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June 8, 2012
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Survivor Shy - Waterfall by Mattatatta Survivor Shy - Waterfall by Mattatatta
"The rain had long since passed by the time I left the caves. Dawn was breaking, the sky was slowly becoming brighter as the purple fingers of night clung onto the horizon. The air was cool, and a very subtle breeze wound its way between the trees and through the bushes. Nearby, the river was looking fuller, and swiftly whisking away the cool water to the waterfall just beyond the treeline. I walked over to the river and stood by the bank to refill my canteen and take a good, long drink.

"This place was beautiful, and had been unseen and untouched by ponies for hundreds of years, save for very few explorers. The Free Lands, as I had come to learn, had always been left alone by pony kind. The vast mountains that separated it from Equestria were too treacherous for settlers to want to travel across, and while Pegasi could simply fly over, those who did preferred living in the clouds that roamed without restraint across the sky, later returning home when the clouds evaporated.

"I followed the river to where it poured over the side of the cliff, falling a long distance down before winding its way among the hills of the plains below. I took to the air and glided to a ledge that jutted out over the edge, in the middle of the water's path. I looked at the sunrise, and thought about the journey ahead; I had to return to Equestria, and continue my search for the Elements of Harmony.

"I listened to the water falling beneath me, then the leaves rustling in the trees, and then the morning song of the birds. I treasured this moment, because I knew that I was not going to hear any of these when I reached Equestria. The weather had reacted badly to being controlled and now suddenly unmanaged. In some parts of Equestria, there was flooding, in others, blizzards, and in other places, hurricanes. The weather above Canterlot and Ponyville, which the weather factory in Cloudsdale managed, became nothing but clear skies and a scorching hot Sun, which meant a terrible drought. The ground below had dried and cracked, plentiful ponds and rivers had all dried up, and whatever plantlife left behind after all the ponies vanished had shriveled away and died.

"Meanwhile, the part of the Everfree Forest bordering the region refused to bend under the heat. Somehow, the strange place was managing to survive and pass a few rainclouds over itself every now and then. That behaviour alone would have once convinced me to steer clear of it and all the scary creatures lurking in there. But now, it encouraged me to keep living there, among the ruins of the Old Castle, because the forest had a steady supply of water and food.

"I scanned the horizon, picking out landmarks between it and myself, and planned my route. I had a chance to undo the damage that had been done, and to possibly bring everypony back, and I didn't want to waste time slowly ambling back. I unfurled my wings and gave a few test flaps, I secured my saddlebags, and made sure my canteen wouldn't get in the way of flying. With a deep, relaxing breath, I leapt off the cliff and took to the air, heading for home."

=~=

Survivor Shy Gallery: [link]

Follow my Tumblr! (Pretty please?): [link]

*FAQ:*

(q)What is this?
(a-short answer) Survivor Shy, an ongoing series following Fluttershy on a mission to survive being in an Equestria in ruins, and to restore Equestria and ponykind.
(a-long answer) A project I began after binging on Fallout 3 and Fluttershy episodes. It originally began as a couple of pictures that depicted Fluttershy in an ambigious, post-apocalyptic setting. But since then, Survivor Shy has evolved into an ongoing adventure/fantasy series following Shy's journey to restore Equestria and ponykind.

(q)Where do I start? In what order do these pictures go?
(a-short answer) Follow them in any order, none of them are in chronological order, and I've left it up to you to work out the correct order.
(a-long answer) I'm experimenting with an unusual way of storytelling. I focus on drawing dramatic scenes that fit the basic theme of Survivor Shy, and once I'm finished, I write a story excerpt based on the picture. As time goes by and I complete and upload new scenes, the chronological order of the story shall become clearer, and the story shall practically write itself. Once I finish the 'last' scene of Survivor Shy, I'll see about linking the scenes together into chronological order.

(q)Why are your animated pictures so big? They make me lag!
(a)I'm a silly pony who likes massive pictures, but I'll downscale the gifs so that they don't lag so much from now on.

(q)Is this going to be Grimdark/Mature?
(a) I have no intention of drawing anything that could be classed as Grimdark. We're talking Disney-levels of blood and overall darkness. As for the written parts, I will not write anything graphic, but the written parts do have less-strict rules.

(q)Will Fluttershy die?
(a)I can't say exactly, I will say that she could die, but I'll never draw her dead or write words to the effect of "Fluttershy died". If your imagination says that she died after a certain scene, then that's your interpretation.

*End of FAQ*

I decided to try a different way of colouring. Instead of using solid colours and lineart, with shading applied on top, I decided to colour immediately after sketching, using watercolour and paintbrush tools to name a few. Blending the colours and using different brush settings meant a lot of experimentation, and the end result is very nice I think. Overall it was a fun experience.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconraenboow:
RaenBoow Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Student Digital Artist
The perfect amount of text with every drawing... This is like I want it to be. :thumbsup::thumbsup: I get some help picturing the scenery graphically with the style and settings you set. And I get perfectly good explanation to what she is doing, thinking and feeling in this current place.

In memory of FallOut Equestria - Wow, Reading things NOT chronologically IS fun! :D I can with great certainy place your "Sirt, Stry, urd Syche" to happen WAY AFTER this one though...
But there wasn't much scenery art for FoE. So I had to picture everything up from scratch (and I did some occasionaly picturesearches on google). That went extremely well still (I'm actually proud over my imagined sceneries in general in FoE :XD:) since it's very well written.

