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Distress in victory by chickentech Distress in victory by chickentech
Luna's banishment. History calls this a victory; Celestia calls it a tragedy.

This took forever, boy am I glad it's finished. I think this used more layers then any painting I've ever done. And I realized decent looking hair is neigh on impossible. I need to find some good tutorials for it soon.

So what art should I do next? I'm thinking maybe some Gravity Falls fanart. Oh or maybe How to Train Your Dragon. Hmm options...

Photoshop CS6 || Wacom Intuos 3 6X8 || ~∞ hours

EDIT: version without the saliva if you don't like it.

EDIT2: Some one has approached me about selling this image at some brony conventions, so to make it more print worthy I have finally changed the background perspective so the whole image's perspective matches, or at least looks better. That's my intentions anyway, looks better to me.
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mrAnnihil8 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2015
I think its beautiful! great job!
DerpedStars Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Though this technique for hair takes a long time, I've always liked it:…

I don't know if that helps but I hope so >w<
chickentech Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's a really cool tutorial! I haven't seen that one before. I'll have to try that out on my next painting. Thanks :)
DerpedStars Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Hehe, no problem! I'll have to see what comes of it :3
VL32 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2015  Student General Artist
"We are sorry, Celestia, that we forced you to seal your sister. But sacrifices must be made for harmony. We shall depart from the world of mortals until the Spark ignites once again. Farewell, Princess Celestia."
Spartan545 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2015  Student General Artist
I figure that she is screaming the same way Superman did in Man of Steel after he broke Zod's neck.
SilverWing27 Featured By Owner May 25, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Beautiful and a very good point. The ponies don't know how hard it was for Celestia to do that. Just as long as they're safe was all they really cared about.
Hunternif Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Woah her leg is HUGE :D
chickentech Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just changed the background's perspective :) so hopefully the the perspective actually looks cohesive. I could actually use some honest feedback on the changes because I'm preparing this image for printing. Do you think the new perspective makes it look better and less like she's having an allergic reaction in her leg? Should I still try shrinking her leg? There's a link in the description to see the original image (the one you commented on) for comparison.

Your help would be much appreciated. 

You've got a great gallery by the way.
Hunternif Featured By Owner Edited Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The new perspective works much better, but the leg closest to the camera still doesn't seem to match that perspective. I think that the effect you are looking for is not the "fish-eye", but rather an extremely small focal length of the camera. Try tweaking something related to focal length in the camera of your 3Ds Max mock-up, maybe you'll find what you'll looking for.

But in any case, even if you found the settings under which the legs are projected in the same way, other details could still be ruining the perception of geometry and space. For instance, the front left hoof appears as if we are looking at it down from above. The way the shadow from her front right hoof lines up somehow seems to reinforce that way of perception of space, and makes it like she has a humongous oversized front left leg :/

Perhaps even more importantly, the scale of detail on the carpet stays exactly the same as we move from her front right hoof to the left hoof, while the hooves themselves change in size dramatically. This is probably what flattens the image the most.

Also the star-shaped gem seems to be slipping off the edge of the carpet. I understand that this effect would occur to some degree in an actual lens due to aberration or something along those lines that makes the the "fish-eye" perspective possible. But you might want to take an actual photograph of objects arranged in the same positions and see for yourself how that actually works in the real world.

I tried painting over your image to suggest how some of the stuff I mentioned might be corrected. Keep in mind that I'm still very much an amateur and may be completely wrong.
Distress In Victory Overpaint 4 by Hunternif  
Things to note in my overpaint:
1. The base of the front hoof if flattened, and stands firmly on the ground. The same goes for the 2 closest gems.
2. The rear right leg is moved further to the back. It can't be closer to the viewer than the front right leg, right?
3. The left shoulder is slightly bigger. This makes the change of size on the front left leg to be more gradual. But it still looks like too much to me :/
4. The front leg has higher contrast (darker shadows and brighter highlights), while the other legs are dimmed. This little trick makes the viewer perceive the front leg as being closer. I also added some reflected red light from the carpet to the front right leg.
5. The scale of detail on the carpet is much bigger in the foreground. What I roughly painted there is sort of out of focus, merely a suggestion, but you might actually have to paint some individual threads of the carpet. The size of the front hoof and its being in focus kind of dictates that :/ Good luck with that! :D
6. I'm not sure about this, but since the sun is essentially illuminating her hair from behind, the edges of her mane have a golden glow, while the rest of her hair is mostly in shadow. In fact, this should apply to the rest her body as well (coat is hairy too).
7. There's a clear highlight on the carpet from the sun that is shining through the hole in the back wall. I'm quite sure this lighting is still incorrect, and you should carefully consider where your light sources are and how they illuminate the room and especially the main character.

