Sunday, February 12, 2012

Commission #5 At Last



Good afternoon, everyone!

Yes, after what has probably been a ridiculous amount of time I'm aware, Commission #5 is here. And I am very, very happy to be able to share her with all of you at last!

This commission was done for the ever-tasteful Forderz, who wanted a scene of a wet-haired, steampunk Rarity somewhere out in the elements and with a less-than-pleased expression on her face (can you blame her? Her dress and hair have been ruined!). A scene which was partially inspired by what is one of my favorite pony-fan compositions ever, Rarity IS Industry. I will be the first person to admit that I had a great deal of difficulty with this piece, namely in getting the background to look just as it did in the scene in my mind (Rarity herself has been done for several weeks and was by contrast very easy for me), but at long last after redoing it several times I believe I've accomplished this. And hopefully, you all will enjoy the finished product!

I also have a bit of bonus material for all of you as something of a consolation for being made to wait for so long, in the form of some original concept pictures. The first of course is merely the original sketch of Rarity as she appears in the finished painting (the only thing I really changed you can see is her expression, because she didn't look quite peeved enough) and the second is a page of concepts I doodled when I was planning out her outfit (which was tremendous fun, by the way! I've never designed any steampunk fashions before ^.^). Even though I knew it wasn't going to be used I also drew up an appropriately elaborate hairstyle for her because I imagined this is what it might have looked like at some point before getting ruined by the rain, which of course would justify her frustration tenfold. Anyway I hope you all will enjoy looking at them.

Well that's all for now! At this point I am almost caught up with my commissioned projects at last, and with any luck I should have another new one for you all to see at some point in the next couple weeks. Until then, stay lovely all!



WD

88 comments:

Anon said... Reply to comment

Wow...another great commission from you. I see a lot of expert techniques here. The straighter, more technical buildings and background, the hair stroke-like fluffy texture on some parts (I don't know what those are called). The dress is so fluid and perfectly shaded. There just is so much detail, and it all is just perfectly done. Every small part of the attire, the rain, the points of contact of the rain and the dampness, the feather shining brightly, distinguishing itself from the otherwise gloomy theme, is as good as I can honestly imagine. I don't know how any of it could be improved. And at 1599x1162 pixels, this would make for a great background (for people who do not have parents). That linework is just more proof of your expertise. To be able to do things like this is a goal for many people. You have a tendency of drawing things that I like, even when you don't get to choose. Seriously, you deserve a community spotlight so much more than other contributers, as good as they may be.

BND said... Reply to comment

Yet another beautiful piece of artwork from you, WD. ^_^
I'll be honest, I never really payed much attention to Steampunk before ponies, but I have to say, I rather like it. Rarity's dress looks excellent, and you nailed her expression. Also, considering how much time you put into the background, I think it all payed off; it looks simply perfect. :D

And, as I think I've said before, I really like being able to look at sketches, in progress drawings, things like that. And allow me to say, I just love the hairstyle that you gave her. ^_^

Can't wait to see what comes next. :)

And a side note to Anon, I still live with my parents, and I have numerous pony backgrounds. :P

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

This... is... menacingly fabulous! Another great piece from you Di! New wallpaper acquired! and Anon, I have parents, but they don't mind about my little... obsession in the slightest!

Rarity is Industry is also one of the best compositions from Dr Dissonance (in my opinion anyway), so to see you take a dip into steampunk is... awesome.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Aha! Steampunk Rarity! I'm quite a fan. I've done quite a bit of work on steampunk projects over the years, and I've always liked the stylings of it. I think you've hit it quite well here, both in Victorian style (which Rarity positively fits with so readily) and the slight, fun touches of retro sci-fi (love the monocle.)

Fabulous details throughout... the layers of her dress (love the black lace), the ear studs (you always compliment me on my metals, and you've certainly shown a nice touch with them here), and especially the color scheme... Love the maroon of her dress, the warm pink of the shadows on her coat, and the way they contrast with the muted warm greys and muddy greens and blues of the background. The whole thing feels appropriately grungy... like the soot of the factory rising in the hazy distance is heavy in the air.

I love the Ponyville style of buildings, with their Bavarian timberwork and thatched roofs, and you've crowded them close enough together to give them more of an oppressive city feel. It's a very convincing space... not just in execution, but in feel.

And finally, bedraggled Rarity herself... Lots of nice touches, from the soft glow of the rainsplatter around her to the heavy, wet folds of her dress. Her stern expression is great... she is not in a mood to be trifled with. Wonderful job on the different textures as well, from the metal to the leather (eep!_ to the delicate lines of the feather and the beaded water on its surface.

I'm also delighted with the sketches... You do beautiful linework, as always, and your clean design for wet-maned Rarity is gorgeous on its own. I'm really enamored with the still-elegant maned Rarity sketches... Just gorgeous design and I love your flowing sketch lines so much. Her elaborate coiffure is quite beautiful on her, and the satisfaction captured in her eyes is almost tangible. I just love that last sketch of her so much.

I happen to have "Rarity is Industry" on my ipod, one of the few pony-related things on there. It really is wonderfully moody. If you haven't heard it, try looking up "At the Gala in C Minor", which makes a nice companion piece to Rarity is Industry, and does some wonderful things of its own.

I'm so glad you were able to share these with us... Wonderful work!

Kein said... Reply to comment

Sorry, I don't have too much to say, I've seen a lot of awesome designs for Rarity Steampunk so it just... grew weary on me.


I have a question tho - how time it took? You said you spent more of it then usual.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@BND and zhoomcar

That would never fly in this house. If I ever did it, my parents would make some very drastic assumptions about me that would take a long time to wear off. My sister can use whatever she wants, but of course, she was born a girl.

@Harwick

As always, I agree with everything that you say. You said it much better than I could. I'll add that I enjoy the music named as well.


I think that it this might be useful for me, to see how the linework lead to the finished product. Especially the hair; I never thought that you put locks in the outline as well. Do you tend to use anything more than SAI for commissions like these?

Favo said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
Favo said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anon said... Reply to comment

@Favo

o_o

Eh, alright then. The background really does complete it like most of her artworks can't, and I agree that it's at least one of her best. This commission might be enough to inspire me, but it's so far beyond anything I can see myself accomplishing that it can work in the opposite way as well. But it's still very professional and impressive work, and it could easily serve as box art. (By the way, your link is broken.)

@WhiteDiamonds

Is it really painful to work out the details of these things? I know that you care a lot about attention to detail, and we all respect and notice that, but if it's that bad then I think you might be going about it the wrong way. Commissions are just an excuse to draw ponies, after all.

TomTheRock said... Reply to comment

wow, that's really good.

Forderz said... Reply to comment

I dare anyone to find a spiffyier hat than the one adorning Rarity. I dare you.

Favo said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kateasaurus said... Reply to comment

Stunning work, as usual! I think her outfit is fabulous.

I'm always in awe at the detail in your artwork as well. :D

Forderz said... Reply to comment

Quantity has nothing on quality!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

So much to respond to already, my goodness!

@Anon

Yay thank you dear, I'm so very happy to hear that you like the piece! ^.^ Thank you very much for offering me such lovely feedback. It's nice to know that you noticed and appreciate all the tiny details, as I certainly did my best to embellish the scene appropriately. I really had a very strong mental image in mind when I started that I wanted to do proper justice to, so yes.

On that note, and in answer to your question no, it really isn't that difficult to pay equal attention to every little minute detail, it merely takes time (which of course, I don't always have in large supply). But it was not the details that I found frustrating about this particular piece, it was about working out the setting and layout for the background, as well as an appropriate color palette that was the difficulty. I couldn't decide if I wanted to stick with an environment that was more true to the aesthetics of the series, or something that resembled more Victorian London, or else something different altogether, but after much trial and error and finally consulting with Forderz again I figured it out and settled for what is probably a compromise of several of the aforementioned ideas. It didn't really have to be so difficult, but for me at least commissioned artworks like these are really much more than just an excuse to draw ponies (though that is also a happy bonus); they are also an incentive to me to push myself more than I normally do when I'm just having fun and of course, are a professional service that I am offering to a client. So as such yes, I take them very seriously.

Anyway though, long reply is long. In answer to your other question no again, I make all of my digital paintings (including this one) entirely in Paint Tool SAI these days, just as I do with my doodles. Also I have to say I very much appreciate your sentiments about me deserving a community spotlight, though I'm not sure that I agree with the notion that I deserve it any more than anyone else. I'm not as involved in the general community as some people after all, nor as active in my updates and I don't tend to do "fun things" like host Livestream sessions or start 'Ask Tumblr' pages. But again I appreciate the thought, thank you. ^_~

@BND

My dear, I do believe this may be the longest post that I've ever seen you write before, thank you so much for the kind feedback! I had never given much thought or attention to steampunk until relatively recently either (though I've always appreciated the distinctive aesthetics, they're quite appealing), so this was a terrific opportunity to immerse myself in the style! Like I said I really had a great deal of fun designing Rarity's dress and ensemble and coming up with an appropriately elaborate hairstyle to compliment it, even if I knew it wouldn't be used on the finished product. I'm also glad that you like her expression, because as I said to Forderz this is something that was immensely important to me to get right (well, as usual I suppose) and hence the reason that was the one place in which I deviated from my original sketch. Anyway, again I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed all of the pieces. ^_^

Heehee well, without being too much of a terrible tease I hope I can say my next artwork will be about as different as is possible from the subject and themes of this piece. ^_~ I look forward to being able to share it with you all soon enough, and give my thanks again for the great comments!

Frankensteinbeck said... Reply to comment

Ah, my sweet one, my delight. I'm sure there's a thematic satisfaction for the client in seeing Rarity bedraggled. It means something to him. Unfortunately, to me it does not. Instead I'm left breathless at the pre-soaking roughs.

That outfit is TO DIE FOR. I am swooning. Her corset is a saddle, because you saw that connection just like I did. The split skirt is very daring, and the tie is boldly masculine, no doubt to match the top hat and Rarity's businesswoman toughness. (And yet, she's not happy unless she's ALSO the most feminine pony there can be!) The black lace undershirt and petticoats are a fascinating idea. It has what even my own thoughts about pony fashion have lacked - it's a COMPLETE outfit. It's addressed with the same level of elaborateness you'd expect dressing a human.

Are you certain about the color, though? That burgundy looks downright brown in the colored version. Surely Rarity can't ever be dressed in understated colors. Her gemstone addiction is so tied to her love of over-the-top art, and with that white fur and indigo mane, she's begging for scarlets or royal purples or true blues. You have to give her either the colors or really ostentatious jewelry. Rarity DEMANDS to be the focus of every eye!

Also, I showed all my friends. They're all artists, but they're still agog.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Hee, thank you so very much my dear, I'm so happy to hear that you like the piece! ^.^ I had a great time playing around with the steampunk themes and style like I said, and I will agree that "Rarity Is Industry" is a fabulous effort which remains one of my favorite (if indeed, not my very favorite) sampling of music from the community to date. I can only hope that I captured some of the spirit of the song in this piece, even if it was not the only source of inspiration behind the concept.

**blushes** Oh, you... I'm happy that this artwork of mine is good enough to achieve wallpaper status in your book, and thank you very much for that great compliment! My family knows that I draw ponies as well, and while I realize my situation is entirely different from Anon's they haven't seen fit to pass any judgment either, which of course is a nice thing. I also have a pony wallpaper on my laptop, this one in fact. ^.^

Thanks once more for the lovely reply~!

