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Under the Sun · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
#1 · 17
· · >>Fenton >>Posh >>MLPmatthewl419 >>Trick_Question >>Trick_Question >>Light_Striker
Whiieeeuh! Pffrrrbbh. Haierrmmurmphm.

<clop clop> mrruierhm <clop clop clop clop clop clop clop clop> pphfiereph.

Neeigghh wheeingnhm! <snort>.
#2 · 11
· · >>Morning Sun

"That wasn't quite the answer I expected. See me after class, Snips," said Cheerilee. "Now my little ponies, could anyone try to tell us what is art? If possible, in an understandable way."

Silence fell. Every foals looked at each other, hoping to find some clues from the others to Miss Cheerilee's question.

"Come on students, don't be shy. I'm not expecting a full answer. Whatever you would say could be a start."

"It's hmm, it's beautiful?" tried Sweetie Belle.

"Not exactly but that's a good point. Art is, indeed, usually beautiful. Even if different ponies have different tastes, artists often try to represent beautiful things."

"It has a meaning?" said Silver Spoon.

"True but like beauty, meaning is not always the core of an art piece. Sometimes, it's just gratuitous. Anything else?"

"It represents things in real life!" said Featherweight. "Like photos!"

"Once again, it's true and it isn't. Recently, we've seen artists putting aside realism for abstraction, things like shapes, colors, lines."

"Pfff, art is beautiful but isn't, it has meaning and sometimes not, it's reality and it isn't. Sounds like a lot of —?"

"Archer!" scolded Cheerilee. "Do I need to convoke your parents once again?"

"No, Mrs Cheerilee," said Archer sheepishly. "I'm sorry."

"Apology accepted. Right. Art is something unique. It's the expression of one of your deepest and hidden feeling."

"Like Sweetie Belle's love for Button?" asked Apple Bloom.

The whole classroom burst into laughter, save for Sweetie Belle and Button Mash, the two foals blushing and trying to escape each other look.

"Maybe," said Cheerilee, grinning. "It's at least something pure and untouched that artists try to present to an audience. Something coming from deep inside their heart."

"Ewww," exclaimed Scootaloo. "That's so cheesy!"

"Maybe you want to sing us a song about that, Scootaloo?" replied Cheerilee. Scootaloo instantly stood still. "That's what I thought. Anyway, I want you to take your pencil and your paintbrushes and draw something. Then you'll try to write a short story about one or severals art pieces you'd have made."

"About what?" asked Pip Squeak.

"Well, it will be up to you to decide. Write a word or a phrase on a small paper and then, we'll vote to decide which one will be our theme. So be creative."

More than half of the classroom erupted in cheers, thrilled with the idea of drawing and painting. The rest simply groaned, hoping that it would soon come to the writing part.
#3 · 1
Whoa, art round again? Maybe I can summon my dubious art skillz and help stink up decorate the place.
#4 · 5
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
>>GroaningGreyAgony Can we consider this your prompt submission, sir?
#5 ·
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
I second that motion.
#6 · 5
· · >>Posh
>>Posh, >>MLPmatthewl419

Consider it done.
#7 · 3
>>GroaningGreyAgony I love you so much
#8 · 3
I have the strangest mareboner right now.

Okay, I always have the strangest mareboner. So sue me.
#9 · 3
Also I can hear every one of those perfectly. Your horse transliteration pleases Pinkie. (Yes.)
#10 · 2
Your stupid face suddenly popped into my head
Stuck in a feverish daze thinking “I’m not ready to die just yet.”
Wearing that smug, self-satisfied face in your teens
Learning the meaning of shame and embarrassment in your 20s
Finally getting the full measure of yourself in your 30s
That’s all part and parcel of one’s human experience
#11 · 8
· · >>MLPmatthewl419
“Niieeguh pbrh Wheeiy-eheh Hrumphrm!”

“The Good Old Days. Where Are Those Who Were Before Us?”

“Daybreaker? The Moon Is Down!”

“…Yes, Well, I Was Wrong. Another Turn? Fire walk with me, Grabbing the Wind Among the Clouds. High Road, Narrow Path Under the Sun…”

“For Hooves’ sake! Don’t Talk To Me Or My Son Ever Again!”

“Fictional Children? Make Me Something I Could Hang On My Wall.”

“The High and the Low, An Octave Higher–Dark Finale!”

“Heavy Weight. A Moment of Weakness, A Terrible Misunderstanding. Life Doesn’t Owe You Sadness.”

“…A Diamond in the Rough Shadowlight, I…”

“No Thanks are Necessary.”
#12 · 1
All the yes.
#13 · 2
Huh... I just checked this on a whim, I thought the next round wouldn't start until later this month. Here's hoping I get to participate.
Post by Bad Horse deleted
#15 · 8
· · >>DuskPhoenix >>Fenton
He posts in Writeoff forums, the Stallion of Despair,
He ghosts his posts before a mare can start to stare,
To mostly roast decorum, he’s just extraordinaire–
He’s here and gone
Within his course,
Perhaps he’d rather speak in Morse?
Bad Horse
Bad Horse...
#16 · 2
GGA you make my day
#17 · 2
Bad Horse, Bad Horse,
What you gonna do,
What you gonna do,
When he comes for you?

