Friday, March 9, 2012

Pixel Art: Arachne's Spider with Dawnbringer's Palette

As a primer for any of the few people who actually read this blog, pixel art (if you don't already know) is a special form of digital art focused on the precise pixel level. While digital painting and photography technically use the pixel as the medium, they are not pixel art. Pixel art (or it's smaller-scale cousin spriting) is an art form that concentrates on the placement of individual pixels and clusters of pixels. It is made primarily with the pencil tool, rather than the brush tool. Automatic tools such as the brush's automatic anti-aliasing and filters are typically forbidden. It is often characterized by a limited palette and a smaller size due to the tight focus.
I've been doing pixel art for probably seven and a half years now. I'm not half bad, if I may be so bold. I showcase most of my work on Pixeljoint, so if you'd like to see it I'll drop off the URL.

Oh my goodness I'm actually posting art. Been in a pixel rut lately (aside from a sprite project I'm keeping under wraps for now), been doing this piece off and on for a few weeks, taking up maybe 5 total hours of dedicated work.

To explain the title: Neither the lineart nor the palette is mine. The lineart is by Arachne, of [link] Check under pixel art, this one is on Page 1 of the sorted linearts. I've done work on Arachne's lines before, and will almost certainly do so again. There's a lot there to work with, and it's so strange and interesting! The inspiration to go back and use one of Arachne's lines actually came from crackerss on deviantart, who did one a bit ago and reminded me of them.
The palette is by Dawnbringer, who won the Pixeljoint palette contest for it, so I thought I'd give it a stab. You can see his article on the palette here: [link]

At first I was suspicious of how the palette was working, the colors didn't harmonize right in my mind, but on zooming out I really like how they work. I ended up having an internal debate over whether or not to use an additional color; it changes the look a bit, and I'm not sure which is better to me, so I'm going with the fewer color count as the main. Here's the alternate:

Am I entirely happy with every pixel line? No, I don't think so. There's some mess in there, but to be totally honest I like that look a bit, it makes it look a bit more organic in my mind that way, since I don't think I go into jaggy territory anywhere. I'm aware that with the depth thing in it the face/mouth should be darker, but I wanted it as a focal point as well as the rest so it gets to be a bit brighter. Aside from that I'm quite happy with how it handles depth, that's something I'm usually bad at. I'm also aware of some clashing textures - the front leg in particular is strange. The top part is almost too textured, the bottom part not enough. Overall I'm happy with it, and I hope you guys like it too.

As usual, small crits will be fixed, large things will be considered and th advice incorporated into future pieces but likely not this one. It took maybe 5 hours, and the shown version has 10+trans colors (alternate has 11+trans). Made in GIMP. Palette by Dawnbringer, lineart by Arachne.

Hope you all enjoy the piece! Let me know if you like me posting my art stuff here, I'm pretty much just stretching to get ANY content out right now. I'm not actively gaming anything, and the next session of RPG is slated for next Thursday. Due to Kris' iffy-ness over the post-apocalyptic setting, we've switched from Apocalypse World to Dungeon World - close, but in a fantasy setting instead. I still plan to play Apocalypse World at some point, probably on the side with a slightly different play group so Kris doesn't need to play games he doesn't want to. I've successfully recruited Kenny, who played with us all through high school, so I'm excited to game with him again. Bro will likely not be playing, at least for the first session, due to a scheduling mishap. So hopefully I'll have some stuff up here soon for you guys!

End Recording,

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