Finally, you might want to work on the wings and feathers. Here's a good example:
Solar flare by BadDay28  

By the way, I do like your colors very much.
And thanks, I'm glad you like my gallery! :)
chickentech Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, you went way above and beyond. Thank you so much! The people in this community continue to amaze me.

I agree with your edits and suggestions completely. I'm especially impressed by your suggestions on how to show more depth on her using differing contrast based on closeness to the camera, bounce light, hard highlights, and detail size. This is stuff I need to focus on in all future paintings. I've always had a hard time figuring how to do this right so you just helped me improve all future paintings considerably.

I'm going to have to take my time going through all of these fantastic suggestions and studying your changes to the painting. With what initially looked like relatively little modification you managed to make it look so much better. The perspective actually looks how I envisioned it but was never able to nail down. I was crazy to have tried making such a dramatic perspective without taking the time to really plan it out.

Some time in the next couple weeks I'm going to go and fix the painting with these suggestions so I can finally be content with it, and have it ready for printing. I seriously owe you one, thanks again.

One last thing, I'm sure this took you a significant amount of time to write and and paint, but would it be OK if I occasionally ask you for a brief critique if I'm struggling with a painting? It's hard finding people who can objectively critique and identify fundamental issues with a painting from my experience. And if there's anything I can do for you, by all means, send me a note or comment on my profile and I'll be happy to oblige.
Hunternif Featured By Owner Edited Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hehe, I know, right ^^
I just love sharing knowledge. And it's so much easier to preach good practice to someone else without actually following it yourself :Ь So YES, I'd love to help you out when I can and share anything I can. Let's grow together to be better artists! But I must warn you again to take anything I say with a huge grain of salt, because I'm not a professional and I'm still learning some of the very basics myself.
Hey, I can totally relate to your desire to go forward with complex perspectives and lighting in spite of severe lack of experience. Aiming for the coolest composition possible, because nothing else would be worth your time, right? :)
And voila! here's another bit of advice, and one that I have been completely ignoring myself :Ь Get the fundamentals down before moving on to more advanced stuff! Applies to all fields besides art.

Also, there's no link to the old picture in the description. And yeah, you still might want to shrink her leg.

Oh, and here's something that you could do for me, for which I'll always be grateful. Whenever you stop by and have a moment of free time, drop a critical comment of any kind on any picture from my "featured" gallery (don't bother with other folders, the rest is horrible or incomplete). It's always difficult to look critically or gain new insight into your own work, at which you've already been staring for hours and days on end %)
chickentech Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, I know what you mean about preaching being easier than following. I know all the fundamentals and much of the advanced aspects of art, and I can identify them or the lack thereof in other peoples art. But when it comes to me making art I completely forget to utilize much of that knowledge, and become largely blind to issues with my art as a result of staring at it for hours on end (which upon further reading you seem to have mentioned above). I need to develop a reflex for it, that's the hard part.

Yes! Thank you! It'll be sooo nice to have someone to point out flaws in my art. I find some of the best people to get advice from are not professionals but fellow learners. You may be learning some basics yourself but that means you'll be looking for that stuff. It seems people are often afraid of giving bad advice, but most of the time advice is just pointing at some fundamental mistake to remind me to use knowledge I already have locked away in my mind.

That's some solid advice. I think I'll be doing a set of speed paintings once finals are over and focusing completely on reinforcing the basics. I've been having a pain getting down human anatomy, poses, and proportions. I bet improving on the fundamentals will help a lot with that. it was in the edit at the bottom of the desciription, the version without saliva is essentially the same image I had up before. I'll do some research on short focal length photography and perhaps fish-eye lens photography before I shrink her leg, mostly because in your edit it looks just fine being that large so I don't think I need to change it that much. But we'll see what real life test and research have to say about it.

Yep, will do. I'll be sure to drop a comment before the end of the night even. And I see you've already done that for me. I'll try and find some time during the week to leave some more comments. If we agree to occasionally critique each other's artwork, especially newer stuff, that should help us improve much faster.
Hunternif Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Whoops, I assumed that the absence of saliva was the only point of the linked image, and completely failed to notice the change in perspective of the background.
xelianthought Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015
Powerful piece. 
Because-Im-Pink Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is a beautiful piece of work and I love the perspective you gave it ^^
Formoy1 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015
Amazing work!
LordSleeper Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Poor Sunbutt!
Beefcrow Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's nice to see how Celestia really felt through all of this. I mean, she had to know it was kinda a little her fault that this happened, and I don't feel like we see enough of it. Good job! :3
Haruka--chan Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is just gorgeous!!!!