But being given a taste in pure graphical format helps and makes the experience easier to picture. It feels like there was a free place in first class and the captain offered me it without extra pay. My brain gets spoiled but I don't mind - Thanks for spoiling us! :love:
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha no problem. The art is drawing practice, and the story is writing practice to me lol
Reply
:iconraenboow:
RaenBoow Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Student Digital Artist
^^ Oh, that's right. I forgot to ask: Why did you save the outlines on fluttershy's hair, tail, saddlebag and headband? Everything else doesn't have outlines it seems. Any smart-ass intention with that, or did she melt in with the background to much or......?
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I added the outlines after painting, and it was because she blended too much with environment and trying to 'paint' small lines for details and the like was being a pain in the arse. I had to rescue her from the background, and make her pop up a bit more. The heavy, black lines actually really help the image I believe.
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:iconraenboow:
RaenBoow Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Just curious :)
Reply
:iconmakri14:
Makri14 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012
These reminds me of The Hunger Games Books
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You must be the second person to have said that, just noting that.
I've never read the Hunger Games books, nor seen the film of the same name, so the connection is lost on me
:iconpinkiepieshrugplz:
Reply
:iconloftwinglover:
loftwinglover Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
do you relize how good these are as desktop wallpapers?!
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
When I make them this size, you can guarantee that I use them myself as a desktop wallpaper lol
Reply
:iconloftwinglover:
loftwinglover Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
this is beautiful........
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks
Reply
:iconliliththeottsel:
Liliththeottsel Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm jealous about the way you can draw landscapes :O !!!!
Very good work!!
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! This was my first serious attempt at drawing a decent landscape, so I'm glad I managed to do something good with it
Reply
:iconzaiali:
zaiali Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012
Nice work, seems very well done.
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks, how do you like the series so far?
Reply
:iconzaiali:
zaiali Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012
It's pretty good, throwing some challenges that would test her bravery is well done.
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm slowly thinking of bigger challenges that she would most likely encounter during her adventure. There's a few nice ideas I'm considering, but I do not yet have an image in my head that I'm settled on.
Reply
:iconzaiali:
zaiali Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012
She should fight a group of bandits.

I mean she has to overcome fear in a fight. So you could say that she has a trinket of sorts from Applejack, or someone else, that they are trying to take but then she gets mad and takes them down. She did take down a bear, granted it wasn't to hurt it.
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fighting isn't in Fluttershy's nature, unless it an absolute last resort. I've been thinking about there being some group of bandits or species that moved in to loot, after the ponies disappeared. I've been thinking about that for a while, now. But for Fluttershy to actually resort to coming to blows with something, it would have to be a very hairy situation that either she reluctantly fights in, or has her berserk button pushed.
Reply
:iconzaiali:
zaiali Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012
Well you should push her buttons then! :iconallthethingsplz:
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
All of them?! :iconohmygodplz:
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconcjfinnegan:
CJFinnegan Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You're a really good artist and storyteller. Keep it up.
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks, that means a lot to me. I've never pegged myself as a good storyteller, and I've only been seriously drawing for less than a year
Reply
:iconcjfinnegan:
CJFinnegan Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You're very welcome, and you are an excellent storyteller.
Reply
:iconsapphire475gs:
sapphire475gs Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012
Now I have a bit of a better idea how the world has been conditioned with the apparent absence of ponykind. "The Free Lands"... a wonderful sounding place. I guess it is another source of natural anarchy on their planet (Everfree Forest being the first one we've heard of... what do you suppose was with that naming?).

This is a great sequence of scenes you've got going. I look forward to the rest!
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Since the Old Castle of The Royal Pony Sisters lies deep in the Everfree Forest, I think the name was bestowed upon the forest shortly after the castle was abandoned and the forest took over. Perhaps Princess Celestia decided to move to Canterlot to rule, and to escape bad memories, and the old castle and the area around it was largely abandoned. By the time ponies started thinking about the place, the forest had grown around it and the weather had settled into its 'natural' ways. With the amount of hostile creatures lurking in the forest, and the difficulty involved in retaking control of the place, the forest was probably written off as a habitable location and named Everfree, meaning that it is to be forever free of pony control.

I've developed a headcanon that controlled and uncontrolled weather are both fine and acceptable in the FiM world, because the weather there is apparently very flexible, being able to function without a living being's input (hence the dense, healthy growth of the Everfree Forest), and also being easily manipulated to suit a living being's needs. The 'free roaming' weather is simply regarded as strange by ponies because their society heavily controls the weather to support its citizens. Because of the very precise and constant tinkering with the climate, I feel that if weather maintenance were to suddenly halt, the weather across Equestria would become incredibly volatile and unpredictable as it tries to settle into its 'natural' routine, which it has been prevented from falling into for easily over a thousand years.

As an addendum, places such as Appaloosa, where the climate is harsh, are probably so far flung in the middle of nowhere, that they are nowhere near the jurisdiction of the nearest 'Weather Station' for weather teams to work over. That said, if Appaloosa found itself in desperate need of water in order to save lives, a bunch of rainclouds would probably be quickly gathered and towed there by a team of Pegasi, in response to the emergency.
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:iconme-smith0211:
me-smith0211 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012
I LOVE this and I can't wait to see how it all turns out. :D
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks :)

I've got more on the way, but my work and chore schedule makes it difficult to create scenes quickly. I might start be drawing smaller images in the future, though, it depends on what the scene calls for.
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