AuthorTopic: Skyler, portrait of a fictional horse  (Read 3650 times)

Offline Blueberry

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • The Crazy Horse
    • View Profile
    • Creative Pony

Skyler, portrait of a fictional horse

on: January 03, 2008, 01:46:41 am
Hi there. About a year ago I became interested in Pixel Art, but then relationships and other real life struggles filled up my life and I stopped. My interest has recently been revived by playing a Gameboy Advanced game version of the TV series "Avatar: The Last Airbender".

In the mean time, I've bought a low end Wacom Graphire tablet, so I'm naturally hoping that this time I'll be able to work on pixel art and not start to go mad from the repeated ceaseless clicking of my own mouse. Anyway, on to business. Back then I did a total of 5 pixel art pictures, 3 of which were rather standard tutorial 'draw an isometric box!' type things. So, i'll show you the two slightly more meaningful ones. As the first picture I've ever made of a horse, and with no reference material aside from crummy low resolution jpeg's of horses from around the web, I think I did a pretty good job! What do you think?


First non-tutorial pixel art, from a year ago


Second horse. I spent less time on this one as I didn't have any friends to keep me motivated with it. It's also the last pixel art i've done.

Shape and perspective are obviously pretty out of whack with the second one, but for my first picture of an entire horse, I think it came out okay...ish. The first one originally had a bulkier neck, but as I was doing it as an avatar for a friend at the time, they requested it be more slender. I still think the neck looks too skinny, but they liked it.

Edit: As a side note, the darker pixels, especially of the mane, sure did look brighter on my old pc than this new Mac. I wonder if there's some colour profile doohicky going on in these png's.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2008, 01:48:33 am by Blueberry »

Offline infinitegames

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 130
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Skyler, portrait of a fictional horse

Reply #1 on: January 03, 2008, 02:32:31 am
Nice work. And the reason they look different is because Mac gamma is different from PC gamma.

Offline Blueberry

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • The Crazy Horse
    • View Profile
    • Creative Pony

Re: Skyler, portrait of a fictional horse

Reply #2 on: January 03, 2008, 07:11:55 am
I just tried switching my screen to PC Gamma (2.2) and it made it worse. I guess I should fiddle with the pallet of these to be a bit less stupid. When I created them, I was using a pretty dodgy screen.

Offline Blueberry

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • The Crazy Horse
    • View Profile
    • Creative Pony

Re: Skyler, portrait of a fictional horse

Reply #3 on: January 03, 2008, 07:37:43 am
I'm having some trouble with Pixen. I've managed to improve it a little I think, but now I can't figure out how to delete a colour from the Pixen Pallet, and I'm worried that this colour seems to be exported with the PNG.

I'm finding it really annoying that in this software it's easy to create a new pallet colour but impossible to remove one.

Offline jimmay

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Skyler, portrait of a fictional horse

Reply #4 on: January 03, 2008, 08:26:39 am
You should probably look into horse anatomy. Right now both of your pictures look like dogs instead of horses.

http://boiseartmuseum.org/education/images/horse/horseanatomy.jpg

I think you already know that your pieces are pillow shaded as well. Read up on shading technique to give you pixels a less cartoony feel.
Dithering can be nice, but try not to use it when it's not necessary or appropriate (I'm guilty of that myself).

Also, the eyes are really creeping me out, you should make them... less like holes and more like eyes.
Hope that helps.

Offline Blueberry

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • The Crazy Horse
    • View Profile
    • Creative Pony

Re: Skyler, portrait of a fictional horse

Reply #5 on: January 03, 2008, 08:55:22 am
Well, before my pixel stuff I coloured a lot of traditional inked cartoony stuff and had a love for cell shading, so thats where that came from. It was quite intended to be cartoony. I can see what you mean with the anatomy. I really don't like the neck, and I'm thinking of redoing it, though, the picture was a gift for an ex’, so I'm also a bit reluctant to work on it. The horse anatomy picture you've linked looks very much like a draft/shire horse to me, while I was working with reference's of horses more along the lines of Arabian's.

Offline tbone

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 11
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Skyler, portrait of a fictional horse

Reply #6 on: January 03, 2008, 01:56:28 pm
Regardless of whether it was intended to be cartoony, your picture still doesn't look like a horse. Try and define some of the muscles and bone structure using shading.
You're also wasting a lot of colors - some of them were nearly indistinguishable from their neighbors. Here's a quick edit: I boosted the contrast and added some definition.



I assume that horse in your avatar icon was drawn by you - apply the same skills to your pixel art.

Oh, and welcome aboard! :)

Offline Blueberry

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • The Crazy Horse
    • View Profile
    • Creative Pony

Re: Skyler, portrait of a fictional horse

Reply #7 on: January 03, 2008, 08:58:13 pm
that's an interesting look, but maybe going a bit too far for my tastes, and also, the face wasn't supposed to be dished, but a minor detail. :)

I'll surely be staring at this for a while figuring out just what's been done. All the bright highlight's and heavy shadowing I feel make them look a bit too old.

Offline tbone

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 11
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Skyler, portrait of a fictional horse

Reply #8 on: January 04, 2008, 12:10:35 am
I wasn't suggesting you finish the picture in that style. But whether you use harsh highlights or not, I do think you need to define the anatomy a bit more, and put more thought into choosing your colors. Some colors were so visually similar that I couldn't see them even at 3-4x magnification. But there's many ways to skin this particular cat...

Here's a couple threads that go into detail about color restrictions and choosing palettes. There's only so much useful critique on pixel technique I can give, since I started pixeling all of two days ago, but these threads are fairly in depth.

Palette/Size/Tile Restictions on Contemporary Pixel Art
Choosing colors and pallettes.

Check out this thread for some really impressive pixel art - it's worth studying the techniques used in some of the pieces:
Favorite Pixel Art