Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Nightmare Moon Color Guide by kefkafloyd Nightmare Moon Color Guide by kefkafloyd

It appears you don't have PDF support in this web browser. Download PDF

After getting a lot of requests for "What color is that thing?" I decided to put together complete color guides for the new My Little Pony TV show characters. They're intended for informational purposes only and are produced independently. In most cases the swatches are researched from the official artwork. When that's not available, I used some analysis and my swatch libraries to get within the ballpark.

Remember to download the attached PDF file and use that for reference. Do not use the preview PNG for reference material, it's intended only for preview on DeviantArt. If you're using one of those browsers that calls up Google's HTML5 PDFViewer in DeviantArt, it mangles the color display since it is not color managed. As always, please view the PDF in Acrobat or a viewer that supports color management.


Nightmare Moon's palette is fairly straightforward, but where you're likely to get tripped up is her mane and tail. They have several layers of opacity effects applied in addition to a gaussian blur. The numbers provided are pre-transparency, the transparency details are provided for your reference as well.

Remember, above all, that NMM is not pure black, but rather a very deep, dark blue.

Thanks go to :iconmoongazeponies: for providing the vector artwork of Nightmare Moon.


The intent of using a standard color library (Pantone Solid Coated) is to stay within the bounds of said official artwork, plus give some consistency to colors used. This should help when sourcing supplies for non-digital work. If your application does not support color libraries, then using the eyedropper on the swatch should give you an answer.

This guide is not affiliated with Hasbro in any way and is produced solely in the interest of color science. For a changelog, more long-winded explanations, and other discussions, see this forum topic: [link]
Add a Comment:
PioneeringAuthor Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, this will help me when I finally get around to drawing Nightmare Moon---in fact, I think all of the color guides you did are fantastic help!
mlpDreamer Featured By Owner Edited Dec 1, 2014
This is interesting cause using lighter outlines is suppose to be avoided, but for Nightmare, it works. It's a little confusing cause I'm deciding on a palette to redesign a show accurate OC. I'm still looking for other BG ponies that have a dark coat, but I don't think any other ponies have a lighter outline than their coat color, or just any that have dark colors. I think for regular ponies I think there is a shade for all colors that it tries not to go past, to keep all colors a pastel-ish theme, I'm curious to know what that threshold is.
kefkafloyd Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014  Professional General Artist
There's a very dark blue pegasus (See. Hurricane Fluttershy) that is very dark blue with a light blue outline. I don't know his fandom name, but he is out there.

With very dark coats, the light outline can work quite effectively.
mlpDreamer Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014
Awesome! Thank you! I would love to see a vectored version of my guy. It would be interesting to see.
jellytehscout Featured By Owner May 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my gosh, I am so glad I found this. You honestly didn't know how scared I was when I was finalizing a nearly year-old drawing (although I'm still not done yet..) This really will come in handy in the future too.
TheStalwart Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013
What would you suggest to get car paint mixed accurately, if there are no pantone codes in this guide?
TheStalwart Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013
Since i'm only going to paint sideskirts now (in armor color), i won't be disappointed much if tone turns out inaccurate. I will try LAB value tip, and report on results in a few weeks. Thanks for your guides, let's see if i can redefine "pony car" term :)
kefkafloyd Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
There isn't really a pantone that corresponds to NMM exactly. If I was printing her, she would be a very, very dark blue bordering on black, so that when light reflected it would appear dark blue.

Pantone 296 is more blue, while 276 is more purple. Pantone Black 6 is more neutral. Neither of these may be as deep as you want them to be.

The best car color I can think of that would represent NMM would be the dark metallic purple I've seen used on Corvettes. The color looks nominally black, but when exposed to the sun, it shimmers in this deep onyx purple.

If your paint shop can mix colors based on LAB values, I would convert the document into LAB color space, read the LAB values, and give it to them to match based on that. Paint pigments have a lot of flexibility in colors that can't be reproduced in our traditional computer displays or on paper.
Nekorockz Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Student General Artist

Hydkore Featured By Owner May 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very small thing but the mane's blue fill is missing the last zero from the B value (20 instead of 200). But that's very small error to otherwise very helpfull tutorial for drawing both NMN and S2 Luna (in my case the latter), so thanks for making this.
Kardien Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Student Writer
Thanks for nice Coloring Guide.
Joltage Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Do these hair colors apply to Luna as well? (Or close enough to be unnoticeable?)
kefkafloyd Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2012  Professional General Artist
I would say yes. Season 2 Luna's hair is basically NMM without the blur effects.
Chessie2003 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2011
Westy543 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2011  Hobbyist
Dragon eyes! This is cool, awesome.

Yeah don't mind me being all :iconderpyhoovesplz: on IRC. >.>;
Pustulioooooo Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
YES YES! :iconbisonyesplz:

Add a Comment:


Submitted on
November 19, 2011
File Size
3.2 MB


17,811 (2 today)
251 (who?)