Bad Horse, Bad Horse,
What you gonna do,
What you gonna do,
When he comes for you?

You chuck it down that round,
You chuck it down this round,
You chuck it down the art,
And ya chuck it down this part,
Ya chuck it down the other,
And ya chuck it down the pother,
You chuck it down that one and you chuck it down me!

Bad Horse, Bad Horse,
What you gonna do,
What you gonna do,
When he comes for you?
#18 · 4
· · >>MLPmatthewl419
I swear a sacred oath this is true: I goofed on the prompt submission/voting deadlines, and just now opened up writeoff.me to submit the prompt "Under the Sun".

… Only to find that my prompt already won.

#19 · 2
· · >>MLPmatthewl419
And we were so close to having "Niieeguh pbrh Wheeiy-eheh Hrumphrm" as our prompt...
#20 ·
· · >>horizon
I know, right? That would have been awesome.

That is amazing. Provided it actually happened that way.
#21 ·
· · >>Haze >>Light_Striker
Well, I've submitted "Under the Sun" probably about half a dozen times before. Though I'm not sure I can link you to my prompt submissions, because I can't find them on my userpage. :P Anyone know how to look those up?

At any rate, props to whoever beat me to it this time!
#22 · 1
· · >>Light_Striker >>horizon
heh heh..... now I feel like a thief.

the day after submitting it, I remembered that it had appeared a couple times in the past. but it never won so I wondered, people might be tired of it and not vote for it this time either? I felt so sure it wouldn't win.

I was inspired to submit this because of this song by 4everfreebrony.
if horizon says that was his inspiration too, something weird's going on....
#23 ·
Maybe you two were drawn to the herd mind by the call of >>GroaningGreyAgony. *spooky music*

(Kidding. Mostly.)
#24 · 3
· · >>horizon

Another Writeoff already?? But I just finished my glass spider story from the last one! I was actually gonna post a note asking folks if they wanted to read and comment on the whole thing, put I guess I can still do that... :)

#25 · 2
· · >>Haze
Nah, convergent evolution. I first started submitting "Under the Sun" because I loved the ambiguity of it: you could interpret it in the context of Celestia, or in the context of the celestial body, so while it implied princesspones and bureaucracies it was still wide open to alternate takes (daytime, heat, etc). Neat song though!
#26 · 1
· · >>Baal Bunny
>>Baal Bunny
Cool! You should probably go back to the comment thread attached to your story from last round, too, and tag everyone who reviewed it. There's not as much crossover between the genfic and ponyfic sides as I feel like there ought to be.
#27 · 3
good reasons.
for me, since the previous two art rounds were.... um, somewhat morbid (so much death imagery!), this one at least suggests bright and colorful on the surface level. BUT it could still be subverted, so it's not limited.

I think fortunate timing played a part too. it's halfway through the year, which is summer for most of us. Midsummer's Eve is on the 24th, during the round, so time for something sun-related!
plus that new MLP episode a few days ago. I'm sure a few writers are already itching to create a story about Daybreaker. or Celestia's pancakes.
#28 · 5
Somepony pmailed me about the Writeoff, probably because of the RCL interview I did. I suppose they might decide to join.
#29 ·

That's a good idea:

Thanks! I won't be joining in this round here, actually, folks, since I've already got three Pony stories I'm working on right now.

#30 · 2
· · >>MLPmatthewl419 >>Bachiavellian
Aha! Stumbled across the original inspiration for me to start submitting this prompt, way back in 2014. ^..^

(Again, super chuffed it finally won. The fact I didn't even have to submit it just makes it cooler.)
#31 · 2
· · >>MLPmatthewl419 >>The_Letter_J >>Fenton >>Fenton
Sterling is just so naughty.

Anyhow are art rounds going to be A Thing in perpetuity now? I mean they're cool but...well, unless we're free to just say screw it and work with prompt only which I might do because why not.
#32 ·
>>Morning Sun
Art rounds are kind of an every other thing, but "fim" is an independant formula from the "original" writeoffs.

How did THAT give you inspiration for submitting this prompt?
#33 · 4
· · >>Ranmilia
>>Morning Sun
Obviously, only Roger can answer that for sure, but I imagine that as long as people remain interested in doing them, they'll probably stick around. I wouldn't be surprised if they stop being every short story round eventually, but they do seem to be here to stay for the moment.

unless we're free to just say screw it and work with prompt only which I might do because why not.

