tamalesyatole on DeviantArthttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/https://www.deviantart.com/tamalesyatole/art/Rarity-la-Catrina-335351605tamalesyatole

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Rarity la Catrina



Some background for those around the world:

La Catrina is an etching by José Guadalupe Posada. The image has since become a staple of Mexican imagery, and often is incorporated into artistic manifestations of the Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) in November, such as altars and calavera costumes.

El Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday. It focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Takes place on November 1, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day (November 2). Looks like it's more similar to Japan's Bon Festival than Halloween.

Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.

Now, this specific Deviation was first planned when ~Mariachiman asked on a previous comic: "How would the [mane six] look like if they celebrated the Day of the Dead with 'calaveritas', 'pan de muerto' and Rarity dressed up like 'La Catrina'?"

So this gave me another idea (six, actually, that I'll upload later) and this one will be a part of it.

First, I tried to trace into a vector the original etching by Posada, but it was very difficult and it would have been very time-consuming, so instead I just took a good resolution image of it (it's in the Public Domain) and the Rarity Glamorous and Beatiful vector by =MysteriousKaos. Since just pasting and Desaturating Rarity looked very easy, I copied some parts of the original etching so I could "shade" it "the right way" and changed the outlines in her mane to white so it would look better against the black hat.
Image size
2534x1684px 1.55 MB
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Pix3M's avatar
:star::star::star::star: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star-empty::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Impact

It's quite the rarity (heh) to find a black and white piece that manages to catch my eye from using a TON of blacks. It stands out very well from the usual colored works you see.

I kinda like this pic despite not coming from a Mexican cultural background to have some sort of attachment to the image you just ponified. Rarity seems to be the best pony to pick for this as she does have something for really big hats. Perfect pony of choice for this, I would say.

The approach may have been better though. You can see the quality of linework in the original parts of this image and see that it looks kinda messy - something I would expect from human hands using ink on a piece of paper. The vector you took is a vector - computer drawn based on a set of anchor points. Vectors are very very smooth - much smoother than what I would ever achieve with a sharpie and paper. The difference in line quality makes Rarity appear to be in a different art style, so you have things that doesn't seem like they belong. It is probably better to try to replicate the line textures from the original image and trace the vector.

Going another route to draw the vector to replicate the texture would also let you do other things such as giving Rarity's hair more depth - the producers gave her hair gradients for the sole reason of creating enough depth to make her hair look less like a senseless blobs.

You also kinda cheated with the gray shade for her cutie mark as the original image has no such gray shade.

Then, there's the hatching (that's what I think it's called) as an attempt to create an illusion of a middle shade to stand for Rarity's eyeshadow. If you ask me, there are two ways of seeing this - either a middle color, or a bunch of eyelids piled on top of each other. It is likely far better to use much thinner but much denser lines.

Then, there's the shading. It doesn't appear that consistent (not that the original image was any better). The shadow under her jaw suggests that the sun is very high and a bit behind us, but the shadow under her lower mane suggests a sun even higher and not behind us. But... with a sun that high, wouldn't her large hat get in the way? Well, since the original image doesn't seem much better off with shading coherency with hats not blocking the sun as it should, but I believe at the very least, we could try to shade her had in a way to emphasize a bit more roundness to stay more true to the style of the original image, maybe also darken her inner ear.

Using a flat vector isn't really staying true to the original art style as vectors are smoother and flatter than the original image. But eh. This piece is awesome in another way for just having large areas of dark blacks and bright whites that just seems to catch my attention.