If I Had My Way

If I Had My Way

You need to be logged in to rate pixel art.


Pixel Art Details

If I Had My Way

Title: If I Had My Way
Pixel Artist: big brother  (Level 11 Admiral :: 70898 points)
Posted: 9/19/2006 10:45
Palette: 22 colors
Statistics:  59 comments    183 faves    0 avatars

It seems like every time I finish a bigger piece, I promise myself I will only work on small scale pieces. However, I didn't think I could do this concept justice on a smaller size, so here it is.

On a design level, I wanted to emphasize the contrast between the dynamic motion of the figure and the static nature of the skull. I chose a pallette with subtle hue changes as an experiment, since my shades usually tend to be obivously different. At the same time, I wanted to keep the color count relatively low, while representing green, red, and blue.

I drew this from scratch on the computer, no tablets, scanners, scaling, filters, or indexing was used. Circles, lines, and layers were the most advanced tools I used.

Here are my references: http://static.flickr.com/41/117134936_439b47ff63.jpg


There's kind of a riddle around this piece. All the visual clues you need are in the piece itself. I'm looking for a seven word phrase in response to this.

For the first person to give me the answer, I will make a Wee of their choice.

EDIT: Ptoing is the winner with: "I would tear this whole building down"
(which is the line after "If I had my way" in the Grateful Dead song "Samson and Delilah").

Top Pixel Art - September 2006 (#5)Top Pixel Art - September 2006 (#5)


If you would like to comment you will need to be logged in. Register now. It only takes a moment and it's free.

syedahumna56 (Level 2 CGA) @ 6/3/2022 21:49

Good work

syedahumna56 (Level 2 CGA) @ 6/3/2022 17:02


OareasO (Level 3 Sergeant) @ 4/9/2018 10:46

Yes! So much yes! Love it!

upper0 (Level 3 Sergeant) @ 8/18/2017 23:21


Gaff (Level 1 Rookie) @ 10/2/2016 11:57

Like the eye swirls!  Do you have one of just those?

jok (Level 11 Master Assassin) @ 6/3/2014 04:22

very nice one - especially the bottom part

Bokeblender (Level 1 Depressed) @ 11/17/2012 17:23

This is what I want to do when I get my headaches.

QueenP (Level 1 Depressed) @ 9/5/2011 04:57

This is stunning work... perfect

Arkan85 (Level 9 Rear Admiral) @ 8/16/2011 03:27

Let me die with the Philistines! (yeah!)

HummingBird (Level 1 Thug) @ 2/19/2011 07:40

Like they say "the Hell is inside your head"

HummingBird (Level 1 Thug) @ 2/19/2011 07:39

Like they say "the Hell is inside your head"

Kiwi (Level 4 Shichikyu) @ 9/5/2010 08:49

 Wow, the Image has a great dynamism! Love it

avo (Level 8 Cannibal) @ 7/21/2010 21:51


JSena (Level 1 Thug) @ 7/13/2009 04:14

The preview is awesome, but the full art is extremelly better!!!! xD

Gaby05 (Level 1 Rookie) @ 6/23/2009 05:30

I just discovered this one. That skull caught my attention right away. Awesome work.

raeli (Level 1 Intern) @ 5/28/2009 19:29

I would tear this whole building down!

this is absolutely wonderful and it totally appeals to the deadhead in all of us!
as for the skull, it's incredible. it's very obvious what you were going for, it's clearly a dead skull, but you can totally see that it's YOUR skull as well!

incredible work.


jamienos (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 10/14/2007 09:46
Very nice, love the text

supermansucks (Level 1 Rookie) @ 6/15/2007 15:47
teach me oh lord of pixel skulls

iLKke (Level 9 Nidan) @ 2/21/2007 07:55
Wow! Love it! Great color mixing. Also, I like the 'messy' scratches on them cheekbones!

big brother (Level 11 Admiral) @ 12/31/2006 16:50
Actually, he hasn't told me what he wants yet. :)

The B.O.B. (Level 11 Master Assassin) @ 12/27/2006 09:51
"They totally copied me!!!"

