EDIT Forgot to add her weakness. She can't be out in daylight due to her being allergic to the sun and it doesn't help that she spends all of her time in a darkness.
EDIT Forgot to add shadows.
I finally finished my Halloween pic(better late than never)! I started drawing it two days before Halloween but unfortunately, I couldn't finish it on time since it took me weeks to get it done. :\
This is Samhain, a Halloween Alicorn pony that I made up for my MLP fanfiction that I'm currently writing. She's actually a Gen 1 pony even though I used a few designs from FIM such as the necklace and the shoes. She only comes out in Halloween in Dream Valley(Gen 1 series, not Equastria. Sorry Bronies) to bring in the fright night to everyone. She likes to scare everyone(except the baby ponies), gives out candy(as seen in her cauldron), and summon the spirits to celebrate the night. She is quite scary to others due to her appearance but she is a friendly pony and doesn't harm anyone unless provoked.
Samhain is a Gaelic word for Halloween in case if you don't know.
I used Walter Fosters Guide on how to Draw Horses and used the pose although some changes were made. I sketched pic out before coloring it on Photoshop CS4 and this is my third time doing a line less artwork since I like to challenge myself(doesn't everyone?) and I like it how it turned out so far. Still got long ways to go though.
As I said it before, she's a G1 pony, not FIM. Celestia is based on Dream Beauties which was part of G1 series.
Dream Beauties(this one may inspired Celestia): [link]
Just a note to my own watchers, the artist of this piece has a little note on her profile page. It reads "I want my critique's to be harsh and blunt on my critique box, not praise." I hope everyone who reads this would understand.
The first thing that bugs me is that the presentability of this piece. It is greatly hurt by the watermark put on this. It's a price we gotta pay if we put watermarks on our works.
I am not sure what to think of the art style here. For a piece of vaguely MLP-related art, you really strive for an anatomical style that is much more realistic than what most pony artists draw, yet at the same time, there are ghosts and unshaded candies that would not look out of place in a cartoon. I feel a bit of a disconnect here.
I once heard from an actual art professional (whom I happen to watch on dA) that a style is based on what you want out of your art. When I stop and think about it, I can imagine hyperrealism can be appreciated (mostly adults) by being jaw-droppingly real and really shows deep understanding of anatomy and lighting. G1 was appreciated because they were pretty much cute chubby ponies that appealed to girls in a culture that had a bit of interest in horses. Today, G4 is appreciated in a culture that has moved much farther away from horses. A mare's facial features were drastically changed to be pretty baby-ish instead of trying to convincingly look like actual horses. I also once drew a style of pony with very slender qualities to go convey a sense of beauty that a chibi G4 style would not effectively convey. I am not sure what I should be seeing in this style of pony doesn't really speak to me.
It may be useful to know that you have two major light sources here. You have a red sun, and the sky. I don't think the sky is black during twilight but instead, the sky would still be mostly blue/purple. With that in mind, it is also incorrect to have black shadows outdoors unless the sky is pitch black from night. The sky is just light enough to light up the shadows just a bit, and it's the reason why you don't really see black shadows during daytime.
The coloring on this OC is very flat- it is literally the same hue all over. The strongest light source is inevitably the setting (rising?) sun - in this case should create some very, very warm midtones and highlights where the shadows should be a cool color.
Your eyes need to be shaded. Eyes are real objects which light can fall on. There are many other places that seem to be lit but does not make sense due to the positioning of your light sources; other body parts are in the way and must cast a shadow. For example, the side to our left of this OC's mane.
You should also note that at some point, we can no longer carelessly place highlights in our eyes as they will need to be actual highlights created by actual light sources. The positioning of the highlights in the eyes suggests one frontal light sources that happen to be round, but a stronger one from a higher angle farther from our right.
You also seemed to have went an extra mile of adding a texture in areas that borders your midtones and shadows. I think that's a very interesting idea that's definitely worth a shot for achieving more realism. However, the long lines you created here conveys a coat much longer than the actual fur length of actual horses. As you can infer from this reference: [link] The direction of your fur isn't anatomically correct. On the legs, it's not horizontal - it's diagonal but mostly downwards.
The hooves here are drawn in a much simpler style that feels very different from the texturing used on the coat. Look at the middle tone on the hooves - they convey a flat area. Hooves are much rounder than what is conveyed here. Your hooves are also inconsistently shaped. The hooves are also shaped to convey ground that is sloped so your balance is pretty questionable. I like how the joints right before the hoof is included as well as the slight bulge, but for both of your raised legs, the joint right before the hoof appears missing. This reference should show us what a raised leg actually looks like: [link]
The curve on the lower jaw is greatly exaggerated to the point of making my head scratch. What I'm seeing is a mouth that feels as if it was crooked downwards. If you look at a picture of a skull of a horse: [link] , you'll find that the lower jaw is basically a big L shape. Yes, there's a slight curve like in real horses, but it's greatly exaggerated in this picture.
Next, what I see on this nose is a side-view nose. I believe that at this perspectives, there needs to be two visible nostrils. If you look at the gap between the eyes and compare to the width of the end of the nose, we'll find that the tip of the nose is significantly narrower than the base of the nose.
The cutie mark also seem shaded, but if you ask me, shading a cutie mark could make it start looking like it's its own object and not just some cute picture on a horse's butt.
You also have to be careful about the positioning of your hooves. The farther back leg is placed in front of the nearer front leg so logically, the body is facing a little bit away from us. However, the shape of the hooves suggests a side view. The upper part of the farthest back leg being is placed in front of the other leg so that conveys a horse in a perspective closer to 3/4ths.
The perspective in general is also not executed very well. There are many things placed on the horizon but anything on the horizon would be at least a couple of miles away. The Jack-O-Lantern is very blurry while being pretty intuitive if we're blurring out the background to put more focus on the foreground, I for some reason don't see the same blur on the tree.
The leaves, if they are maple leaves, are so small that if you think about it for a second... this OC is rather... huge. You should also be aware that they also cast shadows and have highlights. The leaves here are flat. They are also preventing the ground from being read as a hill (which would make the perspective more correct) as they don't vary in size if you were to go farther up the hill.
You seemed to have placed a cloud in front of the OC. Any sort of mist in that small scale will not look like this, they will look like elongated wisps (hoping I'm using the right word), not balls of fluff. They are also three dimensional objects that also needs to be shaded according to our light sources. You also have to be wary of the clouds to our right as we can see that it looks like a brush repeated four times. This sort of redundancy makes it much less convincing and creates a feeling of fakeness.
Finally, a bit of minor nitpicking. The moon is incorrect in two aspects. First, because you can see the full circle, it's a full moon. A moon can be full if and only if the Earth is positioned between the moon and the sun. Lastly, because of the positioning in the sky in relation to the sun, it should be a waxing moon if you are in the Northern hemisphere. However, a waxing moon is visible only in the morning, a rather unusual time to be celebrating Halloween.
I know I've written a lot, and I might not be an actual professional, but hopefully this is the critique you've been waiting for a long while.
Thanks. XD Took me weeks to get it done since I had to mess around with brushes and smudge tool until I found it that satisfy's me. I don't mind getting a critique since I'm always striving to get better but that's just me.
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More