Critique > Pixel Art

thoughts on my kurama?

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damogeko:
so i'm a newbie in pixel art and i've been stuck with this for a while now, i'm kinda having problems with shading and drawing pixelated fur. I tried to make it more realistic and drawing some fur but it always ended up just looking weird. What do you think?
(sorry for any mistakes, english is not my native language)

daramon:
There's a great example of making a fox look "furry" in the featured section:

https://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19686.0

It's long and takes time to get going, but the results are very impressive. You can probably find a lot of what you need there.


For a very brief idea, look at this example image I found online. Notice a few things:

1: The fur effect is applied to the outline of the character as well as internally.
2: The artist isn't drawing every strand of fur, just giving an impression of fur by breaking up the outlines of shaded areas or adding in occasional rough detail.



This could give you a head start in thinking about how to make something look furry.

daramon:
I thought that the images you presented were a bit eye-searing and lo and behold, I load it into Pyxel Edit and I find that all your colors have "saturation" slammed to max.

A rule of thumb I go by is never to max out saturation when drawing my basic shapes. I start off making it a bit right-of-centre, like 60%-70% or so. I want somewhere to go if I need it, and I don't want to burn the retinas of the people looking at my art.

Lots of saturation makes things look like they're glowing, so your character looks radioactive. It's also harder to create shade as everything's emitting light!

When shading your character, pick some more obvious shade tones. You want to really see the difference between light and shade. You're putting a lot of work into this, make sure people notice it!

Try hue shifting your shades so the darker ones are more towards a colder color like blue and the lighter ones more towards a warmer color like orange or yellow. Like with picking shade values, you can be reasonably obvious with this effect. If you try to be too subtle you won't notice it.

When it comes to shade, I tend to use it for two main purposes. Firstly, things in the background can be made darker to give the image depth. Secondly, things that are pointing away from the light or in shadow should be darker. Think about where the light is coming from and which parts of your character will be brightest and darkest.

Finally, for the sake of my eyes, please pick a background color that isn't white! Try a pastel shade in a color opposite to your main character's color on the color wheel, maybe. In this case a nice light green perhaps?

daramon:
I just noticed that the example image I found was also working on 100% saturation for the two shades it was using. I don't recommend using this palette.

It could be that this intense saturation is part of the feel/personality of the character (who I admittedly don't recognize). If that's the case then at least these shades are separate enough in hue and value that there's an obvious difference.

Keops:
Hey there damogeko

I made a quick edit, maybe it's better to explain than words.



But basically it boils to:
- Have clean lines/silhouettes before coloring
- Add shades to make shapes pop out, give volume, otherwise it looks too flat

If you have any questions just let me know!

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