At which point, it’s kinda hard to say it’s eye catching.
But that’s the thing, y’know. In a sea of special butterflies it’s the bland one that stands out.
Take my little swordstallion, for example. Aside from the slightly unconventional hairstyle, he’s just your regular old earth pony. Of course, I’ve got the fancy plate armour to counterbalance that, but one can hardly be a proper knight without proper attire, no? Note how I counterbalance my counterbalance with the unassuming cloak (although that’s more of a convenient excuse to not have to draw the details all the time). Ah, the art of having your cake and eating it too.
It also helps if you take your influences form less well-known places. As Einstein once said, The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. The harness’ design is based on Gothic plate and I was largely inspired by this painting for the colouring and other small details. It will also help greatly if you have intimate knowledge of the inner workings of whatever you’re making art of. Since I’m a bit of a fanatic for all things medieval, I know a thing or two about how armour works.
See how I have an intermediary stage between naked and armoured? Armour works in layers, you see. Almost without exception, beneath any metal harness, be it maille, lamellar or plate, lies a suit of padded cloth. This not only improves comfort, it also cushions impact, making a potentially bone-shattering attack give you but a bruise instead. Note the maille patches sewn into the padded suit. They offer protection in areas where flexibility is also needed, and thus cannot be covered by plate. Shockingly few people are aware of these things, and my stubborn insistence on keeping things semi-realistic goes a long way in making it appear more interesting.
@Gigatoast’s stained glass
I think Discord needs to put his eyes back on. Looks rather wonky without ’em. Of course, Discord has a license to look wonky, but still.
Also, I think the emptier parts of the background (such as the swirl around Screwball) could use some more of those fancy black lines criss-crossing through them. Here’s some examples of what I mean. The division into segments breaks the monotony and makes things look more interesting. Fits the whole chaos motif nicely as well.
That said, it is plenty good enough as is.