How about because that is explicitly against the rules?
Sure, you could just write a story using an obvious interpretation of the prompt and then just say it was based on whatever picture matches it the best, but I think that would at least be against the spirit of the writeoff. And if you used the four days of art to write your story, then that would absolutely be cheating.
#34 · 7
· · >>The_Letter_J >>Fenton
Well... against the spirit it may be, but several entries have definitely been doing that - writing whatever idea the author liked, and then looking for an appropriate picture or shoehorning in a reference to one. It happens in non-art rounds, too, but the art prompts tend to make it a bit more obvious (and a few have outright said that's what they did in retrospective posts.)

I'm really not a fan of these art rounds. Or, rather, not the system of picking from the art entries to use as writing prompts. Haven't spoken up about it before, because the concept was being tested out, and I didn't want to cause any fuss with the people who do like them, but... Yeah, with two under the belt now, I feel pretty clearly that the art prompt system is worse for the writing portion than normal prompts.

Some people have expressed desires for less strict prompts, or none at all. Others prefer stricter, more specific prompts, and more emphasis on writing to the prompt so people can't use concepts they've already been brewing (I'm in this camp). But the current art system, I think, leads to sort of a "worst of both worlds" deal, where you get both the disadvantages of having a prompt (stories get bent/weakened to include a forced concept) and the disadvantages of free writing (fewer points of comparison between entries, increased potential for genre/subject bias, less fair/harder to stop submissions of preexisting material/ideas).

It's also maybe not the greatest system for folks who are interested in the art portion as a competition of its own, because the art submissions get spammed up with stick figures, screenshots, etc, that people submit just to have them available as writing prompts. Last round, especially, I saw quite a few comments along the lines of "Uh okay you only spent 30 seconds in MS Paint on this, why am I taking time to rank this alongside people who actually put effort into their submission?" (To which the answer is "the winning story was based on the stick figure piece", so it's hard to say people shouldn't submit such things...)

Meant to get to posting about this in the end of one of the other rounds, but there never seemed to be a suitably socially appropriate time. Just my two cents, anyhow.
#35 · 4
· · >>Mirage8221 >>Fenton >>Morning Sun
It sounds to me like the problem is mostly with the people. If people aren't going to play by the rules, then why bother?
The writeoffs are built on honesty and trust. If people are going to betray that trust, it's not the writeoff's fault that it lets them.

Now if you just prefer having a phrase as a prompt instead of one of several pictures, that's fine. That's a discussion that should be had at some point. But I think the more important discussion is the one is why people are here and why they're doing what they are.

The main reasons we all should be here are to improve our writing/art, to get feedback about that writing/art, and to have fun. There (almost always) aren't any prizes to be won. All you get for winning are bragging rights and some compliments from a few random people on the internet. If people feel the need to cheat to have a better chance at winning, they really need to get their priorities straight. Maybe they need to just leave and find somewhere else to show off the stories they wrote without extra pressures and limitations to other authors (somewhere like fimfiction, perhaps).
And when it comes to submitting effortless art, I thought we established that people can't write stories about their pictures anyway. Obviously they could use an alt to submit a picture to write about, but that just goes back to them cheating and missing the point of these contests. If the winning story was based on a crappy MSP Paint stick figure, so what? That doesn't make that picture any better. That's why the voting on the art is separate. That stick figure picture doesn't get any special awards for having a good story written about it. If the person who submitted it did so because they're new at art and that's the best they can do, or because they thought it was good, or because they had fun making it, or for any other good reason, then that's great! That's how you get better. If they did it because they don't care and just wanted to make a specific prompt, then once again, I think they should really ask themselves why they're even here.

I'm sorry if this turned into a bit of a rant, but I find the fact that people feel the need to cheat the system for a small handful of fake internet points stupid and insulting, and I think those people deserve to be called out on it.
And again, this has nothing to do with whether or not the art rounds are a good idea. I think you make reasonable points there, even if I don't agree with all of them. I just think this is a bigger issue that needs to be dealt with first.
#36 ·
· · >>Not_A_Hat >>DuskPhoenix

May I devour your time?

All you get for winning are bragging rights and some compliments from a few random people on the internet.

Social species thinks this is not a prize? Sur-prize-ing.

Your responses to each other do not look "random". This is an illusion, like ours? You are pretending?

If truly no prize, no stakes, why is cheating bad? Nothing to steal.

(Some cards on the table: this "I" has not entered; other "I" has entered and been careful with rules; no other other "I" has spoken or entered. But this "I" wants to know.)
#37 · 4
Are you serious?
#38 · 5

What? :applejackunsure:

Uh, discarding the manner in which you phrased what I think is the question of why it matters if you cheat if there's no real prizes, the answer there is that it matters because you're participating with other people. It's why you don't cheat at charity events, or friendly competitions, or anything else where you don't stand to gain anything truly substantial: because if you did cheat you'd be being a dick to your fellow participants. It's about respecting your fellows, respecting the competition, and respecting your own quality of work.

