This is my last minute on a whim submission for the DA Artist Training Grounds week 3 bonus theme: draw Phoe in a Gala dress. For anyone not in the know, Phoe was the one organizing the original 30 themes and galleries for the original Equestria Daily Artist Training Grounds.
This is something I really wish I had time to colour, but I decided to do it on a whim when there was about 90 minutes before the deadline. I’m not really sure what a good Gala dress looks like, so the goal for me was to make something resembling a pony dress and then make it as ornate as I could possibly manage in the allotted time. I think I just ended up making something very large, but simple. I went for a very soft, cloud type of look wherever I could. I’m a big fan of sashes with large ornate bows, so I threw one of those in there too. I added the… uh, whatever the transparent cloth in the front would be called because the dresses in the show tended to shy away from putting stuff there and I wondered how it might look. Aside from that, it’s backless in order to allow her wings freedom of movement. I wanted to do something fancier with the hair, like maybe braid the long part, but I couldn’t get it figured out and didn’t think continuing down that path would be a good use of time, so I left her hair pretty close to the way it’s normally depicted. I thought about a tiara or something like that, but I didn’t really know how I’d fit it in. I also knew I wanted to add an earring, but had no idea what design I was going for. The flowers are totally improvised and I’m actually pretty happy with how the earring turned out.
Wow, colouring this was a real learning experience for me. There was a ton of trace work to be done, since even though I didn’t sketch out anything ridiculously extravagent, the dress was still large and detailed. I also spent a lot of time debating over colours. The main part of the dress being teal was about the only thing I was certain about from the get go. I even had to adjust Phoe’s colours. However, doing fashion on a whim seems to work on for me, because my first choice for the time: silver, went pretty well with the teal. So much that I decided to use silver as my secondary colour for just about everything on the dress. I had to do several takes on Phoe herself, though. A white coat is almost as bad as all the black coat stuff I’ve been doing lately. While it doesn’t eat the eye lashes, it does blend into the sides of the whites of the eyes that are exposed, making things look weird. I then swapped to an offwhite with a blue tint, but that ended up making her look kind of sickly. I tried a yellow tint next, which gave it a very light cream colour that I thought was pretty nice and ended up sticking with it. The hair took an extra try because the first time I picked a pink that was way too bright. I almost went with pink irises, but decided I liked the interpretations with the blues eyes better. And for something a little different, I coloured the earring to match her eyes. Oh and the background is lifted wholesale from The Best Night Ever.