This wasn't something I'd planned on making, because I didn't think I'd improved enough that it would be interesting or worthy of reflecting on. But now that I've gone through and done it, I think I was wrong.
That very first image from January was a piece of fanart. It took me most of a week to get it done, all digitally.
The Sweetie Belle image from march was nearly four weekends worth of work, also all digitally.
Lift Me Up wasn't the first traditional and digital combined piece I'd done, but I think it was the first really good one I did solely as a piece on it's own. Not a challenge or fan art. I did it over two weekends, a little over two days total time.
Lyra on rollerskates was something I did for a sketch blog, but I spent a little extra time on it to make her nicer. She was all traditional, black and white pencils with cool grey prismacolors, and done in just over an hour.
Wind Whistler was for an art challenge. I had the basic lineart and most of the coloring done in 45 minutes. I spent another twenty or so minutes finishing her up. Traditional with digital coloring, in a little over an hour.
And finally there's Fluttershy. Done with two days to go before Christmas and in the middle of everything that's involved with it. I did two pieces about the same quality as Fluttershy, from sketch to blue line to finished lines to final digital coloring. They're not exceptionally brilliant or dynamic, but I think they're the best pieces of art I've made to date, and I did both of them in about a six hour time span, start to finish.
I don't know what I was thinking. Of course I've improved. There's still so much I want to get better at, and still so many areas I need to improve on. But I can do things now in a matter of hours that would take me weeks at the beginning of the year. And not just faster, but better and more finished too.
Back in 2010, I basically gave up on art. I hated what I made, every idea I came up with was stupid, it took me too long to do anything worth looking at, and I just walked away from it all. And what finally ended up bringing me back around to not just trying to draw again, but genuinely improving and wanting to improve even more, was a cartoon for eight year old girls about talking pastel ponies.
It's a little weird how it all worked out, but stepping back and really looking at it, it was actually a pretty good year.
Here's hoping for a 2013 that's just as good, for myself and for all of you. Cheers!