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122340 No. 122340
#Traditional #Canon #Critique wanted

I'm not much of an artist so I've tried drawing Twilight reading a book, I realise the head is a little small but I was wondering what you all think? I'd love to see others first attempts as well :)
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>> No. 122343
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Greetings, I am Sovereign. Would you be offended if I gave you a few pointers?
>> No. 122346
Not at all, I'd love some
>> No. 122347
Hmm. I was hoping you would respond earlier so I can provide some drawing instructions but unfortunately It is too late. I will return tomorrow evening.

>> No. 122351
that is fine I'm practicing drawing through most of my day...
>> No. 122352
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For instance...todays progress
>> No. 122353
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>> No. 122354
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You should really draw the torso shorter. The hind hooves should barely touch the front hooves.
Good luck.
>> No. 122355
Thank you...Bring circles overlap?
>> No. 122356
I will try and draw another in a neutral pose to see if I get it right...I'm improving on the eyes I think.
>> No. 122361
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How is this? I spent a bit longer...and to be honest I think it's a definite improvement over Twilight Sparkderp (Original post)
>> No. 122368
Alright hotshot, prepare to learn how to draw some p0ne.

First things first, aside from being an extragalactic scourge on all organic life I am also a trained mechanical draftsman and 3D/2D AutoCAD and SolidworksTechnician and part of my training was to learn how to sketch. Or else, no paycheck. And I have been toying with drawing ponies and it isn't that difficult. Bear in mind majority of what I learned is already available on Applejacks "How do I pony?" thread but I picked up a few tricks or two on my own.
>> No. 122370
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Step 1: Start off with about three spheres. One for the head then one slightly smaller than the head, And the third is the "flank" about 2/3 the size of the head.

Then lay out some "Crosshairs" across the head, one going horizontal and the other vertical. These will be your points of reference that will determine the position of the eyes and nose. Be sure to keep the horizontal crosshair a bit low.

Then lay down some reference lines for the legs. Those circles are what I like to call "locomotors" that help determine poses for the legs.

There may be some changes with this particular sketch but I like to use a 4H pencil for sketching because it erases easier but it can damage the paper if you press too hard. By the way I highly suggest picking up this pencil set by Staedtler:

And their brand of plastic erasers. Magic rub sucks.
>> No. 122371
File 136540775381.jpg - (21.89KB , 776x600 , Twilight 2.jpg )

Step 2: See how adding the facial crosshairs come into play? They help you determine the proper position of the nose, eyes and even the ears. Remember to keep the nose small, it typically has an upward point to it but not too "pointy". Give it a small blunt end. And depending on the direction the pony is looking, The other side of the face is "tucked" behind the nose. In this case the right side of the face is tucked. Please note, the ears typically have a "leaf" shape to them and their orientation is variable depending on facial expression, They may be "lower" or dropped if the pony is sad. But in this case they will be pointed up. Also typically only time you keep the head full circle is when the pony is looking straight ahead at the viewer, so we adjust by giving the head an ever so slight oval. I emphasize "EVER SO SLIGHT". Also with the body once you start working more with it it has a bit of a "bean" shape to it which is good and thats what we want.

See how those "locomotors" come into play as well? they help you determine how the legs are to be posed similar to a skeleton. In this case I had to made some adjustments to the left front leg because I wasn't happy with it but thats the beauty of an eraser and a hard lead pencil. You can make adjustments all you want as long as your careful. Bear in mind a ponys hoof has a shape similar to a shovel therefore making the legs have that slight point to it. As with the hind legs they have that angular "dip" right before the leg meets the rest of the body so keep that in mind when drawing hind legs.

Also if you like you may add hair/mane and tail elements. In the case of twilight she has very large bangs that pass over her ear, in this case the right ear. The bangs typically cover the eyes and have a slight arch like in this picture. But since we don't have eyes yet we can always adjust as necessary after the eyes are installed.

Remember its not over yet. as long as you have a hard lead pencil and a nice eraser you may continue to make adjustments as necessary.

