Just the Tip

Just the Tip

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Pixel Art Details

Just the Tip

Title: Just the Tip
Pixel Artist: big brother  (Level 11 Admiral :: 70898 points)
Posted: 4/8/2010 13:19
Palette: 24 colors
Statistics:  61 comments    256 faves    0 avatars

Since I've never done a fantasy-themed piece before, this picture represents the foray out of my comfort zone. I tried to keep the colors earthy while reinforcing the transposition of green and red between the two focal characters.

Here's a compilation of the references that I used. For the tankard, I eyeballed one I own.

Top Pixel Art - April 2010 (#2)Top Pixel Art - April 2010 (#2)


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syedahumna56 (Level 2 CGA) @ 6/4/2022 06:15


HappyToHappy (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 9/18/2021 05:22

Nice Work!

lloorren (Level 1 Rookie) @ 2/1/2018 09:54

I first saw this image as a Griddler! I am assuming you were aware?

upper0 (Level 3 Sergeant) @ 7/19/2017 04:57


MetinSeven (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 2/12/2017 12:05

Wow, very impressive!

Tamires H (Level 1 Rookie) @ 11/2/2016 10:22

It's a nice job! But... the light come behing their, right? How they are illuminated ahead?

ShiroMikashi (Level 2 Peon) @ 9/10/2015 16:41

Is that title... a Marth reference?

krbri (Level 1 Thug) @ 7/15/2015 17:52

I know it's years between posts, but I want to comment "Awesome" I was recently looking up the old Bard's Tale games, and this really sets the atmosphere.

jok (Level 11 Master Assassin) @ 6/3/2014 04:27


very good as ilustration

Mirre (Level 8 Jellyfish) @ 8/25/2012 16:18

Oh wow, this is EPIC! I love everything about it and find myself drawn into it. All the details and things going on in this is really awesome. I like the muted, lively, scene in the background. Super nice work!

albaz2000eg (Level 1 Private) @ 7/24/2012 19:58

 WoW !!!

FinalFrenzy32n8bitside (Level 1 Rookie) @ 1/20/2012 11:25

Hunter Guy: I'll pay you 13 rupees for the private parts


TheoVision (Level 8 Regional Boss) @ 4/13/2011 13:25

great, great piece!

Weasly Grizzly (Level 4 Shichikyu) @ 10/6/2010 02:21

Damn... :D

JerryPie (Level 11 Big Foot) @ 5/28/2010 11:24

This is brilliant..

Edd Math (Level 1 Seaman) @ 5/22/2010 18:19

Love has no bounds!   Know what I'm saying?  You are TOO rad, man.  Go lay an egg, I always say.  Please reply in Haiku form!  Thanks yo, it's tight, puppy smeller...  It's tiiiiiaaaaKAh

Gecimen (Level 11 Sphinx) @ 5/15/2010 15:31

This is by far the best piece of the month. I love the seemingly irrelevant action behind.

Mathias (Level 6 Garbage) @ 4/15/2010 20:07

Bahaha . . . wow.

I guess that is a coin isn't it? I was thinking it was a sphere, don't know why.

So, he's giving Rois a tip, but you suspect Big Bro is implying more eh? Sounds like Big Brother should elaborate, though I assume we'll never get a straight answer from him.

Helm (Level 5 Detective) @ 4/15/2010 11:35

Mathias, my problem is not with the scene it self at all (I find it extremely well drawn and characterized in fact!). The name of the piece is 'Just the tip' which leads me to believe the joke here is that Farby O'brien is soliciting to tavern wench by telling her he's going to put in... just the tip of his penis in or whatever? Possibly in exchange for coins?

From all the deeds Farby O'brien accomplished, is this the first, last and only that we shall treasure for posterity? His awkward and gross advance at a bar maid?

Mathias (Level 6 Garbage) @ 4/15/2010 10:07

Here you go Helm:

After a fortnight of traversing the dangerous and rugged terrain of the ElderCroft mountains, Farby O'brien and his unruly men lodge at the loathsome Silver Weasel. O'brien thinks of nothing but his quest for the Pearlescent Plains, thought by most to only exist in myth. Brothers Lothar and Connor dispute over what type of mead is superior, as they often do after too many drinks.

Becoming a little loose-tongued after a few foamy steins, yet hoping she has the information he's looking for, Farby attempts to draw out young Rois, the naive new tavern maid. The large mother pearl specimen he shows her, he says is worth a king's furtune, though there exists thousands more and he plans to find them. He tells her he must find Gretchen the Alchemist, and that her apprentice Faenan Arkanon is rumored to sometimes celebrate here at the Silver Weasel. Will she give Farby O'brien any information?


