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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 General Artist
I can see this being cosplayed by someone in the future.
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
It would be a heck of a costume.
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:iconferallion:
FeralLion Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's for sure but it would look cool =^^=
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:iconlordhoyle:
lordhoyle Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013
Was this your reward for saving Sweetie Bell?
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Hadn't thought of it that way....but.
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:icontenjen:
Tenjen Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013
i simply adore the details within the material
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I was very happy with how the lacing in back came out.
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:iconardashir:
ardashir Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013
I get the idea that Rarity really enjoys posing for you in your dream-Equestria. And yes, Rarity, that look works wonderfully for you.
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes her and Petina and Carousel love to spend time doing mare-things together.
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:iconk4nk4n:
K4nK4n Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013
Oh... wow... she looks lovely. I like how you made Rarity's shoulder fur look fluffy.
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:iconhalpthiuian:
Halpthiuian Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think Spike would die of a heart attack if he saw her like this!
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
There are many ponies who might need CPR after seeing this.
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:iconflyingram:
FlyingRam Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013
My scanner hates violets too. Love the lavender though.
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:iconnuvolavolpe:
NuvolaVolpe Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013
:)
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:iconadamant543:
AdamAnt543 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
Encyclopedia: 0///0 ... Y-yeah, t-the color a-and the design looks great. You-I mean it look very p-p-pretty. *tries not to stare*
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:iconoemilythepenguino:
OEmilyThePenguinO Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Student Digital Artist
oh, wow, pretty!

I love the way you colored the hair. simply stunning~
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:iconcolonelyeo:
ColonelYeo Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
"Rarity, I'll be sure to give you an honest opinion... just as soon as I pick my jaw off the floor." :blush:

I really love everything about this, Baron. The poise, the cant and shape of Rarity's muzzle, and I especially love the soft fuzzy work on her "shoulder".

And as for my opinion of Rarity's outfit, I really do like it! I love the length of the stockings, and the design work around the edges. The frills and designs on the corset are also really engaging.
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
"Rarity, I'll be sure to give you an honest opinion... just as soon as I pick my jaw off the floor."

She tilts her head to one side. "I believe it is over there hat rack."

I really love everything about this, Baron. The poise, the cant and shape of Rarity's muzzle, and I especially love the soft fuzzy work on her "shoulder".

Ah! Someone notice the fine hair detail on the shoulder. I'm glad you spotted and liked it. Sometimes I wonder if many folks just miss things like that, and should continue to worry about small details like that.

And as for my opinion of Rarity's outfit, I really do like it! I love the length of the stockings, and the design work around the edges. The frills and designs on the corset are also really engaging.

Yes as a complete ensemble it real does get your attention.
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:iconognimod:
Ognimod Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
Ah! Someone notice the fine hair detail on the shoulder. I'm glad you spotted and liked it. Sometimes I wonder if many folks just miss things like that, and should continue to worry about small details like that.

I'm with McClaw. The small details are always fun to spot, whether on your own or after being told they are there.
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:iconuchihaninja:
Uchihaninja Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013
Oh. The fuzzy shoulder was intentional? Damn this monitor. So damn hard to tell sometimes.
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:iconearlmcclaw:
EarlMcClaw Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013
Sometimes I wonder if many folks just miss things like that, and should continue to worry about small details like that.

Worry about them. Even if they end up as "Easter eggs" and get missed until mentioned, they add subtly to the piece as a whole.
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:iconorca19904:
Orca19904 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
At least her mane & tail have a more purple hue than in your previous pic.
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah the scanner just has troubles with that color?
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:icon421:
421 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I am really stunned by the detail on the corset. The way you shaded the designs and ribbons on the corset almost make it look three dimension, as if the design was actually embossed into the paper itself. Quite the amazing effect.
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
It is just how you handle the light and shadows when you're doing the final piece.
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:iconearlmcclaw:
EarlMcClaw Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
*looks over the outfit and styling*
"I assume you'll be making them in various colors. The purple suits you very well (there aren't many colors that don't), and I'm sure other ponies will want to be as color coordinated."
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Rarity tosses her mane and smiles. "Oh but of course! And different patterns for the fabric. In fact I can even add one's cutie mark to it for that "special" touch."
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:iconearlmcclaw:
EarlMcClaw Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
"Special -- touch... Excuse me."
*puts a cloth to his beak to prevent nosebleed*
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
She smiles and bats her eyelashes at you. "Oh dear! I hope my perfume is not giving you an allergic reaction!"
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:iconearlmcclaw:
EarlMcClaw Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
"Hm? No, nothing like that. (Well, you don't wear catnip perfume, do you?) I just..." *blinks* "Could you... This is going to sound so terribly strange, but could you take something off, please? I really should leave if you won't."
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:iconearlmcclaw:
EarlMcClaw Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
Muffled slightly by the cloth held over the top of his beak, McClaw explains, "Don't get me wrong, Miss Rarity, it's a lovely outfit. But seeing you in it is... affecting me in ways that I consider inappropriate, particularly here in your shop. I believe I'd be much more comfortable seeing you in your usual attire -- which is of course nothing but good grooming." He blushes.
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Rarity blushes slightly but gets a mischievous grin. "Oh my! A most brazen but curious request to make a mare. And what pray tell would you want this young mare to "remove"?"
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:iconearlmcclaw:
EarlMcClaw Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
Muffled slightly by the cloth held over the top of his beak, McClaw explains, "Don't get me wrong, Miss Rarity, it's a lovely outfit. But seeing you in it is... affecting me in ways that I consider inappropriate, particularly here in your shop. I believe I'd be much more comfortable seeing you in your usual attire -- which is of course nothing but good grooming." He blushes.

(Reposted to the correct location. I hope.)
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
"Well good sir now it will do no good to put you in unnecessary duress. Give a moment and I'll change out of this." She smiles and then goes behind the changing screen.
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(1 Reply)
:icontcpolecat7:
TCPolecat7 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very interesting peice, I like how the elements came out. But as an earlier commenter noted, you gave her leg an extra joint (2 knees, essentially) which initially made me think this was a humanized or "morphic" version of Rarity...

- Polecat
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:iconearlmcclaw:
EarlMcClaw Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
Nope.
Hip.
Knee.
Ankle/heel.
Toe.
The hoof is on the end of the toe. (It's called digitigrade, or more specifically unguligrade for hooved.)
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:icontcpolecat7:
TCPolecat7 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Actually, I would argue that a hoof leg wouldn't have a 'toe" joint. What you're referring to at the hoof would be the ankle.

- Polecat
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:iconearlmcclaw:
EarlMcClaw Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
The final authority would be references for equine anatomy (for real horses, as I don't think there's one done for MLP:FIM). But...

It's my understanding that a horse's hind leg has all the same bone structure as a human leg, just in different proportions. Like a digitigrade, the heel is held up off the ground (and is often mistaken for a backward-bending knee). The hoof isn't just the toes (like a dog's paw) but a structure analogous to a toenail. In effect, a horse has only one toe per foot (although IIRC the legacy bones are up inside the foot structure somewhere) and they stand on the nail and tip. Compared to a human foot, the "ball" is off the ground and above the hoof.
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:iconclousewalburg:
ClouseWalburg Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
hu didn't realize how long those last 2 parts were. It had looked weird to me too.
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Eeyup!
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:iconbelvarius:
Belvarius Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
Looks pretty good colored, glad you finished this one! I do like Rarity's quote there too. Personally I think she'll do quite well selling that number.
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