Thanks for respecting the rules on your other account, if that is indeed what you meant. Also, what did you mean about an illusion "like ours?" That's the one part of your comment I wasn't able to suss out the meaning of after a fair bit of thought.
#39 · 2
· · >>Posh
Hmm, I don't know if I'm going to have time for this one after all...

Nevertheless I guess I'll add my two cents about art as well. I think the art component has been interesting but I do feel it's a bummer to have all these days where I could be thinking about story ideas for the prompt (which seems like a good prompt by itself), except that I'm not supposed to do that I guess. Like to some extent it exacerbates the classic problem of whether a story is written to the prompt or not, because the prompt might raise possibilities that may or may not align with what shows up in the art.

Overall I think it's not a bad thing to have art occasionally but it's been pretty frequent of late.
#40 · 1
· · >>Not_A_Hat >>moonwhisper
>>Morning Sun
Sorry, i didn't get it. Who or what is Sterling?

Last round, especially, I saw quite a few comments along the lines of "Uh okay you only spent 30 seconds in MS Paint on this, why am I taking time to rank this alongside people who actually put effort into their submission?"

If you're refferring to this post, that was just me trying to confuse the issue.

Anyway, let's get back to the real issues.

This the the third art round and while it isn't much, that's the third in a row. I can understand that some people are getting bored of it. I suggested that we alternate between art and non-art rounds for each type of rounds (Fim short and mini, OF short and mini), and I don't know how many agree or disagree with that.
I think Roger should take a moment to gather the opinions (with a strawpoll for example) to see how frequent these art rounds should happen or if they should happen.

That being said, people trying to cheat the spirit of the Writeoff may be a concern but I don't think it's that big of a deal. While cheating is definitely something that must be reproved, you said that "The main reasons we all should be here are to improve our writing/art, to get feedback about that writing/art, and to have fun."
I don't think that people cheating would really improve on anything, and that's too bad for them. Regarding the fact that cheating would give them an advantage over the others, I'm not so sure about that. Because they don't improve, their writing stays at the same level. Thus, they don't take a place they didn't deserve.

Moreover, it's a bit of a contradiction. If, as you said, we're here to improve by getting feedback while having fun (and I fully agree with that), your rank shouldn't play a big role. For me, I don't really care about the ranking. I'm still happy when I see that I passed the prelims (that's one of my goal when I enter), but it's only like 10%-15% of my goal.
If you have 15 entries and they are all masterpieces, you'll still have a first and a last, regardless of the quality of each piece.

And last, but not least, I've "cheated" once or twice. With this one for example. I had the idea for a while and I had even started writing the beginning (around 500 words). When the round happened, I reworked these 500 words a bit, changing some words and adding some new meanings to fit the prompt, and expand from that point. If I decided to do this, that's because I try very hard to make my entry readable and enjoyable for the reader. I still have troubles to properly convey what I want and the extra time I got, I was thinking that it would help to make my entry more readable. If you take a look at the scoreboard, you'll see that I didn't really benefit the extra time.

Anyway, I've still have talked too much. I still think these art rounds are interesting and a nice change from the usual rounds but I'll agree with some people that thay happen too frequently.
#41 ·
Holy moley, Title Drop was three flipping years ago? That blows my mind.
#42 · 7
I have a novel in heavy editing, a game project, family and a dozen other things going on.

Why have I already decided to do this? I need a dang intervention.
#43 ·
· · >>Fenton
I think Sunny thinks you're making references - which you may not have intended. You named a pony 'Archer', above, and Sterling Archer is a cartoon character from a moderately crude adult cartoon.
#44 · 2
Nevertheless I guess I'll add my two cents about art as well. I think the art component has been interesting but I do feel it's a bummer to have all these days where I could be thinking about story ideas for the prompt (which seems like a good prompt by itself), except that I'm not supposed to do that I guess. Like to some extent it exacerbates the classic problem of whether a story is written to the prompt or not, because the prompt might raise possibilities that may or may not align with what shows up in the art.

Second that. I'm glad that artists working with a visual medium have a chance to strut their stuff, but personally, I enjoy the creative freedom that working with a text-only prompt offers.

I don't mind doing an art prompt once in a while, of course. Maybe we could work it into the rotation as a recurring contest, though, rather than making every long-form writeoff an art contest.
#45 ·
· · >>Posh >>Morning Sun
>>Morning Sun
But... but... but...
#46 · 3
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
Neigh! Nicker nicker, neigh, stomp stomp tail-flick neigh.
#47 · 1
>>Fenton THAT character is canonically named Blootaloo.

Or Scootabloo.
#48 · 1
Hruhmmphnmn. Ouieghnrm pbrph niyehguh mnh whnieugh eieuhrmm!
#49 · 3
· · >>CoffeeMinion >>horizon >>horizon
If this were a minific round, I would write a story about Celestia consuming too much phoenix dust and devolving into a primal horse state, with all her dialogue being variations of "Wheeeeeiiinyerherherherherher prrrrphm phrm."