Poor Celestia....
Fujin777 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Freedom always has its price and this is it.
RedCard94 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2014
Wow....the vibe this gives off is so gives a sense of how painful if was for Celestia to have to banish her own sister whom she loved so's almost like the death of a close sibling
KraangTheConqueror Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2014
Oh come on! Look on the bright side! The empire save and you have the entire empire of your own to rule! Wasn't that good?! But in exchange, you had to lost your sister and a castle. But in my view, the price is so good!
althebunny Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014
looks like Celestia has the dry heaves, but this is such a dynamic pic, excellent job!!
Nexuitz Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Student Digital Artist
For my taste it's a bit to bright, and in face of the sun position, the sky could be more red. and than the whole palace should be darker.  And more in red/orange, than yellow/white light. 

but all in all, WTF!! I wish I could draw like that..  I really love that artstyle, and the intensity of her mane colors. ^^  great job.
lichtningbolt Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014
MLPegasis4898 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Woah... poor Celestia... so sad... :cry: :cry: :cry:
4as Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
People before me already said everything that could be said about how amazing this drawing is, so (and I hate to be that guy) I will just focus on the bad, which is only this one thing really: the perspective. You got 3 different perspectives going on here, almost as if they exist in their own space unrelated to one another. If you don't mind I took a moment to draw some simple lines over the picture illustrating what I exactly mean by that . The most striking one is the perspective of Celestia's front left leg - which I follow with the red line - it goes out of the camera, traces over Celestia's leg, and wanders off into the background, but that background is not affected by it, were in really that perspective would skew the wall somewhat, probably to an angle I drew with the rest of the line.
Another odd perspective is along Celestia's front right leg, which is facing left along with her head, but as we follow it toward her body, everything suddenly takes a turn away from the camera. To make the perspective consistent either her head and her front right leg would have to be facing the camera, or rest of her body would have to follow the blue line.
Finally, she seems to have her front legs pushed forward, but at the same time front of her body is not - as in her chest is still on the same level as her flank. Basically she needs to be bent forward.

Right, anyway, hopefully this all makes sense. I am in no way an expert on the subject, so in the end it could very well be possible for me to be completely wrong here.
chickentech Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yup, I'm intimately familiar with the perspective issues of this image. If I knew it was going to get this much attention I might've tried to fix the errors while I was painting it. I redid the perspective so many times I just stopped trying to adjust certain things.  But I must say some of the perspective errors are what give this the feel it has. I can't find anyway to make the perspective correct and still show the foot right in front of the camera and show this much of the floor. I kept having to give one up for the other.  The other perspective issues you brought up with Celestia's body however don't make much sense. Her head it turned a bit to the side, her right leg is a bit in front of her and off to the side, and her left leg is much further forward and more towards the center of her body. So none of those would share any vanishing points. Basically every part of her body is in it's own position and not parallel to anything else making comparing them for perspective extremely difficult. Also as long as I'm using the same horizon for both the room and Celestia, which I did, her perspective wouldn't change the room in any way.

You did however catch the fact the back is parallel with the ground making the front legs much longer than they should be given their current angle. That is one I didn't notice. Maybe sometime I'll sit down and do a sketch to see if I can find out how to completely correct this perspective while maintaining the feel of it. Perspective of an object positioned at a strange angle to the rooms vanishing point make it very difficult to figure out the correct perspective. The room only uses one point perspective, but Celestia uses 2 point perspective so I would have no idea how far apart I need to position her two vanishing points.

Come to think of it, to fix the issue with her back position all I need to do is push her back legs backward so they're also stretched out like the front legs.

eh. I'll definitely watch out more for the perspective in future paintings. I need more practice in it.
4as Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Although it might feel like cheating I highly suggest trying to recreate that scene is some kind of 3D application, like Blender or Source Film Maker, I think you will instantly see what I am talking about exactly. At this point I can only say "trust me", it is impossible to achieve those front legs (and head) positions in perspective you've chosen. Well, unless you go for a fisheye camera, but this will deform the whole scene to a point where its nothing like you imagined.