@Harwick

Meep, dearest Harwick! You have also gone and left me such fabulous, well thought-out feedback, and as always I appreciate it immensely. ^.^ Thank you! <3

I'm so very happy that you like the picture. While some of the elements were done at Forderz's request of course, I still had plenty of freedom to get creative with Rarity's outfit and the setting (which again as I said was frequently a cause of frustration, but in the end I am happy with the result). The fact that you can discern some of the different materials and such is a wonderful thing by me, and of course I very much appreciate the fabulous compliment to my metals (you were a great source of inspiration there, I hope you'll know!). Also, since I experienced so much conflict over it your compliments to the background are very much valued. I realize that the style of the coloring and shading there is a bit different but that was done intentionally, at least, and while initially I was concerned that the difference in the palettes between Rarity and the background might be a bit too pronounced, I'm happy you think the end result is pleasing. Backgrounds are not my strongest suit and I am the first person to admit it, so while I know it's not perfect I'm glad it is at least sufficient. Again, thank you most sincerely.

You also nailed the intent behind Rarity's expression perfectly, as usual, and that is something that I always appreciate hearing. ^_~ Especially seeing as how you basically echoed what Forderz said he was hoping to see in her look, if not quite in so many words.

Also those sketches, yes... the poor dear, just look at how incredibly happy and pleased with herself she was before being utterly spoiled by such a cruel rainstorm! I'm so happy you picked up on that almost (well okay, very much so) smug satisfaction haha. ^.^ I'm not really sure if my simple sketches deserve such hearty praise as you have seen fit to bestow on me, but again thank you sincerely and I always treasure your generous feedback.

I have never heard "At the Gala in C Minor" before but I shall have to make a point to look it up now that you've mentioned it; thank you for the recommendation. And yes, must love "Rarity Is Industry".

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Kein

Oh that's quite alright dearie; I know it's not an entirely unique concept and so you shouldn't feel obligated to comment on it if not particularly inspired. I appreciate your taking the time to reply at all, really, thank you.

And how much time did this piece take me to complete? Well, it's difficult for me to say exactly how long as I never time myself when working, but it was on-and-off over the course of a couple months (not consistently, obviously; I had the concept work done long before I got started on the finished product and the latter is something I was only able to work on in little bits and pieces in my very limited free time). I have no idea how many hours that ended up being altogether in the end, I'm afraid, my apologies.

@Favo

Oh my dear, you almost never cease to make me smile. ^.^ The new avatar did indeed catch me off-guard (in the most amused sense possible) but I quite like it, it's very nice!

Thank you so much for that lovely reply, I'm so glad you like the finished product! If it's any consolation to you I don't believe I had started on this one when you and I first began discussing the subject of your own commission. I'm very happy that you enjoy and appreciate all of the little details, and the background as well (yes, you were aware that I was having some troubles with it), and while I'm not familiar with Fable III at all I can at least take the Oscar Wilde remark as a fabulous compliment. Thank you very much!

And yes, that link of yours doesn't seem to be working as Anon mentioned, but can I take it to be that Bronyland personality test, by any chance?

@TomTheRock

Thank you thank you, you are so incredibly sweet! I'm glad that you seem to like it, and hopefully that means you consider it to be worth the wait as well. ^_^

@Forderz

Oh dearie you and that hat; I'm so incredibly happy that you approve! Also your avatar, meep! Really I am just thrilled that you like your piece so, thank you~!! =^.^=

@Kateasaurus

Haha thank you so much, I'm absolutely gleeful that you like the outfit that much! It's too bad I don't usually get to be so adventurous when it comes to designing clothes (though my next ambitious project for my own personal enjoyment will be an ostentatiously flouncy 18th-century gown ala-Marie Antoinette, I've decided. Though it would take me forever and I don't know if I'll ever get around to it, alas). Anyway, yes, it means a lot to me to receive such a compliment. ^.^

The same goes for the mention of detail, which of course is another thing that I value highly and which means a lot to me to hear. Thank you so very much my dear, I appreciate it immensely! <3

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Frankensteinbeck

EEP!! Oh my goodness darling, you're back! I didn't expect to see such a comment but needless to say it is a glorious surprise!

And all the more for the reason that you are here critiquing my fashions with a discerning eye, and despite the fact that this is "My Little Pony" fanart we are discussing here! Simple words cannot convey my sheer joy at this fact! Because, dear Goddess you actually have a genuine interest in such things which I share, something which is sorely lacking in the world I hope you know, and which I have always had the greatest respect for. I never would have anticipated such a thing from anyone in regards to my fanart but I'm just so happy about it~! *squee* <3 <3

Ahem, yes, thank you for the lovely feedback my dear, I am very happy to hear that you approve! You've hit on every point I had in mind for Rarity when I came up with the design, and for that I am most grateful. In regards to the color I'm afraid that you're really quite correct, but in this instance at least I was bound by some restrictions, in the form both of what Forderz and I discussed (he was rather keen on warmer tones and specifically mentioned browns, black, and metallics) and the subject matter itself (what I knew was going to end up being a rather dismal, washed-out, sooty-looking scene). I wanted Rarity to stand out from the background but not to the point that she clashed blatantly with it, and so I decided on burgundy which for better or for worse came out looking more brown given the dampness and cool light of the cloudy skies.

In any case and once again, thank you profusely for such excellent feedback. ^.^ I quite missed your comments you know, and I guess this means I'm going to have to start commenting on your own blog whenever I can manage to find some free time.

TomTheRock said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds oh yes, it was very well worth the wait.

Favo said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frankensteinbeck said... Reply to comment

WhiteDiamonds:
You extremely silly girl. I never went anywhere! I had no comment on one picture, that's all! I only hang out in the comments section if I have something to say, it's true, but I've checked your blog at least daily since time out of mind.

I understand your client's order. He's working by tradition, because leather and brass and rusty iron are foundations of steampunk. If you don't have pony fashion visualization skills, which very few people have any reason to have, you won't be able to predict they're not Rarity's colors.

MiColt said... Reply to comment

Are you going to colorize that pre-wet mane concept image (or is it already colorized somewhere I'm not seeing?)

BND said... Reply to comment

Ah, it looks like it was featured in today's drawfriend!

(Not surprising, I'd have to say. ;P)

Unknown said... Reply to comment

Wow wow WOW!

Not even kidding I think I'd want to get this printed as a poster or perhaps even picture with a frame.

If I wanted to do that, would I have your permission to use this image, or do you require a royalty for using the image first? It wouldn't bother me to pay a little, this really is extraordinary.

Lord Elliott said... Reply to comment

Very nice. It's good that the background is drab and simple. It doesn't take attention away from the elegance of Rarity.

I like looking at the picture and listening to the music you linked, taking in the whole thing as an artistic experience. It brings to mind images of her, after getting caught in the rain, being in a bad mood, firing a few someponys back at the factory, and forcing the rest of the workers to work even harder pumping out her line of dresses!

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Is there a difference between digital painting and "drawing"? I remember how you mentioned two commissions ago that it was the first "full digital painting". Do you still only use the Marker (and the "pencil" as you also mentioned)?

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

Oh, what a day. Two fellow bronies got heartbroken and banned from Facebook respectively, plus a hacker having into my group's documents. Ask happening around Valentine's day. Joy ~!

Still, I must congratulate you on your picture making the recent drawfriend cover, well deserved indeed! I really love the greyish theme of the picture, it keeps reminding me of my copy of The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes (incidentally, my favourite story was The Speckled Band , no contest). I also love Rarity's dress, though out may have a been a bit too complicated for my taste---do I sense a bit of Willy Wonka in there? Still, you mentioned wanting to capture the essence of Victorian England, and I daresay you hit it spot on (hence, Holmes)...the factory chimneys in the background? Genius.

Work on my end had been drastically slow, I'm afraid, partially due to the chaos mentioned in the first paragraph. Otherwise, I'm just busy drawing my OC's for the local group (despite having created then as a result of succumbing to public pressure, I've grown rather attached to them^^), but it's all in good fun.

Again, kudos on your latest piece (good Lord, you're rubbing off me) and making the drawfriend cover...it's stuff like this that makes me proud to call you my teacher, even if you constantly deny it~! =P

Miris said... Reply to comment

I love your art style! That Rarity is beautiful!

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

PS: Swype is the patron saint of typos.

ponydoraprancypants said... Reply to comment

My stars, what a gorgeous likeness! Miss Rarity is not about to let a bit of inclement weather keep her from looking fabulous. She is clearly a mare not to be trifled with, even by the forces of nature (or pegasi, should they dare rain on her parade). WhiteDiamonds, you are the definitive pictorial artiste with regard to Miss Rarity. This drawing conveys an entire world for me to imagine, as I picture the lovely, yet somewhat intimidating, Rarity running not only Equestria's greatest fashion house, but at the same time acting as the key leader in a shadowy underground movement. Would that I could obtain your artistic services, Ms. WhiteDiamonds, though I fear you are contracted from now until eternity.

With bated breath I await your next masterwork. Until then, ciao bella.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@TomTheRock

Thank you so much, it means a lot to me that you think so. ^_^

@Favo

Yes, I did and I imagine I'll be switching back and forth from now on depending on my mood... I am awfully fond of my original icon you know and my recent little Rari-plush edition is just too cute not to use again. I'd actually been meaning to switch it up for a while now, but I kept forgetting (nothing unusual there, unfortunately).

Thank you dear, I'm glad to hear that you approve of my color selections as that's one thing that I went back on forth on for a while... it's important to me after all and I wanted to make good choices. And I guess, in my own mind I was imagining the background as some sort of alternate-universe version of an urbanized Ponyville, or something like. Though London did play a role in giving me some degree of inspiration.

Oh! Yes I guess that must have been the inspiration behind the infamous 'Rarity Is Industry' image, obviously I'd never seen it before now! It is some very lovely artwork though. And it looks like you have a good percentage of Rarity in yourself, who ever would have guessed!

As far as quality and swag dear, for me at least the two have essentially always gone hand in hand~ ;)

@Frankensteinbeck

Silly girl, indeed! I am no such thing either (or well, not most of the time anyway... *ahem*). Anyway it is nice to know that you have at least been around, and even if you don't generally take the time to comment. I appreciate the interest nonetheless.

I've found that some more jewel-like tones do seem to work well enough with steampunk, such as plum and a royal blue when it's not too overly saturated. But again, I had certain parameters I had to stay within in this case. All the same I hope you don't think the selection detracts too much from the image, as I personally feel Rarity can wear burgundies well enough when the outfit contains other favorable accents.

@MiColt

Good evening! Thank you for taking the time to post on my humble blog, I don't believe we've ever met before.

Anyway though, in answer to your question no, the outfit concept sketches have not at this point been colored and/or finished, and to be perfectly honest I did not really have any plans to do so. I suppose I could someday make an effort to put some color on them, but seeing as how I've been so busy recently I haven't even had any time for personal artwork I don't know if I'll ever manage to get around to it.

I appreciate the interest though, in any case, thank you for asking!

@BND

Eep yes thank you dear, courtesy of your comment I did go and see that~ (not so long ago I likely would have found it tonight anyway, but I'm afraid I haven't been active on EqD so much recently). ^.^ Thank you again for letting me know, I appreciate it!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Unknown

Hello, and thank you so much for such a generous and enthusiastic bit of feedback! I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed the drawing so much. ^.^

In answer to your question I would not at all mind if you wished to have the image made into a print (indeed, I'm immensely flattered by the thought), but I don't know that you really need my permission anyway. In fact in this instance, if permission was wanted I suppose you'd have to ask Forderz for that, as he is the one who commissioned it and as such the artwork now belongs to him.