IF this were a minific round. I can't stretch that into 2000 words.
#50 · 1
do it filly
#51 · 2
>inb4 five entries with all the dialogue in horsenoise
#52 · 3
· · >>Dubs_Rewatcher >>CoffeeMinion >>Ranmilia >>moonwhisper

It's more 'I want to use the Prompt without an Art Piece that I have to work off', yes.

I have 0 issue with using the prompts for writing. Never have. And while last time using GGA's picture ended up working hilariously for me (Even if I missed the deadline so it went up on Fimfic instead), the art being a required component means the artists are free to do whatever they like and then the writers are constrained by that, which...ehhh.

FiM events have already gone from every 4 to 6 weeks to make room for OF, and if they're going to all be Art rounds too in perpetuity it's...kind of less fun. Not to knock people doing art pieces, but yea, most tend to be MSPaint mockups. The caliber of art quality is not the same as the writing quality. Which is fine - we're mostly writers here, after all - but it then feels bleh being further constrained by that.


I think that only STRENGTHENS my argument. And yea, it was an Archer reference because one of the running gags is despite Archer being generally an obnoxious ass most of the time, he is also incredibly well versed in literary & film analysis, so people will be talking and out of nowhere he'll bust out some deep line about art or metaphysics or the symbolism of X work of art, then look at everyone else and be boggled that they don't get something so seemingly obvious.

Sort of like Sterling in your mini-bit.
#53 · 4
· · >>CoffeeMinion >>Morning Sun
>>Morning Sun
This may be ironic coming from me, but I disagree hard with your assertion (both here and elsewhere) that "most" of the art is "MSPaint mockups." I think that's really insulting to a lot of the artists here, and the work they've done (and are still doing right now!) for us. I know I personally put in a lot of work on my art for this round, and I don't doubt others have either.
#54 ·
Okay, I really want to reply to this continued conversation, but I've been too busy finishing up my submission(s). And now it's really late, and I need to sleep. I'll try to reply tomorrow, hopefully without disrupting the comments on the art too much.
#55 · 3
· · >>Morning Sun
>>Morning Sun said two things that I'll echo:
kind of less fun

It's not like the art thing is terrible, but it gets to be this for me when it's so frequent.
it then feels bleh being further constrained by that

Granted, were it not for GGA's phoenix dust piece... think of all the glorious insanity we would've missed out on. But yeah, I'm more in the mood to take the prompt directly and run with my own interpretation.

Actually I also don't feel good about dumping on the art that's been contributed, even if it was in MSPaint. I have no art skills whatsoever and if I submitted something I would be lucky to pull off even a "crappy" MSPaint comic. The point of the art hasn't seemed like it's been to offer targeted feedback and advice about how to improve the art, ala the feedback we do for stories; it seems more like people praise the "good" art and dump on the "bad." But what's the point of grousing about the specific pieces that are submitted unless it's to help them improve? And is this really the best place to seek that kind of feedback? (Like I can't be the only person here who looks at art and can tell you it's art but that's the extent of feasible critical analysis.)

Tl;dr: Art okay sometimes, absence may make heart grow fonder
#56 ·
Well, I misjudged the cut-off by an hour due to a timezones change and just missed the submission :raritydespair: Oh well, it wasn't that good anyways since I don't have my art stuff. :ajshrug:

Good luck to everybody in the writing section!
#57 · 1
· on Among the Limelight · >>Fenton >>Haze >>FairyRave
Wow. Just... This piece is stunning. It looks like you accomplished this using traditional media as well, which I greatly respect. The serene expression, the feeling of movement in the wings and hair, the light from the sun in between the limbs... It's just all fantastic. :raritygasp:

Thank you so much for submitting this! :pinkiehappy:
#58 · 2
· on Tall · >>Super_Trampoline >>horizon >>DuskPhoenix
If this isn't supertrampoline I will eat my nonexistent hat :rainbowlaugh:

In any case, this is definitely an imaginative piece. While it isn't conventionally "pretty," a lot of time obviously went into this and it's surprisingly clean where it wants to be. The style makes me think of something that a filly Twi would draw, which I think is a neat idea.

Thanks for submitting this! :twilightsmile:
#59 · 1
· on I'd Like You To Meet My New Student
10/10. Utterly hair-larious.

(EDIT: Dear Lord, it's body wash not shampoo. That's even better.)
#60 ·
· on Sealed
So, I'm understanding that this is supposed to represent Celly's favorite student dying, or growing distant, or growing up into a princess and no longer being the inquisitive filly Celly once loved. Was the growing shadow as you go down the page intentional? And what's with these smears to the left, are they supposed to represent something? And is Celly's unchanging smile representative of her trying to keep a brave face over the years?

