AuthorTopic: [WIP] beginner - little plant friend  (Read 361 times)

Offline sailingaway

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[WIP] beginner - little plant friend

on: May 06, 2020, 02:54:08 pm
I'm a beginner with pixel art and have been working on this little cactus plant for fun. I'm not planning on integrating this into anything bigger but I would really love some feedback. I've looked at some pixel art videos on youtube and at some games (mainly backgrounds) but this is the first thing I've done by myself.

I got colors from another image of a cactus but I drew the plant from my imagination. I've seen some beginner tutorials where they do a silhouette first but I drew this piece by piece, pot first and then did one circle (?? the little leafy guys) at a time. I would really appreciate any feedback or links to helpful tutorials, I plan on improving it! (I read the pin but if I posted the image wrong I'm sorry)

Offline SeDiceBisonte

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Re: [WIP] beginner - little plant friend

Reply #1 on: May 10, 2020, 03:41:57 pm
What a jolly piece  :)

Starting with a silhouette or a line drawing means that you can quickly get a feel for the entire composition of a piece, which could mean a lot less work later on should you want to change anything about it. It will also help with the shading because you'll be able to tell how the different elements interact (e.g. you might draw a lovely cactus leaf according to Google that's a 'cladode'; who knew? and have to re-do it if it ends up being in the shadow of another one that's added later).

When it comes to the colours, the first thing I noticed was how many of them are in the piece. You've got 43, many of which are very similar to each other. When choosing a colour to lay down, it's worth looking over the ones you've already used to see if one can be repurposed. Better yet, have an idea of the colours you need in advance and try to stick to them, only adding ones when you absolutely can't do without them. This part of Cure's tutorial over at Pixel Joint is about colour, and is very useful, but scroll up to the top to have a look at the entire thing as well because it's very helpful. I'm not sure how small you could get your palette, but I'd advise perusing the gallery at Pixel Joint and searching for 'cactus'. The examples there make me think that you could get to around twelve colours.

As a very quick example (and this isn't intended to be better; merely illustrative), I've stripped out twenty shades from your palette that were similar to other ones, which still leaves 23. The loss of the yellowish-green is felt, but I think you could easily rectify that by removing one of the pinks and replacing it with a bolder yellowy-green.

It also might be worth hosting your images somewhere else such as Imgur as this method means we can only see them zoomed in (hence the size of my edit).

Hopefully this is useful!

Offline sailingaway

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Re: [WIP] beginner - little plant friend

Reply #2 on: May 21, 2020, 05:02:58 pm
What a jolly piece  :)

Starting with a silhouette or a line drawing means that you can quickly get a feel for the entire composition of a piece, which could mean a lot less work later on should you want to change anything about it.

I've stripped out twenty shades from your palette that were similar to other ones, which still leaves 23.

Thank you so much for all your pointers it was seriously helpful! The color palette reduction you did was definitely demonstrative, I was amazed how it looked with half the colors I used- definitely going to be more restrictive from now on. For my painting and sketching I usually do a sketch before beginning but I've never done any digital art of any kind before and for some reason the thought didn't occur to me to do one...oops. I also took a look at that tutorial and I think I had read some of the posts above it before it got buried under all the other tabs I opened- the part you pointed out was really interesting especially the method using grayscale, I might try that.

The pixel joint forum was helpful too, there were lots of pieces that used less colors like you mentioned. I think I'll try to redo this piece but from a sketch and I'll pick under 15 colors, and I'll post it here (via imgur- thanks!) again when I finish :-)

Offline Chonky Pixel

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Re: [WIP] beginner - little plant friend

Reply #3 on: May 21, 2020, 05:20:09 pm
Sometimes it can be useful to add depth to an image using colour value (brightness).

Here's a totally random pixel art video:

https://youtu.be/GXq5SQgRK4A

You can see that the main character's legs are a different brightness. The rear one is darker. This can help the eye to tell the difference between the near and the far objects and act as a "depth cue".

In your case it may or may not work, but it's something to play with.

Offline Craky

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Re: [WIP] beginner - little plant friend

Reply #4 on: May 22, 2020, 05:16:09 am
Ooh that cactus looks really cute!, i like pastel color and you seems to be in a good path,

2 of the critique above is a good advice and i'm just as lost as you when it comes to color, i Recommend you to learn HSV(recommended) or HSL Type of color, it is two of the best settings to adjust saturation and value for your pallete

Here is a good  app i recently found https://colorpicker.fr/

It let you pick a color straight from a canvas and generate shading based on HSL, Hopefully it can help you get a grasp on coloring, but don't let yourself rely on this app so much.

Hope it helps in any way.

Offline SeDiceBisonte

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Re: [WIP] beginner - little plant friend

Reply #5 on: May 25, 2020, 02:22:20 pm
I'm also starting out and am currently beating my head against the wall with a piece where I'm trying to learn more about palettes, so I feel your pain (also why I didn't manage to reduce the colours more in my last reply). I started out knowing what palette I wanted to use for my first piece so I didn't have to think about it too much. fskn linked me to a great site called Lospec, which has a huge number of palettes that you can use. I searched for 'cactus' and, brilliantly, there's a twelve-colour palette for the same kind of cactus you're drawing here.

From a general art perspective, I think it's useful to learn how to make a palette yourself but, as another beginner, I know how tough it is to learn that as well as everything else that comes with the pixel art territory. I'm looking forward to seeing the next iteration of this!