Again though you certainly have my blessings, and I must thank you once more for taking the time to post with such lovely feedback. It truly means a lot to me!

@Lord Elliott

Good evening, I don't believe we've ever met before either but thank you so very much for taking the time to comment on my artwork! ^.^ That really is such a fabulous bit of feedback too. Believe it or not, the thought of experiencing "Rarity Is Industry" while looking at the painting actually was something that occurred to me, and while I don't believe it was Forderz's sole source of inspiration I nevertheless wanted the image to compliment the music nicely. So it's great to hear that for you at least, it did just that!

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the resulting scene as well; I find them to be simultaneously amusing and evocative (I guess the song gives me similar images, too). Again thank you very much for taking the time to comment, it's much appreciated!

@Anon

You mean I said that my Rainbow Dash/Fluttershy commission was my first fully digital painting? Because yes that was the case, at least insofar as my pony fanarts go.

Anyhow yes, in either case dear I consider there to be a difference, and I'd think that it would be somewhat obvious just looking at all of my artworks to date. No visible outlines for one thing, though for me at least the greatest difference are my methods when working. While I do use the marker tool on occasion, for the most part my digital paintings as Rarity above are done with a variety of different tools, which hopefully mimic the look of a real painting at least a little bit.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

Oh you poor dear you, you've just been going through all sorts of dramas recently by the sound of things! I'm sorry to hear about your troubles, and yes right on the eve of Valentine's Day as you said (not that the holiday has given me anything particular to celebrate this year either, or the past couple, alas. Hitori de chokoreeto tabemashita~ TT_TT). But yes, my sympathies~

Thank you for the very sweet congratulations despite this, as well as for the nice feedback. While I can't exactly say that Willy Wonka was any source of inspiration (most decidedly not, really), I'll admit that Sherlock Holmes was. The stories, which I had also been reading again until relatively recently, as well as the latest movie which I happened to see a couple weeks ago (Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law undeniably make for some of the best bromance). I'm also very happy you approve of the factory chimneys, because I at least thought they added a lot to the picture!

I'm happy to hear that the Tumblr is going well for you, and I'm sure you'll manage to make good progress on the commission soon enough. And as far as the teacher comment, well, I merely have my doubts about how good a mentor I actually make, though I do very much appreciate the sentiments dearest, thank you. ^_~

@Miris

Thank you very much! It's quite kind of you to say that you like my art style, and even if this particular picture is arguably a bit different from what I normally do. The same goes for the compliment to Rarity. While I think she manages to look beautiful the vast majority of the time, I'm glad that you feel I managed to keep her so despite the soggy dress, dripping mane, monocle and a decidedly glowering expression. ^_~ Really thank you kindly for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it!

@ponydoraprancypants

Oh, my goodness it's Ponydora Prancypants! I do believe I know you, despite the fact we've never met, as I seem to recall reading bits of a most excellent fanfic written by you when it popped up on Equestria Daily! The widely acclaimed Flight of the Alicorn. While I'm afraid I never got any further than the first two chapters, due to the fact I am often very short on free time I did consider that little bit to be most excellent reading, and can only hope I'll manage to return to it at some point in the near future. Kudos to you!

I must offer you my most sincere thanks for the very generous compliments. It's immensely satisfying for me to hear, as I said to Lord Elliot above, that my work has the ability to inspire imaginations (indeed I can think of few things quite so gratifying). I'm also thrilled that Rarity's countenance imparts exactly the impression I intended, and that you feel she manages to look fabulous despite the distressing circumstances she now finds herself in. Again, many thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Regarding commissions, let me first say I'm flattered by the interest. Unfortunately you're correct in that I'm a bit backed up at the moment, but seeing as how I'm hoping to get my current larger project completed sometime within the next week or two, it does at least allow me to consider the possibility of future projects. If this is something you'd be at all interested in, I hope you'll feel free to email me at fabulous.gaijin@yahoo.com whenever you like, and we can discuss the matter further from there!

Grazie mille~!

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Why, you seem to be staying up late, Di, I hope you aren't forcing yourself to answer these comments in one go!

Anyways, regarding you're picture, a fellow artist (who shall remain anonymous) had this to say:

"Lineless. The horror."

Enough said.

Anyways, I really should get to reading my copy of The Hound of the Baskervilles, I've been putting that off until the commission is done. Speaking of which, it's going nicely, I've just sent in the WIP to my customer. Hopefully this'll open up a new gate of possibilities for me!

And aww...grazie mille was supposed to be my bit! =P

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

Oh darling, sleep is overrated anyhow. Or at least by people who have so much on their plate it's nearly impossible to get it all done in one week otherwise. I was multitasking when I was typing much of my earlier comments anyhow, so at least there was that. But I appreciate the concern.

It's nice to hear that work is going along smoothly on your end at least, and I'll second you in that it would be pleasant to get back to some Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the near future. Regarding "grazie mille", well, the esteemed Prancypants did address me in Italian you can see, so I felt it was only proper to follow suit!

And well, the picture would have looked substantially less like a painting with a bunch of lines cluttering it up, don't you agree?

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Procrastination is a strange and wonderful thing. While back in Commission 4 Anon suggested the idea of an "Ask Glurarity" blog I thought of it as a very humourous and plausible idea, except for the fact that I probably wouldn't ever get around to doing it. Except on this blog's comment threads! Enjoy!

Hehe.

Frankensteinbeck said... Reply to comment

WhiteDiamonds:

Worry not. Even when you cannot see me, I am always watching you. Always. And that is not the slightest bit creepy.

Rarity can wear burgundy well, of course. It's brown that just isn't her color. You have no reason to fret there, either. Everyone loves the finished version, but to my eye it's the pre-bedraggled design that's utterly stunning. The coiffure, the outfit, and the way you integrate the look are areas where you simply can't be matched. I'm sure you agree that in the world of stunning pony artists, 'can't be matched' is a damned high bar indeed.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Oh, I'm sorry, I don't meant to degrade your creation. I just have very little experience with artwork so I don't want to make any assumptions. I do see a difference, and I can't say it as well as everyone else here have, but your paintings are magnificent. I understand that it is most often hard to describe your techniques, and after watching some videos, it seems that most people primarily use Pen, so I will try that later if I ever feel confident enough to try painting. If I ever came to the height of your talent, I would be as great as I had ever hoped for. (I only just noticed the width of that tiny piece of fabric touching the ground. That is attention to detail.)

Unknown said... Reply to comment

Thanks! If I have it made, I'll let you know how it turns out.

I dunno when you'll ever have time after this success and people wanting stuff made, but I might want to commission something too!

Unknown said... Reply to comment

Actually, is there some way to send a private message on this blogger? I have a few questions best left for something like email correspondance.

If you have the time, I'd luv to hear from you, thanks again for your amazing work!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Oh, my dear I laughed out loud! I do remember that comment of Anon's, and while I didn't expect anything to ever come of it it's nice to know I was wrong on account of this at least. The hat is perfectly hilarious, I love it!

Thank you so much for sharing that with me, I appreciate the gesture and the entertainment value it provided immensely. ^.^

@Frankensteinbeck

Oh you flatter me darling, always. I imagine this could only be because I am a pony-artist who also happens to have a love of clothing design and high fashion, something which I realize must be rather hard to come by, but regardless I treasure your munificent compliments immensely~

I hope you'll always feel free to watch me as much as you like! ;)

@Anon

You silly you, there is certainly no need to apologize for anything. I didn't take your comment as any sort of detraction and I hope it didn't seem as though I had. Please don't feel bad.

And really, people use the pen tool for such a thing as painting? Well I'll confess that one is a total surprise to me. I believe I've tried pretty much every tool but that one, though when it comes to my paintings I tend to stick to the airbrush, pencil, watercolor and brush tools (not necessarily in that order of signifigance). Varying the application settings (for example, spread or bristle) also tends to be very useful in creating a range of different textures, which I personally feel can do a lot to enrich a finished product.

I wholeheartedly encourage you to experiment though, dear; what works for me might not necessarily be the best methods for you. As always, if you think I can be of any help I hope you'll feel free to ask!

@Unknown

Oh you're quite welcome dear (I hope you do not mind if I call you dear), though there is certainly no need to thank me. The pleasure is all mine!

And yes, as I said to Ponydora I am a bit busy and backed up with future or potential projects (some of these are still in the talks stage you see), but if you'd like to email me with any questions I hope you'll feel free to do so. I'm afraid Blogger doesn't have any sort of private messaging system that I'm aware of. As I said above, my email address is fabulous.gaijin@yahoo.com.

Thank you so much again for the interest~!

Frankensteinbeck said... Reply to comment

Now, I have a question for you, Most Ravishing Diamond. With the advent of the ancient holiday of Ponysnog, and the recent 'cider' episode, there is information the world needs, and only you would possibly know.

How well does Rarity handle her liquor? It's clear to me that Twilight and Fluttershy get drunk fast and hilariously, Applejack takes a great deal to get drunk and remains drunk without being incapacitated for even longer, and Rainbow Dash thinks she can drink anybody under the table, but really can't.

But what about Rarity? Only you would truly know!

Lord Elliott said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

As much as you enjoy insightful viewer feedback, as an appreciator of and commenter on art, I find it most gratifying when my comments are appreciated. :)

We have not met before, but you may yet see me again, as I intend to follow your work. If any of it is half as well composed and executed as this lovely Rarity, I shall enjoy. ^_^

ponydoraprancypants said... Reply to comment

@Frankensteinbeck

I'll allow the lovely WhiteDiamonds to provide the definitive answer to your question, but I've always imagined that Miss Rarity often feels rather thirsty when in the presence of fine wines and spirits. The taste, of course, is what she savors. Is her special talent not finding beauty and complexity where others see only rocks, "dumb fabric," or in this case a simple means to getting schnockered? I also have the feeling that she may be the only one who could keep up with Applejack, who has the distinct advantage of being named after a type of liquor.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Frankensteinbeck and meanwhile, Pinkie Pie doesn't get drunk on account that her stomach is probably some wormhole to another universe.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Frankensteinbeck

Oh, dear, so it has come to this at last... a frank discussion of my drinking habits (as Harwick ended up having to cancel that intervention of mine previously, I managed to avoid the subject for a while. And yes my underage friends I am merely attempting wry humor, never fear~).

Well I suppose it wouldn't hurt to offer my insights anyway, and despite the fact that doing so will likely be a study in self-exposition, ahem~ First off, I'm sure it goes without saying that Rarity is a very classy drinker. As our honored guest Ponydora has asserted, she is not one who drinks in order to conform to social pressures, nor for the purpose of achieving mere blissful intoxication (or at least until the hangover kicks in), but because she thoroughly enjoys the act itself. I think we can all agree she has an exquisitely discerning palate. She's keenly aware of the fact that wine-making and distilling of fine spirits is an art form, the same way that her own creative processes are, and as such she takes great pleasure in partaking in the fruits of a craftsman's labors and appreciating every subtle nuance of flavor.

