Commission for the wonderful Infinite Scratch, who is a regular on the Canterlot Academy of Music. It was a lot of fun to work on this, experimenting with backgrounds and body language.
So completely out of the blue, one of my friends called and said he was in town for Babscon in San Mateo, California (or thereabouts, it all blends together around here). I went for Saturday and sat in on the VA panel. One of the kids asked the VAs what their pony (if they had one) would look like. Nicole Oliver was more or less the only one who gave an honest answer, and it sounded interesting. If only I had… my sketch phone. So I sat there during the VA panel and whipped this up, then cleaned it a bit on Sunday.
MLP:FiM is (c) Hasbro
Done… on my phone. Man, I never say that.
Some of you might recall Cyclone Company, which was one of my more ambitious works at the time. It went with a short story, and it is usually the case that I only write as far as the initial idea carries. Better to have a short and sweet story than to drag it on for no reason. However, for Comet Shimmer and the rest of Cyclone Company, I actually had some idea of how to continue. The story is being written, and the first batch of chapters are being proofread right now, but it will be up soon. The story will be posted on fimfiction as I update it.
Lawdy, this took too long. As I post this, the making-of video is rendering, so that will be up later. at 25x speed, missing a few segments of video, it came out to about 80 minutes. I’ll do a proper time check later, but suffice to say, it took a while. I don’t think I’ll be doing so many characters in one shot again. Still, I’m at least pleased with the results for the time being. On the bright side, I figured out some new tricks for doing clouds courtesy of Yuumei, so yay for improvements.
MLP:FiM is (c) Hasbro
Done in CS5
Last of the face sketches for now. At this point, I stopped copying actual people and started doing my own.
Massive sketch dump time? Yes it is, imaginary Barry. Yes it is. One challenge to me has always been realism, so following a friend’s advice, I’ve been doing a bunch of sketches of people’s faces. Can you name them all? (The woman in profile is a stock photo, I’d be surprised if you knew her.)
I completely forgot to post this here. A quick thing I did to thank Kaitou42, the owner of My Little Ties, for some awesome pins.
The clouds bounced with the fall of each hoof, swirling around her plated shoes in gentle wisps . For miles around, great pillows of the stuff swirled and folded around itself, the highest tips tinted a soft rose in the light of the setting sun. Far away in Canterlot, Celestia was laying her titular charge to rest. But Luna had chosen this distant seclusion for her duties tonight.
The first week of Luna’s return had been spent in isolation, half in dire need of rest after her ordeal, and half in fear of what her subjects would say, or rather not say in her presence. Celestia had agreed to tend to the moon, but on the second week, Luna joined her sister for the first time in a millenium. That first night had left her exhausted, every muscle sore and every ounce of magic drained. Celestia had had to carry her to bed, whispering assurances while Luna sobbed apologies. But every night, Luna returned, and every night came a little easier.
Now, on this night, the longest night, Luna approached the coming dark with a grace she had not known in a thousand years. Tonight was her night, a chance to turn the sky to diamonds for hours upon hours. The magic danced around her horn, hurried by her eagerness, tiny sparks flying faster than the eye could follow. Her whole form began to glow a serene blue as the first rays whispered their way above the horizon.
The moon, her friend, her prison, her charge, her joy, slipped into the sky. She had never resented the moon for her punishment, never feared it upon her freedom. Every night she had struggled to raise it, weeping from the strain, she had felt it working with her to ease the burden. It had never abandoned her, and she knew she would never abandon it. As the crown jewel of the night settled into the beginning of its path, a million stars flashed into existence. The silver light of the night sky turned the clouds into an endless sea of silk, of which the princess was the serene ruler and sole witness.
Luna bathed herself in the moonlight for a few minutes before turning in the direction of Canterlot. Some still feared her, she knew. At times, she feared what she might do herself. Better, this year at least, to celebrate on one’s own. With a contented sigh that was lost to the crisp night wind, the princess of the night fell through the cloud. Icy moisture clung to her as she unfurled her wings, catching the sky and easing into a calm glide. It was not far to Canterlot, but far enough to enjoy the trip.
What Luna did not know, idling through her starry sky, is that when she arrives at home, she would find no guards or handmaids on the grounds. Her sister would not be waiting for her on the balcony. But when she checks in the main hall, assuming another late night snack before bed, Luna will find the entirety of the castle waiting to surprise her with the first Winter Moon Social. All Celestia’s idea, of course. The most prominent star gazers, astronomers, and tolerable dignitaries will be in attendance. Luna will leave the room and come back to make sure it’s not an illusion before running in and embracing her sister.
A thousand years ago, a mare turned to hate because the nights she loved so much, she loved alone. Luna would know, after that night, that she will never be so alone again.
Well this one was a bit longer of a read than its summer counterpart. Here we are again, at the far side of the year. Another pair of solstice works complete. I wonder if there will be a third set. It is likely, given how things have gone thus far. 2013 draws to a close, and we steel ourselves for the year yet to come. All told, it’s been quite the year. Was it the year I had hoped for? No, not really. But one does not get to pick, only to work with what we are given. It is enough that I was given another year, and that is as much as I can hope to ask for.
All the best to all of you.
MLP:FiM is (c) Hasbro. The process video can be found here.