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Pixel Art Details


Title: Digger
Pixel Artist: big brother  (Level 11 Admiral :: 70860 points)
Posted: 2/19/2009 10:18
Palette: 16 colors
Statistics:  88 comments    264 faves    0 avatars

"What, you thought the captain buried the treasure?"

I wanted to depict a large scene using a small, unified palette. It's comprised of two intersecting color ramps: one warm and one cold. I emphasized the almost musical rhythm rippling through each horizontal stripe in the composition. The image also plays with contrasts of color, shape, texture, and emotion (vitality versus decay).

As for subject matter, I draw from my own experience, as always.

Here are the images I used for reference:

This is the original sketch that I drew for this piece:

EDIT: For some odd reason, the colors don't appear as they should outside of Photoshop on my monitor. If the mid-blue shade looks particularly harsh, try opening it in Photoshop to see it how I intended.

Top Pixel Art - February 2009 (#3)Top Pixel Art - February 2009 (#3)


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syedahumna56 (Level 2 CGA) @ 6/4/2022 00:11


b236 (Level 11 Bonsai) @ 9/17/2021 04:28

two years later and only now i've found the hidden image 8O

Drea (Level 7 Teleporter) @ 2/5/2021 22:05

Still love this - especially the use of the blue hues 

b236 (Level 11 Bonsai) @ 8/30/2019 11:26

i didn't want to die, so i clicked. 

kodh (Level 6 Yonkyu) @ 1/11/2019 13:20

hol mother of details, impressive

JosephSeraph (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 12/30/2014 07:45

every. single. detail. in this is


BathMaster_2000 (Level 5 Assistant Manager) @ 11/5/2014 12:05

Excellent color palette.

King of Spades (Level 1 Gangster) @ 10/20/2014 06:19

gabriasi (Level 1 Rookie) @ 6/29/2014 05:49

Wow, dat details :B

jok (Level 11 Master Assassin) @ 6/3/2014 04:24

grat use of colors and well executed

EvilEagles (Level 5 Detective) @ 3/24/2013 05:28

Beautiful piece :) also dat ass.

eagleofthunder (Level 1 Private) @ 11/24/2012 14:08


Calv (Level 7 Assassin) @ 10/7/2012 01:43

Wow, can't believe I only just seen this.

jeremy (Level 11 Sphinx) @ 8/3/2012 04:15

I never noticed the ghosts before :o

sandrowski (Level 1 Depressed) @ 4/4/2012 09:50

so kewl! pretty kolorz, good drawing!

bem (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 12/16/2011 09:25

Beautiful clicking :)

big brother (Level 11 Admiral) @ 8/8/2011 23:14

Thanks! It took me about 3 months to make from the initial sketch. Maybe 40-50 hours? I took my time with it and progressed pretty slowly. It was nice to take a break from the more hectic rate of paid work. Oops, you DIDN'T want to know how long. My bad.

Mrmo Tarius (Level 10 Master Sniper) @ 4/14/2011 03:40

 I have somehow missed seeing this piece of art. I am amazed O_O

Huge dimensions and only a 16col palette, and it still looks great.

I do NOT want to know how long it took to create.

TheoVision (Level 8 Regional Boss) @ 1/20/2011 12:32

This is AAA pixel art. O my God, this is awesome! 


avo (Level 8 Cannibal) @ 7/21/2010 22:26

great, especially i love the chest and skulls 

uz101 (Level 1 Rookie) @ 6/7/2010 21:46

 Great work!

Buddy90 (Level 6 Manager) @ 5/23/2010 18:00

ah, dat ass....<3

MasterGreens (Level 1 Rookie) @ 4/10/2010 10:09

 Absolutely awesome art, but imagine trying to put those boots on. 

varuks (Level 1 Rookie) @ 2/3/2010 09:02


Victor Rojo (Level 10 King Ghidorah) @ 1/29/2010 00:15

coooool, Pixel art rules!

wenruto (Level 5 Killer Klown) @ 6/7/2009 12:53

WOOOOOOOW t..that's awesome

Gothdrop (Level 1 Depressed) @ 4/1/2009 22:34

 Like wow... seriously *faints*

joeC (Level 1 Private) @ 3/15/2009 19:30

racist! Nahhh but srsly dude nice job

PanicBomber (Level 6 Manager) @ 3/15/2009 13:31

there is something that bothers me in this pic, i just dont know what that is hmm.. but i have to rate 5/5 cause its so well done!

smk (Level 6 Hitman) @ 3/15/2009 09:15

Really nice usage of the colors at hand :) The picture itself reminds me of the Monkey Island series :)

bricl (Level 1 Depressed) @ 3/15/2009 02:00

wow! i could hardly beleive this was a pixel peice.

big brother (Level 11 Admiral) @ 3/10/2009 00:14

Yeah, there are some anatomical errors. I sacrificed a few things for the sake of the composition. It originally was supposed to be shot at a more downward angle or fisheye-type lense. That accounts for her shortness and large head to an extent. You'll notice the vertical wave through her: how her leg pulls her wide, then back to the narrow waist, then up and out through the arch of her back. I wanted this ripple to contrast against all the vertical movement in the horizontal stripes.