Because of this, Rarity isn't the sort of pony who would drink absently or at any sort of reckless pace (unless she's had a particularly trying evening, I suppose); she gets intoxicated slowly enough that she can appreciate the highlights of the experience the same way she savors the beverages themselves. She's very much aware of when she's had so much that she's not quite in her right frame of mind any longer, but of course her being her I imagine she maintains control of every movement and word that comes out of her mouth, and so manages to remain as cordial and proper as ever on the surface.

Yes, I do believe that sounds about right.

@Lord Elliott

Well, in that instance it is my turn to thank you once more, both for such eloquent comments as well as the follow on my work. Not every pony-piece I create is as involved or elaborate as this of course, as with the exception of my commissioned projects I tend to make them solely for fun, but hopefully you'll enjoy them all the same.

And yes, I really do appreciate the feedback, very much so in fact. Many thanks once again~! ^_^

@ponydoraprancypants

Even if dear Frankensteinbeck may have been addressing me, I hope you don't mind my saying I found your own evaluation to be very insightful! And yes, it's my understanding that applejack is a very strong beverage and quite good, but I've never tried it myself. I'm afraid it might just end up being love at first sip...

@zhoomcar

You bring up another valid point, my dear. Until recently I hadn't devoted too much thought to the subject of inebriated Pinkie either, but then I was made aware of a recent new Rarijack fanfiction, one which I think Ponydora is also aware of. Of course I had to immediately read it (I mean really, it's like putting a shirtless David Beckham who is holding a platter of cheesecake and ice cream in front of me and then asking me NOT to pay attention), and in that story Pinkie's body apparently treats alcohol like an ordinary person's treats caffeine, using it merely as a source of energy to refuel and party harder. While I can't say it's a notion I ever consciously considered before, I thought it made a good deal of sense.

Frankensteinbeck said... Reply to comment

WhiteDiamonds:

I was not actually asking about your own drinking habits, merely certain that they would give you perspective about (rather than being the same as) Rarity's. I think you're right on all counts, but the only thing that wasn't clear to me was how the alcohol affected her.

Ponydoraprancypants:

'Pretty much'. Her talent is her gemstone addiction, but if anything that means she's free to be the classy sophisticate about alcohol she wants to be.

Zhoomcar:

I have no idea why I didn't think about Pinkie. Probably because there's no way to tell if she's drunk. Some people don't have inhibitions to lower.

Back To WhiteDiamonds:

I also have no idea why I'm the only person who doesn't get a 'reply' option. I certainly get it on my blog. Such is life!

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Frankensteinbeck

You should get them if you click on the title of the entry ("Commission #5 At Last") instead of the number of comments below it. Those buttons bring up another page that doesn't have them, so you just have to copy and paste the reply line.

@WhiteDiamonds

As much as I search, I cannot find any tool that anyone calls "Pencil"... Are you sure you aren't confusing it with Pen, and "Pen" with Ink Pen? Because Ink Pen would not be very useful for painting. I think that Pen is often used for sketching and lineart, because it's so sharp, it doesn't blend its color and it's also the default tool. I nearly used it for cel shading hair, but it contrasted too much with everything else. I have yet to find a use for Ink Pen aside from handwriting and starry night skies. The best general tool for painting seems to be Brush, which was somewhat predictable, though it seems that you use all nearly all of them. I imagine that I would experiment if I think I could find something better, but it's easier for me to work closer to what you're doing when I know what you use. Your advice is more valuable to me than anything else in the art world. If you told me to throw my tablet out a twelfth-storey window and draw by poking holes in cardboard boxes, then that is what I must do. Like yours, some of my ideas are large and detailed enough that it would be a disservice not to paint them, but I think that drawing is useful if you want to have style contrast and make them look more like cartoons. I'm glad that you don't mind talking about this, because it motivates me to finish my current projects (this is one of my older parts) so that I can get back to it and try some of the things that we discuss.

Of course I cannot relate to the topic in any way (Honestly, you're making yourself sound like such a drinker right now), but I found your interpretation of Rarity's drinking habits to be surprisingly detailed and well-composed. You must have a very deep perception of her character. Are you sure you shouldn't be an author?

Aside from the one that you are referring to, I found five Rarijack fanfictions that you have not commented on. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that they weren't very good. (Oh, and that guy is stealing my style. Though in other pictures his hair is clearly dyed and he hardly looks like that. Oh well. There can only be one.)

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Frankensteinbeck

I do realize that, and if it wasn't quite clear (because I'm sure it wasn't) that was actually my sense of humor doing much of the talking. I'm afraid it doesn't generally translate so well online, or actually, even in real life now that I think about it...

Digressions. Anyhow yes, short version of the long answer is that I imagine Rarity would hold her liquor quite well, better than most people anyhow. She's always so conscious about every action, every word that I think it's a conditioned behavior at this point. I'm sure she feels she manages to keep it together perfectly. Any outside observers though, and especially anyone who knew her well would probably be able to pick up on it easily enough, if louder-than-usual laughs and flushed cheeks are a good enough indication.

That's only my own personal insight into the matter though, however I'm flattered you consider me to be something of an authority~ Regarding the comment system darling, I'm afraid you're not the only person who's expressed having problems to me, and in fact I myself no longer see the 'reply' buttons when I view my blog from my laptop computer. It's highly annoying and I truly apologize, but I'm afraid I have no idea how to go about fixing it. ;(

@Anon

All I know my dear is that there is a tool called "Pencil" on my own version of Paint Tool SAI, and so that obviously is the one I have been referring to. I can only guess that you're using a more recent version of the trial and as such, have some slightly different options from myself.

However I will say that I now suspect you're right about "Pen" and "Ink Pen", because the latter is something I don't have on my version and it very much sounds like the tool you're referring to in terms of usefulness. Does the regular 'pen' option give you a choice of different application styles, like "simple circle", "spread", "flat brush" etc.? Because if so then yes, they must be one in the same.

You are so incredibly sweet. I still find it immensely flattering that you consider me to be such an authority in these matters, though again I frequently question how much of a good teacher I can be. But yes, I'm more than happy to help you if you think I can, and so I hope you'll keep approaching me with your questions. It's not always easy to relate all my methods verbally, but I suppose I can do my best.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Regarding the subject of alcohol, I really don't drink all that often, really I don't! Certainly not anything like on a daily basis, or even much of the time on a weekly basis (it depends what kind of a work-week I'm having, really. And even then, the majority of the time it's wine with dinner). And like I said a good deal or that previous comment (or at least some, ahem~) was my mere attempts at humor. I will admit I'm something of a gourmet though, both in regards to foods as well as to beverages, and naturally that's going to include alcohol. It's the very same reason that my family keeps telling me I should be a food critic, and why once upon a time when I was working as a barista, my manager said I could become a Coffee Master if I only made the effort.

Anyhow though, on that note my thoughts about Rarity were only me applying certain self-characteristics to her that seemed like they would fit, since we seem to have the trait of scrutinizing minute details (when it comes to works of art, and sometimes other things) in common. It's kind of you to compliment me on it though, and while I've said before I consider myself to be a terrible writer that might not be strictly true... I suppose I really can write, but being able to tell a story properly is a whole different matter!

And really, five whole Rarijack fanfics?? **stoically attempts to feign disinterest** Well perhaps you're right and they were some that didn't meet my standards, or else there's a possibility that I just didn't know about and haven't read them yet. I think I mentioned before that I don't generally find time to read much fanfiction, though it probably sounds like otherwise going by my recent comments on this thread, and indeed I only found out about the particular story I'd mentioned because someone let me know about it. In fact, on that note I should probably make an effort to check up on it again, they might have updated by now...

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Frankensteinbeck
@WhiteDiamonds
@zhoomcar
@Anon

On Booze:

Getting in on the whole pony drinking discussion, I have to throw in that Rarity may be all about style and grace, but she's also a savvy businessmare and plenty of business deals are hashed out with the aid of social lubrication. As such, I suspect she's capable of handling more than her fair share of mixed drinks such as Cosmopolitans, Appletinis, Mimosas, Manhattans, or what-have-you... Something that lets her be drinking with the boys. It's not exactly succumbing to social pressure so much as it is knowing how to use a social situation to your business advantage.

As for myself, I'm a very rare drinker... but I used to work for a boss who threw elaborate parties all the time, and so I learned to nurse a good scotch from time to time.


On Artwork:

In general, I use the brush tool almost exclusively when I'm doing an image (of course, I'm using photoshop where the main options are brush or pencil). Really, I don't often change brushes, for that matter. I truly am a lazy artist. I'll also use the smudge tool and burn and dodge for shading on fairly random whims. Now that I think about it, I'm probably a horrible model for any new artist to follow.


On Fanfics:

I really started to read them in earnest around the holidays, and I've enjoyed quite a few. (Of course, I tend to focus on Twilight, and while I don't avoid shipping it's not often the main focus for me.) I've been tempted to try to write something myself, as I used to write quite a bit around a decade ago, but I can't quite see myself finding the time to do it currently. Plus, I've never tried writing fanfiction before, so there's the question of whether I could actually capture the characters well enough.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

You present a most excellent point about Rarity, alcohol, and business my dear Harwick! And indeed, I originally meant to include some similar observations in my first post but felt I'd probably said more than enough already. I'm quite sure Rarity is savvy enough to know when to use alcohol to her advantage, as well as (on a related note) how to utilize it to enhance the mood of a more ordinary occasion, the same way music and good ambient lighting can. Indeed, for me the latter is probably the biggest reason I'll decide to indulge in the first place... the addition of the fine flavors of a good beverage can be the perfect finishing touch to creating the full experience (And it's ALL about the experience. Exactly like how those little details can do it for a visual artwork).

Oh yes, the dodge and burn tools... I'd almost forgotten those even existed as it's been so long since I used Photoshop but I remember they were quite useful at times. It's almost a shame in a way that SAI doesn't have any similar options, but I suppose some of its other assets more than make up for it for me. And as far as fanfics go, it's my own opinion (based on numerous character discussions we've had in the past) that you really understand our ponies quite well, certainly better than most people, and if you ever find the time and are so inspired I'd really encourage you to try a story! I'm sure I'd love to read it at the very least~ ^.^

Well, meh. I really need to stop posting on here so I can go and get ready for work already, but I'm afraid the dismal weather has made me reluctant to do anything other than continue working on artworks. So meanwhile I just keep writing more. Oh well.

Anon said... Reply to comment

Either now is an awkward time for me or I'm just too lazy, but for now I'll just skip ahead to this:

At your desperate request, I have compiled all Rarijack fanfictions known to ponykind, excluding those that would fall under the "Mature" filter's category. If you want those, you're going to have to search for them yourself. Titles with an asterisk indicate that you (WhiteDiamonds) have already commented on it in the past, and some comments from what I can gather. I assume that you have already seen all of these that you would have interest in, but I have no life, so here you are:

A Bedtime Secret*

Diamond in the Rough*

Drink Special

Fashionably Faux

Learning Curves (Suggestiveness, innuendo, innocent ending)

Pain In The Tail

Rarity's Rodeo

Strange Bedfellows* (Apparently discontinued)

Swayback Mountain

Worth Suffering For (You were mentioned in the comments, by the way)

Those are all of the ones on Equestria Daily, anyway. There is also FimFiction, which I don't believe has pre-readers or such high standards of cleanliness or quality. The following did not appear on Equestria Daily, so take that as you will.

Underneath this Moon (Some language)

Secret Admirer

And next week, it will be outdated. It really is a fairly uncommon pairing, judging by how the premise is usually "Wouldn't it be crazy if...".

