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November 11, 2011
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Improvement meme - phoenix UPDATED by Baby-Blue-Bell Improvement meme - phoenix UPDATED by Baby-Blue-Bell

Improvement meme - phoenix UPDATEDby Baby-Blue-Bell

Digital Art / Other / Animals & Plants©2011-2015 Baby-Blue-Bell
So it didin't take me long to realise that I couldn't very well compare the two when they were both shaded differently, so I've gone back and soft cell shaded the new phownix to match the old. I like this muuuch better, the flat cell shading on the older version looked was nice but something this detailed needs the depth of soft shading. I can now safely compare the two and say! *drumroll* I like the new one better :aww:

It was so crazy to see that easily 98% of the comments said the older one was better, the rest all saying they were both nice :XD: poor new phoenix got no love at all but I have to admit with the old colouring I had to agree. I have a sneaking suspicion that the older one will still be the fav but I think thats because a lot of people kinda thought why fix what isn't broken? I can totally relate to that I do love the older one but I couldn't help seeing all the flaws in it. But thanks for all the comments guys it's been really interesting :D


For ages now I've had my eye on this meme and now I have the time I thought I'd give it a shot by re-drawing one of my earliest ponies Phoenix!

This was really fun but I totally can't decide which one is better :XD: I reckon my pony style and lineart skill have improved but the colours and shading style is quite different so I can't decide. What do you guys think, have I improved? and which phoenix is better?

new phoenix can be found here [link]
original meme by :iconbampire:
Add a Comment:
hedwiglovesquidditch Featured By Owner Edited Sep 21, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
love the detail and style and i thought the old one was perfect as is but both are nice :) 
moonbeamthewolf33 Featured By Owner May 29, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Oh my, you have improved so much, darling! Keep up the good work with your art~!
Owl-Parchment Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love the new body proportions of the newer Phoenix and her feathers, but everything else on the older one just looks more detailed. I love them both, and it is a hard call. XD
Stefsupersaiyan Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013
I actually think the old one looks better
twink200 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
TheSmoozePony Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
They're both beautiful but I love how you changed to a more sharper color technique, it really looks good!
Cute-Alic-Adopts Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013
Shadowgirlfan Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013
I preffer the left one, but the background in the right one looks better
EllyCoo9 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
OwOminiaturemiriam Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
you: well, the solution is simple... ADD MOAR SPARKLZ!
sailor-vocaloid-pony Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
old one is best
tyarnajadetomlinson Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
I prefer the 'Before' version. More soft colored, and a little more realistic - which I love. The way the hair is set out is also more preferred for me.
snaperdoodle Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It looks like Pheonix is older in he new one than in the old one. It's weird and awesome. I think they're both awesome, though
GoldenDerp Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Both are very beautiful.
I personally like the newer one :P
Roseypaw Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
they are both fantastic :iconiheartitplz:
Jeffie123 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
are you sure you didnt accidentaly switch them around? the old one is WAY better...
LingeringFortune Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
damn it,how can u draw so well
DeathFireLove Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
to tell you the truth the one is better
sailor-vocaloid-pony Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
you deproved :O
doggie1237 Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
First one: Pro: More detailed, softer, better shading/ shading style.
Con: Too soft, kind of almost blurry. Anatomy isn't all that good.

Second one: Pro: Brighter, better anatomy (and great lighting on the feather and sparkles everywhere)
Con: Not as good shading/ shading style (whatever you wanna call it -_-).

Discussion (with myself?!): I also love how the clouds in the re-drawn picture look more realistic. There's better color with the second one and overall I love them both for different reasons and they're beautiful.
princessZelda115 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012  Hobbyist
you have amazing coloring skils!
FantasyInsanity Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I personally like the first one better, but they're both WAY better than I could do in a lifetime!
Smoshgurl101 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
The before one had more detail, the after one had more colour.
superlucky13 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012  Student
the anatomy of the pony is so much better, though the colouring was softer and a bit more fluid in the before. Which I personally think looks better. Though I think this is down to taste more then anything.
percyjacksonluver16 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
I sorta like the first one better but the second one isn't that bad. The first one I think is a lot more detailed but the second one is more bright!
EllisArts Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
I like the new one best for a number of reasons. Her anatomy and details seem more natural and flow better. The overall colors and coloring feels more skilled as well. Overall I can see a drastic improvement in this piece.
Baby-Blue-Bell Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2012
THANKYOU!! :glomp: Omg you're like one of the only people who thinks so. I can see why people prefer the old one but there's so much wrong with it technically it pains me to hear them say it's 'better'
EllisArts Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012  Professional General Artist
Glad I made ya happy ^.^
moonstarrrrr Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012
i like the before one better but if some good parts of the after one go on the before one it would be great
Inuleon06 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I can really tell the difference! Amazing!
RoughSpotted Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2012  Student Artist
I like the first one the most, but the second one is still good :)
DelanoInferno15 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Yes, like everyone else, I'm going to say I like the old one. It's mainly due to the detail and shading, but I think you did a much better job on the new ones structure. It's a style change, mainly. But neither pictures are bad. That's why I'm faving this. ^U^
Kakurosu Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012
i like the first one better...
AngelForAdoption Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2012
They are both just as beautiful
Dare963 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012
o antes ta mais legal ._.'
Morgwaine Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012  Professional General Artist
I like both... but I prefer "before", cause I like that coloring style... plus the proportion of pony´s legs and eye style look better (in my opinion), I´m sure you improved in a lot of other things, but n n- well, we are just as sincere as we can, so you can keep the constructive criticism... anyway if you don´t want to do the old style you´re perfectly free to leave it aside, :3 you´re amazing anyway.
SableSoul Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Befor is more realistic, and After is more cartoonish. But its awsome
eligeti Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I think both look great! :D
Cornelia26 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't know but... I like the old one more :) Maybe because the details,and the tail ,mane and feathers..and the pose and beads are so good twisted on that old looks to me more "realistic" or what :) but of course,the head looks better on new one :)
Midorikiss Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011
Phoenix was the picture I first started watching you for! I love them both. :3
Kamirurun Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Student General Artist
They...both look amazing! :wow:
OshiiRyuu Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Student General Artist
I think I like your art at this point because they seem....bigger to me...and more....brighter is the term.
LadyFoxling Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Here's the thing: The old version has more details and is slightly more realistic. The new one isn't bad, but look at how many lines the old one has--the feathered wings, the ribbon in the mane (more twisted, more curly), the way the beads she wears twist around in the air to indicate movement (as opposed to the newer pic where they are expertly curved but don't really show any movement), the eye (which also has lines of darker color in it, giving more depth, and more eyelashes with that certain curve to them which draws you in), the way it's shaded, the way the pose looks against the background, the way the sparkles seem to fly out from her body and enhance the beauty of the pegasus (which in the newer pic, the sparkles are placed differently and blend in a little more with the background, making them a little more difficult to see at first glance). If you really look at it closely to compare, the newer one is more simplistic and more brightly colored, but the older one has an infinite amount of detail which people can stare at for ages just to be able to drink it all in. This may in fact be why so many people claim to like the old one better. It's not that the newer one is bad--it's definitely pretty too! But the older one has a lot more to look at and requires the viewer to look closely to see all that it offers.

