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AssasinMonkey's avatar

Day for Apples

Saturday Art Stream piece.
Since I try to start and finish art all in one session during these, I do kinda want to make it. So I went with Applejack, even though I was hoping to do more finale episode art this month's Saturdays before I switch to FCW eventually.

Went with some new things. This week I had been making a bunch of different types of Applejack, so I took one of the sketches and made it into a full piece... adding even more new thingies, new style of hair, slight change in light setting than usual, and such.
Had fun with the hair, although a lot of it ended up covered under the post-process layers.

It's kinda nice getting back into a more "design" mode, adjusting shapes, heads, etc. to make everything work together. In this case the thinner legs were the main carry point.

Anyhow, something slightly different, but not so much different... because AJ...

Approx Time: 11,5 hours
Photoshop CC 2015
Day for Apples [WIP] by AssasinMonkey

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© 2015 - 2021 AssasinMonkey
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cottonbloom's avatar
:star::star::star::star: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Vision
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Impact

I LOVE this piece, the shading and lighting is amazing <img src="…" width="15" height="15" alt=":D" data-embed-type="emoticon" data-embed-id="366" title=":D (Big Grin)"/> While yes, anatomy is off, it's your style, and that's what I like about it <img src="…" width="15" height="15" alt=":D" data-embed-type="emoticon" data-embed-id="366" title=":D (Big Grin)"/> It's amazing to see and compare others styles to eachother. It truly reflects the artist themselves- in a way. But back onto the piece itself!

I'm not the biggest fan of the hair, I think it could use a bit more detail, but hey, that's just me ^w^ The shading is absolutely magical. With all of your pieces, I can't decide whether its a clay, 3D, or 2D figure, you put so much depth in your artwork, and I love that!

The expression on AJ is great, and realistic, as if she's content and calm <img src="…" width="15" height="15" alt=":D" data-embed-type="emoticon" data-embed-id="366" title=":D (Big Grin)"/>

So yeah, keep it up Monkey <img src="…" width="15" height="15" alt=":D" data-embed-type="emoticon" data-embed-id="366" title=":D (Big Grin)"/>
InkyDeLight's avatar
:star::star::star::star: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Impact

This is eye-catching. There is great depth and lighting on the character, and depth to the foreground. The artist carries the character into the thinner form, but there is some loss of her rugged, outdoorsy character. The bushel barrel is very well done, and the hoof-marks on the tree trunk are funny and quite appropriate. To read that this image was generated in one session is quite impressive.

There are some details that a longer session might address. The rump hump and flank flap could be worked to present a less anthropomorphic hind leg. Sharp highlights and indistinct edges give the apples a melting caramel quality that might just be a monster hiding in the barrel. And, while the forelocks have great depts and highlighting, the tail is somewhat flat.

Overall, I really like this work. Ihope that my critique shows that appreciation, and helps broaden the audience for this talented artist.
GalaxyLightningStar's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

I very much like the shading/lighting it supports the backround and Applejack, i've never seen anything like it, no one has such a good technique as you do. The strokes are very mesmerizing, all of it is really. Your style inspiresme and it is very interesting to look at. I hope this will be featured... Somewhere someday and you will get some professional critique, and make the front page of... Something, I try to sound as professional as possible but I am not sure how I am doing.. Anywho keep up the good work, I hope you get fabulous reviews <img src="…" width="15" height="15" alt=":)" data-embed-type="emoticon" data-embed-id="391" title=":) (Smile)"/>

ArtPonyMDP's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

Very unique mix of realism and fantasy in your style. your use of lighting is excellent. Apple jack looks like she's in her teen age years in this pic, which is pretty neat. She pops out really nicely and the detail in the background as well as the grass and apple basket is very nice. I like who you rendered her mane and tail, it makes it look a bit rustic which is just how I'd imagine AJ would be after a long day in the orchard. You've done an excellent piece here. Keep up the great work! I look forward to seeing more from you.
CrimsonDoom39's avatar
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Impact

Overall, this looks good. I especially like the feel of motion with the blurred leaves: it can be hard to show that the wind is blowing, but you pulled it off well.

My main issue with this picture is that her legs look way too skinny. Even if we set aside the proportion issues with the size of her head compared to her legs, Applejack kicks things all day long. If any of the ponies would have muscular legs, it would be her.

That being said, though, I appreciate that this was a very quick drawing, and for the time spent on it, the quality is excellent. Special mention also goes to the dappled sunlight, which subtly draws the eye to Applejack but also looks very realistic based on the fact that she's under a tree.
SilverWolf866's avatar
:star::star::star::star-empty: Overall
:star::star::star::star-empty::star-empty: Vision
:star::star::star::star-empty::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star-half::star-empty::star-empty: Impact

Alright, first I want to just say that I do love your art Assasin, I really do. However, I have to say that I have issues with this particular piece.


