EDIT: This has been shaded and completed! The mixed-media thing actually worked like a charm. and it was pretty fun and simple to do since I decided to leave the background blank. :3 The tools used to create this is:
-Sketchbook (original sketches composed there)
-Photoshop (separate drawings were placed together, lined, then flat-colored)
-Acrylics (watered-down top accommodate the grade of paper, but still acrylic)
-Permanent black sharpie (for specific areas that needed retouches)
That's just for anyone who's curious as to what I used to finish this image. :3 But yeah, it was a bunch of fun, and it's probably a method I'll try out again at some point. But at least now I have an actual original painting (alongside the original sketches) of this image so I can frame it and sell it at Bronycon. ^.^
As for the image itself… this is more or less a successor to this:
I draw the Mane 6 a lot but I’ve noticed that I don’t necessarily draw them interacting much, which is something I’d like to change. So to kick it off, this is what I came up with! The girls and Spike are taking a well-deserved vacation and asked some passerby to take a group photo of them. Everypony, smile!
Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy it so far! ^.^
Only thing I would have changed is I would have put Spike on Twilight Sparkle's head.
I assume Twilight's shock of gold hair is the result of her princesshood?
And yes, the streak of gold was a side-effect of her ascension. :3
AJ has them because she is the primary protector of the farm and as such she often defends her home, business, and family from jealous competitors and wild animals that wander into the farm from Everfree Forest.
The scars Twi has visible are the ones on her face, and she received one when she was younger and tried to fight off bullies picking on Spike. The second one is from the episode It's About Time, where she handles Cerberus until they return to Tartarus.
As for AJ, you're indeed right! I often just don't draw her signature hat because I either.... not necessarily forget it, but simply not draw it in, or decide not to for composition purposes. This one was simply because I didn't want to block Spike's face nor cover her hair. xD And yes, RD in my headcanon has tufted ears, and I've drawn her with them all the time. ^.^