Thought i'd start a little mini project this month where I see if I can learn to get pretty good with pixel art. As a first attempt I don't think this is too bad. May even use it as a base for something animated later in the year.
It's pretty tricky getting this stuff right that's for sure! You have to make so many sacrifices when choosing what it is you're trying to show in each piece. Here's hoping I can keep this up!
So two days in and it makes sense that the first few images will be characters that I know my way around. Green and Catalyst being two characters who oppose each other.
Catalyst was literally named as such because I wanted a character that could really get the plot moving. I think it's important that I don't say too much here since the first chapter isn't out yet, but soon enough guys... soon enough!
Kujo is here! This guy was originally a red haired protagonist much like Green, but he instead had my name romanized from katakana and a really stereotypical background.
Now he kind of still has a lot of what made him that cliche, but it works in his favour as one of the main cast surrounding Green. I don't despise the Shonen stereotype of a happy go lucky exterior, but I don't feel it's really right for what's to come in Imitation Dei.
Dalton is a leadership/ Authority figure in the plot who essentially prioritises personal comfort over anything else. It's a bit hard to tell in sprite work but he's fond of his varied collection of turtleneck jumpers.
There are 3 figures of power on the protagonists side of the plot, and this guy is known for being the most calm and collected of the 3. He simply relays any information and gives orders to members of his organisation.
His overall decisions are never personally charged or motivated, just necessary based on information pulled in about the world beyond his walls.
The Mannequins, mechs capable of imitating humanity. They boast the capability to outdo their opponents in combat by playing on fears, weakness, and even preferences (use your imagination on that last one).
Stretchy skin filled with non-Newtonian fluid provides them with the ability to be anybody in any situation. They can even reduce their size to that of a helpless child in order to disarm.
There's a tiny bit more to them of course, but that's all you need to know about them for now.
This guy is currently referred to as "Question" (based on the shape of his right hand blade). The shadow behind and the light source don't quite match, and this was done with a certain level of intent.
This characters purpose is the least obvious in chapter one, and doesn't appear again for a fairly long time after the fact. I really need to get the first chapter out there too, there's a lot I've said in this art challenge that should be better elaborated on with the series itself.
I really love Dragon Quest. It's an odd love, because I often really hate JRPG or RPG games in general for how much of a slug they can be, and DQ is technically one of the worst offenders for doing this. I think the main reason I forgive it is because of the art style and the fact that the worlds are always so beautiful and interesting.
I was introduced to Dragon Quest pretty late on in the ps2 era with Dragon Quest 8, but have been hooked since.
I've been a long time Tekken fan. Tekken 5 and its expansion Dark Resurrection are the releases I have the most fun with, but Tekken 7 is by no means a bad game, it's just lacking in a proper survival mode. Also I'm less enthused by the second issue, but it was always nice to see an assumed character arcade ending for fan speculation.
So a lot of my friends like Infinite Azure from Tekken 7, and I can kind of see the appeal. The stage theme was definitely running in my brain while I was creating this. It was really hard to make it look quite as picturesque as the actual stage.
The stage uses variants of a particular tone really well and those subtleties are lost when recreated in a 128 x 128 grid.
I had a bit of an art block today, then I started a pixel art project that wont just take one day. Then I realised I wouldn't have all day for my eventual plan b, so today it's a healthy eating shout out! And then i'll get the others done for later.
One Piece is an amazing series. It's on what seems to be an unprecedented scale compared to other manga titles on the market, especially when you realise the crew is only just over halfway around the globe since it started in the nineties. It's 2018 now, it's been a massive adventure.
This one was pretty tricky, I knew I wanted to do this scene, but I had to change things up a tiny bit to suit both what I know, and what can be done at this stage.
Zone of the Enders: Anubis was such an amazing game. The predecessor wasn't bad, but it's sequel took everything that wasn't working with the previous game and either threw it out the window or vastly improved it so that it became memorable.
This was really difficult to craft. Jehuty has a lot of very fiddly components that don't translate into pixel art well. That said, I reckon I nailed it, really wanted to show it in motion too, which I think helps a great deal.
