieldFencer as King Max... Ho hooo! Holy crap. You over-delivered in terms of my expectation for his voice, spot-on dude. I never heard this interpretation of him but you totally convinced me. Awesome job dude, I really felt that fatherly figure in your voice, I really enjoyed listening to it as he was having conversation with his daughter and his old friend Dr. Ellidy.

Ashley as Nicole has become a standard to my ears already - you've done a fantastic job with her performance as always, it's become natural just like Tasha's Tails. 

Hearing Shaun doing Rotor was completely new for me - it was exciting and an interest point while listening in attentively (especially being a fan of his Megaman and Beauregard aka The Baron voices). He embraced his role and I really appreciated that, however I'm still a big fan of the Wolfblade93's Rotor! X3

Doomerang's Big the Cat was interesting to listen to too! But what put me off a little was the audio quality! X_X; Until he upgrade's his mic the clarity will come through as exceptional.

Chris's digitized villain's voice - that was just killer. He nailed it. What made it more clever was his pacing of words to make it sound foreign and sinister. Masterful.

Last but not least, Tasha, your Tails has become the standard already, it's like I'm watching my favourite cartoon with my favourite voice actor playing on it. :D What wowed me more so this time round was your Cream!! I didn't hear your Cream before, until now, and wow--! You can transform from mature-adorable (aka Roll and Amy) to a young-adorable tone!! That's madness man, great job!

Need I to tell you about the audio quality of your production? It's ace as always, when we Skype I can tell you the specifics of what I really enjoyed listening to - actually I will say now that some of the most beautiful parts in your SCD were the interactions between certain characters with Sally - e.g. Sally and Nicole, Sally and Dr. Ellidy, the conversation flowed naturally because of Aena's incredible performance complimented by the other VA's performances. 

Great job to everyone involved and a big thanks to Tasha for this amazing comic drama production! I also thank you for including me in your project for a voice and as an advisor on which BGM/scores to use! I will say on thing though - I noticed that you opt out the Spirited Away track for a repeat of Shadow of the Colossus. Now I'm not sure if it was an error there or the fact that you made a directorate decision to use the SotC track for better effect (and it actually still worked well!) Just curious to know what happened there cuz I was really hoping to hear the Spirit Away track being played. XXXD

Alrighty! Time to post this on my deviantART. ;)


P.S. Oh I forgot to mention - that was one kick-ass intro, something new and refreshing - very Sonikky since you've added in that Sonic Adventure vibe for a SFX! 

P.P.S. Pssst That Rotor wasn't me!!! Honest! *SHOT*"



71 by darkspeeds



What do you guys think of the latest story in the Sonic Universe arc? It's nice to see them exploring back-stories of main characters for character development - as you can see this is arc is focusing on Nicole.


Having said that I'm going to also let you know that STAR-POST PRODUCTIONS team are almost complete with their CHAOTIX QUEST comic drama epic which spans ALL FOUR BOOKS (that's over 84 pages of content!). It's practically like a movie length feature. So when it comes out be sure to grab some friends who are fans of the series and popcorn and enjoy the show! 



Chaotix-Quest by darkspeeds

Nordguard - AUDITIONS and Behind the Scenes!



Okay! Just had a lovely one-on-one auditioning interview with Tyler for characters - Iluq and Geri. The session was productive and a bunch of fun - talkin' about Sonic comics, voice acting and past SCD projects with other VA's involved in our little community.


Anyways if you guys are willing to send in your auditions do post them on this website - it's easy really, just record your lines and upload it next to the character you're auditioning for: Behind the Voice Actors project page.


Alrighty! Time to start recording my lines for the character London. Here I go!


Untitled by darkspeeds

Untitled by darkspeeds Untitled by darkspeeds Untitled by darkspeeds



:star: Nordguard - AUDITIONS for a strong  VA female role!



I just cooked this up last night, I've been meaning to work on my next comic drama after much debate on which comic to choose. I want to thank my friend Nathan for the inspiration, it's time we made this a reality!



Ng01-2 by darkspeeds



Here's the list I wrote up last night. I spent the next 4 hours doing the write up on my 

Behind the Voice Actors project page.




Untitled by darkspeeds



I picked specifically who I wanted to cast for this massive project. It's gonna be a long one as it's 74 pages long!


