@bit_aspect You can save a lot of time and possibly even get a better result by NOT drawing every single leaf ;D
When people look at trees, they rarely perceive them as a bunch of individual leaves, so why should we depict them that way? Especially when working at a small size!
The shapes the leaves make up are more important than the individual leaves, so all you really need is to suggest a leafy texture and maybe have a few leaves drawn in detail. More than that runs the risk of being noisy.
@eishiya this is the best advice I got during last montgs of self studying! Thank you very much!
@bit_aspect Feel free to ping me if you get stuck on something! I like critiquing things and doing pixel art edits/draw-overs for people :D ...instead of doing my own work.
@eishiya Hey! what do you think about my last art? I've done my best to nail it, just wanna hear some critique from more experienced artist :)
@bit_aspect Looks good! Great colours, and it's an interesting, mysterious scene. I do have some crits though:
I think you could improve the composition by moving the ground and everything on it up so that the person is approximately 1/3 up the image (rule of thirds).
The light pixels near the top don't really look like anything to me. Are they meant to be a rimlight? a decorative element?
The tower looks rather dull being so grey. Why not reuse the lovely orange colours instead?
@bit_aspect You don't need to add new colours for AA, because only the values really matter. Just pick an existing colour with an appropriate value and it'll work just as well - sometimes even better, because it avoids grey-looking blended colours when AAing between opposing hues.
Sometimes, you need more than 1 pixel of AA on gentle slopes, such as on the sides of the sphere. 1px dulls the corners, but doesn't make them smooth.
(cont, I'm so sorry)
@bit_aspect The figure's skin and cape have similar colours and hard to tell apart, they could use more contrast. Similarly, the staff's colour is hard to discern because it's just 1px thick, why not reuse the cape colour?
Here's an edit where I got rid of the unique AA colours, changed the colours of the tower and the figure, and tweaked the AA on the sphere to make it a wee bit smoother. I recommend putting it over your original and toggling its visibility to more easily spot the differences.
@bit_aspect I ran out of space in that last toot :'D
My edit took your colour count from 35 to 17. If you want the tower to remain greyish, then that would be 22 colours total. A hefty reduction either way, and I don't think it hurts at all.
Although it seems like I had a lot of crits, it was mostly just the short character limits and my verbosity at fault. The piece is quite solid as-is, and aside from my composition suggestion, these things have very little impact on the overall appearance.
@bit_aspect Oh, almost forgot one other thing that's in the edit: I removed a few of the highlights on the tree where they were abutting the shadows. This creates a smoother transition, and makes the tree look rounder. If you were going for a sharp edge, ignore that part of the edit.
@eishiya Wow! Thank you so much for all advices! About color count and AA: Well I've just learned about composition rules ( I used rule of thirds on this piece) and color harmony so I just wanted to do something beyond my limits and forget about pixel art rules for a moment :) Highlights on the walls supposed to be pieces of shiny metal, and pixels under the ball were supposed to be falling sand to add some life and movement. Thanks again! Next piece will be much better! :)
@bit_aspect Oh, I misunderstood what was in the scene! I didn't realise that was a thick wall, I thought it was a tower against an orange sky.
Would you mind if I tried to do another edit to hopefully communicate that better?
@eishiya ahhh! Yes :) It's a thick wall in perspective with narrow gates and a floating stone ball (I overestimated my skills and made it bad but anyway)
@bit_aspect I don't think you "made it bad", it's a beautiful image, it just didn't read to me. It's so stylish that my brain just went into "ooh pretty shapes" mode and didn't parse it as a physical scene xP
That said, I think just emphasising overlapping to show that the wall is a 3D object is really all you need. I made the sphere sit closer to the wall so it's overlapped by it, I made the sand stream down and overlap the gap, and I added a deeper shadow in the gate to help clarify it. (1/2)
@bit_aspect I shifted the gradient in the gate down so that it didn't perfectly line up with the gradient on the wall, as that made it look like a haze in front of the wall (thence my sky+tower interpretation).
Moving the sphere over necessitated expanding the canvas to keep the composition nice. It might even be good to expand it more vertically, depending which part of the sphere is most important (the centre or the sand).
As always, feel free to ignore any part of this :D
@bit_aspect Oh, and I didn't mean any disrespect by removing your signature from the image. The black bars just got in the way of editing, so I cropped them out and forgot to add them back in ><
@eishiya ah, forget about them, signature and bars don't matter. And what matters is that the piece have become twice cooler!
@bit_aspect Yey! Overlapping is really useful for showing depth and volume, so perhaps paying close attention to that might help in the future. When things in a scene don't overlap, the whole scene can look flat.
Because the shadow gradient lines up with the perspective inside the gate, it's difficult to differentiate the two effectively. The gradient in the gate could be changed to follow perspective, but then the gradient doesn't look as nice, and the angles aren't as stylish ):
@eishiya thank you so much! I learned a lot from this conversation, you are an amazing artist! May I discuss with you my next pieces if it doesn't bother you?)
@bit_aspect Sure! I learn a lot from doing stuff like this too, so I'm really glad it helps you too and that I'm not just being selfish xP