It would have looked a bit nicer if it was more to the right. It's a bit distracting otherwise, as it looks like the image was cropped from the side. Have you tried using a coloured outline? It might add some effect.
By the way, if it's useful to know, pixels seem to be a medium to use for small-scale works, game graphics (most likely thing a pixel artist would be paid for), or extremely detailed and/or crisp works if people decide to work larger scales.
Comments on this deviation is kinda funny. It's kinda funny seeing a of of kind words over your mastery of pixel art. I had a bit of that myself prior to mid-June despite working in a style which some pixel art snobs wouldn't consider proper pixel art. Some of my older crap worked at large enough sizes that I would probably get better results using a different medium because there's a silly amount of manual grunt work involved, but I stuck with pixels just because it's the most natural medium for me and haven't bothered to get a tablet to properly get started with digital painting.
Have I pointed at a guy like this? He is regarded as one of the best pixel artists. It seems kinda funny when I've been receiving comments about how I was apparently a master of sorts (lol @ how much I've improved since then), making me wonder how many of those people actually know what some of the best pixel art even looks like.
I may have gone a long way since those days of really silly priase, but I still have a ways to go. But, do you happen to need any pointers with regarding this? I could be pointing at a few rules and apply a few techniques..
..but I figure that there's a chance that you might be more interested in approaching this medium at your own pace.
People call me a master too. I'm like, I have no idea whatsoever what you're talking about, everyone. Then I link to someone else and they're like "aww no you're still great I love your style c:" and, quite coincidentally, I give them the peepeeshrug
Also I generally link [link] this crime against sanity (and the WIP GIF) when I want to express to people that I am a just a lowly commoner. This should not be doable in twelve hours. It should not. Fool scares me.
Also I swear I'm not following you around lately. I just kinda keep having things to say to what you say.
Considering how I did my sweetie belle soda in 2.5 hours or so... come to think of it... the crocktown looks totally doable for a human being. You simply need to be very familiar with how you draw certain things with pixels like scales and rocks. In my case, I'm familiar enough with AA do smooth out the linework than how I would have done say... three months ago.
I always appreciate extra tips if you have them to share. Whatever you feel is good for me to know or learn how to do is welcomed ^^ I'll of course take my time with it all, but I do like the idea of having the information to come back to
1. I dunno what your exact workflow looks like, but it's a good habit to create a palette that has every color you use. Under the first one, I pretty much put every color I found into a palette. I organized the color by what they are. The blobs that stand on their own are there so I don't confuse them for an adjacent color. This habit certainly helped me with pieces that need more complex palettes and kept me from creating unecessary colors where another color could easily be used instead.
2. So for the second pic, I combined similar colors. There's a missing color in the palette as there should be 14 colors in the avatar according to my software but the palette below has only 13. Oh well. Should still be good enough.
I also removed the light outline hugging the edges of our OC. IMO, it's not really necesssary.
3. It helps to count individual line segments to make sure your lines are as smooth as they can. As a line flows, the individual line segment lengths should gradually change and be consistent. Lines that aren't as smooth as they can be are referred to 'jaggies', or just a jag. If you are crazy enough to attempt bigger works, be aware that you'll have to treat diagonal lines as entire line segments instead of counting them as a bunch of 1's.
4. I tweaked the colors a bit so your colors aren't all the same hue, so I hue shifted your colors. The colors end up being more exciting. Keeping colors the same hue doesn't exactly get us the most exciting results even if it looks totally fine to you.
5. I removed some unecessary banding, most importantly the two diagonal lines hugging each other. You can look at them as two lines or a pixel row constantly shifted down. Which makes your work look more pixellated than necessary. You don't have to bother with avoiding banding right away, but it's worth knowing about if you get to it. Helm can explain banding better than I can, and less typing for me. Here's an interesting theoretical thingie he wrote about pixel art: [link]
6. I decided to add a little bit of azure to our OC's coat color to pull the colors closer together, making them more similar. I like the results personally as it looks like the colors belong to each other more I know *Karzahnii posted a tutorial of his coloring approach which mentioned unifying his colors by using a colored overlay which essentially adds a bit of the same color to every color which seems to explain how his works are colored like WOW. Pixel art does give you plenty of control over your colors (even more as I use graphicsgale, which probably offers the stupid-easiest color management I know of), so why not go the extra mile to make colors more awesome?
