KP-ShadowSquirrel's avatar

Out of Chalk

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405 Comments
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You can download a 1920px version here: i.imgur.com/et3JU.jpg
IMAGE DETAILS
Image size
5556x3125px 11.24 MB
Published:
© 2011 - 2020 KP-ShadowSquirrel
Comments405
anonymous's avatar
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Fia94's avatar
Fia94Hobbyist Digital Artist
: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-half: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

This picture really is stunning. Although it isn't vivid or bursting at the seams with different things going on, the simplicity is it's best feature. You can see the longing in Octavia's body, and even though you can't see her face, you've managed to portray her emotions perfectly, in a way that comes across instantly to anyone viewing the picture. The fact that the colours are all fairly muted also gives this piece a certain something, it shows that art doesn't have to be brash and colourful - in fact, this is probably one of my favourite pieces of art. The shading and the lighting are also perfectly done, emulating an almost comic book effect, yet the overall effect is realistic. This really is simply a beautiful piece of art.
KP-ShadowSquirrel's avatar
KP-ShadowSquirrelProfessional Digital Artist
Thank you very much for your critique :)

I'm happy that you like this picture so much :3
Fia94's avatar
Fia94Hobbyist Digital Artist
To be honest, I haven't seen a single picture of yours that I haven't loved :) You're such an inspiration to me :) Glad you like my critique :) xx
KP-ShadowSquirrel's avatar
KP-ShadowSquirrelProfessional Digital Artist
:meow:
SOS-hilarity's avatar
SOS-hilarityHobbyist Digital Artist
: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

Amazing. I love the chalky style, it's vibrant yet pale. I love this so much. I really wish I could buy it... I love the way the chalk on the wall looks like real chalk does and it just makes this piece so much better. I love the shading, I love everything about this picture. It is probably the most amazing picture I have ever seen in my life, and I think that even if you are not a brony you should love this vibrant peice of amazing art. I honestly would buy this if I had a PayPal and money.
KP-ShadowSquirrel's avatar
KP-ShadowSquirrelProfessional Digital Artist
Thank you for your critique.
I'm happy that you like this picture so much :3
BrokenCupcakes's avatar
BrokenCupcakesHobbyist General Artist
: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

100% amazing! I can see a pony that wants to strive for her wishes, but she's out of chalk to draw her masterpiece. Striving for your goals is like art, you have to use chalk and a pencil to sketch it out, and colors to fill the goals.
Also, Octavia was a wonderful choice for this! Being an earth pony, she never gets to fly, or use magic. So with the chalk Octavia is drawing her wings and horn. But then she runs out of chalk to finish her masterpiece. Poor Octavia.
Again, amazing drawing! Its a huge inspiration.
P.S. This is my desktop background XD
KP-ShadowSquirrel's avatar
KP-ShadowSquirrelProfessional Digital Artist
Thank you very much for your critique :3
SightlessChaineDrake's avatar
SightlessChaineDrakeHobbyist Writer
:star::star::star::star: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Impact

... she's out of chalk, and can't add herself to what she's drawn so far. <img src="e.deviantart.net/emoticons/s/s…" width="15" height="15" alt=":)" data-embed-type="emoticon" data-embed-id="391" title=":) (Smile)"/>

I love this - it took my breath away, and this was while browsing the Fine Arts Prints with dozens of detailed, complex pictures. But this is the one I keep coming back to. It's a very simple theme, one to which many can connect - feelings of inadequacy, that we could be so much better if only we had A or were B or looked like C.

What stands out in my mind is how well this connects to what little we know of the character portrayed here. Octavia is an earth pony musician who lives in Canterlot. Canterlot is primarily a city of magical unicorns, who could conceivably use said magic to manipulate instruments with far more ease and skill than Octavia could ever theoretically hope to have. Even so, she is part of a musical quartet that plays in some relatively prestigious venues.

But is success ever what we truly desire? Perhaps to a point, but it could be argued that recognition is all we truly crave - Octavia almost seems out of place in a unicorn society, although with the progressive themes presented in MLP this likely wouldn't be a problem (at least in canon). The desire to be like one's peers leads to self-deprecation, and a desire to be better than we are, more like these paragons with which we surround ourselves.

Coming back to the piece, I feel that this is a truly excellent take on such a concept. Although this could be taken as depressing, it can also be seen as uplifting - the desire to better one's self on its own is a very pure and worthy emotion, after all. I personally see this as a crossroads - desire to be better than she is clashing with very real limitations on said desire. Only notes are on technique, which is rather rough and minimal - although this does contribute to the piece quite nicely. Originality has been docked a star just because this is based on a pre-existing fictional world, although I hope you will see it as 4/4 strs, because the idea itself is quite original.
KP-ShadowSquirrel's avatar
KP-ShadowSquirrelProfessional Digital Artist
Thank you very much for your critique and for sharing your thoughts on the theme :)
viwrastupr's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Impact

While it'd be nice to say that earth ponies have strength or some such this is dwarfed by the powers of flight or magic.

The use of the chalky, fake surface to me symbolizes desires that cannot be fulfilled. Many pictures on desire ignite an empathy within the viewer of our own unfulfilled wants. Success, security, things that we often worry about.

