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The many faces of Lapis Lazuli by RenaTurnip The many faces of Lapis Lazuli by RenaTurnip
</spoilers> from the other upload.

Tentatively decided to upload these at 2x zoom so you can see all the cheating and horrible pixel choice decisions a little easier. This is one of the things I've been working on this month, for no reasons other than practice, ultimately. They're displayed in almost opposite chronological order. Angry Lapis was actually the first one done, and the only two expressions that were done on the same face were the two on the bottom. Every other one was rescratched no matter how similar they look to one another, bringing the total amount of scratched shapes/lines to four.

Why is the hair so inconsistent? Because I really really hate hair more than pegasus wings. The hair here, specifically the teal part... it was so annoying and so hard to even begin to understand that it literally brought my mood down three days in a row. I don't... I don't get how hair works -_- I'm over it now, but I'm still not happy, and I'm very upset because I can't comprehend the workings of hair at all. The most I can do is fake it, and it's blatantly clear where it fell apart. I don't know. The actual style of the hair isn't even really what I wanted when I first designed Lapis as a character (see the old icon of him), but I guess this is where it got me for these mugs.

... Yeah. This was a rough journey :c Even so, here you go, everyone. I hope you find it interesting. If anybody wants to bug me about commissions for these, chances are I will not take them because these are extremely difficult for me... so I'm sorry in advance for that. Still, though, I hope you guys find these neat in some way.

Lapis Lazuli :iconrenaturnip:

Also, that angry face? That's extremely, extremely sexy >~>

Also I'm really sorry for how naughty the top right face looks, but, well... at least it's a good face, right? xD
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:iconknightofequestria:
I think you're being a bit hard on yourself here Rena :) Now it's true we can basically see every pixel you ever put down because of the 2x zoom, but at the same time it is the nature of the beast you have chosen to draw. Icons are small, small art is more pixelated and harder to detail because it is more pixelated.

Even the detail I believe is excellent for an icon sized art, the highlights in the teal portion of the hair at the very least gives it a different texture feel and doesn't look like Lapis's skin. The shadows on his skin helps give the hair some pop, which it needed.

Now, I'm no expert in pixel art but perhaps what I would suggest is adding the TINIEST one pixel wide shadow to the center of some of his locks of hair, there are some locks that look 5 pixels wide where you might be able to squeeze a shadow in, perhaps giving it some hair-like texutre.
But again I don't know because I am no where near an expert on the subject, and I rarely find pixel artists who do ponies. Just perhaps something to try.

Really I think the hair looks great! You know, I've heard artists are always harder on themselves because they can see their own "blatant" mistakes. But for me I can't see them as clearly or at all. I don't think it's because I don't see detail or mistakes, it's just when I look at this I see this as "this is the way this piece of art is suppose to be" His hair doesn't appear to connect his head in a funny way, it doesn't look like it's coming out of his skin, or flastered to his forehead.

I won't commission you to make one of these because it sounds like quite an ordeal, but really I think you did a wonderful and lovely job creating them for what it's worth.

Also! DAT BLUSH FACE :iconmoeblushplz:
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
4 out of 4 deviants thought this was fair.

:iconpix3m:
While I'm wondering what you're seeing in the hair that feels off, I could see where you're coming from. I think what looks off is that if you think about where the hair grows, and where each stand goes, it probably doesn't make all that much sense. That lock of hair to our right doesn't appear to be placed to be quite attached to the head.

If you're talking about this particular style of hair not being what you intended, the only thing that looks funny to me is how a couple of bunches of hair have a layer of hair right under. I have a hunch that we could just simplify them into one bunch. Otherwise, it still reads as hair and IMO that's all that matters.

You also wanna be careful about chopping up your lines into pieces when you AA. I tried making an edit to show what I think is more optimal AA, but I end up having to create a new color because I couldn't easily find another color that can do the job, but here it is: [link]

Instead of having to create new colors just for AA though, you could just tweak your palette. Heck, look at what I did for this piece: [link]

Value is apparently more important than color for AA, so I was able to AA between colors using colors that doesn't appear to belong... using oranges to AA with the pinks. Most of the colors can fit on a ramp that goes from light to dark in a straightforward manner, while containing multiple color ramps inside at the same time.

Putting aside rendering skills, there aren't that many other things I feel are 'huge'. Maybe the eyelashes can be more consistently thick, and there's the possibility of using a composition that is less of a close up and zooms out farther. I recently realized that there is more potential for interesting poses and other elements if you use less room for the face A current WIP of mine is using a couple of abstract backgrounds, just a fun thought =)
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
9 out of 9 deviants thought this was fair.

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:iconkittycatz22:
Kittycatz22 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013

I only think you shouldn't be so close perhaps add room to see the full head?