Another helpful tip is collect as many reference pictures of ponies as possible. And contrary to what you might thing its not cheating at all it because it helps you determine what you need when you draw. For example did you think when I'm working on this piece in my thread:
I made up all that stuff? No I looked at dozens of railroad photos, locomotive designs, and even my own stuff in my private collection. I even read a book called "Modern locomotive construction 1892" by J. Meyer That helped me determine what I would need for that steam engine to actually function in that drawing. Something that Lauren Freaking Faust should have done is the first place.

Anyway enough rambling. Sleep time is now, Step 3,4, and 5 will come tomorrow. Peace nykka.


Last edited at Mon, Apr 8th, 2013 01:01

>> No. 122372
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Of course it's not cheating :P Thank you so much this is really helpful, is it ok with you if I save all this into a word document so I can check back on it? I'm compiling examples and tutorials to help me.
>> No. 122373
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Todays Imporvements..I think I've made some progress...
>> No. 122389
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Close up...Bump :P
>> No. 122390
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>> No. 122391
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boopity Bump
>> No. 122399
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After some technological difficulties I am back with some more schoolin'.

Step 3: Now if we start erasing some of our reference and construction lines and darkening up some of our primary lines we can see our adorable little Twilight take shape. At this point we can start adding the eyes. When it comes to pony eyes they are typically egg shaped and have a small pointed end point inward towards the nose. The eyes are composed of 5 parts: First the sclera, (Big white oval) then the thin colored Iris, the black pupil, then the "reflection points" usually represented by two smaller white ovals over the Iris and the pupil, Lastly, the black eyeliner and eyelashes.

When we lay down the sclera, The pointed end should be level with the pointed end of the nose and the top should end a little bit passed the ear. It should be wide enough for you to be able to draw a curved line from the back of the ear, all the way to the bottom point near the nose. (I wish I could show that in this drawing but I forgot to leave that construction line in) As for the Iris and the pupil, you are going to want to start off with inserting an oval within the sclera about 3/4 the total size of the sclera. In this exercise we want Twilight to be looking towards the viewer so our oval is going to rest on the very right side of the sclera with more "white" showing on the top of the sclera. As for the pupil all you need to do is draw a slightly smaller oval within our smaller oval again resting on the very right side of the sclera and BOOM! we have both the pupil and the Iris! And as for the reflection points, they are typically two smaller white ovals that cut into the Iris and pupil with one larger one on top and a smaller one on the bottom in which the smaller one is usually shifted to the right or left depending on which direction the pony is looking (in this case the left) The Larger reflection point is usually skirts the edge of the Iris and cuts into the pupil. Determining where the reflection points are oriented can be tricky because they are variable depending on which direction the pony is looking. I have had a lot of trouble with this and the best thing to do is refer to as many reference pictures as possible. But the general rule of thumb is the larger one always stays on top no matter what. In most pictures I have seen the darker part of the pupil tends to be oriented towards the viewer thus shifting the reflection points away from the "darker part" of the pupil. (In this case towards the right) As for the eye on the "right hoof" side in this picture, generally all the same rules apply but since we don't see as much of the eye so the pupil, the iris, and the reflection points are shifted even farther towards the viewer leaving only a little bit of the sclera visible and the pupil and iris about half visible on the "left hoof" side as well. Finally, the eyeliner typically rests on the inside edge of the sclera and stretches down towards the pointed end on the sclera. The eyelashes are 6 in total with 3 on top and another three on the bottom and rest on the outside of the sclera.

whew, on to the mane and tail. :S

Ok for the mane an tail, all we need to do is add some hairlines and a few wedges that Twilight has, there are three in total one for the bangs, one for the mane, and one on the tail. the position of the wedge varies depending on the orientation of the pony but in this case the wedge on the tail and bangs is positioned away from the rest of the body and the wedge on the mane is shifted up closer to the head. As for the horsehairs you may need to refer to reference material to determine their position and amount but the general rule of thumb is they never really do follow the exact contours of the overall shape of the Bangs, Mane, and Tail.

The horn can be tricky to place because in this case the tip doesn't pass the bangs but the base always rests on the vertical crosshair on the face. And in this case, The horn will never be positioned lower than the bangs and centered so that the tip surpasses the pointed end of the ear SLIGHTLY.

Also you may add a cutie mark as you wish but bear in mind depending on the orientation of the flank, it may need a slight curvature to it.

