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May 30, 2012
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Burswood Mines At Sunrise by ElsonWong Burswood Mines At Sunrise by ElsonWong
:bulletpurple: C O M M E N T A R Y :bulletpurple:

I really like the colours and lighting on this one! Reminds me of a beautiful early morning in Canada while we were touring in the stunning mountains of The Rockies. But what a contrast - a scenic sunrise can turn out to be deadly and distressing setting if you're looking at it from another perspective.



:bulletred: D E S C R I P T I O N :bulletred:

A typical early morning for the inhabitants of The Valley who have been captured and worked to death by Lucrum Industries.



The Burswood Mines is a strenuous coal mining operation run by head honcho - Serytus Lucrum - who is using his own garrison to maintain productivity and enforce order upon the slaves they've captured over the years in The Valley.



Here you can witness a slave who was unfortunate to drop a load by accident and is punished by the intolerance of one the bison patrol-emp ('emp' being the anthrotranslation of 'men' in the human spoken language) from the BMG (i.e. Burswood Mines Garrison). Those who attempt to stick up for another slave being punished will suffer similar consequences (if not a worser penalty to set an example), as you can see the other bison patrol-emp is discouraging any bravado attempts from the other three slaves in the background.



Currently the Burswood Mines houses one superior and 97 BGMs who utilise and control 400 slaves working there. More slaves are being captured by the month.
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:iconemily-young:
Emily-Young Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
Whoa, pretty intense scene...Boy! I hate people, (Or creatures) who do this to each other! I may just have to draw a pic of my own character Gah (His full name is now Gahzi) stopping this whole thing! He'd grab that whip out of those bison patrol-emp's in no time!
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:iconjessyho862010:
jessyho862010 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Student Artisan Crafter
that is cool lol!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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:iconteamof1:
TeamOf1 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012
The lighting is amazing here. The clothes on the bison are very nice too.
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:icondoomdragon:
Doomdragon Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Wow... The Bison are douchebags huh :/
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:iconmindofrudy:
mindofrudy Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
The lighting of the sun rising is really nice especially where the light rays is hitting the characters, making the colors (with the tints and shades) look great as well. :) Despite the cruelty going on in here, I like how you can still see some brush strokes within the characters' fur and clothing.
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:iconcoralcalypso:
CoralCalypso Featured By Owner May 31, 2012
Interesting pic. Didn't think the world of a vampiric wombat would be so gruesome but then again neither is our own. x'o I do like all the pretty colors of the sunrise ! Is that an icecap mountain behind the cave? Those look like they'd be really cool to see in real life ! Heck I've never even seen much snow before. xD That sure would be a great place to relax if it weren't for Lucrum being a jerk. :/ The washed out background really does lead my eyes to the unfortunate action that's happening on the foreground. Those soldiers really mean business waving those whips around and having time to pose for the camera at the same time ! On a more serious note, I really feel for the poor guy. Working all of those hours for not even a penny, it isn't too unrealistic to think that maaaybe they'd be tired and might drop their goods. Just maybe ! Slavery was a horrible time.

I have read the previous comments about some explanations of things concerning the slaves and the guards. Despite you saying that you didn't illustrate the shackles and chains well, I would say you did. If the slaves were all chained up to the bone, they'd be more fit for shipping off to a different place than for working. Try tieing your arms and legs up and then attempt to walk. It's not gonna be easy ! The cuffs suggest to me that they get tied at the end of the day so that they don't attempt anything during the night or early hours of the morning. What I will say that needs possible revision is the presentation of the unfortunate deer. Their antlers are perfect and very sharp looking. This is not smart thinking on the Lucrum employees to allow because the deer could easily mortally wound a few of the guards (armed only with a whip and what looks like maybe a knife) with their antlers and their sheer numbers. It also suggest they don't ever have any head trauma which is kind of cotradicted in this picture. If anything, I would possibly either blunten their antlers so that they're round looking and harmless (besides maybe bruising potential) or remove them almost enitrely except for maybe a nub.

