I know a lot of folks are worried about where they might be taking the show in season 4, but by and large I'm not. I just can't see Twilight changing all that much, and since word has it that she'll be heading back to live in Ponyville, I suspect the show in general won't change that much either. Perhaps my lack of concern is due to the various epic fantasy stories I read while growing up... At first I was surprised they didn't save Twilight's ascension to Princesshood for the series finale, but on reflection I recalled that it wasn't all that uncommon for the farm boy to be made king halfway through a series after all. It usually is just the point at which he has to start learning how to be a good king, and maybe get ready to slay a god or fulfill an ancient prophecy or something. Pulling the sword out of the stone is often just the end of the first act.
This one was pretty experimental, allowing me to use a few new programs (WhiteDiamonds convinced me to give Paint Tool Sai a try, and I used it as well as my usual Photoshop in fleshing this one out.) For a while now, I've been meaning to do a pony sculpture... I don't have all that much experience with sculpting, but I've tried it once or twice. I thought, rather than just have a pony standing there I'd try and do a nice little scene of Twilight at her desk. (I never learn to keep things simple.) Then I got my hands on a copy of the 3-D figure software "Poser" and found out that there were pony models for it floating around out there (I snagged one credited to the talented KP-Shadowsquirrel) and I thought that I might do a computer model of the scene I was envisioning to use as reference when modeling the actual one.
At some point after creating this, I kind of wandered away from my original intention to do a sculpture altogether (something shiny probably grabbed my attention), but I had a rough render sitting on my hard drive that was kind of neat, so I ended up painting over it to produce the image you see here... Pretty much all of the lighting details have been changed from the render, and obviously tons of other detail has been added as well as all of the figure fixes that I couldn't begin to figure out how to do in the 3-D program. Ultimately though, I do like the sense of depth that the forced perspective of the original render gives the image.
I've posted the Poser render here, in case anyone is interested in seeing what was computer generated and what was painted in: