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Well, what do you think? by Baron-Engel Well, what do you think? by Baron-Engel
Rarity looks back over her shoulder.

"Now be honest. I am seeking constructive criticism here. So does this work or not? I'm thinking of offering it as an ensemble for Hearts and Hooves day this year. So I am trying to determine how well it might sell and thus how many I need to make."

This the finished example of concept sketch I already posted a while ago [link] which was based off a dream I had in my Equestria dreamscape. It is also a piece that I effectively started and finished in a day.

One of the things that often occurs when I return from a good convention is that my creative batteries get a full charge and for the next couple of week after the con I am very productive. Having recently attended Further Confusion I found myself Monday morning wanting to do something artistic. Not just sketching or writing, and not wanting to embark on any large, complicated, pieces. Something nice and relatively quick. This is when I remembered the earlier Rarity sketch and decided to finish it as a completed piece. Besides I recently done a color piece of her as a Christmas present [link] so I was familiar with her color palette.

All in all the piece took about eight hours from beginning to transfer the image to the Bristol Board to scanning it into the computer. Yes I am aware that her mane and tail appear more blue than they do in the show. However my scanner has problems with that shade of violet. It is done in my usual colored pencil, marker, gouache, and technical pen. The board size is 11"x 14".

I'm not certain where but I am considering putting this online for sale but I don't which auction service I want to use at the moment.
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:iconda--master:
Da--Master Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014
"What do I think, Miss Rarity? Well, um... the colors suite at least you nicely. The lilac has a nice contrast to your white coat in the same way your mane and tail do, in which the aforementioned lilac has some good harmony with. Though if you intend to make this into a product line, variations to the color schemes will be mandatory, as hues of purple would clash horribly if you coat was, say... orange.

"And while admit I am rather inept to the intricate subtleties of fashion and an alien to intimacies, this is a rather impressive romantic ensemble. Even I know that for whatever reason socks are, so they say, "in," and the lacy ribbons on the ends are a great touch. The detail on the reliefs of the corset are astounding, and the frilly ends are also enticingly feminine. Plus, there's something utterly captivating with the bowed collar around your neck, and... um... oh dear; I can't help but notice that you're not wearing undergarments of any kind... not even a thong...

"I apologize, but that's the most thought I can provide until my brain starts working again. Now if you'll excuse me; I'm not one for xenophilia, but there's a Demon who lives in my subconscious that I've repressed to the point that it would pounce upon dirt if you gave it the chance, so I must depart to suppress it back down again..."

--

Now that my bit of capricious role-playing has past (though there were things said that are not fabricated...), I have to say that from a technical standpoint, this is a pretty stunning piece. Apart from Rarity's very feminine pose and the things I alread mentioned pertaining to her attire, your pencil-work is fucking phenomenal. Seriously, the line-art is impeccable, the colors are brilliant, the blending is exquisite, the shading and highlights are gorgeous, and you even managed to have some great textures.

Textures. With colored pencils.

It looks as though I could actually reach out and run my fingers through her mane and tail were all the strands not fused together from the gallons of hairspray she must use to retain those contours, her socks look to be fibrous like cotton, the ribbons are unmistakably silk, like I said before I can make out the details of the floral patterns on her corset (By the way, are those tulips?), and it even looks like you added some fuzz for her fur around her shoulder. And not to mention that there isn't a single white spot from the fibrous textures of the paper being a pain in the ass to compensate for.

And it's done in colored pencils.

Seriously; how the fuck did you accomplish what you have here? Blending sticks? Pressing down with overbearing force? Or are you using some extremely fine paper? And how it the Hell did you achieve such extraordinary textures? Because I haven't the foggiest idea how to draw those. Whenever I make an attempt to add texture qualities, the end result looks like shit. Hell, everything I do looks like shit and it takes me literally days (as in, "total time passed working from start to finish") to complete anything. Oh, and I can't properly apply folds and shading to clothing for the life of me.

Any advice? Staving my intrinsic inferiority complexes is an endless chore... one that frequently has me asking others for solutions because I'm too incompetent to find them myself.
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Textures. With colored pencils.

It looks as though I could actually reach out and run my fingers through her mane and tail were all the strands not fused together from the gallons of hairspray she must use to retain those contours, her socks look to be fibrous like cotton, the ribbons are unmistakably silk, like I said before I can make out the details of the floral patterns on her corset (By the way, are those tulips?), and it even looks like you added some fuzz for her fur around her shoulder. And not to mention that there isn't a single white spot from the fibrous textures of the paper being a pain in the ass to compensate for.

