I've had the idea to do a black and white vector for a while, but until now nothing presented itself that felt right for such a style. I've been a long time fan of the graphic work of M.C. Escher and the style of his woodcuts was my primary inspiration for the piece. It is also the reason why this thing took so long to make. A large part of the sketching process was done in Gimp, just figuring out the black and white patterns and make the shading work. Then the actual creation of the vectors was pretty laborious too, as there's a lot of little lines and strokes all over the place that needed to be traced manually.
Interesting fact: the shape of this piece started out a bit different, with Rainbow Dash fitting inside a triangle instead of a diamond. The lower half was pretty much the same, but in the top half the wings spread out sideways towards the corners of the triangle. In my initial sketch I thought it looked pretty good, but after working on it a bit more, the positioning of the wings started to look a bit off. I hit a roadblock there, because tweaking the shape of the wings didn't seem to improve things. Luckily the change to the diamond shape allowed the wings to be in a more natural position.
Created with Gimp (sketch) and Inkscape.
Creative Commons 3.0 – BY NC ND
Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (c) Hasbro