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AssasinMonkey's avatar

On Feathered Grounds

"Equine, we've dealt with your kind before..."
Twilight trying to spread friendship?

First piece uploaded in 2014! It did start in 2013, but ok. Lets start this year shall we?
I'm so wondering about lands outside of Equestria, like the Gryphon/Griffin Kingdoms or Saddle Arabia or anything really. This one was an idea I had back in 2012, picked it up again (primarily the cliff carvings part)
Ever since Twilight's wings I've also imagined her taking more global tasks now, becoming sort of an ambassador considering her a princess of friendship, spreading friendship to other civilizations.

Besides wanting to do a bit of Gryphon again, usually when I do that I end up making it part of my "First Contact War" Alt-MLP-Universe. Though this is more of a possible aftermath, decades after those events. Universe itself would be primarily the ancient times of Equestria. Oh well, this should be nice too right?
Made the Gryphon nice and big, kinda imagining him being a size compared to Gilda as Celestia is to Twilight... except more buff (or fluff)

So much stuff in this piece... so many layers to colours this, so many adjustments. I kept adding things. No regrets.

Approx time: 16 hours
Time Lapse:

On Feathered Grounds [WIP] by AssasinMonkey
Image details
Image size
1920x1080px 2.88 MB
© 2014 - 2021 AssasinMonkey
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perriwing's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Impact

Let me say first, that the overall picture is utterly amazing, the sheer amount of detail being the winner here.

For me, what struck out to me the most, other then the characters of course, were the little details. Like how the spear that the Gryphon is holding has so much sculpted details, even with the nice touch of wings around the spearhead. Impressive for that too is what I would believe is the key characteristic of Gryphons. This is swiftly followed by the details, in the background. I don't think the other reviewers mentioned this, but I simply loved the Gryphon cut-out into the mountain, with what would appear to be a village below. These details, just added with the flying Gryphons in the background, just give an idea to the scale of their empire. How it stretches across the forest to the place Twi is. Also adds a hint of mystery as it could also be perceived that Twi is far from the actual village, trying to go to a sacred place that's guarded perhaps?

With that aside, there are only 2 things that sort of irk me. First off, is like the others have mentioned, are Twi's glassy eyes, not to say that they aren't detailed, but that coupled with her expression, doesn't quite convey the same feeling/effect that her "behaviour" or rather stance does. Second is scale, I have no issue with Twi's size and I understand that she is supposed to be smaller to give the "outmatched and outclassed" impression when compared to the Gryphon, perhaps it's just the angle, but to me, relatively speaking, the is too large, I mean sure, we could claim that the show has never given us an actual "adult Gryphon size" but we've seen Gilda, and I doubt that she would grow much bigger, but hey it's the artist's personal interpretation that makes artwork unique.

Overall, smashingly well done.
mouseanderson's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

I really like this, its wide open and yet still focuses in to the main characters. You have captured Twilights nervousness very well. The griffin "guard" (?) is properly arrogant looking. Judging by what we know about the relationships between races this seems very fitting.
The background is amazing, the detail just pulls you in and really captures the scope of the Equestria world.
Again I feel your treatment of Twilight is exquisite and deserves comment. Her very stance is timid but she is still advancing. Just that raised forehoof conveys a sense of overcoming fear. Her downswept wings help with the timid view but the raised head is almost challenging. This really shows Twilights dual nature.

Overall this is an amazing piece of work and very original.
Thank you very much for sharing this with us!
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

This is... Hm. This is hard to put into proper critiquing terms, since I normally don't do so for art. The landscape and the Gryphon are incredibly gorgeous (and we need more work like this. There's simply not enough good Gryphon art out there, particularly with this level of detail. The Gryphon is suitably HUGE, and I for one adore that fact, along with all the little details you've given him (her?).

For Twilight, I think the best parts of her have to be the feathers for her wings, and how her mane and tail flow.

From what I can tell, you only have two real problems with this work, though I've only an inkling of an idea how to fix one of the two. Problem number one is that Twilight's neck seems to be just *slightly* too long for her body. Perhaps that's a foreshortening issue, or the angle of the piece.

The second problem is Twilight's eyes. They're pretty, don't misunderstand, but to me, they appear... glassy. Almost lifeless, like she's not mortal. I know within show canon that Alicorns are a whole other class of pony/deific figure, but she seems more of a golem than a living, breathing pony.
Torvusil's avatar
Love the texture work on this one. You can even see the individual feathers on the large griffon on the right.
Celefin's avatar
Actually... making Twilight Equestria's ambassador would be the perfect development of her character. Who better to pursue the art of diplomacy than the Princess of Friendship? Plus, she doesn't have thousands of years of emotional baggage when dealing with other nations such as Celestia must have. A fresh start, unhindered by old grudges and misunderstandings but still armed with Celestias cunning and gracefulness that she studied for so long.
This should really be her destiny.
Again, GREAT work.
saxumsando's avatar
Zalleus's avatar
Those griffin heads carved into the cliffs back there are awesome.
BenCooneyTheGuardian's avatar
"It's OK, Twilight. Let me talk to him..."
DarkPrince2007's avatar
And why is she visiting the gryphon chieftain? OH YEAH, he look really BADASS, he is like saying: "C'mon foal, get back on your own hooves"
Drangelu's avatar
Wolfboy183's avatar
"And Twilight knew she could die any moment from here on in. These griffons were known for skewering and slaughtering ponies for so much as looking at them the wrong way."
BenCooneyTheGuardian's avatar
Not her. And I heard what Rainbow's so-called friend did to Fluttershy once, so NO!
NadnerbD's avatar
This is kind of awesome. Not sure how I didn't notice it before. Twilight's posture and expression really makes it. That and those super-cool stone heads.
galacticpink's avatar
This jives with my Gilda headcanons so hard man.  I've always headcanoned that the Griffins are are a far more aggressive race, valuing strength and skill more than fluffy friendship.  While it's certainly possible for Griffins to do well among ponies (as that one chef proved, or at least implied), their cultures are inherently dissimilar, creating issues. (aka I wanted to come up with something that made Gilda a bit less of a butt and thought it was a clever explanation. XD)
Tyraka628's avatar
The fact that all legends of Griffins stating that horses are their prey of choice probably adds to the conflict.
galacticpink's avatar
Oooh, I actually wasn't aware of that but that's a great point!
AssasinMonkey's avatar
Their natural strength certainly fits that. It's something I'll probably push more with my alternative universe more. Although for this piece still trying to express it through the combination of Twilight and the Gryphon.
Lacking natural magic the Unicorns have brings awesome angles to it as well. So much possibilities! :D
Tyraka628's avatar
The fact that all legends of Griffins stating that horses are their prey of choice probably adds to the conflict.
galacticpink's avatar
I love unexplained bits of canon because they're SO fun to work with. 8D
Phenometron's avatar
A really epic illustration.
allwellll's avatar
Fantastic art!!
Klarseolt's avatar
incomingtrouble's avatar
They should seriously make an episode touching on gryphons.
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