It’s finally December! Which means a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to all! As well as a happy-more-furry-art-that’s-cool as well. Hard to believe that we’re only a couple months away from the one-year mark for this series.

Let’s celebrate that by kicking off this week’s list, starting with the #7 pick:

7. Gryphon Archer

Kicking off this week’s list is a neat female gryphon archer by Avencri. There’s a nice use of orange and yellow that give the picture a nice, distinguishable look. In addition, we’ve got ourselves an action piece here, and the sparse use of speedlines combined with the overall perspective of the piece really lends itself to the falling down that appears to be happening. And the way Avencri positioned the gryphon also lends itself to the sense of falling.

6. Arcane Warrior Azula

From heavy oranges to heavy blues and purples with this second pic! Blazitasticos gives us this mighty dragoness queen with…butterfly wings? I feel like only in the furry fandom you can find something like this, as furs love to mix and match with different designs. But now that I see it, I’m kinda surprised I haven’t seen a magical dragoness with butterfly wings. Gives the character a fairly-like impression I feel – either that or I’ve just been around Luthien Nightwolf’s fairies too much. And of course, there are lots of nice magical glow effects coming off the wings, and you all know how I have a weakness for a magic glow. But it’s all in all a great piece, and the Dragon Queen looks fairly menacing. As a proper queen should do when the need arises for it.

5. Nyxis

Krista Staggs flies onto the list with this otherworldly bat warrior that’s owned by Defiance. We’ve seen her unicorn before on these lists, and I think this is the first time seeing another of their characters. You can tell this is a Defiance character with all of the rose-themed elements, which I like. I don’t think I’ve ever seen patterns on wings before, and it’s something that I’m surprised I don’t see much of. We’ve also got a rose tangled around her sword’s hilt, and what looks like a crystal heart-shaped eyepatch. It’s a unique design that works out well, and Staggs’ vibrant colors are a real big strong point here.

4. Battle of Wits

We had some heavy colors ar first; now to some heavy contrast! This isn’t even happening on purpose these pieces just lined up like this. No time for that, though – we’ve got a cool battle scene to check out by Orphen Sirius and IndyChee. Three characters, two artists, all awesome. And there’s so much going on here visually that I love. The contrast is obvious enough right down to even the blades themselves – our warrior on the left has two swords and a silver blade while the fellow on the right has a black blade. He’s even got red and blue eyes! We’ve got a nice calm before the storm here and…some classic comic relief in the top right. Maybe she’s just not up for two guys and their blood feud?

Also, if you’re wondering what the fellow on the right is, they are a Chinese Phoenix Dragon. That just sounds all awesome.

Don’t get too tired from your battling, we’ve got the honorable mentions to check out:

Some great honorable mentions! Now let’s kick off the top three, starting with:

3. The Drop Kick

Kicking off the top three is another great piece of Rivals of Aether fanart featuring Ranno. From afar this honestly almost looks like a little statuette – and I’m not the only one! Check out the comments on the original tweet, a lot of folks almost mistook it for a miniature. That really speaks to the awesome level of detail that Jacinto infused into this piece coupled with some awesome use of shine and reflection that’s especially noticeable on the top of Ranno’s head. Couple that with a sweet action pose for a great start to this week’s top three.

2. What Are You Waiting For?

Sixth Leaf Clover rides into the #2 spot again with this lovely looking cheetah bike rider. Wait…that’s the bike from Akira isn’t it? Regardless, this is a really cool piece that wouldn’t be out of place in a video game somewhere, and Sixth Leaf does a fine job both with the colors and with the texturing. Take a look at her jacket, for example: you can see the little scales in it. Now that’s some attention to detail! The bike cheetah looks badass as well, looking like she could be a femme fatale in an action story, or a power house female protagonist? Either way you slice it, she’ll leave you in the dust!

And now, this week’s #1 pick is:

1. Of Strength and of Courage

Ember Wick rises to the #1 spot for this week’s list with a cosmic rendition of a draconic warrior. I had a feeling this would do well the moment I saw it – it’s just too epic to not make it into the top three. A proud dragon posing majestically with his shield, and a slight transparent effect to show that he’s been immortalized as a constellation in the sky, complete with a halo-like magic star above his head. I really like that partial transparent effect, as it adds another layer to the piece, and using blues for the comic parts works really well and blends so good with the dragon’s red scales, making this a very visually appealing piece. One that captures the old idea of looking up into the stars of myths and legends for hope, inspiration, and guidance. Congratulations and well done Ember Wick, your piece is the #1 pick this week!

And we are officially in the home stretch for this year! Granted we started this series in February, so it’ll be a couple months before this series hits the good ol’ one month mark. It’s been a tough year either way, but fortunately there’s been plenty of great, cute, badass and otherwise furry art to help get through it.

Now what I’m really wondering is how long it’ll take before a solid Christmas themed pic makes it on here. Hmmm…