So I spent this morning running round the open world of Spyro 2, it's possibly the only good Spyro game I've played. The other games just don't do it for me, in fact if the the psone trilogy does get a remaster, I suffer no delusions that i'll just jump straight to the second game.
Running round the world with a purpose, I was looking for a landscape to pixel paint. Which is tricky to do since the camera in the game didn't have snapshots in mind when it was made. Snapshots without the dragon model in the way of it all was an even bigger challenge... Spyro's horns and wings were in the way of a lot of test shots.
Then I remembered the beautiful entrance the player is given when entering Autumn Plains. I didn't choose to view it from the default spot though, I ran toward the zephyr portal and found a much nicer variety of objects.
Was looking at Bob Ross videos (as they really chill me out) and then I thought it'd be interesting to see how a pixel art attempt would look following bob's methods as closely as possible.
There are a lot of tricks that are brush specific, and I had to get creative with those parts. The tree in the foreground was the biggest issue, closely followed by how the lake appeared.
For those interested in the Bob Ross episode, it was based on season 5's first episode titled "Mountain Waterfall"
Google image searching "Four-Star Dragon Ball" got me a reference which didn't look too different from this end result. The original image looked like it came from a late Z movie but I might be wrong.
I'm definitely getting much more confident with shading hard and soft textures in and ensuring that I maintain the sort of feeling they had when they were painted.
I promise I won't rant here, but I will say that I feel that Dragonball was better before Z, that's not to say that Z wasn't at least alright, but it is to say that comparatively, the characters and world was much more realised and fleshed out before the Saiyan arc.
If I'm at least being fair, Dragonball Z gave us the iconic Freiza arc, but that also spelled doom for a lot of interesting cast members developments.
I just had to do at least one piece of Dead Pool fan art! I have no real idea what possessed me, but I just loved the idea of him in Tracer from Overwatch's alternate pin-up pose.
I'm not making a statement here, I just really love the idea enough to carry it out. This did get hit a bit by an art block though, I think the art block has been defeated good and proper by staying my course and making this, but I won't really know until I get to work on the next piece.
We're now officially past the halfway point! I'm really happy with just jumping into each day with something new. This one is for twitters @doodle_tube using #secretsnapDT hashtag.
Easily one of the trickier pieces I've had to produce; pixels at an angle is a somewhat tricky thing, the lines start to look almost step like and this creates new challenges.
Even coming up with the idea was tricky for me, the first idea was to do the character of Chill getting caught in a women's swim suit, but although it was funny, I didn't really see the scandal as I created the character to do free spirited things and he'd probably just embrace it no matter what rather than act embarrassed.
Then I didn't come up with a single thing for hours, and then all of a sudden I started thinking about how bad fast food is, and decided to put Ronald McDonald in a burger king scandal.
Sailor Moon is another one of those anime series that my generation grew up with. The English dub was really weird. I got curious and found the Japanese original series a fair while ago to learn that Zoisite was a man and not a woman as the English dub made out.
The whole Zoisite being English dubbed as a woman thing was probably because of the fact there was some man love going on between him and Malachite in the original Japanese show.
Although I watched the show twice over as a result, my mind isn't made up as to whether the show was actually any good. It's a classic anime, but to me, classic doesn't necessarily mean good.
Never seen more than a couple episodes of Card Captor Sakura. Now there are sequels and stuff too right? Maybe after I'm done with watching every Kamen Rider I'll check it out properly.
I'm realising that a lot of obstacles with what I want to do in art boil down to a reluctance to fail, more specifically I don't want to be seen to fail. Which is pretty stupid since keeping that habit makes failure even more certain.
To others, I probably seem a lot more together mentally, but my biggest obstacle is my mental state at all times, I always constantly feel like I don't do enough, and sometimes I get so stressed out before I've begun to put pen to paper that I self-fulfil the outcome of not doing enough.
I can and will get better though, I have to keep pushing.