That's about it for Step 3, And for the record, this took me longer to explain my results than to draw this to begin wth :S.
>> No. 122400
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Now for Step 4:

To finish off this drawing we will start by adding some outlines to the overall body. For this part I like to use softer lead pencils primarily in the B2-B4 range. As you lay down the hard outlines to identify the body shape and hairlines, it helps to clean up stray lines left behind with an eraser shield like this: This way you can erase the stray lines without harming your dark outlines. They aren't very expensive at all and you can probably get one off Amazon for a few dollars if not you could probably make one easily.

Now for shading, typically I like to use softer lead pencils like a B3 or a B4 and I will usually hit spots on "deep" parts of the body like under the belly, where the neck meets the head, the back of the legs, the *ahem* flank, and just about everywhere in which sunlight wouldn't hit. And Using my soft lead pencil I CAREFULLY "DUST" those areas with gentle precision. Don't go overboard and shade with the same amount of pressure you would normally use when holding a pencil. Just caress the paper softly as you would if you got the chance to actually caress Twilights mane :] *Blush* Another technique that works well is to hit a single spot with drag the graphite SOFTLY with a cotton swab. This creates soft shading transitions. I didn't use this technique for this exercise but it works well as long as you clean up excess shading with your eraser.

As for the eyes avoid the cotton swab technique because it can get too difficult to clean up. you can get away with using an HB (No. 2) Pencil or even an .05 mm mechanical pencil. You can start by darkening the pupil at its lowest point and leaving a slight gradient up until the iris. The iris tends to have a "shiny" slot near the bottom so you can probably get away with avoiding darkening that little slot and leave it white, but carefully shade the rest of the iris. Avoid the "reflection points" at all costs and if you happen to hit one of them, use your eraser shield and give it the once over with your eraser. And when darkening the eyeliner, just go over once or twice if necessary with your No. 2 pencil. Then add eyelashes as necessary.

As for all the hair elements, All I did was darken the back parts then eased up towards the ends like the tips of the bangs and the bottom of the tail leaving a gradient. Of course I used soft lead pencils in the "B" range as well and I once again "dusted" the paper as well. I also made sure that some of the areas on the hair elements were lighter than others to indicate the different shades of purple and that one "pink streak" on all of the hair elements.

And when shading the mouth I used a .5mm mech. pencil and I only shaded the upper half of the inside to indicate the presence of a tongue.

I may have broken one or two rules with one, making sure the leg height is equal to the diameter of the head but that's ok for this exercise, I wanted to show the importance of "locomotors" throughout the drawing process and since cartoon characters tend to have variable proportions if the situation calls for a unique gesture or facial expression. (THIS IS DONE A LOT IN THE SHOW) Aaaand in a nutshell, that is essentially how you draw Twilight, my dearest pony phantasmal significant other :] Tomorrow I will conclude this tutorial with a very special step/lesson. Perhaps the most important lesson of all.

>> No. 122401
Thanks,are my drawings any improvement?
>> No. 122402
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you are simply awesome and helpful :)
>> No. 122403
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Thanks for the compliment. :) I may specialize in mechanical drafting but I have been drawing all kinds of stuff all my life and over time with practice I just got better. And ever since I got into MLP ponies are my new second favorite thing to draw. (Steam engines will always be my first favorite) Over the past few months (I have been a brony since January) I just practiced at it and gradually I got better. And since mlp holds such a special place in my heart (I didn't know I had a heart) I just strived as hard as I could to get better at drawing ponies and every day I get a little bit better. Anyway enough of being full of myself :S