The characters involved include the following faces:



NG Character01 Pi by darkspeedsNG Character02 Nickel by darkspeedsNG Character03 London by darkspeedsNG Character04 Oleg by darkspeeds
NG Character05 Lt.-James-Mckay by darkspeedsNG Character06 Mac by darkspeedsNG Character07 Iluq by darkspeedsNG Character08 The-Captain-(Tiger) by darkspeeds
NG Character09 Lewis by darkspeedsNG Character10 Geri by darkspeedsNG Character11 Freki by darkspeedsNG Character12 Lee by darkspeeds
NG Character13 Victim-3---Hare by darkspeedsNG Character14 Victim-1---Bobcat by darkspeedsNG Character15 Victim-2---Dog by darkspeeds



Now then, I did mention on the title and header about auditions for a strong female lead - the character I'm referring to is PI - the one who is dominating the cover as well as the story. I'm looking for someone who can deliver a voice quite close to Sigourney Weaver's finesse, dominance and assertiveness. Think you or someone that you know can handle such a character? Then please help me out by posting a link to the recommended actress in mind so that I can make an inquiry.


Thanks for your time and to the team who I'll be involving in the project I look forward to talking and working with you on my two days off starting today! 8-)

:star: Psychological thriller or psychological horror?



Once again it's been difficult deciding on how and what I'll be tackling for the next graphic novel project. In fact I haven't done one in a long while - since the release of GRAND HUNTER back in 2010, and ten years further back it would have been the SA2 Fan-Comic and Tails Away projects. 

I'm currently doing research on the sub-genres mentioned on the title of this journal and trying to understand the core meaning behind it - I think that would be a good start to the journey of my new graphic novel.

Why these particular sub-genres? Well I've always had an interest in them.

I've experienced the excitement and intrigue from playing games like Alan Wake, The Indigo Prophecy, & Silent Hill series (The Evil Within just recently), and watching movies like Shutter Island, Paranormal Activity & The Blair Witch Project. 

I really dig the plot twists, the protagonists overcoming all odds (mentally and physically) in places of strange and disturbing reality, the mysteries to be solved, the supernatural forces, and the stakes involved in a PT/PH story that will push the character till breaking point. Oh and let's not forget the anatogonist/evil force that is stalking/outsmarting the protagonist - every step of the way until the very end.


So I think the best thing to do is to invest my time into something that I have a strong interest in the subject. I know that sounds easy on paper but to actually do it is no simple feat. I'll give you an example - originally I wanted to work on Ashworth and was very keen on working on a fantasy/action/adventure themed story but I was only bluffing myself because I really lacked solid complete ideas and content for it. I will have to rely on all of my past experiences reading graphic novels, watching films, and playing video games for inspiration and knowledge but I personally don't have that strong of an interest right now.

I'm saving Ashworth for next time and opting for a new character, named Hunter.


Untitled by darkspeeds


Okay so we have a character named Hunter, and Elson wants to come up with a solid story that emphasizes the psychology of its characters and their unstable emotional states. Will it contain the supernatural elements where the protagonist has discovered her uncanny ability to communicate with ghosts but is being hunted down by a religious cult who believes that she must be burnt to the stake just because she is accused a witch? Will it be revolved around a true reality where an every-man is accused of murdering his own family, is mentally disturbed from a case of schizophrenia, but he denies any involvement, declares he is innocent and is on the run from the police while trying to uncover the true killer? Who knows.

One thing's for sure, my setting is in North America, and in a small town called Pleasure Pines.

And I've doodled around some more of my protagonist and other characters with various expressions. Hunter will be a German Shepard, cuz, I see police use these dogs all the time - they're excellent dogs, known for their strength, intelligence, and obedience. Does that mean he's a cop? Nope, not at all. I just want my readers be able to define him instantly because for a fact he is second-most popular breed of dog in the United States (lol)! 


Untitled by darkspeeds


Anyways it's been a good start so far, I've purchased myself some non-fiction material for inspiration and content - Murder Cases/Master Detective magazines.


 Untitled by darkspeeds


Read a couple of cases and I'm really hooked to the stories (which are real life), the psyche behind the perpetrators, the victims involved and the investigation process - usually ends up with a conclusion and closure for all parties involved, but in predominant cases a mystery still unsolved. 

While I'm at it I'm going to make an effort watching the following movies to build up on content and creative inspiration:

List of Psychological Thriller Movies to watchthe-artifice.com/common-themes… and www.imdb.com/list/ls057336010/


If you guys and gals can help touch base on this sub-genre I've discussed I'd appreciate it! Feedback on what movies you've seen, books you've read, games you've played - feel free to share and recommend! 8-)

: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! = )


Untitled by darkspeeds

Untitled by darkspeeds


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.


Untitled by darkspeeds


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.


Untitled by darkspeeds


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.


Untitled by darkspeeds 53ab338864ca5846ecb4ac4ade529e57 by darkspeeds



: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!)