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:iconpawsinthesnow:
PawsInTheSnow Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
very cool like the expressions you chose
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:iconrenaturnip:
RenaTurnip Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013
I was trying to go for a bit of a variety :P My friends have often told me I only draw smiley faces, so I wanted to mix it up here xD
Reply
:iconpawsinthesnow:
PawsInTheSnow Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
It's fun to change it up every once in a while :D looks like you did a great job over all of them. Practising different expressions is a great way to know your characters better too :D
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:iconsentinentcodex:
Sentinentcodex Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
Okay, I'm no Pony fan, But I am lovin' this thing.
Reply
:iconrenaturnip:
RenaTurnip Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
You don't have to like Ponies xP I really appreciate it nonetheless. It always makes me happy when someone outside the fandom can appreciate something I do just on its own individual merits, so thank you o:
Reply
:icontessiursa:
tessiursa Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh dear lord. The insane face.
ALSO THE BLUSHY FACE. JHSDJHSKDHFjkdssdgf. /faves a million times
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:iconrenaturnip:
RenaTurnip Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
Sorry :3 (no I'm not)
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:iconkompalisky87:
Kompalisky87 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha the top center face :XD:
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:iconrenaturnip:
RenaTurnip Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
:icontwilightheeplz:
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:iconinsidioussys:
InsidiousSys Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very solid work here, I don't see much wrong with the hair. It flows outward from the head, and you couldn't fit it into the frame. Maybe because the dark blue section looks like it follows the head, almost like it's stuck to him(?)
Also (though this is purely personal preference), maybe think about replacing the black with a real dark purple, it would soften out the image a little bit, I think
Reply
:iconrenaturnip:
RenaTurnip Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
Maybe a bit, but the darker parts of the hair are already pretty dark and if I lightened the outlines, I'd have to lighten the others too. Contrast between shades, and all that. I'll consider it for next time, but I couldn't say for sure how much of a difference it would end up as D:
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:iconinsidioussys:
InsidiousSys Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Probably not a massive change overall, I would agree with you. You could just use the "Contiguous" option on Photoshop's Paint Bucket to adjust all of the same colour, that's how most people play with colour palettes on a pixel level (unless you don't have Photoshop -_-).
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:iconrenaturnip:
RenaTurnip Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
I use MS Paint. What the hay do I need something like Photoshop for? >:P

I can adjust colours on my own. It's not that I can't change them all, so much as that the dark purple/blue of his hair already looks good as-is and properly reflects the way his hair is. Making it brighter wouldn't be an accurate reflection of the way the character looks, or at least not the way I want to present him.

Of course, now that I say this, I realize that the only black pixels here are on his eyes, and if that's what you meant then I feel silly and those would be worth changing <_< But his hair's outline isn't black. It's a dark blue, if you get in close and peek.
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:iconinsidioussys:
InsidiousSys Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm not saying that you need Photoshop per se, and a lot of pixellers use MS Paint, but I personally like the tools that it can provide, which overall help to accelerate my own pixel process.

I did not notice that everything but the eyes were dark-blue, so that's my mistake. You could play around with changing the eye colour to the same dark blue if you want, but it probably won't make a massive difference to the overall look of the piece.
Reply
:iconzanon-shadow-veil:
Zanon-Shadow-Veil Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
These turned out really awesome. Did not know manes were a pain in to make *Hides his mane under a hat in fear Rena will shave it off* Derp face is just commical but my fave is the bottom left.
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:iconrenaturnip:
RenaTurnip Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
The bottom left was slightly an accident. I was going for a face like the bottom right, but I started with a different mouth (the bottom left's) and I realized that I could turn it into a different, more pained expression, so I went with that too.
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:iconcellularsp:
CellularSP Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really great job at capturing these expressions.

dat derp face... :iconrainbowdashderpplz:
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:iconrenaturnip:
RenaTurnip Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
Probably blatantly the most referenced face out of all of these xD I just couldn't resist.
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:iconcellularsp:
CellularSP Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
There are other references? MUST FIND THEM-
Reply
:iconrenaturnip:
RenaTurnip Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
Only a teensy bit. The barest of references for expression, truly. You'd probably have a really hard time identifying any of them if you ever found any xD
Reply
:iconp-b-o-f:
P-B-O-F Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think its amazing
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:iconrenaturnip:
RenaTurnip Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
Well thank you very much o: I'm glad you think so.
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:iconp-b-o-f:
P-B-O-F Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
your welcome
Reply
:iconmagnemite10:
magnemite10 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
These are awesome! And the hair actually looks REALLY good. Don't be so hard on yourself!
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:iconrenaturnip:
RenaTurnip Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
It was hard :iconcryforeverplz: I'm glad you and everyone likes them so much, but I really wish I could have done a better job, I'm afraid.
Reply
:iconmynder:
Mynder Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
They look good Rena, I don't know what the buck you're talking about. At least you highlight and shade your hair, I don't even get that far on the matter. XD
Reply
:iconrenaturnip:
RenaTurnip Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
The shaping... xD The flow. The natural curves. The way it falls upon a head. It's... hard. With the floating Cutie Mark icons, it's easy to convey a simple and basic shape. But an upclose detail style where lines really matter to convey a shape? It's just... tricky. It requires real understanding. I know people will probably say it's just the artist being rough on herself, but I just don't feel like I really get it... if you must know, the hair on most of these took hours alone to sit and figure out, each. Even if the result is good, the work was really really stressful, and it really drained me ._.

Still, I appreciate your words, so thank you very much :c A few of my friends already sat through the process with me before I posted these and I appreciate everyone's support even if I sound so down about it.
Reply
:iconmynder:
Mynder Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
All I can in reply
:boogie:
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