As for your drawings, you are still Napoleon Dynamite status (dont take that in a bad way) and you have a ways to go but keep practicing and draw something every day and experiment with your own techniques and sketches. And if you keep practicing its possible you can get to Walt Disney status. ;) By the way I suggest getting a sketchbook to better track your improvement and use it to lay down ideas. I use mine from school all the time.
>> No. 122405
so...better than awful but worse than good...At least they look like ponies...
>> No. 122406
I'm using an old blank notebook...I think I have an actual sketchbook well as some proper drawing tools....
>> No. 122409
No... I have seen awful... Horrible things... Things that are in the purest form of fuel for nightmares. Things that will make you wish you were struck blind. Things so horrible you would want to wish you had stepped on a landmine and blown all your limbs off and put you in a permanent coma before you had seen them. That place is 4chan... And your work is nowhere near anything that ever spawned from that wretched hive of scum and villiany. You have potential but you just have to practice at it and you will be a good pony artist. Trust me, you improved over just a day or two and thats good. Keep at it.
>> No. 122410
File 136551035204.jpg - (9.35KB , 225x225 , 4chan.jpg )
Lets get drawing then :) thanks for reminding me never to look at 4chan again then.
>> No. 122411
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I think I've earned a dash of colour
>> No. 122429
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not so good but it was requested for a gallery on DeviantArt
>> No. 122430
Getting kinda busy on my end, Ill probably have that last lesson up later on today.

>> No. 122432
Thanks, I'll just try and draw Luna again in the meantime or something.
>> No. 122433
Very good for a 1st attempt, but I literally rofl'd when I saw twis head
>> No. 122434
Very good for a 1st attempt, but I literally rofl'd when I saw twis head
>> No. 122435
hmm sorry by accident I posted 2ce. ;l
>> No. 122436
the later ones improve at least...The original one (First pony I ever tried to draw) Is honestly hilarious
>> No. 122444
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Certainly my best one so far...
>> No. 122457
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Ok last but not least lesson 5:

Goof off! Screw around! Do whatever the heck you want! :) Make funny cartoons with your ponies or anything that will help you develop the techniques necessary to draw awesome ponies. I made this example just for this occasion by drawing the most random stuff I can think of on a single piece of paper. And you will find the more you draw stuff like this, eventually you will develop your own style. It also helps to experiment with different facial expressions and gestures. Besides isn't drawing ponies supposed to be all about the fun?

>> No. 122458
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thank you, and that is hilarious, I'll carry on, thank you hugely Sovereign
>> No. 122460
Before I say anything, OP, your pictures look nice.
This picture has ALWAYS infuriated me.
>20% cooler
>> No. 122461
*Brohoof accepted, Initiating reaper tentacle congratulatory gesture*

Yeah keep at it do a little bit more every day. I saw what you did with luna and I can see improvement with the head and eyes. Still have to work on body proportions and legs. Its a bit trickier with larger ponies such as princesses and males and it requires researching reference material. The funny thing is there are times in the show when the animators screw this up by giving celestia super long legs and an ever growing flank on the show. But aside from that continue to work on female ponies and use the methods I showed to to construct their bodies such as the circles and skeletal legs/locomotors.
>> No. 122463
I am, I have a minimum of three references I use for locomotors and proportion and general shapes...then I play with it from there usually bringing up examples more specific
>> No. 122536
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Have any more drawings for me?
>> No. 122595
File 136621105359.jpg - (1.07MB , 2048x1536 , 092.jpg )
Just a couple as I got ill then school started but these two are fairly good I feel. I drew Twiley first.
>> No. 122596
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And a small random OC I made just because I didn't fancy drawing any of the normal pegasi
>> No. 122606
Still gotta work on those proportions other than that its a steady improvement over your first try.


Last edited at Thu, Apr 18th, 2013 00:31

>> No. 122607
where am I going wrong on those proportions? I feel the legs might be slightly too long but other than that it appears right...
>> No. 122624
Primarily its your bodies. They are much larger than the heads of your ponies. Here is a good reference chart that should clear things up, it even has those locomotors we discussed:


Last edited at Fri, Apr 19th, 2013 03:06

>> No. 122632
thanks, bigger heads still...I felt I mostly fixed the problem but I see what you mean.
>> No. 122703
I've been drawing a couple with a little more of this in mind...the first i think is an over dose with the second a little under....will upload later
>> No. 122704
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Possibly overkill
>> No. 122705
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Probably underkill...
>> No. 122706
File 136647277308.jpg - (1.07MB , 2048x1536 , 002.jpg )
and one I did a few days ago with the head definitely too small...
>> No. 122864
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I did this for a little known blog called "ponyville replies"
>> No. 122942
Nice, the general outlines are all there...I think I've got the proportions right... I just fiddle with things now
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