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds and Harwick in undefined areas

Actually, all of my tools except for Bucket and Binary have those options. 24 of them to be exact, but I doubt that anyone uses anything beyond the first five.

You aren't just authority in my "art world"; you're its creator. Artwork like Harwick's and this commission impresses me, but it is so far beyond anything that I can imagine myself making that I don't (before any of this started, anyway) even consider it in my mind as a possible action to attempt. It would be like looking at the moon and thinking, "Can I make one of those?" It's just too impossible to attempt. But I have an odd habit of looking at the source of art pieces in drawfriends that impress me, even though I do nothing with them. I went to the source of your commission for Jody, because it was just so great that if anything deserved a click, it was that. That led me to seeing your "doodles", which had the very strange combination of both looking remotely possible to make while still being good enough to be worth making. It is for this reason that I owe any artistic talent that I ever develop to you, and I always will. That is how you taught me; with no words. I tend to avoid calling you a "teacher" or a "mentor" because there is a silent rule that it would probably embarrass you (a rule which CaineScroll frequently breaks), but you're one of the two or three artists that even appear around here, so your influences are among the only ones that I have. (Not to say that I wouldn't listen to Harwick or CaineScroll's advice if they were to have any more to say.) I have a lot of things to try first before I have any big questions about it, but I'm sure it will come relatively soon. (The Brush tool is just waiting to be used. I feel like I can already do so much better, if I only gave the time. I'm just finishing off my responsibilities before I turn towards something new.)

As you have probably already guessed, I don't have much ability to be a critic ("This store brand bread tastes exquisite! Hmm. Yes. Quite."), but as I have also said, I'm not surprised that you would be one. Maybe I'm just very naive, but since I have gone my whole life without doing such things, "not usually on a weekly basis" sounds like a minor addiction in comparison (but then, the same thing happened with me and ponies). I have no standard for what is normal aside from my parents, who might drink a glass of white wine once a year. And honestly, the thought of purposely ingesting something fermented, rotten, still sounds just a little bit disgusting. But now I'm just sounding very juvenile. At least I won't have to worry about overdoing it. But yes, like Rarity probably would, you take it in the most classy way possible.

I know that no one was talking to me about this, but in my case, I'm not sure how I would do as a fanfiction writer. People that know me would probably say that I would do well, but that would be based more on message length and improvisation than good storytelling. If I did, I would plan everything out first and be very slow and careful about it. I already have too many creative endeavors to handle all at once at the moment, and I'm starting to realize that no matter what form of creation it is, doing it badly leaves room for embarrassment. I have wondered why no two or more authors ever seem to work on the same story together to ensure high creativity and quality, but I guess there is usually too much conflict between them for it to make for a practical and productive writing method. Every fanfiction has only one author credit. It still sounds like a good idea to me.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon

I... oh my. I guess you're right and that it is rather an uncommon pairing, but that still looks like an awful lot of stories to me. And I've commented on three of them and was actually mentioned by name on another? Oh too bad about me...

I actually don't even remember reading or commenting on that 'Bedtime Secret' story, but apparently I did... I do remember the other two though. Strange Bedfellows was actually the story that made me a Rarijack fan to begin with, as it was one of the first fanfictions (if indeed not the first) that I happened to read. It's a shame it was seemingly discontinued by the way, I actually really liked that one... *aherm*

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to compile such a list for me dear, and despite the fact I really tried not to sound too desperate (fail, apparently). I probably will end up reading them all sooner or later, at some point before I finally manage to grow up and get a life. I really just can't help it though, somehow it's so incredibly cuuuuute~

But, yes, moving on. Thank you very much, as always, for the unparalleled show of support and enthusiasm for my fanart. You've mentioned before that it was the entire reason you ever wanted to get into drawing, and that is probably one of the most flattering things anyone has ever said to me in my life. And as I think I said, it really doesn't bother me to hear myself referred to as a mentor or such, but... I'm not really sure how well I can live up to the title. I promise you I will do my best though.

... Fermented, "rotten"? Well honestly dear when you put it that way alcohol of any sort does not sound so terribly appealing, but then again I guess the same thing could be said of most processed foods (which I generally do my best to avoid). At least it's a natural process. In contrast to your parents I suppose it does sound like I drink an awful lot, but considering the fact that my parents tend to have at least one glass of something on a daily basis (not that they get drunk on a daily basis, or even close to it mind you), I'm often left feeling like a teetotaler by comparison...

And yes, I'm afraid those basically echo my own feelings when it comes to the thought of my hypothetical fanfiction writing. Perhaps that's for the best though.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds
I for one, am a sucker for sadfic and shipfics (especially the latter) even if I don't particularly pass off as someone who is say, sappy. While I prefer Twilight / Rarity shipping (RariTwi? Twarity? Twity? Huuuh?), I particularly love it when Rarity and Applejack have their little bantering sessions.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds
@Anon
@zhoomcar

I've read a few of the shipping fics that Anon listed. As I recall, one of my favorite pairings of Applejack and Rarity isn't from a story where they're shipped together at all. I think it was called "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" and was a comedy story about shipping Twilight with Fluttershy. The rest of the mane six take major supporting roles in it, trying to secretly coach the two most socially inept characters into successfully proclaiming their attraction to each other. Rarity and Applejack make up Team Fluttershy, and their observations, arguments and actions while observing the disastrous date from a nearby hiding spot provide a lot of the comedy.

(If people do look this one up on EQD, I will warn that it takes a few decidedly raunchy, "American Pie" style turns in providing humiliation for Twilight and Fluttershy (and a bit for Rarity and Applejack.) Equestria Daily doesn't allow anything explicit, but there are a couple of very obvious, suggestive moments that were a bit of a shock to me as a new reader at the time. Still, a funny fic.)

On the "sadfic" and shipping side, the recently posted on EQD "Yours Truly" was good, and instantly rocketed to a huge number of comments and a 6 star rating. It was told entirely in letters as the mane six grew older and moved away from each other. Rarity unfortunately exits from the tale early (after providing a few choice comedic moments) but Applejack comes across quite strongly in that one, as most of the tale is the correspondence between her and Twilight.

My favorite fanfic is probably the currently running "Eternal", which is an exceptional drama/character study of Twilight, Celestia and Luna set some years in the future. It does a really great job of looking at the whole mentor/student relationship and what happens when the student grows up (and yet the mentor is someone the student could never stand alongside as an equal.) It gets really emotionally brutal and surprisingly epic in plotline while everyone involved just struggles to do right by and connect with each other. All of the cast is involved, and Equestria itself nears disaster as the stakes get ramped up over the course of the tale. This one also has a 6 star rating on EQD.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Harwick
Yes, this was pretty much what I was referring to! While the shipping itself is ho hum, and I liked the very creative title, but what really shone was the interaction between Rarity and AJ, as well as Pinkie Pie's nominal fourth wall breaking, and Rainbow Dash's particularly saucy ideas.

On the sadfic side of things, I rather liked Bubbles, A Summer Twilight and Simply Rarity. Although my favourite at the moment would probably have to be The Party Never Ended by a certain Butterscotch Sundae. It's Pinkie Dash, and it's very Inception in nature.

ponydoraprancypants said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I took a moment today to read "Yours Truly," which you recommended, Harwick. I thought it was very cute, and certainly the ending tugged at the heartstrings, though poor Rarity was criminally underutilized.

I've also been reading a RariJack fic-in-progress on FimFiction called "The Sweetest Cider is Diamond White" which, while uneven in parts, also has some good moments. It is told through the fogged lens of very tipsy ponies during a mare-a-thon night of drinking.

That said, I've always been somewhat skeptical of shipping Rarity with the Mane 6, primarily because she seems to consistently express the most familiarity with and interest in members of the opposite sex of any of our heroines. Witness how she wrapped the carriage-pullers around her hooves in "Best Night Ever," and most obviously, her dreams of marriage to Prince Blueblood.

In my real life, I am a busy attorney. I also have a family and a lot of hobbies. I sacrifice sleep to find a few hours to devote to this fandom each day. I suppose my dream for this fandom is to write a definitive Rarity story. Once my current Rarity novel is finished, I'll have to take a step back, read it with a critical eye, and take stock of what I've achieved. It will have been fun to get to that point.

I'd like to echo a point anon made earlier, when he or she wrote that Ms. WhiteDiamonds' art was his or her inspiration. I am a writer who is and hopeless as an artist. I don't understand shapes, color, or perspective the intuitive way that the ravishing Ms. WhiteDiamonds does, or the eminent Harwick either. I'd love to be able to do it, but I've tried and failed to teach myself enough times now. Despite the fact that I am a writer, and not an artist, it's nevertheless talents like you that give me motivation to improve my own craft. To be candid, the writing of the community is far below the level of its graphic artists, and if I want to have a pinnacle to aim for, it has to be folks like you. The eternally fabulous Ms. WhiteDiamonds's work has been inspiring me for quite some time now.

ponydoraprancypants said... Reply to comment

@ponydoraprancypants

con't

Finally, I return to the ever-scintillating topic of wine and spirits. In my part of the country we are very particular about our potent potables; where they are crafted, by whom, how long they are stored, and in what type of container. I enjoy a glass of wine and a glass of bourbon or scotch daily, and over the years I've learned how to rhapsodize in polite company about the bouquet of my whiskey or the hint of quince in my chenin blanc. That said, my daily couple of drinks are for enjoyment and stress relief, not to get a job as a mixologist or sommelier. Rarity is a single lady, working long days, and living in a land with no television or radio. I like to imagine her, after a hard day at the boutique, locking the doors, shuttering the windows, and reclining on her sofa. Magically, she places her gramophone recording of soft jazz on the deck, and carefully lowers the needle until the music begins to play. Eyes closed and unmoving, the soft glow of her magic casts an ethereal blue light as she pours herself a glass of brandy from the bar on the other side of the room. It's a very drinkable cognac (pognac?), and as the glass floats her way she hums a few bars of the song that's playing. She's heard it a thousand times before, but there is comfort in routine - a valuable thing for a dressmaker to find comforting. The first, warming sip of brandy is a like the familiar caress of an old love. It takes nearly an hour to finish that little glass. When it's done she gets up to wash the glass. No sense leaving for tomorrow what can be taken care of tonight, after all.

Rarity is surprised by a knock on the door. Then she remembers that this is Thursday, when that one of her friends who also knows all too well the stress of a solid day of work often comes to call. These Thursday get-togethers had become something of a tradition ever since that absurd, wonderful sleepover at the library.

Rarity opens the door to find Applejack standing there on the other side, looking a bit silly holding the neck of a bottle of fine calvados in her teeth. This must be a special occasion, since the frugal Apples didn't usually give away their finest and most expensive product.

"Come in, come in," the unicorn says, magically relieving the earth pony of her carbonated burden.

"Ah thought you'd never ask."

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

It's fine to have a preferred pairing. Many (because I'm not sure if it would be true to say "most") people in the fandom do. I would see it as an achievement to be a large community's sole artist (or even representative) for a particular theme. I don't have one as you know, which probably means that I won't ever be such a person for anything, but I can still respect it and enjoy its results. Maybe I have been listening to you for too long, but I think that it's one of the more interesting ships. It's just another part of what makes you who you are, and we like that about you. Growing up is subjective, anyway.