This picture, to me, does a good job of connecting desire to identity and this is why it cuts so deep. We always want to be a better person. In the MLP universe the 'better' can be defined by extra limbs, a horn or wings. This is not true in the real universe.

What makes this work powerful is that it connects us to this understanding in the MLP universe intrinsically. We don't have to think about it, there's no deep analysis needed to feel the raw emotions.

Looking at the rest of your gallery this work feels like a happy accident. You didn't intend for such powerful imagery from the start, but were quite happy to go along with it as it was created. Much of the work here is fine tuned, tightened down with intention. I have this same issue with my traditional works. Controlling your work is not a bad thing, and you've used it to wonderfully expressive ends, but it makes this kind of discovery all too rare.

It is a wonderful thing to recognize these happy accidents (if it is not one I apologize for my assumption) and try to try to figure out *how the heck you did that* after the fact.

To me, a happy accident comes as the coincidental culmination of a few things. Much of which is simply drawing without realizing it. Drawing as a response, with or without planning. All too often I become analytical or follow a known process.

It is when you let your knowledge be guided in tandem with your instincts (the correct ones) that interesting things happen.

This is all very general and hard to understand for the purposes of instruction and figuring out how to capture how to do this again. So I'll throw out some advice that has helped me in the past.

* Study the best. Much like reading gets you in the same mood as the author, studying artists and strong compositions gets you in the same mood as strong compositions. You absorb it like a sponge.

* Work on responsiveness. Your speedy sketches are an awesome way to do this for emotions, but perhaps speedy thumbnails would assist you in compositions?

* Read. Art is made as a response to real life, not in a vacuum devoid of other artists. The wonderful thing about reading and being an artist is you get these neat pictures in your head, then you can make them. It's... well, it knocks my socks off.

As with all my critiques, four stars for everything. Critiques are about a discussion and learning, not ratings.
KP-ShadowSquirrel's avatar
KP-ShadowSquirrelProfessional Digital Artist
Thank you very much for your critique :)

Yes, this piece was a happy accident :D
The initial idea started along the lines of "a pony leaning against a wall ... with something written on it ... maybe add wings to it ..." And it evolved from there.

And thank you for your advice - I will keep them in mind :3
gohlanblack's avatar
gohlanblackHobbyist General Artist
: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-half: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

This is wonderful.
I love the simplicity of the feathers and horn, reflecting her poor beginnings.
I like the sketched look of her body.
The tail looks a bit like a snake. I would have made it thicker, though having it as you to reflects her strict personality.
The background is stunning, and again, I really appreciate the simplicity of the design. Extra or unbalanced colors distract from a picture.
The symbolism is fantastic. She is at once pressing against the wall, desiring greatness, but looks and reaches up right, past just the horn and wings, searching for something beyond.
KP-ShadowSquirrel's avatar
KP-ShadowSquirrelProfessional Digital Artist
Thank you very much for this critique :)
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iamli3's avatar
such a great old image...
kfrench581's avatar
Just wanted to thank you for this picture! It has always been one of my favorites and served as the inspiration for the poster we had done for our project to perform a song by a brony composer who died at the age of 27, MelodicPony. We are planning to have his song "Princess Twilight's Orechtral Suite" performed live by a full professional orchestra as a memorial to him. I run a twitter @MelodicMemorial to get the word out in case you or anyone else is interested. Thank you again and keep sharing the magic. 
ekevoo's avatar
The WeLoveFine link isn't working. A quick search yielded no results. Is it off?
KP-ShadowSquirrel's avatar
KP-ShadowSquirrelProfessional Digital Artist
Yes, the have probably taken it out of stock by now.
TheLoyalBrony's avatar
I just have to say having been in this fandom for nearly 5 years now this piece of art has always captivated me no matter how old it gets. Every time I look at it and I feel a burning desire to break beyond the notions of what is impossible. We've seen it ourselves in the show that the ponies can indeed ascend to that of an Alicorn but this is not so direct in the real world. Regardless it's the idea of it that transcends fiction to the real world that captivates me most. While we may not ascend ourselves due to the acquisition of new limbs, we all have the potential to rise above who we are and be the best we can be.

It took me a long time to realize this was Octavia as I thought it was just a simple anonymous earth pony who expressed the desire to rise to a higher level (not implying they are the lowest race here). While I was a bit disappointed to lose that idea of it being simply any pony, it still retains its meaning to me. This piece is so simple yet it speaks volumes to many, especially myself. Whether you intended for this to be as inspiring and captivating as it is or not, I commend you for it.

In two weeks I'll have been apart of this wonderful community of talented creators for over 5 years and I thank you for contributing to it in the way that you have. May you continue to create and inspire others wherever you go.
chevy-runs-deep's avatar
it's been years and I still can't stop thinking about this pic too
KP-ShadowSquirrel's avatar
KP-ShadowSquirrelProfessional Digital Artist
Thank you very much for the compliment :3

I'm happy that you like this picture so much :D
kahelmaz's avatar
I have wanted to get this as a tattoo for years now. I love the imagery and the ideal it represents. I would want to modify the color and the cutie mark, too. Would you mind if I were to pursue that?
EvilPaladin11's avatar

Post pictures of the tattoo and leave some links here.


EDIT: Myself and others browsing through the comments would like to see.

anonymous's avatar
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