We all have a dragon inside of us. We have to be sure not to feed it or sacrifice ourselves to it. I was in a pretty dark place yesterday, and it's something I get every now and then when I'm trying to create something.
It's weird how I love making art, and yet I have all these internalised issues with creating it freely and happily like I want. I'm better now at getting past these issues than I ever have been (hence the art challenge) but I can still become my own worst enemy and feed the dragon.
Originally I was going to sweep things under the carpet with today's piece, but I got a brilliant art request to draw an Invisible Dragon for a deviant artist by the domain name of WorldspawnTCS.deviantart.com
If I'd have been in a more positive mood i'd have drawn a dragon in camo hiding from a knight, but I really needed something more.
This is another DeviantArt request, this time the request is for mappaspintar.deviantart.com who has piqued my interest with their OC, Solveigh Andersson or Sunny to her friends.
I essentially posted in a dA forum for the last part of the art challenge and asked for others suggestions to get me thinking about different things I may not consider. I have no idea how faithful her actions will be though, I just read that she's hard working and so I wanted to depict her studying and researching until she fell to sleep still clutching important information firmly.
The hardest part was translating her outfit to pixel art because her sleeves carry a lot of intricate details.
I'm fleshing this character out, but for now, her name is Ada. This is a pretty spontaneous image, so I haven't really decided much more than just a name and a look, but new characters are a lot like new people to meet for me.
I've asked her for her name, and in time she'll be able to tell me a little more every day. Who knows what's going on in that head of hers right now though, maybe if that blue bird could talk we'd all know something interesting... blame the bird for not fleshing her character out...
Speaking of the bird, the original idea was to do a piece around him for @doodle_tube on twitter for their hashtag challenge #birdfriendsDT
I think this piece tried a few new things here, and I'm currently studying to see what I want to retain and what ideas maybe weren't all that great. Also, I recorded the process, so expect a video in future!
Personally, I'm not social enough for wine at parties, but here's to celebrating not giving up and living life to the full! I had a moment a few days back where I found it hard to feel motivated and yet I pushed through.
Was the end result great, did it suck? Doesn't matter as much as it does keeping on crafting things to ensure I at the very least make a net profit on inching to the skill set I'd love to have!
Of course, I'm not at the end just yet, 22 days in means there are 9 pieces to complete. I've not done Deviant Art requests the last two days, as I've been selfish and catered to my own passions, but I reckon the next piece will be something requested from the forum I launched.
Be sure to have a great day wherever you are!
Most of my artwork centres around strong women and Garnet is a little unique in this case, as she is strong women rather than a strong woman. Some would even say that she's stronger than you (see what I did there?)
Garnet is the embodiment of a loving relationship which takes on a form of both strength and wisdom... well future sight. Though not perfect, it's clear that Ruby and Sapphire had flaws that Garnet cancels out and brings more balance, she is the definition of a successful relationship that has been going for many lifetimes.
I remember all the hit pieces on Steven Universe for daring to have such a character, but to me, she is so much more than just two women in love, and I feel like the best way to understand that is to watch the show develop all of the characters including Garnet.
With everything else that's going on right now, my pixel art really brings me joy. Sometimes the process can be a little agonising when things don't go my way, but it's never to the extent that I'd give up.
The Lookout/ Kami's Lookout/ God's temple is such an interesting concept to me. The idea that god is just in the orbit of the planet looking down at it... somehow. In this image I've included Goku's staff which is the red stick at the base, but the temple is actually floating.
Once the series goes sci-fi this makes a lot less sense, even with an existing afterlife, the idea that NASA hasn't spotted this thing is incredible. Toriyama's world consists of a civilisation so advanced they can reduce all conveniences into a capsule, but nobody has picked this up on satellite.
Todays piece is a still of Ken Marinaris from the game Zone of the Enders: the second runner.
We don't really learn too much about Ken other than the fact her father Richard Marinaris either wanted a boy, or loved obscure Japanese names. Well... that's not fair actually. Ken is just as much a vital role in the plot as Dingo (the protagonist) is, and from what we learn about Nohman's ruthlessness (The baddie), it's clear she has the biggest balls in the plot as well as the biggest boobs.
