GJ301: Greetings, everyone! This is GJ301, and I welcome you all to my next crossover review, where every last week of the month, I’ll be critiquing an MLP related piece of art along with another fellow critic. This month, I’m reviewing:
“Dangerous Selfie” by Hunternif
And joining me this month is writer and hobbyist AlisiaLanet. What do you say we jump into this, Alisia?
AlisiaLanet: I definitely think we should! No one has asked me to do a crossover with them before. But I think I’ll be able to do it. So let’s get started!
GJ301: Absolutely! This is “Dangerous Selfie”!
GJ301: So I guess we can take this quality-by-quality, starting with the vision. What do you have to say about how well the picture lives up to its name?
AlisiaLanet: Well, the illustration fits the title very well and if not for the title I would not had thought of a selfie.
GJ301: I would have to agree. Truth be told, however, when I saw this piece, I first thought of that scene from Spy Kids 3, where Juni and Demetra are fighting and Demetra is swinging Juni by the legs and the camera is travelling with him. My idea was that the illustration was trying to create a rush by following the protagonist as they swing in such huge motions, thus generating some level of anxiety. Do you think the same thing?
AlisiaLanet: Partially, though to me, it appears Rarity is reaching out for help from the pony we are seeing through the eyes of.
GJ301: Now that’s not a bad theory. You can infer that this picture is from the point of view of, say, Rainbow Dash or Fluttershy, and that Rarity is reaching her hoof out to either one of them so that she can escape. At the same time, however, you can hypothesize that Rarity literally has a phone and that she is sending a selfie to her peers via Snapchat, informing them that she’s in danger. It could be a joke on how she’s using technology and/or social media to get someone to rescue her.
AlisiaLanet: I guess that’s possible. Not the idea hat I had in mind, but I guess I can see it. Either way, it is still beautifully done.
GJ301: Well, enough about the vision. What about the originality? Do you think it has something new to offer?
AlisiaLanet: I sure do! The episode is well known, as is the scene between Spike and Rarity. I personally have not seen much artwork at this particular angle or with this certain expression. It is original in the way it is presented and the style used.
GJ301: I one hundred percent agree. I always say that even if a certain idea has been done before, or if there’s a particular scene that exists in, it’s what you can bring to it that’s fresh and new that matters, and this picture does exactly that.
AlisiaLanet: Indeed! It did a very nicely job in making an iconic scene feel refreshing.
GJ301: So that seemed pretty simple. Now we move on to the technique. Would you like to comment on it first, Alisia?
AlisiaLanet: Definitely! I must say that it has beautiful shading and lighting! There’s also some wonderful and fluid movement and expressions! I love the depth and distance demonstrated to give it a sense of the viewer being there. The shimmer framing the base of Rarity's eyes is nicely done, appearing to look like tears, which adds to the emotion on her face.
GJ301: Exactly. I like how he created a shimmering effect as well. It proves that Rarity has this intense feeling of anxiety. She’s so worried that she’s going to die, that she’s crying. Like you said, it’s a clever way to display emotion.
AlisiaLanet: I know! Not only that, but also the color of her eyes is beautiful and the magic around her horn is also wonderfully done. The shading on her mane alongside the use of blur really adds to the swinging motion of Spikes tail.
GJ301: Precisely. It goes back to what I was saying earlier: it creates the feeling of a rush, making the observer feel a state of terror.
AlisiaLanet: That’s absolutely true! On top of that, the blur on Spike and the scenery is nicely done, adding detail as well as to the first person view we have with the close-up of Rarity. I will say the angle and twist of Spikes head is well done but his showing eye does appear to be bulging up off his head a little at the top. A minor thing but maybe, even though not as dramatic, if it had been closed or not disconnected at the top then it wouldn't seem off.
GJ301: I don’t really see the bulging eye as much of an issue. Yet, what I do see as an issue is how there seems to be this weird object covering it. I don’t really mind if his eyes show, but whatever object that is supposed to be in front of it, it’s not needed in the illustration.
AlisiaLanet: I respectfully disagree with your thoughts on the eye, but I think we’re both on good terms when we say it’s not animated very well. Still though, this minor detail does not detour from the overall artwork. The lighting on Spike's scales is well done and I enjoyed that spot of detail of scales, such as on his tail close to Rarity. The spikes are also nicely angled and colored as well as shaded.
GJ301: I think you’re right. This is especially true when it comes to his tail. Because it’s much nearer to the camera, you can see more of it in detail. The fact that the texture of his scales becomes much smoother as he moves further away is a great way to show off the aperture effects. But I think we’ve discussed more than enough about the technique. Let’s move on to the final aspect: the impact. What do you have to say about it?
AlisiaLanet: The emotion is expressed very well and comes across wonderfully. I love the way a look of fear reflected in her eyes. I also pick up on a feeling of wanting to get the perfect picture as well despite the fact she is in danger, which would fit with the vanity she has displayed from time to time in the show.
GJ301: That’s true. She has always been a stickler for detail, so it would make sense that she would want to make the picture as sharp as possible.
AlisiaLanet: Yeah! Furthermore, I enjoy how the emotion in Spike's body matches with the rage and out of control nature we saw displayed in the episode. It is beautifully done.
GJ301: I agree. Based on how hard and fast he’s swinging her, you can tell that he’s in a fit of rage. It’s the perfect way to prove how monstrous he is behaving.
GJ301: Well, I think we’ve covered enough of this drawing. Want to share your concluding thoughts?
AlisiaLanet: Sure. I think it’s a beautiful piece overall, despite the minor fact with the one showing eye from Spike. Upon closer look it still has the appearance of being slightly disconnected at the top but that is most likely due to the movement, which if so then nicely done in adding to the small details. A wonderful piece that is unique in its own way even if the scene/event is well known for the most part. I very much enjoyed viewing this. Overall, I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
GJ301: Nice final thoughts, Alisia! As for me, I think this is one of the best illustrations involving Spike and Rarity, even if, like you said, it is based on an actual episode. The blending of colors is magnificent, the expressions on the characters faces are very lifelike and emotional, and as much as I hate to sound like a broken record, I have to admire one last time how it perfectly creates the feeling of anxiety and nervousness. For a piece that’s based on my favorite Spike episode in the series, I must say that it is superb! As a whole, I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars, as well.
GJ301: Well, everyone, I hope you enjoyed my fifth, and possibly longest () crossover review to date. I thank you all for checking it out. Speaking of checking things out, be sure to visit Hunternif’s gallery, where you can find all sorts of MLP drawings, as well as portraits, studies and speedpaints, and even something called “Art-Battle” speedpaintings, where every week, he has two hours to create the best pony-related drawing as part of a contest held by Russia's largest Brony community forum/blog Tabun. I would also like you all to take a look at AlisiaLanet’s profile, where you can find all sorts of different works, including short stories, charcter profiles, and even a fanfic talking about the origins of King Sombra! I want to thank you again for doing this with me, Alisia!
AlisiaLanet: You’re welcome! It was a pleasure reviewing with you! It has been a while since I last did an art review [rubs back of head]. It felt good doing it again. Thank you so much, GJ!
GJ301: No problem! Once again, I thank you all for reading! I’ll see you soon!