I'm glad you're impressed with my work. The trick is using the right tools at the right moment. While 80% of the picture is in colored pencil there are some critical points where I used other materials to achieve certain effects. I initially blocked certain parts of Rarity's corset, stockings and mane with Tombow brush pens. Usually I choose a marker that is roughly 10% lighter than the lightest area I'll covering with colored pencil. When I am sure the area is completely dry I begin applying thin, relatively light layers of colored pencil. Once I have an even coat of colored pencil applied I take a brush and dip it into an odorless solvent like turpenoid or Gamsol; I then brush this on to working surface where I have applied the colored pencil. The solvent causes the wax in the pencil to dissolve which allows me to blend like paint, either with the brush or the with cotton swabs, and paper towel. The first layer is rough but it acts as the foundation for which successive layers of colored pencil may be applied. This allows me to build great depth of color in the pieces without the heavy wax build up so come in many colored pencil works.

Since I am remove most of the wax this way, I am able to incorporate other mediums later in the picture. To pop the edges of the corset and floral pattern on it I used a violet Sakura Micron pen to careful pick certain details in the image. To enhance the highlights on Rarity and her garments I applied white gouache paint with a 2x0 round water color brush. That was how I could create the soft fuzz effect on her shoulder.


And it's done in colored pencils.

Seriously; how the fuck did you accomplish what you have here? Blending sticks? Pressing down with overbearing force? Or are you using some extremely fine paper? And how it the Hell did you achieve such extraordinary textures? Because I haven't the foggiest idea how to draw those. Whenever I make an attempt to add texture qualities, the end result looks like shit. Hell, everything I do looks like shit and it takes me literally days (as in, "total time passed working from start to finish") to complete

Actually I purposely use as little pressure as possible to create these pieces, and it is a method to does not take days to do. If I remember correctly I completed this piece in under 10 hours. It also me to do large backgrounds without killing my hand. Examples would be Cruising to Canterlot or Dragon's Toy 2 None of these pieces took more than 40 hours to finish. As far as my working surface I prefer vellum finish Bristol Board. It has just enough tooth to hold piece, but has a fine enough surface to allow me tight detail.

I hope this information has been helpful.
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:iconda--master:
Da--Master Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
Hm, so you essentially liquefy the graphite, meaning you get the preciseness of pencils with the thoroughness of paint, and no white spots to speak of? That is actually pretty ingenious; Certainly sounds a lot more innovative than using blending sticks, the old white colored pencil, or just pressing really, really hard. And even when I've gotten it to work, the end result still has waxed caked onto the paper. I might have to steal try that method some time.

Based upon what I've studied on the matter, I always thought the only way to properly achieve good texture was to have god-like accuracy when it comes to applying the shading as well as precise strokes of the pencil. And while that's evident here, especially in her hair, part of the texture comes from the material you use to clean up the liquid graphite, yes? (Using fibrous material like cotton swabs when texturing something fuzzy, etc.)

I'm not exactly sure what you mean when you speak of using markers to "block" certain parts. Are you laying down a preemptive layer of highlights to keep the graphite from absorbing into the paper, or, what?

Anyway, the information was helpful, or at least gave me a new idea for how to approach traditional art; that "liquid graphite" method honestly sounds intriguing. I'll be sure to point any fans of Rarity this way, and add this picture to my "troll Vimbert" file.

:icontrollestiaplz:
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Well remember I am not liquefying any graphite but the wax in the colored pencil I've applied to working surface. Also the technique can be used to get large even areas of color by  using a a paper towel to blend the wax pigment. Good examples of this technique are Cruising to Canterlot or Dragon's toy 2
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:icondgs-krieger:
Dgs-Krieger Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013
Hum....

Oh! Sorry, were you sayin' something? I got a lil' distracted there.
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Rarity smiles. "I'll take that as a yes."
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:icondgs-krieger:
Dgs-Krieger Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013
Ah, yes. Definetively.
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:icondavionx:
DavionX Featured By Owner May 27, 2013
One sad thing about my life is that I will never know how it is to touch Rarity's (or any others) fur.
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:icona3kitsune:
A3Kitsune Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013
Nice.
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:iconferallion:
FeralLion Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I can see this being cosplayed by someone in the future.
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