I'd be worried that making her back more realistic might soften the "ripple". Also, it'd cramp the negative space between her torso and her left arm.

Arachne (Level 4 Murderer) @ 3/7/2009 09:27
I really like this. Very polished, and interesting use of colors. Her back seems to bend much too sharply, though. I think making the angle 130 degrees or so (with the corner where the bottom of the fold is) would have made it look more natural. Otherwise, definitely one of your best pieces.

kingpyfiou (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 2/25/2009 23:29


CrocStock (Level 1 Rookie) @ 2/24/2009 14:13

 Wow, the scene is unbelievable and the limited colours makes this piece even more impressive!  

alkaline (Level 6 Yonkyu) @ 2/23/2009 21:49

love this piece, especially the neverending details at the bottom. you really know how to work in those details, and with great understanding of colors too.

Fool (Level 6 SWAT) @ 2/22/2009 18:47
I recall same problem, colors appeared different in photoshop as well after saving in gif/png formats. Had to load it in GG and tweak it on a right place.

Joshr_691 (Level 4 Mercenary) @ 2/22/2009 01:21

Very well done, I love it!

AdamF (Level 11 CEO) @ 2/21/2009 20:01
Haha, of course it'll look better. (Not that the other one didn't, haha. :D)

Also I'd like to say that the blue looks perfect on my monitor, and when clicking your other link, there was no difference whatsoever. Still, even if the color is off a bit, this is still great...!

ui_ (Level 4 Deputy) @ 2/21/2009 14:24
Yah, ptoing comment is accurent. But the "main problem" with that (well not really a problem but..), back in the old days and actually, is, each monitor use his ""OWN profile"" of color or his own way to show a profile. And  you will noticed some little difference between monitors, specially if you jump to normal old monitors to lcd. And a plus, remember than each monitor have his own configuration as, color/hue/bright/contrast, etc.... So when you saw the same art in other monitor obviosly you will noticed than the colors are wrong or a little bit difference.

I recomend you to add the profile of your monitor (as you did) in photoshop or whatever tool, and after that try to  export as gif/png/bmp or whatever format (i personally recomend png). And then you just decide what color is more accurent to your art :D.

about the new colors, i see the mountain middle color (that blue on the middle), its more bright (in my monitor), and the face of the girl and part of his body are a little darkness now, and part of the ground too. Im just comparing boths in my computer, but nothing too drastic.

Anyway been honest you can spend a lot of time trying to make the art looks "the same" in each monitor/profile or whatever format, but at the end it really depend of what you looking in the art and your the only one who can decide when something is wrong and when somethign is good :P. For me the art is good actually :D. But maybe my eye/brain experience is smaller than yours. (sorry for the long respond)

strangles (Level 1 Rookie) @ 2/21/2009 05:51

Have you got the progres animation of this piece?  :)

big brother (Level 11 Admiral) @ 2/21/2009 00:54
I think ptoing's right about the PS color profile. I tried converting the image to my monitor profile (Cintiq) and manually readjusting the palette to closer resemble what I intended. Here's the result:
When I view the above link, it appears (outside of Photoshop) with colors very close to those of the old file (in Photoshop).

I suspect that the original shows up as I intended for everyone else; it just has to do with my monitor. Let me know if there's a huge difference between the colors here and those in the link.
Dex: I haven't forgotten about updating the platform mockup. I've made some changes to it, and I'll hopefully be able to revamp the whole thing when things are less busy. The "post-crit" version will definitely look better than the one in my gallery!

ptoing (Level 7 Cuttlefish) @ 2/20/2009 22:05
I reckon it has to do with the PS colour profiles. So you could set it to monitor colour when you work on pixelart that is meant only for the screen anyway. That should then display nonaltered colours within PS afaik.

Dusty (Level 3 Private Eye) @ 2/20/2009 21:31
I'd say don't use GIF at all, given potential color problems. Just use PNG.

j.negrón (Level 1 Thug) @ 2/20/2009 18:24

excellent work, you are an artist; the colors looks different, but man this is brilliant!

Peach (Level 6 Made) @ 2/20/2009 15:03
what a pity about the color issue :( is there something wrong with your color profiles?
if it is as ui_ said you should try to convert to indexed before exporting, at least in GIMP gives the best result and the optimal control over colors.
anyway great piece +faved!

Ky3bMu4 (Level 8 Guerrilla) @ 2/20/2009 12:52
To the top!

Slemsvamp (Level 6 Serial Killer) @ 2/20/2009 12:31
Duuude, duuuuuuuuuude. Friggin' love it. Such an inspiration!

Elk (Level 5 Assistant Manager) @ 2/20/2009 12:23
Looks pretty tomic-ish

nice work nontheless!

PsychoPixels (Level 1 Depressed) @ 2/20/2009 07:55
Amazing work, you have serious talent. ^^

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Related & Tags

pirate, skull, coins, gold, parrot, skeleton, beard, roots, dirt, sand, trees, leaves, sky, clouds, gun, pistol, flintlock, stripes, smile, shovel, spade, asian, Digger avatars, Digger icons, Digger pixel art, Digger forum avatars, Digger AOL Buddy Icons

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