Heh, oh sweet sarcasm. Any way, I was wondering if you ever finished Ptoing's wee(wee)? Or was it all a big hoax? I don't have anything else much to add to critique this piece since everything that could have been said, has already been mentioned. Great job, just wanting to know about the wee thingy...

big brother (Level 11 Admiral) @ 11/30/2006 08:19

They totally copied me!!!

radioactivity (Level 1 Depressed) @ 11/30/2006 02:36
nevermind, just searched the grateful dead on google images.

radioactivity (Level 1 Depressed) @ 11/30/2006 02:25
Erm, seen this http://forum.everyonedoesit.co.uk/image.php?u=49300&dateline=1162520527 wondered if you had seen it before?

mega-human (Level 1 Rookie) @ 9/25/2006 16:45
Yeah the naked man looks cool lol, nah I love this picture its cool as!

acrylicana (Level 1 Intern) @ 9/25/2006 11:19
Wow. Just wow, man.

exocet (Level 6 Major) @ 9/25/2006 11:05
Wow, great piece of pixel art! Love the colours and the composition.

Mirre (Level 8 Jellyfish) @ 9/23/2006 12:38
This is stunning work. I am so impressed by all the details here and the colour choices. It's just such beautiful work. Instant +fav! ...And it would look great as a tattoo :o

ElectroNico (Level 6 Serial Killer) @ 9/22/2006 03:30
Really great work !! Nice palette.

ebby (Level 1 Rookie) @ 9/21/2006 11:07
hehe, i just think you didn't do your research properly.
and now your trying to hide it by a "special meaning". hehe.
still great pixelart, though.

big brother (Level 11 Admiral) @ 9/21/2006 08:37
Think about it this way, ebby. If his hair is the symbol of his own strength, and he's tearing down the temple without it, what am I saying about his reliance on a force higher than himself?

ebby (Level 1 Rookie) @ 9/21/2006 08:02
i really get the riddle now, but without long hair it just doesn't make sense.

buloght (Level 6 Centaur) @ 9/20/2006 01:37
Amazing work as usual

halfDemon (Level 6 Hitman) @ 9/19/2006 18:23
This is beyond beautiful.

Scruffs (Level 7 Assassin) @ 9/19/2006 15:48
god your works are amazing, and you create so many wonderful textures without dithering.  Great stuff as always =)

Jace (Level 1 Gangster) @ 9/19/2006 15:18
"O God Remember me and strengthen me"?
Very nice work.

joseph_ch (Level 3 Enforcer) @ 9/19/2006 14:01
awesome work here!  very realistic and fantastic job on the AA

calacver (Level 1 Rookie) @ 9/19/2006 13:51
I meant no offence, you are my favourite artist on this site. I just meant exact copy, not as in traced as in copied the lineart (not physically traced) just identically drawn from reference.

big brother (Level 11 Admiral) @ 9/19/2006 13:48

Sigh. I was afraid someone would start an accusation.

I couldn't link the logo originally, since it would make the riddle too straightforward. Anyways, here's a link to it: http://www.gratefuldeadmusic.com/wallpaper/stealyourface.gif

You can shrink it and compare if you really think it's an exact copy.

And I saved an early WIP, just in case this situation arose. Besides the circle, I freehanded the skull, and if you pay attention, you can see the differences.



Skull (Level 11 CEO) @ 9/19/2006 13:41
Absolutely amazing. It's incredibly detailed. Hats off to you.

Afflict (Level 4 Lieutenant) @ 9/19/2006 13:41
MMmm, my bad. I would of however sculpt the dude just in case hehe...

calacver (Level 1 Rookie) @ 9/19/2006 13:36
I'm a little concerned you didn't link us that skull, it's an exact copy.

Anyways, this is amazing pixelling!

Infinite (Level 1 Rookie) @ 9/19/2006 13:27
Its unbeliveable, your one of the best artist here BB. Love your work, and your awesome! ^_^

jalonso (Level 11 Godfather) @ 9/19/2006 13:00
The hair represents his belief. Even if cut off, it will grow back, that is his true strenth.

ebby (Level 1 Rookie) @ 9/19/2006 12:58
nope, they cut off his hair, but it grew back. when he took down the temple his hair was long again, afflict.

Faktablad (Level 6 SWAT) @ 9/19/2006 12:37
I love the subtle hue shifting.  Way to break out (sorry for the pun) of the traditional skull design.  Very impressive color conservation.  Something about the guy's legs and loin cloth don't work for me, though...it's like they don't fit together right.