Also, this might be coming out of no where, but thank you for not freaking about it - I feel it is very hard to give out any kind of criticism on DA lately.
chickentech Featured By Owner Edited Aug 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Heh, yeah I don't know what it is about DA that makes it seem like any unasked for criticism is hostile. I've been drawing way too long to ever take offense to honest critique anymore though. I appreciate it in fact.

Here is my mock up in 3ds max (this would've been so much easier if I rigged it first, there's all sorts of wierd kinks because I had to move it all by hand). All of the legs but her front left match up pretty spot on. The head fits nicely as well, I could've turned  the head a bit more to get the exact position. I also dropped the upper torso down like you said. The green and red blocks are where the right and left hoof respectively would have had to go to fit the picture. So basically what this tells me is the flank needs to be larger, the torso needs to be dropped down, the left leg is waaay too long and large and following the perspective I set for the room would've made this a very boring picture.

When I drew the body I knew what I wanted it to look like, basically fish eye lense effect. So if I wanted to make this look correct I should have likewise drew the room at a fish eyed perspective. 

I'm actually very happy you had me do that, it's very interesting. I think I'm going to do some research on fish eye perspective because it definitely helps make a picture dramatic. Next time I'd like to do it correctly.
4as Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooh, excellent work! This is pretty much what I expected it to look like when I drew the blue line, although her back didn't go down as "fast" as I expected.
Now, I don't want to bother you with this anymore, since you pretty much got all the answers you needed now, but you might want to try and use this perspective to give Celestia's left front leg that dramatic look - I am expecting it will require moving the camera to a point where her face and her other leg will also be facing toward the camera, which is what I mean by "making the perspective more consistent."
Anyway, that is pretty much all the meaningful stuff I could say on the subject, I leave the rest to you ;p And I am happy I could help, even a little bit.
RuneSoldierDan Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014
There are a lot of 'closed mouth, silent beautiful tear' pictures out there. But this really captures the acute grief. Because yes, grief is ugly: there is shouting, tears, and slobber. Not pretty to see, but this captures it masterfully.
DoughnutJoe Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014
Good point. I feel the same way.
TeamInTheDarkness Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014
If she felt like this on the day she sealed her, imagine the 1000 years after, 1000 years of regret and pain she hid within herself, is a miracle celly didnt went insane
8Kiba9 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014
poor celly....
cajobif Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014
Saddest day of her existence.

So happy to know how well it ends. A millennium later, though.

Awesome work
kalamadae Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful work. I side with Celestia's thinking on the matter
TomFraggle Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014
Nice detailed drawing.  :thumbsup:
SnowyGodenheart Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing by the way
xelianthought Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014
Poor Celestia. Amazingly drawn though. 
Jon-rex666 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014
that  make  me  think  of  the  ending  of  halo  4.
Didact voice: In  this  hour  of vitory,  we  taste  only  defeat. I  ask  why.
xVentressx Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014
Even if I usually don't look at MLP art,this one really jumped into my eye.The emotion in it was so INTENSE that I simply couldn't ignore it.
Congratulations,this art will probably be forever burned into my mind:)
TheClockworkFawn Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014  Student General Artist
Truly stunning, the attention to detail is breathtaking. Fantastic piece
GrayFox2510 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014
It's a really powerful piece, particularly because of Celestia's expression. There are a few jaggies in the legs and the like, but nothing excessive.

Still, great piece. And for what it's worth, I think the hair is fine. Looks very vibrant.
Moonlight-Artist101 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Love it! Very good picture I love it especially the background of it and how Celestia's expression is it really shows how she feels! Very good!

Clapping Pony Icon - Princess Luna Clapping Pony Icon - Princess Celestia Clapping Pony Icon - Nightmare Moon Clapping Pony Icon - Princess Cadence Clapping Pony Icon - Twilight Sparkle 
zimtak111 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014
Fantastic job portraying her emotions here. :O In my headcanon I always imagined that she would not just cry after banishing her sister, but actually have more of an emotional scream. :crying:
Zanketsune Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014
When I look at this, and I think of how torn up inside she is... I can't help but think of the scene from the Dragon Ball Z movie Origin of Trunks, where Trunks goes Super Saiyan for the first time... I know their pain was caused by almost completely different reasons, but I imagine that's how Celestia must have reacted off screen. "...You were my best friend... and you were everything to me. Everything..."
ricardofr-200 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014
Amazing, simply amazing! Great job! :nod:
Evil-DeC0Y Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is really great :thumbsup::D
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Submitted on
May 30, 2014
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