Essentially her father was killed in action during his final mission with Dingo, Dingo survived but was assumed dead, and so he lived as a mining man until Bahram (the baddies) attacked his mining colony since it was hiding a very important vehicle/ mech. When she learns that Dingo is still alive and that he too wants vengeance she decides to disobey Bahram and help Dingo from near death.
This is actually a squared off take on her reaction to Dingo getting shot by Nohman for disobeying him and then herself deciding to disobey him too by helping Dingo with life support behind Nohman's back... like I said, she's either incredibly strong or incredibly stupid.
This wasn't the intended image that was going to come out, but it evolved with the process. The way I've been going about each days piece is that I draft out a couple of possible things that I can ultimately build on.
Originally the cherry was going to be a little more normal, but the wife gave me the brilliant idea of painting it in a sort of deadly light to completely change things up.
Lips are actually harder than I thought they'd be in pixel art. I'm really happy with the outcome though.
The most awkward part for me in pixel art is when something is in the way of a characters hands. It's difficult to make a call on what to show as the fingers have to be simplified half the time anyway, so this pose was a bit of a fiddle, especially with the way dual pistols wrap round the hand.
I don't personally play as the Inkling girl in game, but to me she's the games icon as opposed to the Inkling boy, her overall style suggests as much anyway. She's the closest match to her squid form. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out that she was at least one of the first conceptual designs for the series.
I'm still pretty new to Splatoon 2. Never played the original despite owning a Wii u. I love the way the game plays, and the single player mode is a breath of fresh air!
This was not the piece that I had planned for today at all. I have something else I'm working on, but rather than rush it out with mistakes I can clearly see, I had to quickly think of something simpler... this is apparently simpler.
That's right, simple is a cult conspiracy theory inspired Japanese food thing. If I were to give it a name right now it would be abomi- i mean, Illumigiri, or maybe Illumi-jelly donut. Maybe one day an old 90's dubbing company will steal him and convert him to Illumiburger, who knows.
I'm okay... no really, i'm fine.
This is an art request from greysparkle.deviantart.com I've not really done two characters in a scene together for this months challenge, and their request was the only one to really ask this.
I feel like I've still got a lot to learn about pixel art, and even art in general. Coming to the end of this challenge I've been given very mixed feelings about it all.
It's all ultimately positive though, and I'm glad I've stuck it out for the whole month so far with just two days left to complete!
This particular piece of artwork was based on an original deviation of theirs which can be found here: https://greysparkle.deviantart.com/art/OCs-Ahh-you-should-not-disturb-me-while-working-714372048
Alice in wonderland; It's a favourite of the Wife's, and I've always found it a fun story. This piece was done in just over 5 minutes, and not because I wanted it to be a speed pixel painting either, I needed to finish it for an art challenge on twitter @Clr_Collective.
I've had an art block for most of today and so I needed to do something. I spent most of today looking for stock references for inspiration on deviant art, and some of the stock that came up was reminding me why I left dA for so long, that said the gems kept me digging through.
Eventually I can across some fantastic Alice in wonderland stock pieces; the stock I used here is by an artist known on the platform as Faestock.
You can find her original stock photo, here: http://fav.me/d66i209
Well... I am genuinely tired, this was a journey and a half for me. I'm just about ready to have a much earned rest. Really struggled with today's piece. Kept drafting ideas out only to get sick of them moments later.
I genuinely thought i'd never think of anything to do... next time it's art prompts and a somewhat coherent plan the whole way. I rode this entire month by the seat of my pants and I'm impressed that attitude to it all didn't bite me in the bum.
Well, We return full circle as I go back to the manga. I have big plans for the series, and I won't be taking much more on until it's complete now. Joining Instagram, and returning to deviant Art has reminded me of how big the world is, as well as in regards to how much I can improve, and I can't wait to get the manga out there next!
WATCH THIS SPACE! (well the website... this post marks the finish of this part) THANK YOU FOR WATCHING ME GROW!