Thanks for the comments, I appreciate your feedback.
Now I shall spend the time to return some..
Helm, I like the idea, but I feel the scenes are too barren. The first one has an interesting color combo which seems to make the area illuminated mysteriously. I almost expect to see some weird plantlife growing within the greenish light, or the darker/shaded areas.
As for the second one, I feel it is tiled better in that it is more seamless, but I think the composition is not as good as the first which had a multi-level cliff thing going on.
To fix the baren sense of it, I would suggest adding some water element to it and maybe some odd plant-life. Maybe a more creative character too.. But I get a sense you weren't enjoying the challenge too much, so it's alright.
Xion Night, I think the issue with your characters is that they blend into the background too much, and I think the orange floor isn't helping this issue. Keep in mind that if you want to seperate something, think in terms of opposites may help. For example, if the background is low-saturated, then an opposite slightly high-saturated character would help pop out from it. Or if the background is dark, then a lighter character will oppose the darkness and pop out. You don't have to apply the opposite forces to the whole subject, you could do it to the edges where they two conflicting things meet. And also keep in mind the amounts and length at which you apply the effect, because sometimes just a little is enough. You have to experiment.
Also, as for another example, look at the green seats, they pop out well on the floor because they have a dark outline which meets the bright orange. The seats are also very solid (not much detail on them, if any) as opposed to the detailed and 'broken up' floor (the floor has alot of lines all over).. So with that, you also get the sense of the busy floor opposeing the non-busy seat and so it is easily pops out.
I think the dithering in the wooden things doesnt work with the equally busy lines of the floor. When these two things are next to each other, they blend together, and you just see the busy-ness of it all.
I think to improve the piece, you should look into how to use compliments (how one technique or effect can compliment another) and such so that you can get a sense for what works with what.
ptoing, I like the updated one better, because you fixed the same problem that Xion Night had which was within your first one. The first one was very busy throughout the piece, and with the update, you got rid of alot of it and went with a simple less busy floor in order to emphasize the different parts in the scene (the floor and the walls).
But, at the same time as you did this, you made the whole scene mono-toned whihc it wasn't in the first one (the first one had a grey-ish colors and a green-ish/yellow color, now it is all green-ish/yellow)..
So my suggestion is to add more variable colors..
Darion, yours has a refreshing simplisticy which is nice to see. It has some sort of exagerated surreal feel to it. The characters work great in the envirement. One thing which bothers me a bit is the floor in that it looks too grid-like. Some detail in different spots of the floor may be a nice addition in order to break the floor up a bit and make it more interesting. I like how you chose to introduce new colors through the use of character sprites, this really draws your attention to them.
Blick, Interesting start. I suggest reading over some of the other critiques or points i have made here, so that you are aware of these issues when you continue your mockup, because as of th emoment I notice a lot of dithering and busy-ness. It should be interesting to see if you can make it work.
Negative Gravity, the first thing which stand out to me is the colors. Everything just uses one color for each thing, for example, your grass is a very green-ish color, one type of bricks are simply brown-ish, and the other type of brick is simply red-ish, and your dirt is simply brown-ish. I dunno, it may be due to the limited colors you can use which is causeing you trouble, but I suggest trying to mess around with colors and lack of color and experiment with changeing the hues slightly of parallel colors. check next critique to get a clue..
Panda, I like the color theme. It is interesting enough not to be too mono-tonous-ish. Negative Gravity, take a look at the colors he used.. He has a somewhat dark turqiose/blue, a red-ish/brown, a tan-ish color, and a light white/blue/green.. All the colors are somewhat grey-ish as well (which helps in this case), but you get a sense of variable colors which are capable of working with each other nicely. I don't have too much else to say about this piece, it will be interesting to see how you take it further, if you'll stay with a mono-tonous theme (where you use the same 4 colors through-out the piece), or if you begin to add other colors.
BrotherInWar, omgxxor its iso, you arent allowed to do iso! hehe
hm.. I know you wanted to only use 4 colors, but I think it doesn't work too well in this case. it is just too grey for me. Maybe you can incorporate a bit of what Panda did. I'm also confused with how the tiles work.
are you stretching the rules?.. *pulls out the ruler*..
lief, you're going to blind me with those colors, hehe. That grass looks toxic. It is interesting though, I'm curious to see how it turns out (is it done?). The dirt seems too normal and brown next to the grass.. I would expect it to be equally un-normal like the grass, so that the style flows better throughout the piece. I like the flower details alot, it gives it a kinda playful attitude. Looks unfinished at the moment.. needs more stuff!
ehwhy, looks good so far. I think it needs more detail in various places in order to break up the flatness/solid look to it. The boxes also blend into the floor too much, try shadeing the boxes in order to make them stand out better. If you aren't sure how to do this, try studying how other people shade objects, in order to make them stand out easy, look at how light and dark interact (might be useful to find some tutorials online about this subject (how to use light and shadow and intermingle between them).
dogmeat, The update looks better. Looks like some sort of fighting arena with a pit on the outside. Should be interesting to see some sprites and stuff on it.
NyanNyanKoneko, Nice first attempt. I see that you have a sense of what you wanted to include in the picture (the water, the sand, some footprints, a crab, a shop, and such.. Now I think you should continue to focus on how those things look, and how you can translate the aspects of those things into art. What you want to do is keep building on it, and layering your discoveries. For example, with water, I see you know it is blue, and so you put blue color there, you also know that there are ripples and movement in it, and so you put those lighter lines on it. Now what you want to do, is go further into your investigation and observation, and ask how those ripple look, how they blend into the blue-ness. Find that out, and continue investigateing new things. Perhaps you will notice that the water makes the sand wet and darket where the water moves over it, so you may want to observe that phenomena and see how you can translate that into art. just keep going with this process whenever you work. Try not to settle for a simple solution, or else you work will seem simple.
But this is understandable for a beginner. I hope this helps you, I look forward to seeing more of your work to see how you improve.
Schu, I'm really liking this. The simplistic nature of it is similar to Darion's. The battle screen is excellent as well. Very zelda-ish. The slimes/blobs are my favorite part.
Darien, Looks good, I think you can improve the color of it though, but it may be difficult with how you designed the tiles. Anyways, the colors and objects seem very seperated. For example, you have the reds limited to your roofs, the greens limited to your grass, the blues limited to your water.. Maybe read some of the other critiques i gave to give you some ideas on possible ways to fix it. You're on the right path, you just need to take things further.
Rydin, that is pretty creative! It can be amazing what you can express even when limiting youself. Although the low number tiles does does make it look bland, you can still get a feel for the mountains, forest, grass, beach, and water, and castle. Pretty nice for what it is. It can only get better if you choose to push yourself and take it further.
Zolthorg, quite interesting!.. the update really immproves the trees, before I didnt know they were tress, but now i see them. I think one problem is that everything seems to mix together.. Everything has similar colors and everything is similarly busy. So by fixing that, i think you can improve the piece alot.
Wolverine, Lookin good so far. Basically a bit barren at the moment. Needs more stuff to fill the spaces up. I like the wall colors and the characters are nifty.
Pep, you mentioned a second stage in the topic post?..