Afflict (Level 4 Lieutenant) @ 9/19/2006 12:22
Nice on bb, ebby samson didnt have hair when he pulled down the temple cause remember they had cut it all off :( He asked god to give him the power.

Still i like this image alot and i am sure bb just referenced wrong pic.

Larwick (Level 8 Regional Boss) @ 9/19/2006 12:18

Omega K. (Level 3 Hatchet Man) @ 9/19/2006 12:13
The colour choice is amazing. But what you did with them is even more amazing. The techniques you have used for the cracks and the ribbon is completely God-like. I admire you even more now :>

Sgrum (Level 5 Captain) @ 9/19/2006 12:11
Yeah. The skull it´s like the Grateful Dead logo (long live in death to Jerry Garcia), and the Samson likes as one of my seaman tatttos draws ( I made someones when I worked as tattoer). Good job.

ryumaru (Level 3 Private Eye) @ 9/19/2006 12:06

absolutely awesome. near perfect technique, maximum color usage and pallette control, and pleasing composition. i just fuckin love it.

ZZZkodi (Level 7 Mass Murderer) @ 9/19/2006 11:40
Good colors and idea! Beautiful!!!

big brother (Level 11 Admiral) @ 9/19/2006 11:39

Damn. I didn't expect someone would get the answer on the third post!

Congrats, Ptoing! Let me know what the wee should be.

For everyone else, it's the chorus from a Grateful Dead song entitled, "Samson and Delilah". According to the Biblical story, through Delilah's cunning the Philistines capture Samson. In a final display of strength, he pushes apart two pillars, literally bringing the building down, killing himself and his captors.

The half-man, half-fish relief in the background is Dagon, the primary Philistine diety. 

The roses on the floor are visual references to blood drops, as well as being a common symbol of the Grateful Dead to represent life. The skull based on the "Steal Your Face" logo (a line from the song "He's Gone").

For the record, nothing is wrong with tablets. At my old work I had a Wacom Cintiq monitor, something I'd recommend to every digital artist. I noted my lack of a tablet since that made it a lot more difficult and time-consuming to finish this piece. But yes, save your wrist and buy a tablet!

Mowzr (Level 1 Depressed) @ 9/19/2006 11:28
"I'd kill all of you"?
 That was a pretty lame answer.
Ugh. This is too good. 5/5. Fav'd. And jalonso is right, it does look like the Greatful Dead logo skull. ALOT.

d-p (Level 11 Psychopath) @ 9/19/2006 11:27
Ay caramba.

ptoing (Level 7 Cuttlefish) @ 9/19/2006 11:22
"I would tear this whole building down"

Looking great. Whats wrong with tablets? I like my wrist!

Stitchy (Level 6 Yonkyu) @ 9/19/2006 11:16
Amazing palette and execution. I especially love the reddish highlighting on the banner, my gods. My only complaint is that the shading looks a little funky on his legs. Amazing work, BB. D: <3

jalonso (Level 11 Godfather) @ 9/19/2006 11:01
It really looks like the Greatful Dead logo skull. The color choices are awesome for this. The lighting on the ribbon are really great. My only real crit is the roses on the floor and how they seem to be pooped by the guy since they have no other reason to be there in such a pristine way. Maybe if they where on the circle border as  a blend between the skull frame and the inner scene they would be better placed? The splash of red is really great so I like them, just not the placement. The Nepture graffiti would be better placed facing right since, composition wise it points to the figures head breaking some continuity there. Its a bit too big too. One other thing is if the figure is just beginning to apply pressure to the columns as indicated by only showing cracks, where do those pieces flying off come from?
I can't yet figure out your riddle. If no one gets it however I hope you consider making a beetle wee for the first person to ask, me

Related & Tags

skull, grateful dead, steal your face, samson, dagon, philistine, pillars, If I Had My Way avatars, If I Had My Way icons, If I Had My Way pixel art, If I Had My Way forum avatars, If I Had My Way AOL Buddy Icons

Sponsored Products


Want to give some dough back to all those amazing pixel artists? Donations provide prize money for contests, help cover hosting costs and support new initiatives.

Play party games with QuizBash app
Play party games with QuizBash app

Report Problem

If you are going to report an issue with this piece please provide relevant URLs/Images to back up your claim.


If you would like to be a team player why not register? It's quick and easy and you'll be able to comment on, rate and upload pixel art.

Already Registered?