@Harwick

While you must read a lot of fanfiction to have even heard of the ones on that list, you also have refined taste. I haven't read many before, and in fact I can't recall the names of any of them, but I think that they all just went on for too long without having enough to carry them along. I think that most of them were 6-star though, so they were probably popular among a specific group. That has so far kept me away from trying anything else, but the ones that you mentioned do look and sound like some of the best I have ever seen. Yours Truly reminds me of my friend(s). Er, avoiding such topics; I'm not sure how I would take the aforementioned sadfic, but especially I should remember to read Eternal when I get a chance. Your comments never fail to be insightful. You are all giving me ideas for fanart now.

@ponydoraprancypants

(I missed one? I thought I went over every page...) You are a writer indeed. Judging by your DeviantArt gallery, your drawings really aren't that bad. We all start somewhere. I think that all it takes is observation to know what you don't like, and to see how others do it differently so that you can try to do it that way instead. But in any case, their artwork as well as who they are personally make them very inspirational people, and it has spread beyond the subject of graphic art. It's always nice to see another person that was positively effected by them.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

Finally, I reach a point in my already hectic week when I can read through the comments here...and I find myself once again in the position where I can't seem to reply to everyone. So it's back to the old generic address.

First off, I have to admit that I don't usually read fanfics. But when I do, I turn on the 5-star filter. Saddest fanfiction on my list would probably be "My Little Dashie", I suppose, and I have read a bunch of shipfics that were rather interesting, though I forgot the titles entirely (it's been a while). I have, however, watched "Bronies React to Teens React to My Little Pony", which I admit was savagely satisfying, as the original video seemed to refer to the fandom as a cult.

Second, I drink only as a courtesy. If I'm invited to drink, I will, but you won't find me clubbing on my own accord. Chips and soda? Maybe.

@Anon: I have to wonder, how does calling someone a teacher embarrass him/her? If someone helps me learn in a certain aspect, I call him/her a teacher, mentor, whichever term you prefer. Nothing wrong with that. I admit that there have been people calling me myself a teacher in the past week, and I felt a mixture of emotions: proud, flattered, happy, maybe a little shy, but not embarrassment. I don't see any need for a rule to that, honestly.

Just when I was feeling happy about ONE commission...the orders pile in here.

Oh, the humanity.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

We're into a general discussion, so instead of bouncing around getting reply tags for everyone, this is kind of a catch-all response.

I'm really don't have highly refined tastes when it comes to fanfic. In truth, I tend to approach all fan works (art, writing, music, etc.) the same way I would approach something like campfire stories. They're just friendly attempts to entertain each other and share ideas about the central subject. I'm honestly baffled when I find people replying to them with unsolicited, detailed grievances. This is not to say I'm against critiques entirely, or especially feedback given for editorial purposes, although again I tend to only feel it's necessary when specifically asked for by the creator. I just don't see the point in tearing into something offered freely for mutual enjoyment, which I have absolutely no obligation to bother with at all if I so choose.

As for why I read fanfics at all, it's mostly because I've found they fit nicely in with the snippets of time I have for reading. I love getting into a novel, but I'm loathe to put it down once I start and it's increasingly rare for me to find the kinds of blocks of time necessary for full enjoyment of one. My current schedule usually has a few windows of time, especially right before getting some sleep, where I can cram a bit of reading in on my tablet, and fan fics come in nice bite-sized pieces or complete stories that fit right into those slots and don't give me the option to keep reading for hours after I should have been alseep. (Usually.) So they've become a habit recently.

Really, all I look for in one is a writing style that lets me easily into the narrative, and an entertaining premise with recognizable characters. There are things that don't work for me in most all of them, but I could say the same thing about the actual episodes of the show as well so I don't tend to focus on those. When one goes a bit further, offering really great moments or scenes, I take notice. The best is when one conveys some intriguing thoughts about the characters which ring true that I hadn't had or focused on before. Art is about the communication of ideas in inventive ways, at heart, and I enjoy the skill it takes to slip those ideas into a well crafted, entertaining story.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Now for the shorter, more specific responses:

@zhoomcar I've read "Bubbles" (after I saw the "Rainbow Dash Presents" version of it, though I still found the original touching and liked the approach it took.) I'll have to look up some of the others you mention.

Even though I've been accused of making Bronies cry myself, I often avoid looking for stories with crushingly sad endings. "Eternal" is listed as a sadfic, but as the author himself has said that's mostly because it's hard to tag properly with the options given at EQD. There's a sense of melancholy over the events, and many emotionally crushing scenes, but all the characters involved are fighting for a happy ending and I suspect that they'll get one that is at least bittersweat and satisfying.


@ponydoraprancypants My main issues with "Yours Truly" revolved around what was left out, rather than what was there. However, I did enjoy it and it had a huge response on the site, so it easily came to mind in the discussion.

I'm a bit dubious of all shipping of the mane six myself, on the general idea that (once again) they're not really designed for such roles. I find it's hard to maintain all of what makes each character special while working them into romantic tropes. It's not impossible, certainly, but many writers end up giving me a Twilight (for example) that is 100% adorkable without the other sides of her personality, simply because that's the aspect of her that works best in the romance story they've set up. It's something that I'm willing to overlook if the story is entertaining enough, but it does make many shipping stories less appealing to me than more straightforward takes on the characters.

I still need to read "Flight of the Alicorn", by the way. I can make a space in my Twilight obsession for it when I find enough time to tackle it, as it's already at a hefty length.

Oh, and Rarity's cognac scene totally works for me.


@Anon I actually only remembered the three titles because I'm eagerly waiting on the next bit of "Eternal", "Yours Truly" was literally on EQD in the last week, and "Once Bitten Twice Shy" is a bit of a fun play on the shipping combination of "TwiShy", so it had that going for it. You shouldn't give my faded brain cells too much credit.

I had something of your reaction to fanfics with the near-universally lauded "Past Sins". I really enjoyed the first half of it, but found my enthusiasm diminishing in the second half after the dramatic turn... it just seemed to stall out a bit. I suspect that it was a much different experience reading it episodically rather than complete, and then of course everyone simply has different tastes.


@CaineScroll Congrats on the commissions that will eat away all of your free time! I hope we get to see them when they're complete.

Gadvac said... Reply to comment

Fantastic piece! I LOVE the lighting here, and the colors look fantastic and fit the scene well. The expression is well done and displays her mood in a well done and easy-to-read way, and the mood itself matches Rarity. The clouds look great, but this sentence doesn't fit anywhere. Accuracy is great, as well.

Also, I love the second sketch. That outfit (now that we can see it normally ;P) is so... Rarity! It was really Rarity in the final picture, but the sketch just completes it, especially with that late 19th/early 20th century look to it (the hairstyle, especially).

Overall, these three pieces (I don't care if you don't consider the sketches 'pieces', I do) are fantastically done. This blog is followed for sure, and I foresee plenty more EqD features in the near future.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

While I would LOVE to say that I do have commissions piling in....I don't. I was actually referring to people commissioning from WhiteDiamonds, not me. Sorry if I didn't phrase that correctly. I suppose it's logical, though, having not made something for so long...but I'll try to stay positive.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@CaineScrollAh, my apologies for misunderstanding. Honestly, I have no idea how one goes about drumming up commissions. It may just be a matter of getting your work in front of as many eyes as possible, in which case I would suggest the possibility of opening a Deviant Art page in addition to your blog (if you haven't already). It's a rather ravenous MLP community over there, and with the possibility of people adding your work to their favorites, collections and group archives, it's very easy for people to come across your various pictures. The site also makes it easy for people to contact you privately to make such requests.

You might also consider doing some "free" commission for friends just to have something to post that you can identify as commissioned work, thereby letting people know you do them and maybe planting the idea in their heads. I take it you do already have at least one commission, if I'm not misreading the last post once again? If so this might not be necessary at all.

Not sure if you're really looking for ideas or if these would work, just spitballing some. In any event, don't let yourself get discouraged, and good luck!

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I know, right? It astounds me to no end that someone drawing stick figure-esque art can get commissions...makes me wonder if skill has anything to so with it.

Anyway, I do thank you for the concern, and the suggestions. Perhaps I SHOULD go for dA as my primary art account...I've got some friends there who might have some pointers.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

The reason why I would be weary of referring to someone as that is because, once you establish a teacher/student relationship, it means that the teacher is expected to help the student to some extent. In this case, the teacher would not know what kind of help they are expected to provide, or what kind of student this person will be. The student may be too demanding, or even blame the teacher for any problem that they might face. (Possibly while saying "I thought you could help me".) As far as I know, she has never had a bad experience mentoring a person in art, so there is trust that anyone seeking her guidance will do what is required of them to improve. But trust is easily abused, and she still knows me the least out of any of us here, so I didn't want to give her any responsibility that she hadn't directly agreed to taking. It really doesn't matter at this point, though; she is fine with us making the distinction, at least for now. What I am concerned with is making it up to those that have given their effort to help me.

And as for the other topic, WhiteDiamonds has already broken the commission barrier and has a lot to show for her experience. I have to wonder if those stick figure commissions that you mentioned were genuine, however. They could have all been for close friends or for no real person at all.

@Harwick

(If it's any consolation, I misunderstood that remark as well.) What I meant by "refined taste" was not so much that you had exceptionally high standards or were notably judgmental of a story, but you observe their qualities and take each one as an experience while others' appreciation of a story is highly dependent specific things happening the way that they like or how much it applies to their personal interests. Maybe "honed taste" would be more accurate. I think the reason why reviewers can be so sensitive about such things is because of how much emotion they have for the story. If anything happens differently from how they expected or would have immediately preferred, they want to make it known that they would have liked it more if it had gone differently. No story goes perfectly well for the characters, and if it did, what would be the point of reading it? Having said that, I also dislike it when fanfictions end with mercilessly negative outcomes. Some of them seem to be dependent on the reader's pre-established care for the characters. The author can just kill someone off that they find too hard to write for and use the shocked emotion that it generates to keep the story interesting. On the other hand, a story about OCs will take longer to impress the reader and give them understanding of the characters' traits and concern for their actions.

I wish I had more experience to input about this, but I really find myself agreeing with you on most things, and you put it better than I can. The most convenient time for me to read is while I'm on the laptop, because if I do it on my own computer then my father will ask what it is. And though it makes for good improvisational training, it isn't as easy as just multitasking reading it while I'm doing Spanish. I also find the late nights when I should be asleep to be the best time for such things as this, due to the fact that I didn't get a moment of spare time today (not even for school) and I have already spent a couple hours composing this comment.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Anon

While my overlarge ego is just itching to retaliate, common sense is enough to tell me that you do present a valid point there...it's just that Di HAS been helping me with most of the problems I've faced, but there are also the times when we both slammed into a brick wall (not literally =P). You know those moments when someone asks "Why did it happen?" and you answer "It just did"? That's what I'm talking about. And besides, teachers don't have the answer to everything, and I certainly won't blame her, or anyone for that matter if anything awry happens. Remember, what we're dabbling in mainly exists in a fluid manner, and honestly there's no right or wrong to it. And as for not wanting to hand her responsibilities she didn't ask for, I really do agree with you, but I don't think "embarrassed" might've been the most suitable phrase.

As for your second point, I am rather amazed that mediocre artists can get commissions at all, and even sell prints on deviantART as Jody so kindly told me in an email. You have my word that I'm certainly not the kind to brag about a non-existent commission (Complaining and whining might not be the best move either, but hey---at least it's honest.)

Recently, I HAVE scored one other commission...but instead of paying me in cash, my customer's treating me to lunch. Not exactly what I had in mind, but I'll take it.

