Precambrian Earth

Precambrian Earth

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Pixel Art Details

Precambrian Earth

Title: Precambrian Earth
Pixel Artist: Mandrill  (Level 9 T-rex :: 35689 points)
Posted: 8/11/2015 10:55
Palette: 12 colors
Statistics:  68 comments    78 faves    0 avatars

Angry youth.


(For the weekly)

Humanoid personification of our planet as a young, fierce, angry and dried out tree trunk. Aimed for a real bumby and strong texture, trying to make the bark appear rough and craggy.

Even though the first trees appeared roughly 370 million years ago ( Famennian Age), I went for the generic "Tree of Life" theme here. I think it's quite fitting considering that the Earth would be nothing special without life.

The Precambrian Earth, 4.6 billion - 540 million years ago, was an extremely unpleasent place to be. The atmosphere was full of nasty gases and was lacking free oxygen most of the time. There was intense vulcanism, earthquakes, asteroid impacts, brutal storms and sometimes even rapid glaciation. No wonder that the landmasses were free from any form of life.

All this sounds pretty damn furious to me.



2nd place, super! Thanks for voting!

Weekly Challenge: Sun/Moon/EarthWeekly Challenge: Sun/Moon/Earth
Top Pixel Art - August 2015 (#7)Top Pixel Art - August 2015 (#7)


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Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 12/15/2015 12:42

Cool you like it. Thanks a bunch!

moondrome (Level 7 Merfolk) @ 12/15/2015 06:01

I like the sense of depth. it kind of looks 3d. well done!

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 9/29/2015 06:59

Haha, thank you very much!

AirStyle (Level 6 SWAT) @ 9/25/2015 05:24

This is absolutely beautiful. Teach me the way of the cluster, oh wise one!

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/26/2015 10:04

Means a lot coming from you, thanks a ton, man! :)

Mrmo Tarius (Level 10 Master Sniper) @ 8/25/2015 00:47

Hot damn, this is completely amazing, from the palette to the fine detailing. 

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/20/2015 07:34


Thanks a lot, I hope it looks angry enough! :)

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/20/2015 07:33


Nothing like that unfortunately, at least for now. The only thing I've done that comes close to that is a short little tutorial.  click 

BlueMagma (Level 3 Chief) @ 8/17/2015 20:45

I'm loving the emotion coming from that face! :D

PIXELNACHO (Level 5 Trash) @ 8/17/2015 18:37

Hello Mandrill :) I just wanted to know, do you have any video or blog where you explaine your graphic process? I wish I could have that colour knowledge, or that light perception in Pixel Art.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/15/2015 13:40

  Thank you very much for taking the time to explain that colour issue, man!

As soon as I'm be back from my holiday trip, I'll look into that and work on an alternative. I even checked it on a different monitor the other day and noticed some inconsistencies myself.

king_bobston (Level 10 Capo) @ 8/15/2015 09:46

You've perfectly captured the look of someone who hasn't been to a dentist despite obvious problems with their teeth!

You never cease to amaze me with your crazy pixels of even crazier creatures!

Only thing that bothers me (a tiny, tiny bit) is what CELS mentioned about the second darkest color (althrough I've a pretty bad uncallibrated monitor) which creates a bit of a flimmer towards the third darkest color but even then it only really bothers me (a tiny, tiny bit) at the forehead. The "complimentary" contrast is at least on my monitor too big there. On the other places it's not bothering me because they only touch the third darkest color on one "side", if that makes sense.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/15/2015 09:43

@ Dr D.

Super, thanks a lot! Makes me feel proud hearing that. :)

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/15/2015 09:42

@ AlcopopStar

Cheers! :)

I'm loving your pixels, amazing clusters!

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/15/2015 09:41

@ Finlal

Yep, he is, thanks for the Link. ;)

Your work is sublime as well, aspiring pixel animators can learn much from it.

Dr D (Level 4 Shichikyu) @ 8/15/2015 02:53

Always love your portraits, and this is the best one yet! 6/6

AlcopopStar (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 8/14/2015 21:24

Wonderful as always

Finlal (Level 11 Special Agent) @ 8/14/2015 18:13

If you ever gonna animate, be sure to read Stickman's interview.
He's pro in it.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/14/2015 11:58

@ Zizka

Some Sprites and a few backrounds to give them a proper home. ;) Animation is your domain though, I can learn a lot from your stuff.


Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/14/2015 11:56

@ James McCarter

Thanks a bunch, man!

Zizka (Level 10 Deep Blue) @ 8/14/2015 07:23

Awesome! Try complete scenes maybe or some animations! 

You can do it! You're awesome! 

James McCarter (Level 5 Lieutenant) @ 8/14/2015 03:54

That's pretty awesome.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/13/2015 16:54

@ RGBfumes

Thanks, great you like it!

Your ISO pieces are fantastic btw. ;)

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/13/2015 16:54

@ Zizka

Thanks a lot!

You are totally right about that. I've been working on some other pieces that are way out of my comfort zone though. They still need many hours of polishing and tweaking until I'm satisfied enough to post them. :)

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/13/2015 16:49


Thank you very much, Crafty! I have been waiting eagerly for you to post some pixels again. :)

RGBfumes (Level 1 Depressed) @ 8/13/2015 16:15

Absolutely amazing. Hats off!

Zizka (Level 10 Deep Blue) @ 8/13/2015 14:03

As much as I like your art (I really do) I'm looking forward to you exploring new things with your talent. I feel like this type of portrait is becoming more of a comfort zone. 

This being said, it looks wonderful, just hope that you'll explore new stuff in the near future! 

CraftyPixeI (Level 1 Intern) @ 8/13/2015 13:15

- Nicer and Nicer  -

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/13/2015 03:46


Sums it up perfectly, well done. Lmfao

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/13/2015 03:43

@ showtime

I hope you are ok! Thanks a bunch, glad you like the piece. :)

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/13/2015 03:42

@ WangieClown

What an poetic and wonderfully worded comment. I'm quite surprised to find something fantastic as this concerning one of my pieces.

Thank you very, very much. :)

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/13/2015 03:34

@ solrac

Haha, I take the compliment, thanks!

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/13/2015 03:32

@ Elk

That means a lot coming from you, vielen Dank! :)

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/13/2015 03:31

@ -DE-

Look, I'm not liable for Games Workshop's firm policy.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/13/2015 03:29

@ 91grinds

A master? Haha, not at all, but I try my best.

Thanks a lot.

Glad to hear the tut has been helpful to you. :)

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/13/2015 03:27

@ elend

Thanks, mate!

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/13/2015 03:25


Great, you won't be disappointed!

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/13/2015 03:22

@ Momofumi

Cool you like them, thanks. :)

RAV (Level 1 Rookie) @ 8/12/2015 22:09

"Whatcha lookin' at, motherfucker? I'm a freakin' art of nature. Say it."

showtime (Level 6 Made) @ 8/12/2015 18:54

This is so awesome my face exploded!

WangieClown (Level 4 Murderer) @ 8/12/2015 15:49

You personificated the wildness and rage which defines the young precambrian Earth into the tree - a symbol of wisdom, calmness & old age. Love the idea. I had to use the deepest resources of my mind to overcome my guilty-pleasure-like desire: put this as an avatar on every forum I visit.

solrac (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 8/12/2015 08:49

Insane :)

Elk (Level 5 Assistant Manager) @ 8/12/2015 06:19

very crispy, love it

-DE- (Level 11 General) @ 8/12/2015 04:55

Is this based on your dad?

91grinds (Level 1 Thug) @ 8/12/2015 04:20

You are a master 

(I read your tutorial several times, was very helpful :) 

elend (Level 3 Corporate Drone) @ 8/12/2015 00:43


CELS (Level 7 Lotus) @ 8/11/2015 23:37

@ParkerBaby: I think it's more than the dithering technique, although it's definitely part of it. His Fallout power armour avatar looks like a classic Mandrill piece to me, with minimal dithering.

@Mandrill: Will check out Paul Bonner :)

Momofumi (Level 1 Rookie) @ 8/11/2015 17:51

OMG the textures!

