• Adorable Ponies and Excellent Anthros - Tomatocoup Artist Interview / Spotlight


    I have to admit, I've never been too keen on the anthro or humanized side of the fandom. EQD has had a pretty lax showing of the art they create. It was only in the last year that we started really compiling it up in the Humanized and Anthro compilations. Before it was a subnote in Drawfriend, if we even ever got any.

    One of the artists that really started the introduction of that section was Tomatocoup. Their amazing art was motivation enough that we needed to cover it better. While I will still always be ponypony forever, It's a joy to header a post with one of their amazing anthros.

    That being said, the pony side is top notch too! Their super smooth shading combined with comfy backgrounds has always been a draw for me. I only save maybe four or five pieces of art a week for my personal collection, Tomatocoup makes up a huge amount of that.

    I'd say that means it's Spotlight time, wouldn't you? Head on down below for an interview and small gallery of some of their best pieces! 

    Warning: Some art is pretty saucy below.

    Spotlight Interview

    Q:) How did you stumble upon My Little Pony? What was your "origin" story if you will?

    In 2011, several Russian imageboards I’ve visited were ravaged by a tsunami of candy horses. Some weird people were posting these pics like there is no tomorrow. I was quite angered with their obtrusiveness and mindless persistence, but the horses themselves were pretty cute, this I couldn’t deny. So I decided to give it a try, watched a couple of episodes, and the next years fast-forwarded in some sort of a pastel-colored blur. Now I’m here, with you, having produced several hundred of pony pics. Never could’ve guessed.

    Q:) What is the process you usually go through when drawing something new? What tools and programs do you use?

    I usually start with collecting references: photos, works of other artists, music, maybe even texts. Sometimes that’s required to get a clearer understanding of what I’m drawing, sometimes it’s for inspiration, sometimes you are just having an idea nobody had implemented yet and feel enthusiastic to fill this void. :)

    My preferred tools are Paint Tool SAI and Wacom Intuos3. These are amazingly simple and sturdy, I love them. I also use PureRef (as a reference stash), Sculptris (for simple objects and faces), DesignDoll (posing anthro figures) and SketchUp (for modeling simple interiors and architecture).


    Q:) Do you draw professionally? Or is this a side thing to another career or job?

    Eh, my general career track had never been something my acquaintances could feel envious about, so I hope to earn my living by drawing someday. Sometimes I manage to do it, but I’m hardly a professional.

    Q: ) Who is your favorite pony and favorite princess? And if it's different, who is your favorite pony to draw?

    That’s a tough one. Sometimes the thing that captures me in characters not what they are, but what they could have been, like a piece of a construction kit that gives you many opportunities to build upon. These are mostly characters with a little exposure in the series.

    I like the CMCs for their purity, for not being stuck in erroneous tracks dictated by the past, for having a potential and more variability, so to say. I like Scoots for having an unreachable dream and her inner fragility. I love Luna for her calmness (not some indifferent calmness, but something with an inner focus, with a power behind), for being a guide in a labyrinth of mystery, insight and subconscious. I’d love to see episodes about Lyra, Derpy, Pear Butter, Autumn Blaze, Limestone Pie and Ember - there is something about them that resonates in me.

    Q:) What kind of challenges do you usually run into when drawing a character or subject for the first time? Has there ever been an image concept that completely stumped you?

    The plot, the backstory and motivation are the toughest things you have to deal with even before the pen touches the tablet. Why is this character even here? What is going on? What is the whole picture? I’m ashamed to say that sometimes I slack off when developing these most important aspects, and my characters just… exist without any sort of context. Booooring. But if I manage to give them the context, the process of drawing becomes a blast.

    Emotions of characters are my another weak spot. You can draw a character resembling the original visually, but failing to capture it emotionally, kind of like an empty shell. Doing this right requires some grade of emotional intelligence, I guess.

    For everything else, there are references. :)

    Q:) You have quite the mix of Anthro and regular ponies. Which form do you prefer to draw? What one do you find more challenging overall?

    I prefer anthro. Anthros are more universal, their body language is familiar to us, and there is a lot of sources of inspiration to draw from - beautiful bodies, dynamic dance styles and other gems, even people I see everyday.

    The downside is that my personal brew of anthro does not really fit ponies. It is not authentic, I draw horrible hooves and stuff like that. :) I can’t help it though, I still love ponies and human bodies. Maybe someday I’ll find a way to blend them right.

    Q:) Your history in pony isn’t very old. Did you draw for another fandom prior to diving into the cartoon equine world?

    Tomatocoup’s history in pony isn’t very old, but the person behind the username had been with you since 2011. :) I’ve used other IDs (palestorm, asphagnum, ---, as well as some other, less productive ones) and was never too shy taking hiatuses.


    Q:) Socks, sweaters, silly hats, swimwear, full body armor, ponies have worn it all. What is your favorite accessory to draw ponies in?

    Bridles and harnesses, hands down. Not their utilitarian aspect, of course, - these accessory straps, tightly hugging an equine body in all the right spots, may turn it from beautiful to absolutely mesmerizing.

    Q:) What do you like most about Friendship is Magic? What keeps you drawing so many awesome ponies?

    One thing I absolutely love about FiM is that the world of the series had become an open sandbox, a playground and a construction kit where affection and kindness are powerful acting forces. The map is getting short of blank spaces, and the School of friendship feels like a haphazard attempt to formalise this sweet feeling ponies had awakened within many, but even now, at the end of season 8, I can still daydream about ponies making their path across the Everfree and about attempts to befriend timberwolves and lonesome gryphons, because this kind of purity feels natural for the series. I do love settings where characters can just befriend some menacingly-looking creature. Worlds like this make you want go back again and again.

    Q:) Do you have any tips for newbie artists looking to improve?

    Yes. If I were starting anew, I’d start with the basics taught by classical animators. The most important things to understand, to absorb and to use are gestures, line of action, expressiveness of forms and emotions. These things are invaluable when you draw toony characters (and pretty much everything else). Even the anatomy skill feels less important for me than the ability to draw an expressive bag of potatoes.

    (Have I already mentioned references? You absolutely need them. Before you get a chance to get something out of your head successfully, you have to put it there.)


    Q:) Why do you think My little Pony Generation 4 has been so successful? What keeps you here involved in the community?

    G4s were amazingly pretty, they were simple and they were a special kind of kind and pure - the one you feel guilty to laugh at or look down upon. The hearts of many were touched and/or melted.

    ...and they also have cute butts.

    Should I mention that I’m still in this community because of cute butts? Probably not. :)

     Art Gallery

    [1] Source

    [Commission] Fleetdash by tomatocoup

    [2] Source

    Cats being cats by tomatocoup

    [3] Source

    [Collab] Pantsu bat by tomatocoup

    [4] Source

    A room for two by tomatocoup

    [5] Source

    Heart of Stone by tomatocoup

    [6] Source

    by palestorm

    [7] Source

    by tomatocoup (blog marked as nsfw on tumblr, proceed with caution!)

    [8] Source

    Dandelion Blossom and too much beer by tomatocoup

    [9] Source

    Not my day by tomatocoup

    [10] Source

    Tomatocoup's Gallery can be found over here if you want more!
    You can commission them (when open, currently closed) Over here!