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In Defense of Equestria by SilFoe In Defense of Equestria by SilFoe
DETAILS. SO MANY DETAILS. Please, validate the effort put into this and zoom in. Things like the clasps and links that hold the armor together. The details on the helmet, both Celestia and Twilight's peytrals (the chest plate thingies). ALL THE THINGS.

So, a really freakin' long time ago, I was asked if I could do a picture with Celestia in armor. I went "Heck yeah! That'd be fun!" Since it wasn't a commission, I took my sweet, sweet time on it. I'd work on it for an hour and then leave it for a week or three and then pick it up again for another couple of hours. Stylistically, this is such a crazy departure from the usual sketch vomit I submit (I say that lovingly, the sketches are me learning and experimenting with digital medium. This was an actual test of my skill). There are still some errors, but I need to call this done and it get it out there.

About halfway through, I realized this would be the perfect picture to record to make a timelapse of. By then, it felt too late. Whoops... Instead, I'm going to offer up the huge Photoshop file. I approached this like an oil painting (that's my undergrad degree. This was an experiment in process. NEVER AGAIN. That was a stupid decision.) so there are a lot of superfluous layers. Every layer is numbered in order of creation (mostly) and named. Layers with a "-" in front is a hidden layer, like a reference picture or something that became useless later.

Here, have all 207 layers of it: [link]

Screw it up, make it stupid, dissect it to learn my process, I don't really care so long as you don't try to pass it up as your own . Have fun with it.

On Tumblr: [link]

quick edit: disabled layer 206. Decided that extra lighting effect was weird.
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ThaPokeMuffin Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2015
Ok, who took her cake?
LJ-ATCTION-360 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2015
Fujin777 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
AshesAndWings Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2015  Student General Artist
Mellomoni Featured By Owner May 22, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
phenomenal work!!
han169315 Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2015
Sun Scindo Prime :))
Malkey-GrohiikVokun Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2015
Es increible! 
queendagi Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Oh my god. Spectacular! I just love the detail you put in this! It is amazing! :happybounce: :squee: :clap:
lShadowBeaml Featured By Owner Edited Apr 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Absolutely breathtaking. I'm so friggin awed and jelly right now :l


Whoa whoa whoa. Downloaded the photoshop file and hid each and every single one layer to see what was what. I'm shocked. The work, every single, and almost imperceptible shade and highlight, the odd coloring, everything so meticulous and perfectly pulled off.

Simply amazing.
SilFoe Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2015   Digital Artist
Thank you!

That was before I got better with layer management and learned the importance of merging down when reasonable for the comp's sake.
lShadowBeaml Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Still an amazing work of art. 

Like, I even got tempted to follow arts in college in the future for things like this.

P.D: The Royal Sketchbook is great! Cadance scheme made my day.
NaokoElric2250 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
So badass! So awesome! Let's hope Celestia is not reduced to a damsel/defeated for a fifth time and actually does something badass on her own.
Frosttailka Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2015
this is my favourite and the best Picture that I´ve ever seen and the first time that I saw this is mybe a year ago...?
i love this sooooo much :333
only few thnigs are perfect and this picture is one of them
dannykid799 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2015
Badass level: TO THE MOON WITH YOU!!
Flagged as Spam
Night-Twinkle Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
had nothing to do with haters.
Bonnie-Bunnyears Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2015
Freddy embarrased chat icon 
Anybronym0ti0n Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I finally found the origin of this awesomeness!
Kittamaru Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015
This... is incredibly badass!!!!
Silentscreamsfromwit Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
That's a good look 4 her!
nice  job!😍
BenRG Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2015
"In the name of peace, we pleaded with them, we bargained with them and we offered them anything and everything a sane creature could want. They would not listen. So be it. If they will not embrace the light of Harmony, let them burn in its eternal, unforgiving fire."

"In the name of Equestria and all we hold dear... let none survive!"
TheSilverDawn Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist

Could you do Nightmare Moon like this?
Silentscreamsfromwit Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
That would be awesome!
ardashir Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014
Utterly gorgeous! I love the work on Celestia's armor in particular. Fine picture of Celestia Solaria Invicta -- Celestia the Unconquered Sun.
mirtar34 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So, what are they fighting? 
Flammifleure Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I remember  writing a comment on this before, but apparently it fell through the cracks and wasn't posted. Well! This is as amazing then as it was now. The picture is magnificent, the detailed work is almost staggering. It's incredible that you did all those individual links of mail!

And I do love Celestia, and it's great to see her like this. For some reason I especially like that her crest is emblazoned on the axe blades -- which is an interesting choice of weapon for her.

Also, I do have to think you for teaching me a new word -- peytrel. ^^
TheAnimeChannelxX Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2014  Student Digital Artist
This cannot be described with words ohoooo
But I did zoom waaaaay in and I think it's so cool how you made the edges of Twilight's and Celestia's mane shiny!!! The shading is very perfect, too.
geartech Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Words can not describe how incredible this picture is.
LucasKussowski Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2014  Professional Filmographer
This is totally badass - YEAH!!! /)
Warriors77495 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my god. You are so amazing.
abbyb808 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Clapping Pony Icon - The Dazzlings this is magnificent I love it Chiyo Fangirling Icon Fabulous Pewdiepie Emoticon <<< my actual face when i saw this
rakdarian Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Quick question, Why owuld she be using an Axe? I mean Magic seems so much simpler and at a range, and more power, and more, well everything
ColonelBSacquet Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014
Magic, simpler? The basic of sword/axe/spear/etc. fighting can be mastered in a few weeks. But for fighting magic? Hmm ... I somehow doubt it would be the same.

Besides, it's better not to rely your entire defence/offence on only one type of weapon.
It's like a cocktail: several ingredients, but in different doses.
SilFoe Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014   Digital Artist
I suppose for the same reason the unicorn guards all have spears. It's a tool to be manipulated. Perhaps it uses less power and/or focus to swing an axe than to form a magic blade or whatever other spell she could use. That would allow her to maybe use it AND offensive magic or to keep her magic focused on defensive spells (for her and those around her) or just simply to prevent exhaustion during the battle.
uniqueyourself Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
she looks Amazing!!
thetnknownbrony Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This reminds me of Fall of EQ 
Killed2013 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2014
Applejack liar :iconsay3plz: Overkill much do ya?
SCREAM :iconsay3plz: Ahh, it's the prophecy!
Jokiu Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014
In my fantasy adventure (don't ask, too much to explain), I was having an epic duel side-by-side with Celestia and Luna at one point, they were wearing armor, and Celestia's armor looked similar to this! Did we meet in my adventure? X3
SilFoe Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2014   Digital Artist
I don't think so? But at least your adventure sounds cool!
PurpleShnerples Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow! This is amazing! I bet this took you forever. All those details and the lighting! Gumball Wow Icon  Wow...I'm speechless. I really like how you did the armor on the wings and braided Celestia's hair. So cool! I can't believe I haven't come across your work until now. You've got a new watcher!Aww 
SilFoe Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2014   Digital Artist
Thank you!

It kinda did take forever. So much time fussing over tiny things or reworking other things. I'm glad you enjoy it, though! People liking it makes that effort worthwhile!
RoxieWOLF11 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Karapeppers Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014   Artist
Its epic battle time
ZoPteryx Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm awestruck by this!  Magnificent work!
pandapower1018 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love this! :D
GERsuperMAN Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I couldn't help wondering where did luna go... she was right there, like next to twilight I think
Thatbronyguy11 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2014
Thou shall be slaguterd for the glory of the new lunar republic!
Razberry99 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is amazing! <3

What program do you use?
SilFoe Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2014   Digital Artist
Thanks! This was done completely in Photoshop CS5.
BrutalityInc Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2014
"The world is a cruel and dangerous place, with no room for weakness or complacency. Show no mercy to those who will show no mercy to us, to those who cannot even contemplate mercy; to build a paradise for our people, you must be ready to unleash hell."
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Submitted on
May 5, 2013
Image Size
9.6 MB


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