It's really sweet, isn't it? How these ponies, and dragon, have grown so close, forming a bond closer than friendship, more like siblings. Like sister and their little brother. That's how close they are, and how much they love each other. Makes ya feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and makes you want to cry liquid pride of happiness.
I haven't heard from you in a while! Yes, I keep trying new things with every image I start. I've been focusing a lot on departing from the show's style in favour of details and methods I find easier or logical. Working out how the muscles and bones play into a character's expression has been an interesting thing to do, and I owe a number of tutorials for the way I draw pony faces now. I'm working on a another piece right now, and I've finally developed a wing style I can construct and draw that is easier than the FiM wings, but a little more detailed. I reckon I'll be studying shoulders and ribcages next and factoring that into the different characters I'll be drawing in the future. Skeletons are just fascinating...
It's a stylistic choice I've been experimenting with for a few months now. They were inspired by 'wingding eyes' I've seen other artists draw, but I wanted something that can be added on top of the expressiveness of the eyes and not drastically alter them. The heartbeat monitor style appears to be what I'm looking for, and I'm still fiddling with the specific rules I want to go by when using them. The main thing to note is that they do not represent the actual heartbeat of a character, but instead they represent how that character is feeling is both a physical and emotional level. A 'flatline' would therefore mean the character is feeling weak or depressed, whereas a bold and strong monitor would mean they are energetic and happy.
There's more to it, but I haven't settled on it all yet. I'm hoping I can make a good technique out of it, and maybe make it my 'thing'