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AssasinMonkey's avatar

Border Rain

"Always seeking to advance their empire, the Equines explore their borders on unknown lands.
In the distance they spotted uncommon rock formation. With their natural curiosity the string of ponies set out to investigate.

Feathers were seen scattered along the ground and an eerie silence in the air. As they approached nearer a thick fog suddenly rolls in. Not quick after, the clouds above the ponies turn burning red bursting through them, flaming balls and shrapnel.

Caught by surprise, some got struck instantly but others were quick to react and rushed to the aid of their companions. Sticking together as one unit, united as one they stood, struggling for survival..."

A little pony side of my "First Contact War" MLP universe.
One of the first encounters with their (still unknown) Gryphon rivals. As they pass over highly protected lands. Ultimately both sides have survival on their mind.

Wanted to show some pony units in action, had this shield idea for a long time now I think. Although not sure about how I did the main explosion, I guess it turned out alright.
Didn't spend too much time fleshing it out, playing around a lot.

Not exactly the equivalent of a great Gryphon legend for the ponies (yet) but at least a start to show their side of the story. Although the fact the Gryphons are throwing fire, might imply a bit on their part as well.

Approx time: 4-5 hours

Border Rain [WIP] by AssasinMonkey
Image details
Image size
1920x1080px 2.01 MB
© 2014 - 2021 AssasinMonkey
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Wisdom-Thumbs's avatar
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Vision
:star::star::star::star-empty::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Impact

There's a great sense of kinetic intensity to this one thanks to the particle effects. One can easily imagine a storm of nearly invisible shrapnel scouring the earth with each fiery blast. Powerful explosions, and especially fireballs, can actually darken the world for a brief moment. You captured that here. As well, the ponies under the shield actually look like they're being forced into the ground by the force of impact, their coats rippling as if under the pressure of a powerful shock wave. Like skin in a wind tunnel. The out-of-focus background actually lends to the piece. At least I think so. It's one very personal slice of a larger scene, and that focus is a strong one. Deciding to make the other ponies appear only as silhouettes might appear lazy to some, but I'd say it paid off. Against a backdrop of war-fire on this scale, only silhouettes are appropriate.

I'm not as much of an expert on colors as I might wish, but it's easy to appreciate the subtle use of green inside the shield at bottom right. It gives the image just a little more life, a little more "pop."

I think you could have pushed the power of the explosion further by distorting the air around it, away and/or around from the shield, to show the pressure wave. In addition, the central character looks like they're being driven straight down by the force of impact, though the explosion is at an angle from them. A slightly more off-balance stance might have better communicated the struggle to stand firm. Either leaning into the blast or away from it. Just slightly. Their manes definitely would have benefited from being blown around. As is, those manes appear to have been overlooked.

All in all, a pleasure to look at and exciting to hypothesize about. Personally I find myself wondering just what the griffons are using on these ponies, and why only unicorns are present.
Mysticore's avatar
This is an awesome painting! Why the heck are there meteorites in it?
Solaris90's avatar
Do you take requests? I ask because I'm writing a fantasy novel in which a war between gryphons and unicorns plays a major role, and these beautiful drawings of yours seem a natural fit.
AssasinMonkey's avatar
I don't do requests, sorry. Only commissions :)
Scrooples's avatar
The painting is beautiful and really gives off that hellish war feeling. I can feel the heat of the explosion in the foreground and hear the crackle of superheated material colliding with an unknown force field, It actually reminds me a lot of Halo in that regard. the comet like mortars in the sky are very foreboding and the distant impacts add to the overall feeling of chaos, I wish that in the background explosion towards the left of the canvas we saw the outline of a pony meeting his end as I feel it would contrast well with the injured pony being saved (showing that not everyone is as lucky in times of strife) but that is a small opinionated nit pick. Very nicely done, DLed and added to my ever increasing pony wallpapers folder
CmBR03's avatar
This is amazing! I was going to try a critique, but I knew I couldn't do it justice. Just amazing!
PurpleAmharicCoffee's avatar
Holy smoke, this is dramatic and amazing!
Sensko's avatar
Hmm, this is gonna sound like pointless bitching, but shouodn't they have some sort of uniform? A cape maybe?

Oh, and its mindbogglingly awesome, as per usual.
AssasinMonkey's avatar
Hehe, I admit I kinda skipped on that part to safe time, partially because I already didn't plan a lot, perhaps one of those saddlebags at most, considering they're kinda explorers, scouts, scientists and such. A slight reason being that they might have never considered the need for such gear or to encounter this kinda of danger in their travels.

Doesn't take away that I could've added a bit of clothing or gear hehe :P
Hectorino70's avatar
Wow! This is amazing! The artwork is really good! The way everything is colored is epic! Keep up the good work
MoppyPuppy's avatar
These Unicorns require Pegasi support.
Daisuler1994's avatar
Aerial support for an aerial strike??
Only if you want the majority of the Pegasus die in a massacre.
Those unicorns needs MORE unicorns to protect the others from the incoming fire. 
MoppyPuppy's avatar
The barrage will not stop.
They are all dead with your strategy.

The attack will stall.
CanadianDesperado's avatar
I am absolutely enthralled.
cajobif's avatar
I wish this won't happen in the show.

But this piece is epic and amazing.
Raynaron's avatar
Love it!
Its the very essence of what I wish to recreate.  
Well the bit about the magic that is. 
ZoPteryx's avatar
Very epic!  The shield being impacted by the fireball looks so cool!
batosan's avatar
Well done....scary view!
DJ-DERPY-7's avatar
NexeL-Arts's avatar
SO.  FRIKIN.  EPIIIICCCC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Dgs-Krieger's avatar
I think it came out great ^^
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