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Grounds of the Flightless

Finally a new addition for my First Contact War universe again!

Exploring the existence of more bird species in Gryphons. I had the idea of a Cassowary blend not too long ago, and I've wanted to do a flightless, and practically wingless almost, bird. It also helps they look pretty awesome, with the crest (and all its variations in it) and the way it managed to wear those flaps of skin a lot more intimidating then turkeys do...

So I tried to portray a bit of intimidation in this piece, with some random pony who probably didn't sign up for this as its victim. Although I do admit, it didn't turn out too stylized, it's still pretty realistic in aesthetic, compared to the big eyed ponies. But it's also my first time making one of these, so I stuck a bit closer to the references due to unfamiliarity. Perhaps at a later date I could stylize them a bit more, closer to MLP's style.

Either way, it was fun to make! Albeit a bit intimidating to start certain parts. In artistic ways that is, haha. But I managed to keep my brush work a bit lighter, less precise while still trying to strike certain details. Just don't look too close at it basically hehe.

As for their presence in my alternative universe. I see these as a bit more primal in nature, less focused on technological advancement as some of the other Gryphons, and also less socialized. But still proud in their physical strength, not having to rely on flight to get through life. Some of the solitude showing by the fact it has a black leopard's backside. (Which was fun to paint the pattern on!)

Anyhow, hope y'all enjoy!
Funfact: I preserved so many WIP steps my file ended up being 4.44GB and well... because I worked at 14000x12000px

Approx Time: ~8 hours
Photoshop CC
Grounds of the Flightless [WIP] by AssasinMonkey

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© 2016 - 2021 AssasinMonkey
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Yaores's avatar


perdón :stare:

Ganondox's avatar
These things are monsters. They can disembowel you with a single kick, and they're call is a pure death metal growl. 
Innak's avatar
Exceptional!  The focus (with the blurred background) is perfect.  The pony's expression is wonderfully evocative.
MugenSeiRyuu's avatar
Well, that Pony clearly tried to mess with the wrong Griffon.

That being said, are we gonna see a Shrike Griffon, too?
bbasco2's avatar
are we gonna see a Shrike Griffon, too?
Ohhh...! Nasty!

From Wikipedia:
Shrikes are known for their habit of catching insects and small vertebrates and impaling their bodies on thorns, the spikes on barbed-wire fences, or any available sharp point. This helps them to tear the flesh into smaller, more conveniently-sized fragments, and serves as a cache so that the shrike can return to the uneaten portions at a later time.
Shrikes in FCW? I fear that would be unpleasantly gruesome.
MugenSeiRyuu's avatar
It's war. Not everyone is going to survive. The Shrike Griffon also probably would wear this hat:…
Lelunae's avatar
Whoa I was thinking about this bird for some reason last night and then I ran across your DA account.  I really love the expressions they both have and the Cassowary is just so scary ;).
SagelyByMoonlight's avatar
The cassowary. The only bird I have ever truly feared. I'm separated from its natural habitat by at least two oceans and a handful of continents, yet the cassowary still manages to frighten me!
syntriym65's avatar
HOLY FUCK THIS MADE ME LAUGH SO FUCKING HARD NO JOKE!! HAA... thank you so much. I love your work, but my sides have ascended to the next fucking level!
Oh my faaken gawwwd!
So AWESOMEEs increible! 
Marrow-Pony's avatar
YEAAHH! I love the FCW pieces!This one is no exception :p

This series was what really got me into FIMart in the first place! I love the realistic face of the griffin, I can't wait to see what your more stylized approach will look like.  That poor pony though. I can feel a tear welling up looking at the poor pitiable face. It's so sad, and so well done (is that a good thing in this case?)
K4nK4n's avatar
A Cassogryph! Awesome! Poor pony, though.
junior2729's avatar
Oh,thank god i thought that you stopped with the first contact war series, i really missed it :)
IBAIPshow's avatar
Whoah, that's intense /)
Mokey1980s's avatar
Very nice work,  happy to see this getting expanded =)
Jose-Ramiro's avatar
Wow, very impressive.
TheBatter67's avatar
Minjask6572's avatar
I was just about to make the same comment
ChaosPhantasm2000's avatar
That thing is so cool! A Cassowary and Leopard Gryphon is a freaking cool concept. Love it! Although I feel sorry for the pony.
juankmlo's avatar
war is getting darker
pinky102368's avatar
I thought this was a photo for a moment; good job! 
Cassowaries are scary on their own, pretty sure even griffins would be scared of them.
AaronMk's avatar
Casowarries are dicks. And then you just had to go and blend it with a leopard.
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