The violence depicted is harsh and I don't think it needs to illustrate every single wound the slaves have suffered, mature comic or not. It could use maybe some more scars to show that he has been a long time sufferer as you say but really the poor guy in front illustrates that mentally through his face. If you want to show them with bruises, lost fur and bloody scabs anyway, then by all means. I just think it is pointless and somewhat overkill. The buffalo (bison?) guard could show a more icy stare like Mysticfeather said if that is what you are going for. The comical dot eyes kind of just make me think he's either huffing in satisfaction for doing his job or somewhat more hesitant in what he is doing (kind of looks like a grimace). It just makes me wonder what is going on in his head. On another note about the guard, he does not look like he's a hunchback like in your concept art and neither does his background campanion. Was that intentional? It's minor and I don't believe EVERY creature in their race have to absolutely have a hunchback like how not all dogs have a long snout, but it's not my call to make.

Overall I think it is a very thought provoking pic and unsettling at the same time with the beautiful background conflicting with the horrors of slavery. You have improved in your anatomy work too ! Looks good ! Keep working on those hands and reference some real life shots if you need help. Hands are always very evil ! D:
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:iconelsonwong:
ElsonWong Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You made some excellent pointers that I could use for the production of the scenes in the comic - thank you so kindly!

I'll take note of your suggestions on the prisoners - the shackles to be highlighted more and the revision of the antlers; to be sawn off.

Also the scars and bruises to be depicted on the slaves more. I will be showing some examples of resistance in the comic as well as consequences of those who do resist escape.

Thank you once again for your helpful tips CoralCalypso! *thumbs up*
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:iconmysticfeather:
MysticFeather Featured By Owner May 30, 2012
The (deer?) slave looks rather old at first glance - he could have been captured ages ago, but his lack of scars leads me to believe that he was a recent aqcuisition. He's got what look to be a few bruises, but they could just be dirt stains or coal dust from working. He was probably one of the unlucky slaves who most likely will be worked to death.

The one thing I wish you'd added was the gift of eyesight to the BGM that dominates the foreground - his squinty eyes just don't look that intimidating. If he were glaring coldly down at the unfortunate slave... *shudder* THAT would have a lot more impact.

400 slaves for 97 BGMs? If the slaves could organize themselves without the guards noticing, they could hold a nice riot-style breakout with minimal casualties if they all attacked at once. Each guard would only be able to take out one at a time while the other three jump him from three different directions. Sounds cold, I know, but I'm thinking statistically here.

By the way, just where is Lucrum getting all these slaves from? If it's from nearby forest tribes or something (as your Whitetail Deer character reference suggests), it's likely that most of the older slaves have survival/combat training from living in the wildlands.
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:iconelsonwong:
ElsonWong Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great questions! I like it when people ask stuff about the pictures I make. ;)

Yes the slaves are captured from various locations within 'The Valley'. The Burswood Mines is a unique location where it's not easy to get in and get out since it is actually a huge island that is surrounded by a deep lake.

Burswood Mines is situated on an island that is central to a lot of volcanic activity however due to powers of the Arksuiti stone (see Studies 8 - [link]) volcanic activity is nullified.

The only entrance to the mines is via a long bridge that is manned a fair number of BGMs. Swimming across the lake is considered dangerous - despite volcanic activity being tamed by the Arksuiti stone the heat and steam that escapes into the lake is still active - hence making it highly unpleasant to swim through. Inspiration came from my trip to Yellowstone and my observations of how Geysers and hot springs work (Yellowstone NP 67 ([link]).

I can also confirm that there is such thing as a boiling lake (see Figure 3: Boiling lake [link]). Disregard the disturbing ads on the site. X_x; XD

Anyways despite the number of BGMs in ratio to the number of slaves working at the mines you don't really need too many people to man then especially when you consider that: i) they are chained and shackled (something that I didn't illustrate on this drawing properly), ii) unarmed (all BGM's have both the rifle and bowie in their possession) and iii) the only escape route is the bridge which is manned by BGM's with rifle and bowie.

Hope that answers some of your curiosities! ;)
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:iconmysticfeather:
MysticFeather Featured By Owner May 30, 2012
Sure does! ^^

Sheesh, Lucrum doesn't mess around. I've gotta admit, he's a clever businessman - he knows how to keep things running to maximize profit and discourage employee dissent. However, something tells me that a certain wombat is going to throw a big fat monkeywrench right into that well-oiled machine pretty soon :XD:

'Disturbing ads' is right - I think that website gave me a virus. Thank goodness my antivirus software killed the little bugger with a shutdown. I hate those things >.<

Wow, you thought of everything. Dang.

Nice work! Can't wait to see the next one :D!
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