I think this is one of the pony pictures that really impressed me the most of late. It made me smile, and I was really impressed with the quality of most of the shading - the reflection's on Soarin's eyes and the two ponies' cheeks are really good. That said, the blending looks like it could have been a bit smoother, though without in-depth analysis it still looks great.
I think my favourite thing is the pose and the moment behind it - the way Soarin's ears are tilted backwards, the way Spitfire's are forwards... it tells a lot without words, and it's a very expressive picture. It does look a little bit like Spitfire is kissing Soarin's eye in a way, but I imagine it's more his right cheek.
It's nice to see this on a pairing that doesn't always get much love from the community, and I think this will be a long time favourite, if only for Soarin's big goofy grin.
As usual with this artist, they have managed to not only capture the original look and feel of the source material, but to present it in such a way that they also get to show off their particular art style, which tends to lean more towards more detailed anatomy and appearances than the show. The colouring is bright and friendly and there are no visible mistakes or cut-corners in the image, at least none that an untrained eye such as mine can see.
As with all truly great pictures, I judge it on it’s ability to make me feel something. In this case, the picture succeeds at that because this is a very heart-warming image. Two characters in a soft situation, a romantic moment between them that’s hard to resist. I look at this picture and it makes me feel comfortable. I do not get anything negative in terms of the emotions I feel when looking at this picture.
In terms of originality, this is once more an area where I have to criticise the picture for something I wouldn’t normally criticise outside of these critiques. I have said many times now that a lack of originality is no mark against a picture as long as that picture is good. And this picture is certainly good, which makes it difficult for me to have to mark it down simply because I’ve seen this scenario before. These two characters in a romantic situation is something I’ve seen many times, as has the image of them kissing, and as such it lacks in originality. But like I said, that doesn’t bother me and the artist should not feel down because of that.
And now onto the issue of shipping. Obviously many people will have their own personal preferences with regards to what relationships they prefer and which they don’t like. As for me, I have no issue with this particular relationship as the characters in question have never been people I’ve given much thought to. To me, this is just a sweet and romantic image, and that would be the case regardless of which two characters were here.
All-in-all this is a well-drawn picture that puts me in a comforting and relaxing mindset. The colours are good and it shows off the artist’s style very well.