Don't really see where you're coming from, Helm. I love the theme. And only because it's an isolated scene, having no relevance to a larger story I don't it's value is diminished. That doesn't diminish the value of your work called Plotting Revenge. Why is he plotting revenge? What did his enemy do to him? Doesn't detract from the work.


@ Large Sibling: Out of comfort zone? New theme for you? What. I'm guess that's more Big Brither dry humor, you've done plenty of "fantasy" themed stuff I've seen.

Nothing not to love about this scene. The palette is great. The depiction of a story-rich fantasy scene is so well done. Two mains characters look perfectly engaged in conversation. You even put a little darkening vignette in the corners to train focus. Love the bg/fg separation. Composition is near perfect.



-I see you went for the specular lens blur effect for the fire. But everything else at that distance from the camera should also have the effect applied, it's just most evident with highlights/speculars such as flames.

-What's the 45 degreee line on Farby's neck? The one closest to his green cloak appears to be a necklace, but what's the one above it?

-Farby's clothing looks great but has a sort of clay-modelled/plastic feel - too perfect, folds are just embossed lines.

-Red ribcage in foreground draws my eye too much. It's the use of red. A palette situation I realize.

-Rois is leaning in towards Farby in a strange way, looks like she's lunged at the table - in her position she may fall, looks like there's a lot of weight on her left arm holding herself up. They're obviously well into the conversation by now, considering how transfixed Rois is at this point - considerable time seems to have passed since they began talking - Rois should be in a more comfortable/casual pose by now.

-Rois's tray looks flimsy, not the same elipticalness on both sides. Can it even support more than one heavy mug?


Mind you, only after thoroughly inspecting this one did I come up with those. You've created something very good here. It's even my desktop right now. Keep up the good work. Are you the wuss in the ref pic or not, tell us!


RA/pdx (Level 1 Rookie) @ 4/14/2010 23:09

 Really great work! Only the fire could be a bit more detailed.

big brother (Level 11 Admiral) @ 4/14/2010 08:45

@Helm: Perhaps I'm the next Duchamp! Seriously, I'm not sure what I was smoking, but I take solace in the fact that we're harshest on the ones we love the most. :)

@schrumpkopf, dogmeat: I try to eat healthy and drink milk. Pixeling is good for fine motor control, too.


jamon (Level 10 Operative) @ 4/14/2010 05:31

@dogmeat ... probably by pixeling =)

mrduke (Level 3 Private Eye) @ 4/13/2010 16:10

Perfect pixelwork! Can´t get better!! Grate!!!

Varock Shade (Level 7 Underboss) @ 4/12/2010 22:02

I instantly fav'ed it! Awesome piece, really... Amazing!

dogmeat (Level 1 Gangster) @ 4/12/2010 18:50

Awesome and incredible work here. Love the refs to, is that you posing in the mirror with the coin? How you get so big, brother?


Zedeem (Level 1 Depressed) @ 4/12/2010 09:30

So good, first look was "WOOOW"!!! So many details... the fight in the back... the dog... the fireplace... everything is awesome! Love it! Keep up the good work!



This should enter Hall of Fame!

Helm (Level 5 Detective) @ 4/12/2010 04:21

Great technique, though I don't see how it is outside of your comfort zone. The thematic of the piece I find crude and do not see why such great technique must be wasted on it. I can see barbarians and other such mercenaries engaging in far worse behaviour than this of course but as far as artistic motive goes, 'it could happen!' doesn't seem like a good enough reason. If it was part of some narrative arc that could lead somewhere I would have no problem (well, I sound too severe it's not like I have a problem now but just for the sake of the discussion) but just as a stand-alone 'humourous' quip it's a waste. Perhaps it's just me that doesn't find it funny.

schrumpfkopf (Level 4 Team Leader) @ 4/12/2010 03:36

outstanding indeed - are you the guy with the coin in the reference? =)

jeremy (Level 11 Sphinx) @ 4/11/2010 21:35

 Fantastic piece :D

The bokeh effect might look better if there was some upwards direction in the flames, inaccurate as that may be.

greenraven (Level 2 Hired Gun) @ 4/11/2010 20:01

I first saw this and went "holy crap", then I scrolled down and saw the artist name, "oh, figures."

Anway, awesome piece!

ParkerBabyDiaperCompany (Level 2 King Checker) @ 4/11/2010 13:56

You captured the beauty of the feminine nose. I applaud you.

iLKke (Level 9 Nidan) @ 4/11/2010 06:14

Bloody Brilliant!

Execution is incredibly slick. My fav part the woman's left hand.

