This pony was my half of a personal swap with the immensely-talented Popgirl. If I had any html skills at all, I would link you to her gallery! Pop kindly provided the victim to be painted and requested a nebula pony (I didn't intend for that to become 'a thing' I do, but I won't argue). From there I was given full artistic freedom.
Naturally, I tried to make this as hard for myself as humanly possible. That's just how I work.
Cygnus is truly a labor of love. I try to make every pony better than the last and, in this case, that involved restarting a couple of times, a bit of frustration, and nearly the entire second season of the original Star Trek. While I'm never really pleased with what I make--such is life--I do think she shows some improvement on my part. Her new owner likes her and Cygnus was well-received at the Arena, so all is well.
The main nebula was based on part of a picture of a formation in the Cygnus--Swan--constellation. I chose it for Pop because of its oranges and pinks (most nebulae show up red and blue in Hubble photos due to, I would think, red shift; I'm not an astronomer or cosmologist, however, so don't quote me on that). The other nebula is called the Flaming Star. It's not quite so dramatic and colorful, but I liked the geometry of it when I saw its picture.
Cygnus was painted in acrylics and a touch of glow-in-the-dark paint and sealed with Mod Podge. It's difficult to tell but her eyes are dark blues and reds with a touch of orange. She was rehaired in a completely insane number of colors from Dollyhair. To the best of my knowledge, I used Blizzard, Starlight, Black Magick, After Midnight, Bubblegum, Sunlight, Sour Grapes, and... orange of some kind. The swirly outlines were painted primarily with a needle and a small brush. The "secret" to the starry bits is layers. Layers upon layers. Thin layers, thick layers, layers in all colors. The paint work isn't perfectly smooth thanks to all of the layers, but I like a little texture.
This pony was a challenge, but a rewarding one. I hope my babble didn't scare you off and thank you so much for looking!