Will be uploading newest piece soon, do watch out~! =D

(Sorry if I don't exactly make sense anywhere above, I've just driven a car for the third time in my life this afternoon and I'm feeling a bit shaky.)

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

New post up! Can't seem to put a link, though, so here's the URL: cainescroll.blogspot.com

Do try to leave a comment, please! =3

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

Awesome new picture! I think it's my favorite of yours so far.

As for the Deviant Art thing, I wasn't necessarily suggesting you needed to make that site your primary outlet for artwork. I don't really do more than simply post my stuff up on mine... there's no reason you couldn't keep your in-depth posts to your blog and just use Deviant Art as a secondary gallery (and even point people to your blog from there.) It's free, and as I said it's an easy source for gathering some extra attention.

And I sympathize with the learning to drive thing. It took me a while to get comfortable behind the wheel when I was learning as well. It didn't help that I had been in multiple minor car accidents and one major one as a child.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Anon

I had wondered how long it took you to put together your massive responses. I was just assuming the younger generation were world-class typists and could spin these things out in 10 seconds flat, so to speak. I had to take a typing class, with actual typewriters, when I was in high school. Well, I didn't have to take it... it was still an elective kind of thing back then. Do they actually teach typing in school still, or do they just assume that kids today have grown up with a keyboard at their fingertips and decide to leave well enough alone?

Still, it can take me a long time to figure out what I want to say and how I want to say it, so I know that carrying on these kinds of correspondences can eat up a lot of time, regardless of typing skills.

As for being able to shrug off things I disagree with in fanfics (or fandom in general,) I think that just comes from age as well (if it's not already in your general, natural temperament, of course.) You eventually reach a point where less and less in life is being tailored to your specific tastes, and you come to shrug and accept it. I can't get as worked up about the Twilight Saga, or Justin Beiber (or whatever the whippersnappers are into these days) despite the massive loathing these things generate in a large segment of society, because I've been stripped of all illusion that it was ever intended for me anyway. You learn to appreciate the stuff you do enjoy, and be completely indifferent to the rest.

Eventually, I figure I'll cross into cranky old age and hate everything new because it scares and confuses me, but right now I'm comfortably in an easy-going mode.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

My goodness dear friends! I'm absent for little more than a day only to return to a backlog of messages... you all certainly know how to keep me busy anyhow!

@zhoomcar

Ah, sadfics. I believe I touched on the topic before (on another post on this blog, though it was a while ago) that in general I make a point to avoid sad fanfictions, especially since the majority of them seem to focus on our favorite members of the Mane 6 either growing old and/or dying. Perhaps only because I've dealt with a lot of death in my life already I prefer not to associate such themes with my beloved ponies, who for the most part serve as a welcome form of stress relief in my current (often hectic) life. These are only my own personal feelings on the matter though, of course, and I understand many people wouldn't have cause to share the same misgivings.

On a far more cheerful note, I will agree that watching Rarity and Applejack bicker like an old married couple is one of my favorite things, and indeed in my opinion it only enhances a well-written Rarijack story. ^.^ I truly enjoy their dynamic in most any circumstances.

@Harwick

I don't believe I've ever read that particular shipping story you mentioned Harwick dear, but merely going by your description I imagine I'll have to give it a try sometime. Especially since, as I said to zhoomcar, Applejack and Rarity arguments tend to amuse me to no end.

On that note I agree with you in that some of my favorite fanfiction moments for them have come in stories that were not Rarijack-centric at all, and two of which I know I've mentioned on this blog at some point or another. The first, and arguably the best for what it is (a short one-shot comedy, and incidentally Anon-dear the author is the same who wrote that delightfully naughty "Learning Curves" story) is Twilight Sparkle vs. BrideZilla!, where Twilight plays wedding-planner to Lyra and Bon Bon, and the second is the 5-star "Growing Pains" which I know I have mentioned multiple times. I'll confess the latter starts off a bit slowly and strange, and contains a certain amount of mature themes and/or slightly grimdark moments (as well as a regrettable number of typos and relentless shipteasing), but I managed to get a bit hooked on the story at some point all the same, and indeed it seems this readership has been rewarded with increasingly obvious Rarijack hints as the story has progressed. Go me~ **dignified cheering**

I'll echo what I said to zhoomcar about sadfics, but as "Eternal" comes so highly recommended by you and seems to be hinging more on a bittersweet note as you said, I may well have to give it a try sometime. Certainly you make it sound very promising.

Also, I know what you mean about learning to adopt a more relaxed stance towards things I don't agree with as I've gotten older (not that I am OLD by any means and even if I am nearly twice the age of some of these kids here, aherm). I'm still very outspoken about what I do like and have no problem delivering critiques when prompted, but if it's merely a case of coming across something that does not particularly agree with me I've learned it's usually better to just purposefully ignore it and move on.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@ponydoraprancypants

"The Sweetest Cider is Diamond white", yes, that is the Rarijack fanfic to which I was originally referring. ^.^ Somebody was kind enough to link me to its Fimfiction page you see, and upon devouring the first chapter I happened to notice your own feedback in the comments. I'll agree that, in my opinion, the resulting chapters I've read thus far have not quite lived up to the first in terms of rich storytelling and character introspection, but it's arguably still better than many and of course, being Rarijack I shall gratefully accept it regardless.

On the topic of Rarity and Mane 6 pairings I can quite understand where you are coming from, and I think it's only some of my own personal feelings and experiences (which I have briefly touched on in comments on this blog) that lead me to believe such a thing would not be outside the realm of possibility for her character. And yes, Rarity is undeniably a "shameless flirt"; she's skilled at manipulation, and seems not above using what she knows to be her abundant charms at winning over any pony (or dragon) for her own purposes. Be it Spike (the poor dear never stood a chance) or even her own friends, but for me at least it's part of her appeal--she's a pragmatic mare under the surface and she knows how to utilize what works. As far as Prince Blueblood I think her dreams of a fairy-tale marriage to him upon meeting the real thing, but of course he doesn't have to speak for every potential stallion so you never know.

I can empathize with you on having a busy life and only so much time to devote to ponies, as while I am not an attorney nor do I have a family, I am nevertheless kept busy by my ceramics job, home-based sewing and design work and a multitude of other creative endeavors. Regrettable that there aren't more hours in the day, really. In response to your comments about me personally, I can only offer my most sincere thanks for such generous compliments to my person and craft. As you are obviously an individual of laudable talents and exquisite taste, I can assure you that the praise means a great deal. *^_^*

Lastly in that vein, the renowned Ponydora has seen fit to grace my humble blog with a snippet of original Rarity prose (with a delightfully ambiguous ending that I might interpret as I choose)? Mweee, the fabulosity is off the charts!! <3 <3

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon

I thought you'd realized that the fanfiction the esteemed Ponydora mentioned was the same I'd been referring to during the drunk Pinkie Pie discussion, and assumed that was the reason you didn't bother to link it. Anyway it's no trouble my dear, since as I said the story has already been brought to my attention and again, I'm making an effort to keep up with it as best my time allows me.

I suppose you're right and that it's something of an honor to be considered a "representative" of the Rarijack sub-fandom, as indeed many of the people who have come to follow my blog and artworks are fans of the pairing and as you know I draw an awful lot of it (or well, an awful lot of Applejack and Rarity together I guess I should say, usually leaving the question of actual "shipping" up to the viewer's interpretation). But yes, for better or for worse I sincerely doubt that I'll stop any time soon, and I can only imagine you all are grateful I've been so busy with commissions recently so that you didn't have to be subjected to the otherwise inevtiable shippy Valentine's Day pic. Haha~

Oh and yes, I believe it goes without saying that the honorable Ponydora is a very gifted writer. If you have not read even a snippet of "Flight of the Alicorn" yet my dear then you should really make an effort to do so sometime, it's very well done!

@CaineScroll

Well hello there dear! We don't usually find you commenting on the blog much these days but it's a very pleasant surprise!

It's nice to hear that you are doing well these days, and that the commission business has picked up somewhat. While I know I mentioned the deviantART thing before as well Harwick has, as usual, done a much better job of relaying advice than I ever seem to be able to, and hopefully his tips for helping you to get yourself out there more will be beneficial to you. On that note kudos to you on your latest artwork! While I appreciate you letting me know it's not necessary for you to post about it here, since as I follow your blog I automatically get alerted to any new posts you might make. But again, it was kind of you to let me know and I think you did a very nice job with it!

As far as the subject of driving, I'm afraid I had an experience similar to Harwick's and witnessed a terrible accident once when I was still learning to drive. Needless to say it was slightly on the traumatic side and it took me a while to get over it, so I can sympathize wholeheartedly with your nerves.

@Gadvac

Good afternoon! And thank you so very much for taking the time to comment on my artwork! I'm so happy that you like the piece, as well as the accompanying concept sketches. ^.^ As I said I had a great deal of fun coming up with an appropriate outfit and manestyle for Rarity that would work with the steampunk theme, and it's lovely to hear that you feel I was successful on both accounts. The same also goes for the lighting and all of the other complimentary points you touched on (including the fact that you enjoy the clouds)... really, thank you again for taking the time to leave your thoughts as well as for the follow!

Anon said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

I think I might find it a bit embarrassing if a stranger suddenly started calling me their teacher in front of everyone else, but that's just me. It sounds like learning with her has been an experience for you. I don't think I have enough good questions to ask at the moment, but your recollection is making me wish that I did.

That reminds me of the few times that my father took me to a restaurant for my work. Unfortunately, he only cares to go to Pizza Hut. The variety of which should speak for itself.

@Harwick

Most of that time is spent editing, revising and rewriting the message, taking into account all possible reactions to avoid misunderstanding and drive the conversation the way I would want it. For example, in my last comment, I had to be careful not to make it sound like I was accusing CaineScroll of being a demanding student. Also, at the beginning of responses I sometimes cover the most potentially inflammatory statement first and smoothen it out with what follows, because people always react most to the last thing that was said since there is nothing to offset it. Most of what I write just comes straight from my thoughts, but it goes through a lot of filters to be sure that meets this blog's standards. My comments tend to be better taken when I'm so careful with my words. In real life, I give short answers. Not because there is not much to say, and not because I have public speaking issues (I don't), but I'm just too cautious to say more without first thinking over it carefully. As for my typing ability, I can in fact type on a QWERTY keyboard, though I don't quite follow the rules. My fingers do not stay on the home keys; they go back above the keyboard or wherever I leave them and they just go directly to wherever the next key is. It's much easier than trying to stretch my hand when I can use both hands when they are needed. My mother has told me a similar story of how she learned to type on a typewriter. She said that they wore headphones and were told what to type, and they all had to convert the speech to words on the paper. They were graded by how many mistakes they made, which used to be an option because a typewriter doesn't have a backspace button. I learned with an educational typing "game". It wasn't exactly fun, but I'm glad that I did it. Now my neck doesn't ache every time I try to type something, and I still see my father going through the painful process of hunt and peck even now. My sister took a typing elective in high school, but that was so she could get an easy elective, not because she wasn't capable of doing it already.

Exactly. The young girls that cry about Justin Bieber are his target audience, and he sure has gotten them. I have never had the joy of listening to one of his songs, but I did listen to Rebecca Black's "Friday" for the sake of the meme. Sure, I thought it was awful, but more in a funny way than a personally insulting way. It reminds me of how there is so much hate against the band Nickelback. They used to be my favorite band when I was 13 (that was back when they could write about more than just drugs, alcohol and other things), so even though I can kind of see what all of the haters mean now, I have seen both sides it. I understand the fans, and certainly there is some music that I do like, so it isn't hurting me at all that they are still going strong. That's in contrast to people like that Black Keys member (not that I had ever heard of the band before then) who called them an insult to rock music. If I had anything to lose, I wouldn't be making statements like that. It could have been a publicity stunt, I guess.

