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AssasinMonkey's avatar

Siren for the Hydra

"Spread through the wild lands in and out of Equestria's borders roam groups of the Equine Uniting forces, the 'Sirens of Albicant'. Tasked to explore the lands searching for new life to strengthen the Equine Empire, or protect it, either through assimilation or extermination.

These equines grow into these tasks from young, learning to withstand anything that gets thrown at them. Having fabricated mystical methods to aid them in their tasks, often deep into hostile territory. Finding mythical creatures of all kinds, all sizes, all strengths, and in the process almost becoming myths them self.

Words about their coats and mane turn a bright white, becoming a beacon for creatures to succumb to. Hiding their glow under cloaks and able to confront even the largest of creatures they find in their journeys. These journeys that can hold more than just creatures..."

More 'First Contact War' story! (… )

Was planning to make a legendary equine similar to what the Gryphons had (although smaller, like a veteran general) but ended up making a Hydra! So I went with a group of Equines that fit the context the "Sirens of Albicant". Conquerors of the wilds, extermination to all those that do not unite under the Equine banners. Almost cult like, having to adopt new ways as they encounter new challenges, new lifeforms.

Also just an excuse to make a big creature scene again haha, although relatively quick/rough. Plus a chance to make the good oldie Hydra and a swamp. Those necks were quite fun, lots of length and movement times 4.
Edit: Forgot to mention I switched from greyscale to working directly on colour quite quickly in this one! (Exactly how the WIP shows it)

Hope y'all enjoy, was planning on expanding on the Equines for my universe for couple of weeks now. Switching back from Applejack for a bit again hah.

Approx Time: 4 hours

Siren for the Hydra [WIP] by AssasinMonkey
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1920x1080px 2.08 MB
© 2014 - 2021 AssasinMonkey
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Gunpowderpie's avatar
:star::star::star::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-empty::star-empty: Impact

I'm just going to start here that I love what is being depicted in this piece. A few sirens have just encountered a Hydra. And the possible outcome may end in a dire consequence. Simply put, shit's about to go down. But what really bothers me is what the sirens are doing. It seems that they are showing no emotion in what's happening; Either because they love to live dangerously and are taking close ups, or they're doing the freeze method from the fight or flight stress response. Do they not realize they're gonna die if they just stand there looking at it?
All joking aside, I would like to point out some noticeable flaws in the way this piece was drawn. Let's look at the third Hydra (counting from the left to the right) this is what draws in the attention. It's the centerpiece. The hook. It's the most important part of the painting. I just love the expression and the detail put into this Hydra. As you can see from its aggressive, roaring expression, you can see bridges of saliva in its wide-open mouth. The teeth are sharp, and indicate it is something you should NOT fuck with. But the hair is... well... okay, as it looks like thin strands of play-dough and thick, straight streaks of red.
So why is it only this certain Hydra? Because it's pretty much the only well drawn part of this piece. The Hydra to left of the said Hydra looks decent, but is not as detailed as it's more attention-grabbing counterpart, as the scales are almost not shown in it's face. Compared to the third Hydra, it doesn't live up to it in the detail factor. The things that really bother me, though, are the first and last Hydras. They are very poorly depicted in this drawing. Take the first one for example, I can only point out it's eyes, and maybe even the teeth? I don't see the hair that the other three have. I'm not hating on this one; I'm just saying a lot more should have been done to the little details, even if it's not your thing, just take more time adding to the fine details. Fine details please a lot of people, even me. But don't stress yourself too much on them, too detailed is too stressing.
I'd also like to point out on the necks; For all of them. It's as if i can see sketch lines from the second Hydra. Even the third and best Hydra head can use a better neck.
Now let's talk about the trees and plant life in this forest. Looking at the tree that has been knocked over by the fourth Hydra head, all I just see is the color brown. Absolutely no texture. Looking at the third hydra head, it looks like you're capable of drawing such texture. So what's keeping you from being able to add texture to the tree trunk. You could add some roughness, or bumps and welts, even a pre-rendered texture or brush to add detail to the trunk of the tree. I'd also note that the fourth Hydra head seems to "blend in" with the trunk of the tree, meaning I can't really see the other end of the trunk as the Hydra's head pretty much muddied out the other end. I do, however like the detail of the long grass before the pond of murky, disgusting swamp water which has large bubbles you'd usually find in those fantasy cartoons. The vines are decent, but they look too simple and are, for some reason, transparent.
Overall I'll say that the painting is good; but it seems like a lot of the time spent on this drawing was on the third Hydra head, the grass, and probably the water. The rest was done with a little less focus.
AssasinMonkey's avatar
Honestly I will have to say this piece was made with a bit quicker pace in mind hehe and that shows for sure. I could've spend a lot more time on something of this scale. There's a lot of room for that in this piece. Since there's a lot to make for my "Contact War" universe I keep some rougher and more focused on specific parts. This being one of them.

