My entry for
Round 9 - Ultimate Power-Up
Qualification Entry: [link]
Round One - Pin-up: [link]
Round Two - Civilian: [link]
Round Three - Sera Myu: [link]
Round Four - Gender Bender: [link]
Round Five - Death Scene: [link]
Round Six - Princess: [link]
Round Seven - Swimsuit: [link]
Round Eight - Choose-a-Pose: [link] Writeup All was Quiet... for a Time
After the ordeal with Dr. Monochrome came to a close, things pretty much went back to normal for Elise and her friends. They spent the summer surfing and hanging out and enjoying the peace they'd won. Elise turned 15 and they threw a big party full of games and music and junk food. By the end of the summer all the colors that had been drained from the city had been restored, and everything was vibrant and alive. School started again and they settled back into that routine with startling ease.
Dr. Chroma spent most of his summer in the hospital. Disoriented and with only the fuzziest memories of what had happened, his time drained of color had left him weak and depressed. Much to the shock of Brandon and William, Elise insisted on visiting him in the hospital. Perhaps it was the Princess's will, trying to atone for the wrongs she'd done him, or perhaps it was just Elise's kind and forgiving nature, but she held no grudge against him, especially after learning that he had not only been drained of color in his accident, but overcome by a force of chaos and evil that twisted his thoughts and fed on his rage. She helped him to overcome his guilt and forgive himself, and earned a fast friend in the process.
Brandon and William, almost 18, decided to get their GEDs; their royal educations did not fail them, and they got their diplomas. William went on to college, and Brandon, ever the protector, studied to become a police officer. Brandon excelled at criminal justice, and spent all his free time with Elise and his new-found friends. William sank into his studies and withdrew from Elise and her crowd, speaking even to Brandon only rarely; he most decidedly had NOT forgiven Dr. Chroma for killing his Princess, and was angry with the others for doing so. They all agreed to give him his space, and hoped that in time he would change his mind.
And so the year went by uneventfully, as did the following summer. Elise turned 16 and she and Brandon started dating more officially. He visited her home often, and got along wonderfully with her Aunt Miriam. School started again, and this year Dr. Chroma was teaching their science class! It was strange, but fun, and they had all finally gotten used to their lives without Sailor Spectrum. Chaos Rears its Ugly Head
Just into the first month back at school, there was trouble. Fights were breaking out during lunch and after class, and it was being attributed to gang activity, which was absolutely unheard of in Elise's school, as it was a private School of the Arts. The first time Elise saw these gang members, she *knew* there was something wrong. They were rough-looking kids, of course, with wicked sneers and sunken eyes, but it was more than that. It must have been because of the Princess's starseed, but she could actually *feel* the evil emanating from them, and she could almost see the dark auras that shrouded them. Was this the evil force that had inhabited Dr. Chroma? And why was it taking up residence in ordinary students?
She decided to investigate further. That night she attempted to transform into Sailor Spectrum so she could check things out, but she couldn't do it. Her paintbrush had broken, and if this new starseed would allow her to transform into anything more powerful, she simply couldn't figure out how. The next day she asked her former sailor team about it, and they told her that they couldn't transform either. Their barrettes had disappeared when Spectrum's paintbrush had broken, and they had no power anymore. Regardless, Scarlet, Sunny, and Skye all agreed to go with her and check things out that night.
Not long after 10pm they all met up at the school, and sure enough the "gang" was having a meeting. They were all gathered around a tall, shadowy figure with glowing red eyes who seemed to be giving them orders. When the girls moved closer to try to hear what was being said, the shadowy figure spotted them. "Get them!" it shouted, and fled, while a dozen or more possessed students came after them! They tried their best to get away, but without their senshi powers they were quickly overwhelmed.
The gang seemed to be able to sense Elise's starseed, just as she had sensed Chaos in them, and they gravitated toward her like a desperate group of zombies hungry for brains. They pushed her to the ground and pinned her there, and at the same time began grabbing at her, pulling at her arms and hair; she felt like she was being torn apart! Scratched and bruised and bloody, just when she felt she was going to pass out, she felt the Princess's power surge within her. Finally!
Elise was enveloped in a golden light just as when she'd first merged with the Princess. But this time she was awake and aware; she didn't want the raw power of the Princess, she wanted something she could use and control. She shaped her own transformation this time, giving it form in a familiar yet new way. She reclaimed her old abilities to control and restore color, and seeing that Chaos was a being of darkness, she demanded the power to call on light that could burn it away. When she was done and the golden light had faded, she was Radiant Sailor Spectrum, ready to carry on the fight!
She made quick work of the gang of students, using her new Cleansing Brilliance technique; she was surrounded in a bright white aura edged with rainbow that burned away the Chaos in anyone it touched. The gang members all passed out afterward, but were otherwise fine, and seemed only to be sleeping. Brandon showed up then, dressed as the Black Knight, and helped Elise get her friends home. They had successfully disbanded the gang, but who was that shadowy figure? And why was Chaos striking now, after it had been so quiet for so long? Art Notes
Holy mother of Bob, this thing... It was done in 30-40 hours, mostly over 4 days. I tried a whole boatload of things I've never done before, and I *love* how it turned out! Sketch was done in pencil, lines and painting on the figures in SAI. Rainbow was done in Illustrator, background and text in Photoshop. This is only the third thing I've really painted in SAI, and only the second I've finished. I LOVE the paint tools in SAI, they're so blendy and wonderful.
I would have had to work twice the time to get the same effect in Photoshop, and it would have been way frustrating... this was actually a ton of fun. I decided to go all-out with the colors and use really unconventional tones to shade with, and I could not be happier with how it looks.
As for design, there was a bit of a timeskip, so I wanted a design that was a little more mature. Original Sailor Spectrum had a very youthful flair to her, and I wanted the new design to be more classic but still a little edgy. I incorporated elements from her Princess design, since the new transformation is powered by the Princess's starseed, but I made it look more vibrant and more fitted to Elise and her personality. The rainbows are brighter, but there's still some pastel and lace in places, and I kept the silver hair because I loved it.
And I decided that she absolutely had to have a cape! I love capes on senshi. XD
And finally, the pose was inspired by this screenshot: [link]
I didn't want to mimic it too closely, and figured Elise would be in a more lively pose anyway. I really struggled with the decision to use this design rather than something more epic-looking; it's supposed to be an ultimate form, so I thought about drawing her in battle. But then I looked at the list of rounds, and IF I make it to the final round, I'll have to draw her "defeating the enemy" anyway, so I decided to save the battle pose for later to avoid being redundant again.