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August 24, 2012
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Survivor Shy - Snowflakes of Shimmering Hues by Mattatatta Survivor Shy - Snowflakes of Shimmering Hues by Mattatatta
"I did not know why there was a thick mass of clouds on the ground amidst the heavy snowfall, but I was thankful for it. Being a Pegasus, I could easily manipulate the cloud and carve a comfortable, cozy little space into it, and seal it off from the freezing cold outside - leaving only a tiny little hole so that I could see outside clearly and let fresh air inside easier than the packed clouds would.

"I unpacked my lantern and lit it, and brought out the copy of
Supernaturals I had with me. I decided that I was going to camp inside the cloud-igloo until the snow let up, and until then, I was going to need to settle down and pass the time. Thinking back to when I decided to take this book with me from Zecora's hut, I wasn't sure why I felt like I would need it. But now, with nothing else to do other than sit quietly and wait, I was glad to have some sort of distraction from the trouble I was in.

"I must've read no more than ten pages, learning about exotic and rare herbs used in even more extravagant and elusive potions, before I fell asleep with my head resting on the pages. When I woke up, my lantern had burned through its oil, leaving only the dim ambience peeking in through the hole connecting to the chilling winds outside. I fumbled about in the low light, somehow managing to not spill all of the lantern's oil on the ground, and finally bathed the igloo with a warm glow once more.

"I yawned and stretched achingly. I had been through a lot in the past couple of days, and the stress from near-death had also left me feeling weak. But, with the Element of Magic nestled safely in my saddlebags, it was worth it.

"I sleepily opened my eyes as my yawn ended, and looked up at the snowflakes drifting inside before melting from the igloo's warmth. The snowflakes were mostly in perfect condition rather than featureless white puffs. The careful hoofwork of the craftsponies who had made them was weathering well in the heavy snowfall. But... There was something odd about them, each and every one of the snowflakes were shimmering with the many hues of a rainbow, and as I watched them melt on the ground, I saw that the snowflakes left little drops of flowing colour before evaporating completely. I rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn't seeing things, but the snowflakes were still shimmering and flickering all the colours of a rainbow.

"I was convinced that I was sleepy still, and needed a proper rest. I closed up the hole in the cloud-igloo's wall, turned the lantern's flame down, and settled down to sleep.

"I thought about Rainbow Dash, and how she might have known something about the snowflakes if she were here to see them. Maybe she'd have been impressed by the cloud-igloo, too.

"I curled up tighter, clinging onto the memories of my friends while trying to ignore the loneliness those same thoughts were bringing."


=~=

Also available on FimFiction!:
[link]

Survivor Shy dA Gallery: [link]

Survivor Shy FAQ: [link]

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I'm back finally after spending a long time fighting art block and a little sickness after a weekend of adventure.

In today's update, Fluttershy shows that she still has her lantern, displays some pretty nice cloud manipulation, and increases her Survival skill by 1. This is probably the first "downtime" scene I've drawn and wrote for in a while. Which kind of reflects how I've needed the downtime myself to get back into the swing of things.

Be sure to give me your feedback! I appreciate every comment, especially those that contain theories, questions, and advice.
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:icondempsey23:
dempsey23 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012
My goodness she looks beat. I hope you are doing ok.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This month wore me out in the artistic sector, I'm starting to reorganise myself and get on with more scenes.
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:icondempsey23:
dempsey23 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012
Always good to hear. Take care of yourself.
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:iconnameleslight:
Nameleslight Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The shading is so good! I love the way the cloud look. Overall a good picture. But I think the lantern is in the wrong perspective. It looks rather flat.
The story is good too. Nice idea with the cloud igloo. When I read about the rainbow snowflakes, the first thing I though about was oil spill, but that's not very likely in Equestria. Perhaps some of the pipes used to transport rainbows in the weather factory are starting to leak?
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I didn't sketch the lantern at an angle, part laziness, part trying-to-get-it-done-because-an-update-is-so-overdue-oh-Luna.

I did try to work some perspective into it in the actual picture, but because the viewer is looking at the flat side of it, it wasn't very good. Still, at least there's a little depth and you can the opposite side of the lantern through the mesh guarding the flame. Before I draw that it look like only side of the lantern existed!

So, the lantern is bit of a fail, but I didn't want to stress over it any further - especially after agonising over Fluttershy's sketch and final drawing so much.

The rainbow snowflakes have significance to the story, and are foreshadowing something, much like the alleged sighting of Applejack.

Fun fact: The rainbow snowflakes were a late addition, at first they were just white with a slight white glow. But I didn't like how the snowflakes looked, and it dawned on me that I had an opportunity to improve their look and foreshadow something.
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:iconnameleslight:
Nameleslight Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
All right.
Once again, I love the shadowing in this one. :)
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks. I tried revisiting a technique I first used to draw shadows, but with a few new things I've since learned. It's several different layers for specific parts of the picture, all set to multiply. I eyedropped Fluttershy's coat and increase the saturation slightly, and dropped the brightness down a tiny bit, and used that for the majority of the picture. To make sure shadows stayed clean and didn't carry over from one thing to another that shouldn't have a shadow, I used a selection tool to select by colour, and gradually selected what I wanted to put a shadow over. Then I could easily draw a shadow on something without having go onto something that it shouldn't go on.

To tidy up the shadows and make them behave according to lighting, I used an eraser on a low density setting so that it would erase things gradually - which is much cleaner and efficient than blurring with a watercolour tool like I have been in the past.

Hooray for improvements!
Reply
:iconnameleslight:
Nameleslight Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hooray indeed. ^^
Your comment made me take a closer look on the shadows (clicked the download button). I noticed a few of them where slightly of. I've heard that it's easier if you put the line work on a separate level above the others. But that's up to you.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I like to keep shadows over linework, so that the lines darken too. If I were working with black lines, then it wouldn't matter, I suppose.
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:iconnintendofreak768:
nintendofreak768 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
Damn. I don't know where this fits in the overall story. D:> do I have to read everything all over again?
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