High detail is certainly something I've done before, recently (and for this universe) with my Gryphus Conduit:
For that one it also shows in the hours spend which is 30, one of my longest out there.
I do have to say that this piece at the other end is 4 hours, which for this scale can be seen as short in comparison to a similar piece I've done, the 'Angle of the Tatzlwurm':

That one clocking in at 7 hours, I'd say this piece might indeed be missing some steps that could fix some parts. The focus of detail on the one head was intentional just like with the Wurm everything else being very rough and simplistic. That said, the transition from high to low works less here. A bit more detail could've helped, but I guess the sense of motion (which helped create focus in the other piece) is 'lacking' here. As in some blur on the others could've helped negate some of those loss of details.

The lack of details directly around the head or perhaps too high detail on the head (in comparison makes it pop out a bit too much with what's behind him, though that in front is on the same level. Which was because it's not just the Hydra but a confrontation with it between the Ponies and it. (The ponies being of serene nature in rough situations like this as they're born in it basically)
This is also one of the few pieces where I've made a clear fog in the distance, which is one reason I didn't focus a lot on the rear heads.

So I guess basically what my focus boiled down was creating a fairly contrasting focus on the primary head representing the hydra versus the primary pony representing the Sirens. Which I've had benefit from the central details before while indeed not exactly reaching its full potential. Either through lack of visual effects or the rough transition of details.

You made some good pointers and it's certainly something to look at when doing quicker rougher pieces, how to look at them or just fine tune the time spend, details etc. Both doing that for rougher and high detailed pieces since I do want to do both those types amongst others :)
Rebron-y's avatar
:star::star::star::star: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Impact

Amazing detail on the marsh as well as the hydra. The mage ponies add a sense of depth and perspective that help make this picture come to life. The shading on this piece is amazing, and it almost garners it's own critique. Also, the way that the background seems faded with mist makes the hydra more menacing and ominous. I should note that the hydra's color does seem to blend with the swamp, and I would have had the colors contrast a little more. However, they still stand out as menacing, beautiful creatures (with inexplicable red hair, but that's a fault on the writers' part). Overall, imaginative and eye catching. Fantastic job.
Brother-Malachai'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 really want to cut half a star off my scores, but I can't. You have amazed me that much with your new picture. I apologize for having to get some zzz's mid stream, but my sleep patterns have been off recently. Good detail, good shading, good light placement, etc. You somehow manage to continue to the previous things mentioned and still keep your unique style of using the tv show shapes and dimensions and still making them realistic looking. I suppose if I must nitpick, I do wish you had thrown in a dash more bright colors to contrast the drab colors that dominate the monster and the swamp. Still, a excellent pic overall.
Khialat's avatar
Whoa - that's one dramatic depiction of a Hydra :thumbsup:
whitepinkbun's avatar
Is this all for a Ponyfinder campaign or something?
Alpha1ance's avatar
Ganondox's avatar
This is so badass.
DoughnutJoe's avatar
Wow, very dramatic. Your art never fails to impress.
tophxomi's avatar
EverlastingJoy's avatar
As if the hydra from the show itself wasn't scary enough!
kdanielss's avatar
lol, We've just entered Darkroot Basin, and this stupid hydra is shooting deadly water chunks at us. We should put our toe in the water to psych it into attacking us on shore so we could chop it's stupid heads! Dark Souls joke.
templar127's avatar
SomeRandomMinion's avatar
"Conquerors of the wilds, extermination to all those that do not unite under the Equine banners."

That's forboding as hell...
ZoPteryx's avatar
Rather like one of the Epic creatures in Spore.  Awesome backstory as always!
CarolineSunset's avatar
omg i havent seen the new episode yet if this is a pic from it then *pinkie pie gasp*
GUILLE832's avatar
Now, that´s an epic hydra :O Amazing piece!
catgirlman's avatar
40,000 points to gryphindor
FriendshipIsMetal777's avatar
Man, I bet you get SO MUCH XP from killing that thing.
StarlessNight22's avatar
Oh... my... that. Is. AWESOME!!!!
batosan's avatar
Freaking AWESOME!
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