7. I really went the extra mile on this one. Don't be fooled by the name 'pixel art'. Pixel art doesn't need to look pixellated, but sometimes you can get more beautiful results if you use a little AA (antialiasing) to hide the sharp square corners of the pixel that can sometimes be unnecessarily distracting. Some artists can get away with using little AA if any like ~fool, but mostly because his approach to pixel art seems to avoid the need of AA.
AA is a tricky concept though, and certainly takes a bit of practice and trial-error to understand how it exactly works. I know I took a month to get the hang of it for good. AA is also something you should probably avoid touching until you are confident you're good with paying attention to jaggies. I'd like to call it a technique to 'defy the grid' so you can have super precise curves while being confined to a square grid.
8. And lastly, I used a little dithering in the eyes to blur the boundaries between the colors. Just be sure to read this link on what it says about dithering though: [link]
And... there's the comparison between the original and my edit, and that concerns with only technique and not fundamentals like shading. Personally, I like how my edit turned out but not sure how you would feel about it. Anything I need to explain more?
There certainly is so much you can do to work with pixels if you have the knowledge and ability to use them. ^^ I'm amazed at all the improvements you made by applying the different techniques where it was necessary or effective
What I can see in my own attempts that I really want to work on are things like the "jaggies" you mentioned, use of AA, and working with a palette.
With the jag, I find it difficult sometimes to form proper angles and curves while keeping things consistent or transitional, and these can turn up. AA can be used to smooth out and help eliminate this issue, but I'd like to have a more comfortable grasp of making it so that it's already in good shape, and AA is just to really "pretty" the lines rather than fix them. I might be wrong, but that's how I've seen it.
With the palette and colors, that just happens to be an issue that I have as an artist in general, which is that I never use palettes, and hardly have an idea on the relationships of color. A lot of it is guesswork :C I'm sure there are ways of learning the right approaches, understanding color theory and such, which would be a tremendous help with unifying a drawing with its color.
As an added note, techniques like dithering really intrigue me, but I feel unsure how to work with it, and how it's done. I feel like it would have to be shown to me, so that I can get a better visual understanding.
Anyway, it really is a great thing to have you working to help me in my pixel art pursuits, so much so, that you'd go to the trouble of doing a step-by-step of your process and direct me to these sources I am highly grateful
Sometimes when you draw using a grid, you will have to exaggerate some details, and toss away other details. Pretty much why a ton of sprites are pretty chibi.
With aliased lines, you will have to avoid certain angles or you will need well executed AA to have them smooth. It can pretty up lines but can make otherwise unusable lines usable if absolutely necessary (e.g. one that constantly switches from ones and two's). Sometimes, you can avoid having to use really jagged lines by simply working with a smaller canvas. Again, another reason why I advocate smaller works as they are more practical for the medium and requires less fancy polish, or extreme detailing to make it proper pixel art for the snobbier people. (Ugh, disproportionately thin line work)
Again, the last steps were just going an extra mile. The pixel.schlet.net link does explain exactly how dithering should be used, though possibly not immediately understandable if you have not understood pixel clusters.
Also... while I'm talking about pixel techniques, it kinda bothers me to think there are horrible tutorials that explains AA and dithering totally wrong. Seen any contradictory tutorials yet, out of curiosity?
You're too kind, you really shouldn't be jealous, I've still much to learn about pixel art It didn't take me any more time than what it takes for other drawings, but seeing as it's just a head then it probably would take forever to do a full body pixel drawing XD
Oh, thank you so much, it means a lot hearing that from you You could give pixel art a try if you wanted, I'm sure you'd do well C: Especially with all the guides and tutorials and artists that cover it
Oh, you know what this makes me think of... the portrait style in Pokémon, in the later games. And wow, is she pretty xD You seem much more pleased about this one too c: I'm glad to see that. I hope that if you keep going it keeps being fun for you.
Yeah, I felt better about this one, after looking more at the advice I was given and seeking out a few guides. I hope I can continue to work with pixel art, and even add in some animations when I get better ^^