Anyway, despite the relatively simple technique, I really like this one; it says a lot in such a simple manner. Did you make these stamps yourself?
#61 · 2
· on I'd Like You To Meet My New Student
0/10, get your edgy OC off this website!!1

Good for a chuckle, and even once you get past the joke, it's a quite good photo, what with the pretty background and the composition.
#62 ·
· on A Sunday Afternoon Among the Clouds of Le Grand Cheval · >>Fenton
I can't say I like this one much, even after looking at the site mentioned in the caption (allrgb.com). This picture is just a vector of Rainbow Dash on top of incoherent, ugly noise. The cool thing about the allrgb.com pictures is that they actually depict something (whether a clearly visible photo or a specific design), while this work is just a chaotic mess where it's impossible to make out anything.
#63 ·
· on One Day
Sorry Scootaloo, I'm afraid you're stuck with the lame cutie mark the show's creators have given you.

This was obviously drawn in Paint or something, but I kinda like this for some reason. The rear leg anatomy is kinda wonky but the goofy smile is adorable. Of course, the quality makes sense if you assume this is Scoot's fantasy sequence.

Not a top contender but not terrible either.
#64 ·
· on TICKLE MONSTER!!! · >>horizon
A cute and fluff piece. I quite like the feeling of motion we have here. Celestia's pose and expression are great. Her mischief is clearly visible in her eyes and in her smile.

As nitpicks, there are some problems with Luna (or Woona if you are cancer :p). Her wing feels a bit out of place, the left side of her mane is a bit weird and here right front hoof has a weird angle.

However, your drawing matches pretty well the way ponies are drawn in the show. A solid piece, without a doubt.
#65 ·
· on To Truly Care
My first thought was that Celestia became a giant and promptly impaled herself on the mountain. :P
If she's meant to be flying here, it's not clear, in part because her wings aren't open. Also her overall pose looks weird (the head angle, the front hooves, the weird perspective on the rear legs.)

I'm afraid there's not much good I can say about this picture, seeing as it's just a wonky-looking vector overlaid on a show screencap.
#66 · 3
· on To Truly Care
I think she's planking.
#67 ·
· on Reality
Celestia's facial expression is neat. I don't really get what she is looking at (a bug?), but I love it. The different circles tells me that either we're looking at this through something, glass panel, tainted window, or Celestia is 'hypnotized" by the bug.

Overall, a solid piece. The circling motion can lead to an interesting interpretation for a fic, and it adds a lot of perspective on just the drawing.
#68 · 1
· on Among the Limelight · >>FairyRave
I concur, the calm and the serene atmosphere this piece conveys is great, from the pony's smile (is it Fluttershy?) to the small dust clouds beneath the pony. This is not a fall despite the pose. It's letting go everything and simply enjoy what comes.
The main tone is grey but the light coming from the middle makes the whole piece shines and it's almost like the grey disappears to make room for colors.

I love it. I still haven't reviewed every piece but from the glimpses I caught from the gallery, I'm pretty sure you'll end up at the top. Thank you very much.
#69 · 2
· on Reality · >>Super_Trampoline >>Haze
I get the feeling this is ripples in a pond, or some such, sent out by the bug landing. The pulled out colors of Celestia's mane seem to support that idea of water refracting the image. Her horn size and engrossed expression say "young Celestia," which is always a nice phase to see. Oh, and the little bug friend also appears to be landing right in the reflection of the sun, which is a nice touch.

It looks like this was done with colored pencil, which makes the color refracting effect impressive. Celestia proper still looks very neatly drawn, where appropriate.

Good work!
#70 · 1
· on Into Flight · >>horizon
Simple and smart. Open wings with a big clear blue sky above, ready to be explored, that's very effective.

I wish I knew the statue so I could show my knowledge and explain how it adds another layer of meaning to the piece, but since I'm not, I'll just focus on the piece.

The statue is looking down for me. With all that sky above, it creates a nice contrast, which is very interesting to interpret for writing.

Thank you for sharing, and keep enjoying this beautiful weather.
#71 ·
· on TICKLE MONSTER!!! · >>horizon
Luna looks... old. With that the wrinkle under the eye (I've read somewhere that every extra line on the face adds ten years or so to the character's age), and the oddly frazzled left side of her mane, I just can't get over the impression that she's an elderly lady. That, or she's just risen out of bed after a sleepless night.

Beyond that nitpick, though, I think this is a fairly cute drawing, although Celly's definitely drawn better than her sister.
#72 · 1
· on Into Flight · >>Super_Trampoline >>CoffeeMinion
Well, as they always say, don't Blink.
#73 ·
· on One Day
One day she will have two pairs of wings instead of one? M.A. Larson striked again. He has gone beyond alicornication, we have to stop this madness. Everyone, hide your waifu, nopony is safe.