The newer one is more stylized, more colorful, and more shiny, but the older one has more details, shading that makes it pop out more, and a ton of subtle movement which attracts my attention more.

That's just my view though ^^ But I thought I'd point out some of the big differences I noticed for you to give you a little more insight on why a lot of people prefer the older one as opposed to the newer one. I like both, but yes, the older is my version of choice because of the details I saw in it. You must have really spent a ton of time on that piece when you made it. I'm sure that you did on the new one too, but I really do like the former even with the subtler coloring.
Baby-Blue-Bell Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011
Wow now that is a detailed breakdown :XD: I think that pretty much sums up all the comments I've been getting.

It's kinda funny people keep saying I must have spent so long on the older one and put so much effort into it but it was just a doodle I did whilst on the phone to a friend and one of the reasons it has so much detail is I kept messing up lines and had to re-draw them to get the shape I want. I agree the old one is more detailed but a lot of that detail makes no sense, especially in the tail. Strands of hair curl back in on each other and change size and colour randomly.

It's also interesting that people see such a major difference in the style, the older one looks so different because I wasn't really trying and ended up with quite a few proportional issues, the neck is way too long, the forelegs to thin and the left wing is doing something really odd. The biggest difference between the two and another reason the old one looks so detailed and I guess realistic is it was triple shaded. After I drew the sketch which I loosely shaded with crosshatching (you can see this under the chin and legs) I made it darker with some grey tone pens. When I finally decided to colour it in photoshop I added some simple tonal changes which looked super dark under the previous 2 layers of shading. The highlighting on the two is exactly the same it just shows up much more on the older one because of the stronger contrast. Thats probably also why people say the newer one is so much brighter, aside from the purple tones and red in the plumes they're exactly the same colour. I sourced all the colour for the new one from the old.

And the sparkles, it's so weird that people like them so much they make me cringe :XD: I guess the pic isn't large enough to see but some of them are really dodgy, I just got a yellow brush and smashed sparkles anywhere then went crazy with a white star brush. I tried really hard on the new one to just place a few strategic sparkles that looked nice but didn't take over the pic.

It's really sweet that people love the old one so much when I can see so many flaws in it but it's a little frustrating that the stuff they like so much was simply born from laziness. I'm a natural perfectionist and in the visual arts degree I'm doing we're constantly pushed to work freely and uninhibitedly so I use my digital art as an outlet for my perfectionism. I dunno maybe I've become too much of a perfectionist and need to employ some slightly looser techniques in my digital art as well but I've been wanting to fix the old phoenix up for ages and I'm really happy with the results.

Thank you so much for your insight into these works, it's been really interesting and challenging. It's always good to get a strong critic of your work, pulls you out of your own head for a bit :aww:
smeylie Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
wow! :wow: It's amazing! Weird but I prefer the before :meow:
stxe-girlanimated Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011
the new one has more life in my opinion =)
kitty-kit Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
They are both good, but I like the feathers and hair and head of the before. And the body of the now.
Barabi Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Both are awesome, but...I like more the previous version :D
jelly-berry Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Student General Artist
i love them both, but i prefer the NOW
decoy Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
At first, when you uploaded this I found the before alot better, due the more noticable shading. Your original after seemed very flat compared with it and looked almost as if it didn't have any shadowing at all.

However, now when you've gone and edited, I simply love the after picture.
The details on the before is lovely and all, but the after picture has so much anatomy for the wings and how the feathers looks, the shading is still less detailed, but it doesn't bother me as much now, because the shading you have is lush and subtile, while on the before is a tad harsh at the darkest parts.

Your shadowing has really improved, and I think your new methods really suit the ponies. :love:
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