Anon said... Reply to comment

As for age, well, I try to do all that I can to encourage you to forget that there is an age difference, because I prefer not to affiliate myself with the people of my own age. I have always acted older than my age (and looked younger than it), so I have had to deal with the pain of my peers whenever we were forced to interact. That's likely the reason why I have never had a desire to meet them. I don't share their interests (I cannot "go outside and play"), I can't keep up a conversation with them (Boys hardly care to talk at all, anyway. Honestly, I would fit in better with the girls because they at least cared about how they presented themselves to others), and they all have that incapability of understanding that is characteristic of children. I'm not offended when the people here call me one, but it has been long since I seriously considered myself a "child". That all stopped on my 13th birthday. I would much rather get to know adults and act as one of them than endure the people who I would be otherwise forced to interact with. (Assuming I am to interact with anyone at all. I really got lucky when I met programmers, because they were all intelligent by necessity. Also, it is a common stereotype that teenagers complain about everything and blame it on other people, so I run the risk of following it now.) I could be missing something, but I think that we are mostly speaking on the same level, so I like to say that, for all that matters, we're all adults here. The easier that you can forget that there is an age gap at all, the better I am doing to behave the way that I hope to.

@WhiteDiamonds

If anyone here has a problem with what you choose to draw, then they are in the wrong blog (and talking to the wrong fans). We always enjoy what you have for us. I am glad that you have constant reminders of it in the form of commission orders, because otherwise work might become too much a priority for you to continue to add to this blog. I wouldn't have minded seeing a holiday picture from you, but you have so many things to maintain as it is. I guess I don't need explain that Valentine's Day came and went without me even noticing. Despite that, conversations like these continue to give me ideas (remotely shippy or otherwise). The work of the people here serve as a reminder of why I'm here to try.

I can't say I have ever been in any sort of car accident, but I do know that one night when were driving home from Orlando (Okay, Disney World), we drove by a lone car in the middle of the long road that was on fire. The driver had dropped a cigarette...somewhere in a car where you should not drop cigarettes (I can't imagine he could have done it near the engine). My father called emergency services for him and we stayed there until they came, which only took a few minutes. Another time, we drove by a very crunched-up looking car with a tarp over it. There were police cars behind it and an officer motioning the passing cars to move along.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Hm, that response still has no substance yet. What else can I say... I would take requests and "free commissions" if I had anyone to ask for them. I hope that I can eventually get some from blog viewers when the time comes. I don't actually want anything that I make to wind up on EQD until I improve my consistency of quality enough for the wide audience. Do you know the feeling of only trying something once and feeling like you could have done it better, but you haven't had another chance to try it again? That's how I feel about drawing right now. I just don't have any time to try again at the moment. I'm lucky to have enough spare time to type this. Publicity isn't a worry for me right now, so I don't think I would find much use for a DeviantArt account, but maybe once I have more to show, it could be an alternate account to link to my Blogger page. It's all just for enjoyment and the opportunity to gain a skill. I still think that holiday art would rush me too much, unless I made it well in advance. The next holiday seems to be President's Day tomarrow, but the next big on is St. Patrick's Day on March 17th. Now that I think about it, St. Patrick's Day would be a great thing to go with ponies. None of the mane 6 is green, so they can all wear green clothing with some color contrast. I doubt that I will ever make one in time, but it's a good thought, anyway. These new releases from you and CaineScroll make me wish that I could join in, but I just don't have a choice. I'll just keep hoping that whatever the current job is will be the last, and once I have time for reading stories, finishing vectors and putting them on the model, drawing ponies and trying some of the things we have talked about here, that is what I will do. There is so much that I want to do once I have the chance. But I'm sure that you can relate to that. Just give me time, and I'll be back where you and CaineScroll are now. You wish for more hours in the day; I wish for more hours in the midnight.

Rgreen42 said... Reply to comment

Wow... I'm stunned! It's beautiful! I draw myself, but nowhere near on this level! My goal is to become like people like you! Such amazing art! I have one question though! What kind of paints/pastels/inks/tools in general did you use to make this masterpiece?

Unknown said... Reply to comment

E-mail has been sent, looking forward to hearing from you when you have the time. :D

Thanks again, and keep up the great work!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@ponydoraprancypants

Oh dear. I've only just now realized, days later of course as I've been too busy to come on sooner, that somewhere in the act of copying and pasting my last response to you (Blogger has a habit of devouring my comments I've learned and so I regard it with some distrust these days) part of my post disappeared. I intended to say that Rarity's dreams of marriage to Prince Blueblood "were thoroughly shattered" upon meeting the real thing, of course, but for some reason those particular words were lost to the abysses of the interwebs. Go figure~

Also, in regards to the topic of wines and spirits once again I neglected to mention that I also enjoy a nice tour of my local wineries when I have the chance to visit them, especially now that I find myself living in an area of California somewhat known for such things. While it may not be a destination on par with Napa, Sonoma or other such places in the heart of Wine Country there are nevertheless some offerings worth sampling, I've learned. And I relish the opportunity to appreciate them.

@Anon

I suppose you have a point about people potentially having issues with the subject matter I tend to draw, since after all I'm not charging anyone to look at my work and of course, I think it's more than obvious as to what my tastes are regarding ponies (meaning, no long-time viewers should be surprised at this point). And not that it would matter to me so much if they did, since again I generally draw what I like for my own entertainment. Regarding commissions however, I have to say that it's very likely I'd be a lot more active on this blog, and would be making more personal fanart if I didn't take on such projects, seeing as how many of them tend to eat up what little free time I set aside for ponies as it is. I am not complaining about this in the slightest since of course, it's my decision and I generally enjoy the work, only stating my feelings on the matter.

Unfortunately the incidents you described with seeing accidents are not at all uncommon for me or I think anyone else residing in southern California, where many people practically live on the freeways. I know I've witnessed such scenes more times than I can count. Actually watching an accident happen though, and of course being involved in one are entirely different matters... either way, the road certainly can be a scary place.

Yes I do know that feeling my dear (of trying something once and feeling like I could have done better)... all too well really, which is why I think I hold myself and works to such high standards all the time. I can understand how you would feel that way but again, considering the fact that you are only learning I think you shouldn't be too hard on yourself; making mistakes is the easiest way to learn what not to do after all. I'm sure you'll progress to a point that you'll be making regular creations soon enough, if it's truly something you want to do.

On the topic of age certainly you are very mature, and especially for an individual as young as yourself. I hope it has never come across that I feel otherwise, but still no matter how adult one thinks and acts there is always going to be a question of life experience. In this instance, maturity has very little to do with that, and that is usually what I'm referring to whenever I make such a remark. I hope you understand that.

Lastly, for what it's worth and since we were discussing it I did recently come across an Applejack and Rarity "valentine". While it's not quite what I likely would have made, it managed to give me a laugh at least.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Rgreen42

Hello there! Thank you so very much for taking the time to comment on my artwork; I really appreciate that as well as the generous feedback. ^.^ I'm so happy to hear that you like her. In answer to your question the painting is of the digital variety and was made using my favorite program Paint Tool SAI, which you can download and use for a limited free trial, and which is relatively inexpensive (around $60-$70--the product is Japanese and as such the price tends to fluctuate depending on the current exchange rate) if you do decide to purchase it. All of my pony fanarts to date, paintings and otherwise have all been made wholly in SAI, and I have to say I highly recommend it.

It's always lovely to hear from a fellow artist. Thank you again for the kind reply; it means a lot to me!

@Unknown

Ah yes I did receive that email, as well as made the effort to respond just a little earlier this evening. I'm afraid I've been especially busy the past several days (hence the reason I've been neglecting my blog somewhat) so please forgive me for the delay in getting back to you!

Thank you so much once again for all of your interest in my work; it is very much appreciated! =^_^=

ponydoraprancypants said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Oh how I wish they all could be California girls! I moved to the Golden State seven years ago, to live in that little town to your north with the bridges, sourdough, sailboats, and cable cars. Nobody in the know would scoff at a bottle just because its grapes were grown in the sunny south. I, for one, make a point of taking a driving tour from Santa Barbara to Paso Robles each May during for the wine festival down thataways, but even wineries as far south as San Diego have some delightful offerings!

Forderz said... Reply to comment

All this talk of wine makes me want to dig out a REAL drink.

What sort of sour, namby-pamby rotten grape could compare to the resplendent magnificence of 21 year old Appleton rum, served in a glass with nothing else to distract you from its intoxicating flavour.

That bottle's lasted me 3 years (18th birthday party gift). That's for when I want to enjoy drinking.

For when I want to get drunk, Green Apple Vodka. I know, objectively, that it's a terrible drink. But man, it is a guilty pleasure of mine.

I do wish I liked the taste of wine though. All cheese tastes like a sour patch kid to me though, and I've been told that's not normal, so my taste buds are probably a little wonky.

Forderz said... Reply to comment

@Forderz

Also, I LOVE Flight of the Alicorn, and I can't wait to find out how Rarity will get herself out of the sticky situation she's found herself in. Sixty thousand of words in, and the story still feels like it's just getting started! The first act added so many subplots, but I hope it's not a knock on your writing to have a faint idea of how each one will impact Rarity's sojourn into the wilds.

Your writing is like WD's art: I can't get enough!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@ponydoraprancypants

Yes, I am located nearest to the lattermost locale, and I'll agree that some of the offerings to come out of the area are nothing to sniff at. Vineyards and the wine-tourism business here are also expanding all the time which is a wonderful thing, but again I know it's not yet anything to compare to some of the other more well-known areas in the state. Someday though, no doubt!

And oh, lucky you to live in that beautiful city by the bay! All of my envy, most esteemed friend. I've been there myself though it was many years ago now, but I still remember it well and very much hope to go back again someday. And yes, I will agree that California is a wonderful place, and despite the fact that I frequently say I'd like to experience living in other areas and parts of the world, the truth of the matter is I don't know that I'd ever want to relocate to anyplace else permanently. The state arguably is perfect in the sense of offering something for everyone to enjoy (in addition to the well-known cities and coastlines for example, there are snow-clad mountains, forests, deserts and canyons for people who enjoy such things), as a globe-trotting friend of mine frequently tells me.

@Forderz

If it's a simple matter of wanting something for the mere act of drinking, then I agree wine might not always be my first choice. However, for me this is not generally the case; wine is something that's meant to be savored slowly and thoughtfully, usually with conversation and ideally as a perfect compliment to an already sumptuous meal. Other alcoholic beverages are good in their own right, and some I prefer if it's a mere question of flavor, but I don't know that anything can top the simple appeal of wine-drinking as a companion to other activities, or in my opinion at least. Of course dear, you are entitled to your own.

Also, all dairy products are god's gift to the world as far as I'm concerned, and cheese certainly no exception (actually, I tend to evaluate my cheeses with the same discerning palate that I do my liquors and most everything else, and in fact I'll admit I'm extremely picky. So much so that my family and friends often make fun of me for it...). And despite the fact that I've now developed lactose intolerance. Even that has not been enough to make me give any of it up however, and it never will be!