Jokes aside, this is very simple both in the technique and what it represents. While this doesn't help to gain points, the consistency definitely plays in its favor. Moreover, her goofy smile makes me smile too. That simplicity pleases me in a way. So clearly not a top tier but not a bottom tier.
#74 · 2
· on A Sunday Afternoon Among the Clouds of Le Grand Cheval · >>Fenton
I appreciate the reference to Seurat, but the execution is just applying a noise filter on a vector. The result looks like a badly transmitted file more than it resembles art. There’s more to Pontilism than placing dots at random, and especially so when you’re just letting a machine place the dots for you

Artist: instead of explaining that the tool you used made the clouds hard to see, and suggesting the viewer squint as a remedy (!), why didn’t you just fix the problem? Use a more art friendly tool, or (gasp) draw the clouds yourself? I know that Bob Ross makes everything look easy, but drawing clouds is pretty forgiving as art tasks go.
#75 ·
· on Fool · >>The_Letter_J >>Haze
Fool! You've triggered my trap card. Now you'll see how a true card master plays! And you're about to go BANANA, ON THE MOOOOOOOOOOOON!

Even if the drawing is a little rough around the edges, I quite like this one. There is a lot to interpret from this one. Who is holding the card? What does it say about the other pony/griffon/minotaur/Apache helicopter who came to "consult the cards"?

Since interpreting tarot cards varies according to people and situations, you've played a pretty smart trick here. It is a strong piece for interpretation. It's a bit weaker for drawing technique but it's not something big. My only nitpick would be with the colors. The back of the card is the only thing with a color and I don't know what is supposed to mean, or if it's just to add focus on the main subject, the tarot card.
#76 · 2
· on Protector
A charming pencil sketch with good composition and characterization (the trees look a bit small, though.) The shading is handled well (yeah, I know.)
#77 ·
· on I'd Like You To Meet My New Student · >>horizon
I'm fine with this being art, but does this meet the guidelines?
#78 · 1
· · >>Haze >>Ranmilia
It's not meant to be insulting or derogatory. What I am attempting to convey is that this is a writer-centric hub. If you wish to assert that the previous contests quality of art (Which at the time of my previous post is all there was to go by) in the contests thusfar is equivalent to the quality of writing, you are free to do so. I disagree.

I can say 'I do not think these are of similar quality' without meaning any insult to those submitting art pieces. Effort and quality are two separate categories. I could labor for 30 hours to try to solve a complex multivariable calculus equation and my end product would be, with virtual certainty, inferior to a single hour's work on the same problem by a PhD with a specialization in that field.

When I originally posted, I was thinking of 'Rising from the Ashes' submissions in particular, and if you wish to disagree a large portion don't appear as if they were rendered in Paint, that's your right! But I am going to politely disagree, and I do so without meaning insult to those who took part.

What I am ultimately upset with, as noted, is feeling constrained by that. 'Must be based on the artwork to a reasonable degree' means that, say, if I want to write a story that does not include Celestia or Luna in any way, 10/19 submissions are unusable. If I want to do a story without Alicorns, CMCs, or Mane 6, that's 13/19 pieces gone that directly depict them. If I add in the abstract pieces that imply one of the above or are extremely hard to avoid, you are down to 'Into Flight', 'Her Eye Forever Gazes Down' and 'Among the Limelight' (Though I suspect Limelight is about Dash, the pony there could be any pegasus), and maaaybe 'Flow'.

And that's completely independent of art quality, and part of why I am saying the 'Now writer is subordinate to artist' thing feels like it rankles here since it seems the new norm. I'd rather the rules encourage people to use the artworks but not mandate it, and why I was expressing early on that I was/am considering just ignoring art pieces entirely and going for whatever idea I like.
#79 · 1
And this. I have an idea I really, really like, but to make it work my options for the art right now are basically 'shoehorn something in' or 'ignore them entirely', which is a far cry from the way the prompts worked previously.
#80 · 1
· on Flow · >>Novel_Idea
Harvesting the power of the Sun with crystals. Interesting.
As for the style, I'm not sure. We don't really have much to clearly see how 'good' you can be with a pen (if it has been hand drawn). However, the lighting is great, especially around the Sun, and since it's one of the main focus of the piece, this is what counts the most.

Thank you for your work.
#81 · 1
· · >>Morning Sun
>>Morning Sun
Then I hope you made the most of your 4 extra days of writing time!
#82 ·
I haven't thought about ideas at all till this morning or written a word.
#83 · 1
· on Protector · >>Trick_Question >>Trick_Question
Even if it's canon, I'm not really fond of this aspect of Spike and Rarity's relationship, Spike being the slave of an oblivious Rarity (because I can't believe my waifu the Element of Generosity would take profit of such an innocent dragon).

Aside from that, the sketch is pretty solid. Rarity's face and mane are neat. Even without her cutie mark visible, she is easily recognizable. And Spike, well, if you can't recognize Spike, either you're blind, or the author has really f**ked up.