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/11/2015 16:26

@ Finlal

Yep, I've studied his anatomy like a zealous nutter. :)

I see what you mean, I always try to get as many 45° lines as possible and AA the bigger clusters in order to make the mid-tones look smooth. Colours are really contrasty.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/11/2015 16:19

@ hostile

Great compliment, thank you very much. :)

I've just been looking through your Gallery, your stuff is pretty cool!

Finlal (Level 11 Special Agent) @ 8/11/2015 16:16

Parallel with Paul Bonner is pretty obvious after you mention him.
Your orc anatomy is really close to his.

Also, in terms of your style, you have a very recognizable color usage and cluster form (not only dots).

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/11/2015 16:16

@ SnowOwl

Hehe, thanks a ton and welcome to Pixel Joint. :) I'm sure you will.

I've been doing pixel art for almost 4 years now and always try to complete at least 1 piece per month, 2 if I find the time.

This took me roughly 10 hours from start to finish, but that's different from piece to piece of course. The other one I uploaded a week ago "The Dinosauria" took me a lot longer to finish, about 30 hours all in all.

It always depents on the theme and how accurate I want to work. Here's my a link to my process.

hostile (Level 5 Sniper) @ 8/11/2015 16:10

Your portraits are always getting better man and i love your textures.

i can only dream to do something like this !

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/11/2015 16:04

@ Pheno

Argh, don't say that. I bet there are already pieces in the works that will kick my ass.

Every piece of pixel-art deserves attention.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/11/2015 16:02

@ Parker

As CELS has already mentioned, I use these "dots" less for creating texture but rather as a way of dithering, which, I think, is much easier on the eyes than the classic checkered pattern.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/11/2015 15:58


Thank you very much for your helpful comment, buddy! Glad you like the palette and dithering. I gotta check this colour on another monitor, soon. I've been using a pretty standard TFT-panel for almost 5 years now, certainly not the best for digital art.

I have no idea myself, hehe! But it makes me feel great to see that i'm develpoing a recognizable style that some people seem to like. Like I've said several times before, I'm owing this contrasty look mostly to Paul Bonner.

Amazing to hear, thanks again.

SnowOwl (Level 6 SWAT) @ 8/11/2015 15:55

Darn, I just joined the site today and I recently started out with pixel art, and I have to say, if I ever get as good as you, I'll be content (until I see how much you improved while I caught up). How long do you spend on a piece like this?

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/11/2015 15:50

@ ||||

Glad you like the colours and description, thanks a lot.

I think it's always good to add some backround information to a piece in order to give the people a bit more to think about. :)

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/11/2015 15:46

@ Muffin

:) Thank you very much, man! I really appreciate it.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/11/2015 15:46

@ Finlal

Thank you, mate!

Hehe, yeah. If we only could travel back in time and use microscopes on those chappies.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 8/11/2015 15:43

@ Charlie_pl

Thanks a ton! It means a lot coming from someone who knows the pixels like you do.

Pheno (Level 4 Team Leader) @ 8/11/2015 15:35

There goes the weekly challenge!

ParkerBabyDiaperCompany (Level 2 King Checker) @ 8/11/2015 15:15

The 'dots' texture?

CELS (Level 7 Lotus) @ 8/11/2015 13:59

Absolutely wonderful. As always, I love the high saturation purple, the high contrast and the way you use dithering. On my screen, the second darkest value doesn't look too good. Maybe it's a monitor thing.

I'm not sure why, but it's really easy to identify your work from the previews. It's odd, because your dinosaur preview looked nothing like your standard work, but it was still unmistakably yours. Maybe someone else can dissect it, but you've certainly created a very strong style, despite the fact that you have a lot of variation in your work. 

|||| (Level 8 Venus fly trap) @ 8/11/2015 13:55

I agree with Finlal; great depiction (and unique)! The description really brings to light why Earth is seen as an angry youth.

& The plum colors are very eye catching in the palette.

DatMuffinMan (Level 4 Mercenary) @ 8/11/2015 12:41

god damn, this is sick :) 

Finlal (Level 11 Special Agent) @ 8/11/2015 12:30

Great depiction!
It could be grypania spiralis, btw. You can't surely tell it didn't look like that.

Charlie_pl (Level 1 Thug) @ 8/11/2015 11:38


Related & Tags

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