Only crit is that the busiest bit of background is the space between the main characters faces. Perhaps not ideal in narrative terms.

dpixel (Level 9 Vice President) @ 4/10/2010 22:11

Amazing the way this pops.  It's like colored characters on a black and white background only it's so much more.   The colored characters blend into the background seamlessly but still stand out as almost 3D.  Fascinating and inspiring use of color. This truly shows what can really be done with pixel art.

And the whole composition and "capturing the mood" is outstanding.  Event the dog's expression is correct!  The woman is really cute too...added plus!

I would pay for a print.

Presley (Level 1 Seaman) @ 4/10/2010 11:02

Well I don't even know what to say, other than it is awesome (the tendons on the hand and the elbow completely sell the barmaid gig and match her expression) and the characters in the background look like they were really fun to do. I don't know if it's the sword or the wry smile, but my god that braided man looks cocksure.

Strolling through your gallery, one might question how often you consult pictures of Coleman and Cutler in their posing trunks and the necessity of the bare-backed patron's bare-backedness, but if that reference picture is of you I think you have nothing to answer for (ever).

orenshtiv (Level 7 Ichikyu) @ 4/10/2010 04:32

Big bro' YOU'RE AMAZING! *_*

theguy (Level 6 Hitman) @ 4/10/2010 02:41

I think selling your soul to the devil to get ultimate pixelling skill should be against the rules under cheating :P awesome, as always!

Satsume (Level 10 Capo) @ 4/9/2010 04:27

awesome .o. fav. 

TomF (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 4/9/2010 03:26

this picture brought a massive smile to my face. the guys expression is awesome.

Badassbill (Level 11 Big Foot) @ 4/9/2010 02:30

Bah. Perfect.

Elk (Level 5 Assistant Manager) @ 4/9/2010 00:06

hey, not bad :D!!!

Metaru (Level 8 Brigadier General) @ 4/9/2010 00:03

damn le chuck getting kicked in the background :C

skamocore (Level 11 Dolphin) @ 4/8/2010 23:31

I wouldn't exactly say this is out of your comfort zone; even if though it's set in medieval fantasy land, it's still typical BB awesomeness. I really love the contrasts you've put in place between foreground and background. But I'm not convinced the bokeh really works though - out of place and far too sharp.

Go on show us the early versions of the piece :P

oCo (Level 4 Button Man) @ 4/8/2010 22:45

Impressive work. Nice details here and there, top composition and depth.

This picture was an opportunity for me to stroll in your gallery, amazing work there.

big brother (Level 11 Admiral) @ 4/8/2010 22:32

Thanks for the comments and compliments!

The bokeh fire was more of a technique experiment, but ev149 is correct -- everything at that depth would have that similar treatment if the lens was used while taking a photo. The fire was one of the first few things I drew, so it was definitely intentional.

The title refers to the custom of giving money to the server, a valuable coin in this case. The double entendre flirts with the potentially sexual nature of the situation (reinforced by the tipper's smug look, the waitress' innocent surprise, and the testosterone in the background) . The polite gesture of tipping can become creepy.

@Nothingbutzak: I don't think the process would be too interesting. I saved a few early versions of this piece, but nothing like the step-by-step WIPs I've seen pixelers make sometimes. I block out the composition on a few layers using a big pencil brush. The canvas size is larger than the piece to accomodate a vanishing point. Also, I decide on my colors early in the creation process based on my vision for the piece, but I edit them a little as I polish the piece. Other than that, it's straightforward pixel-pushing.

@Morgengrauen: Nah, I'm much more muscular than that dweeb in the mirror! :)

cure (Level 11 Pixellite) @ 4/8/2010 20:35

2nd comment:

just read the title, clever

Doppleganger (Level 6 Yonkyu) @ 4/8/2010 20:18

steller work as usual! This one has some serious artistry to it.

I agree about the circle fire, if it got a smoother more wispy treatment like that of the beer spilling out of the man in back's tankard, it would look better in my opinion.

Overall, this is without a doubt impressive, though!!

ev149 (Level 4 Button Man) @ 4/8/2010 18:37

Now that is one sexy pixel!  I actually like the bokeh fire, although it seems a little out of place if the rest of the background is in focus and not blurry.  Not sure what the title means, though. 

B_j0k3r0 (Level 3 Sergeant) @ 4/8/2010 18:20


Buddy90 (Level 6 Manager) @ 4/8/2010 18:14

I love it, although I don't understand the "just the tip" thing

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Related & Tags

tankard, beer, coin, sword, sheath, fire, fireplace, tavern, pub, tables, wood, fight, kick, dog, woman, dirndl, tray, braid, Just the Tip avatars, Just the Tip icons, Just the Tip pixel art, Just the Tip forum avatars, Just the Tip AOL Buddy Icons

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