Overall, it's a nice piece. Thank you for your work.
#84 · 1
Sorry I wasn't able to contribute to the art again. I'm playing a game called Getting Life in Order that ended up taking precedence.

I will, however, be entering at least one fic this round. :dashcool:
#85 ·
>>Morning Sun
>>Morning Sun
Posting to agree with all this re:art vs writing focus and prompt systems. Basically what I was thinking but didn't articulate well.
#86 · 1
· on I'd Like You To Meet My New Student · >>CoffeeMinion
Er, I ask in Pert part because I might use it as my prompt.
#87 · 2
· on Protector · >>Fenton

You mean canon (as in canonical).
#88 · 1
· on Protector · >>Trick_Question
Ooops, it's corrected. That's what happen when you comment while trying to talk to someone. Thank you.
#89 · 1
· on I'd Like You To Meet My New Student
I'd say go for it. Maybe your entry will clean up! </dadjokes>
#90 ·
· on A Sunday Afternoon Among the Clouds of Le Grand Cheval
I didn't know allrgb.com so thank you for making me discover this amazing madness.

That being said, I'll have to agree with others here (>>JudgeDeadd and >>GroaningGreyAgony). It's hard to distinguish anything aside from Rainbow Dash. And, in a way, the fact we can clearly RD doesn't play in its favor for me. You see, if the whole piece would have been a chaotic mess with vaguely shaped form, it would have been more consistent and the piece would have been some kind of a challenge for the reader to grasp what it is suppose to represent. I sometimes like vague arts, where shapes and colors aren't clearly defined. It can creates some nice atmosphere. But here, the contrast in clearness between RD and the background (which is too messy for me) don't seem to be done on purpose, but rather a coincidence from the technique you seemed to have used (which my predecessors have described).
Moreover, the technique you used to render this doesn't seem to be connected at all with the piece and what it represents. Knowing that each pixel has a different color doesn't make any sense for me, it doesn't add a new meaning, and I believe that the technique has to be deeply connected with the meaning you want to convey.

My advice would be to either go for a full mess, challenging your audience to decipher your piece (it can be badly received, though), or make the piece much clearer.

I hope this won't stop you from submitting any future work, and thank you for sharing this one, even though it didn't really appeal to me.
#91 · 2
· on I'd Like You To Meet My New Student · >>Trick_Question
Which guideline are you worried it breaks? With the context of the title it seems pretty obviously prompt-related; it's definitely pony; I'm not seeing any connection to any participant's prior work; I don't see any flagrant anonymity breaking; it's not identified by reverse image search as having been posted elsewhere. We've had bad pun entries before, and we've had photographic entries before.

… I guess it does hoof the line of an M rating, what with that scandalously undressed Celestia.
#92 ·
· on I'd Like You To Meet My New Student · >>Dubs_Rewatcher >>horizon
I didn't know if this counted as "own work". Again, I don't have a problem with it—just making sure it wasn't an issue. Carry on.
#93 ·
· on Protector · >>Super_Trampoline
I only mentioned it because it's a word some people don't know, so my comment did not do anything useful* other than reveal meatloaf me to be shallow and pedantic. :V

(*I'm kidding.)
#94 · 1
· on Too Much Sun · >>horizon
Were her wings made of wax, and did they melt?

I think just a wee bit of background could help this piece. It looks to me like she is falling through the air, but perhaps she’s just supposed to be sprawled on the ground, exhausted from the heat as implied by the caption. The sun looks rather close for her to be somewhere on the ground, though, and the white background does not resemble space or the sky.
#95 ·
D’awww. This is a bit rough (as mentioned, Luna’s face in particular needs some attention), but it nicely captures a fun moment.
#96 ·
· on To Truly Care
If she’s supposed to be (metaphorically) spreading out protectively over the land, the tip of the mountain should be in front of her belly.
It’s a decent idea, but the execution is rather lacking.
#97 · 1
· on Flow · >>Novel_Idea
This is pretty overall, and nice job on the sun and the colors. The crystals could be rendered a lot better; photo references of real gems could help here. Thus the bottom of the picture looks odd compared to the top.
#98 · 2
· on Sealed · >>Posh
Sealed, and you’re using stamps; cute. Twilight’s ink fades quickly, but Celestia is evergreen. Also not sure what to make of the diagonal colors, but I’m guessing that your stamp pad touched the paper and you liked the effect.
Simple but haunting, even if the subject has been done to death. (Subject done to death, get it?)
#99 · 1
· on Sealed
>>GroaningGreyAgony ...Is this stream-of-consciousness critique?

Wait, what am I saying? You wrote Pinkamena's Wake. Of course it is.
#100 ·
· on One Day
This works as a rendition of a child’s fantasy drawing. There’s not much more I can say about it.