Thanks! Yep, the challenge of these pieces is to represent the character without relying on expressions. Fortunately, and partly how this series was started, the ponies' cutie marks helps identify the character, so all I have to do is conceive of a background that matches their personality or talent. I'm glad this one worked out well
The only thing better about the no poster edge version is that the mane looks more natural, there's a few places that pick up the outline with it on and they end up looking like accidents. But the backgrounds looks way better with the filter on. Awesome work as always, I like how her "aura of perfection" almost surrounds her.
Thanks for the feedback about the different versions! I'll be offering non-filtered versions of each wallpaper in case people have a preference. I also prefer the filter on, but I think it looks good off as well. I'm glad she gives off that aura! That's definitely what I was going for
I love the gentle, orderly, elegant swirls of the background. They look like cloth rolls and/or Rarity's mane and tail curls. A very beautiful effect for her. Also, a very elegant shape she has here. It's interesting, by the way: the heads, necks and manes of the ponies seem to be distinctly similar to those vectors of the Mane girls that AcousticBrony use as cover art for their themes for them. The only exception so far is Applejack and possibly Twi. It's a curious thing, but a good one, as I know there's no imitation involved, only coincidence. Some very lovely shading on her hair, too. Overall, a job well done once again!
When I jump into these, I have no plan for the end product, only the intention of doing my best to use shapes and colors to best portray the character's personality. Eventually, the concept gels in my head and I flesh it out... although it does take me quite a while to feel I get the colors/design right (as people who've attended my livestream have become aware of).
You're absolutely right in associating this series with *MegaSweet's wallpapers. Artists will seek inspiration from multiple sources and I am no exception. I liked the simplicity in that style and it was a big influence in my choice of style for this series. However, I used show-quality references as opposed to MegaSweet's wallpapers, so the similarity in shapes was indeed coincidence.