I would like to point out that I love how it is detailed yet simple and smooth at the same time. You can't see the individual hairs, it's in clumps, but it still looks like it's flowing. The grass, background and trees also have this style. For example, the tree bark isn't rigid, but it still has a texture to it. And the grass isn't quite solid, but it still has a very light fluid appearance. The colors and scenery look very warm, and is very pleasing to the eye. There aren't many harsh colors, it's all very soft. And the lighting is spot on. I also really adore her eyes, the way they shine makes them look very lively and draws you to them.


The amount of detail you put into the body does not compliment the thin cartoony style of the anatomy. And sadly, it makes it look disproportionate and awkward. Because the muscles are so defined it makes her body look more sickly. Had you made her body more smooth and less defined, like in your other pieces, it would've made her look more natural. Cartoon anatomy is very exagerated and does not work the same way it does when brought more into realism. When it comes to cartoon anatomy they are kept more simple. Yes, they do draw the muscles here and there, but they aren't as defined and the skin is kept more sleak. Or, if they are drawn with defined muscles (for example with males) the skin is sleak. I understand that you were trying to make the legs thinner, but had you made the legs and the body smoother and less defined I think it would've translated a lot better into your final product.

One of the things I would like to also point out is that on Applejack's right front leg the fetlock joint and short pastern bone is not anatomically correct.
Here's an example:…
If you look at the anatomy of a horse you'll see that the fetlock joint does not pop out to that extent, the way you made it makes it appear as though it's a high heeled shoe attached to her leg as opposed to a hoof. Another problem I have is that her head looks rather big. When I took a look at your WIP chart the first image and the one farthest to the right on the first row, they actually look very nice, I love how it looks there! The head and snout are smaller. Which looks more complimentary to the rest of the anatomy, unlike the final product. One final thing I would like to say is that the ear is too bulbous and fleshy. If you were to look at your other pieces like "The Cause for Apples" and "Sass of the Saddle" you made the ears more inverted, while here if looks like it's not that caved in.

So overall, your technique was very good, as usual. But, the vision is lacking and lackluster, and thus it affected the impact it had on me. I appreciate that you are experimenting and trying new things, but please understand that I did not type this to be "that person." I simply wanted to get my opinion across and hopefully that you could take my word into consideration. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I can't wait to see what you'll try next. ^^
Cookiesaurus-Rex's avatar
I agree wholeheartedly. The ear thing is a big problem, the overall look of AJ is just kinda.....weird. Monkey also did the same thing with Rara's ear in The Magic Inside...
SilverWolf866's avatar
Yeah, I noticed it too. Which is why I decided to point it out, because he's made the same mistake from time to time, even though he does know how to draw ears and has done a good job on them before. 
unused-bagels's avatar
I think it's a really fun take on the classic mlp.  Better than anthro.
LadySlick's avatar
Apple pone is best pone. Good pone. Awesome pone. Swagger than Swag pone. Cuter than cute pone. Lol-er than Lol pone. Fab-er than Fab pone. Nerd-er than Nerd pone. Madder than mad pone.

But I didn't listen (Apple Jack) PLZ But I didn't listen (Apple Jack) PLZ But I didn't listen (Apple Jack) PLZ But I didn't listen (Apple Jack) PLZ But I didn't listen (Apple Jack) PLZ      YES PLEASE MOAR APPLE HORSE
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DreamerTori's avatar
You're art always reminds me of clay. you're an amazing artist!
amalgamzaku's avatar
for some reason I think that AJ looks too skinny and her leags too long, at least in my opinion in my opinions, especially with all with hard labor she does down at the orchard, I would expect her to be at least musclebound mare. Still the work is fantastic, it almost look live it was sculpted.
ijustloveit619's avatar
I can somehow see this art style in some kind of spin-off pony movie XD
fellroar86's avatar
Great attention to detail as always, especially on the skin and hair. I also like the lighting created from the tree as it hits her skin. I do think her head needs to be a little bit smaller to better fit the real horse style, but other than that great piece once again. Keep up the good work!
MochaStarOC's avatar
Great shadowing, but she looks like a deer.  ;)
Soultaker4433's avatar
I didn't critique because I couldn't give an infinity rating
Cookiesaurus-Rex's avatar
        Chibi Applejack Icon 
92CaptainWolf's avatar
Awww! ÓwÒ Applejack looks so cute on this picture! Fantastic! :D
SH-Artwork's avatar
This is an interesting take on a pony. It is executed very well.
I have a small suggestion. If you ever decide to touch this piece or draw with this style again try making the snout smaller. I think it would add to the anatomy.
Love, love, love your work.
L-MASTER's avatar
BenPanced-II's avatar
This is the only "horsier" style I have seen for our ponies that actually works.  Very nice indeed!  :)
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