Finished ponies

And here’s the finished My Little Ponies pic. So stinkin’ difficult and so cutesy. I can feel my teeth rotting just looking at it. So saccharine!

I need to go draw a dragon or something now.

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Ponies are hard

I’ve been trying to draw ponies for the last couple of days. They’re maddeningly difficult. I finally caved and got this tutorial.

It showed me what I was doing wrong. These darn ponies still use the same joints as actual horses. Their legs! ARRGHHH!!!

This was the result of much sketching and erasing. I’m getting close, but it’s not ready for inking yet. I think I keep making their bodies a tad too long. Blarg. I’ll see if my commissioner gives it a pass.

The stakes are higher

The ebook revolution has made publishing really easy. You format your story file and dump it to Amazon, and bang, instant money!

Right?

People are treating Amazon like fanfiction.net. Except the stakes are higher, because on Amazon, there’s actual money involved. “Read my book! Leave good reviews and lots of stars!”

The same thing people crave on fanfiction.net, incidentally.

The writing is about the same level, too. Cliched plots, wooden characters, unedited prose. Except if you want to read the whole thing, you have to pay a couple of bucks. On ff.net, it’s free, and you get the exact same level of craftsmanship.

Guess what, folks! The stakes are higher on Amazon. If you don’t bother to edit your work, get it critiqued, do rewrites, and study the craft, you won’t see a red cent.

Today on the Kill Zone, they had a quote from the late basketball coach John Wooden, and it exactly pinpointed this mentality.

Individual recognition, praise, can be a dangerous commodity. It’s best not to drink too deeply from a cup full of fame. It can be very intoxicating, and intoxicated people often do foolish things.

I used to be famous on the internets. It’s not that great. I know all about that cup of fame, and the bitterness that lurks at the bottom.

I found a site that tracks free ebooks from Amazon and other places. I’ve downloaded tons and tons of garbage and tried to read it, with the intent of leaving a review. But the writing is so horribly amateurish, I find my brain shutting off after a few pages. Often these people have several books with the first one being free. If the first one is that bad, why should I bother looking at the rest of an author’s work?

Dignity: gone

My subscription over on DA was about to expire. So I asked for someone to buy me a subscription in return for art. Basically a commission, payment in subscription.

One of the people who bought me a subscription asked for My Little Pony art.

Now, I liked Ponies when I was a kid (in the 80s, so I had, like, the first-gen ones). I didn’t like the second gen ones, and I’ve looked askance at the latest batch. But I’ve been amused that the show has gained the popularity it has.

So tonight, I got on Youtube and watched a few eps with the kids. They are now hopeless fans. I’m ashamed to admit that I enjoyed it quite a bit, myself. So afterward I loaded up the Ponies wiki and started trying to pin down the cartoon style.

Dignity: gone. If I ever had any to start with.

There’s also a contest going on in one of the dragon clubs on DA to draw an Easter or spring-themed dragon picture. So I cranked out something else saccharine.

Another kitty

Today’s April Fool’s Day, and Deviantart is having a contest thingy to try to upload 15000 cat pictures. The prank being that cats have taken over DA. I chortled and started drawing a cat. Here’s the reference pic I worked from.

Here’s my sketch:

I blocked in some nice dark background colors and colored a cream color in the white areas that show.

This layer wound up being the browns and all the shading. Also the eye details. Cat eyes are pure bliss to paint. Can you say “eye candy”?

And last but not least, the markings.

Because this is obviously a magical kitty with swirly calico markings.