Brando the Sailor

Brando the Sailor

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Pixel Art Details

Brando the Sailor

Title: Brando the Sailor
Pixel Artist: Mandrill  (Level 9 T-rex :: 35684 points)
Posted: 10/3/2015 11:04
Palette: 13 colors
Statistics:  37 comments    42 faves    0 avatars

I have eyes like those of a dead pig.

- Marlon Brando


I'm a huge fan of Dean Cornwell, N.C. Wyeth and J.C. Leyendecker. Especially Cornwell's way of painting and his bumpy textures are absolutely amazing. So I pretty much tried to nail down his style with this piece.

One of my favourite paintings is Never the Twain Shall Meet  which Cornwell finished in 1924. Of course I went for the guy with the parasol

After some thought I came up with the idea to pixel a sailor smoking a cigarette and looking cool in the process, and there three people who were the most badass looking cigarette smokers of all time: James Dean, Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando.

Guess who I picked.



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Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 4/19/2016 09:38


jok (Level 11 Master Assassin) @ 4/19/2016 09:38

nice set of colours!

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 11/3/2015 03:17

@ Theoden

Thank you, buddy! I really appreciate it.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 11/3/2015 03:16

@ neofotistou

Thank you!

The legs, yeah.... That was something I struggled with. Frankly, I did pixel them, but thought they would be too distracting and cropped them.  I really wanted to keep it as close to the reference as possible.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 11/3/2015 03:12

@ Bobo

Haha, thanks a ton for your comment, buddy!

Glad you like the rather strong shadows and highlights, I reckon this style has grown on me now. I really tried to contrast his face with smoothness all around him, still containing as much detail as possible. In fact, I had 2 more colours for his clothes but decided to keep the palette at 13 - lucker number, eh?

I like that too. ;) I figured there was something missing in the backround but didn't want to distract with more objects.

Theoden (Level 10 Operative) @ 11/2/2015 13:23

Man, this is fantastic.

neofotistou (Level 5 Captain) @ 10/29/2015 12:16

how did I miss this! It's lovely. One thing I miss is his legs. The cropping is a little awkward

king_bobston (Level 10 Capo) @ 10/27/2015 12:12

Very good piece (as usual :^))!

Of course I went for the guy with the parasol
Good that you say that, I thought he was inspired by the woman at first

I especially like the use of almost black and purple in this and the rendering of the nose with that highlight. I dig the cigar more straight than what I imagine it would look like angled.

To the detail in the clothing, I think that it's good as it is. Maybe a bit less contrast or more of a fade out towards the pants?

And totally digging those brushstroke-like clusters in the background, even better than the last time I complimented them

Almost a pity they are so faded into the background ;)

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 10/18/2015 05:09

Thank you very much, buddy! Glad you like it!

Cynips (Level 4 Deputy) @ 10/12/2015 14:46

Amazing work... A usual! I'm speechless. Congrats mate!

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 10/10/2015 15:12

@ Mr_HK_

Thanks a ton, buddy. Means a lot, your work is outstanding.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 10/10/2015 15:11


I think I see what you mean. I always wanted to rework an older piece to be honest. ;)

Mr_Hk_ (Level 5 Sniper) @ 10/9/2015 02:15

Your clusters rules !
As much as your palette mate.

skittle (Level 9 Nidan) @ 10/8/2015 07:35

Do Steve Mcqueen from Papillon next!

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 10/6/2015 12:34

@ Zizka

Hehe, thanks! I'm glad I did, I learned a lot from this.

Animation? That's your domain, and you are awesome at it. I'm gonna stick to non animated stuff for now, but that doesn't mean that I won't give it a shot. ;)

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 10/6/2015 12:31

@ philippejugnet

Thanks a ton, man! I'm glad you like it. :)

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 10/6/2015 12:30


Thank you very much, buddy!

Jal said it. Greys, greens and low saturated colours in general are so important. It's not too hard to wrap your head around, but it takes a while to get used to. I never really gave greys much of a thought... until recently of course. ;)

Zizka (Level 10 Deep Blue) @ 10/5/2015 18:04

Yay! You went ahead and tried something different... and succeded. 

Animation's next.

philippejugnet (Level 6 Hitman) @ 10/5/2015 17:15

No Idea how much i love this type of work

jalonso (Level 11 Godfather) @ 10/5/2015 15:38

"The low saturation makes it a good bridge between the purple and the orange." found a neutralizer 

CELS (Level 7 Lotus) @ 10/5/2015 05:32

Really loving the clusters in this piece! I'm starting to understand how you apply colour and contrast, but the third-darkest skin tone is really interesting. The low saturation makes it a good bridge between the purple and the orange. I guess this is the sort of stuff I should have learned long ago :)

Very impressed with the creativity that went into this :)

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 10/4/2015 09:36

@ Eggrald

Thank you very much. :)

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 10/4/2015 09:34

@ had0c

Cure? Damn, thats a huge compliment! Thank you.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 10/4/2015 09:33

@ Orange

Means a lot coming from someone with pixel skills like you, thanks!

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 10/4/2015 09:32

@ FlyGuy

Thanks a ton! Cool you like it.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 10/4/2015 09:31

@ andylittle

Thank you very much! Glad to see that you know what I want to communicate with this piece. You know the pixels, mate!

Keep it up.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 10/4/2015 09:29

@ Terff

Thanks man! :)

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 10/4/2015 09:28

@ Muffin

Thank you very much for your honest critique, buddy! I see what you mean and can understand what you don't like about it. Given that I tried to mimic Cornwells style , who often  focused very heavily on the torso/head and let the rest fade out, I think I even rendered it too much believe it or not. ;)

If this was a very traditional piece of pixel art, I would try to construct a scene and incorporate the character into a more detailed backround.

Glad you like the rest!

Haha, 'bubble-dithering clusters'. I got to remember that term.

Eggrald (Level 1 Rookie) @ 10/3/2015 19:16

Great portrait.

had0c (Level 3 Stalker) @ 10/3/2015 16:04

i was 100% shure this was Curse.. looks dope do.

orangemagik (Level 6 Time Traveller) @ 10/3/2015 15:50

Dat style! And pose, and character! Great!

JerryPie (Level 11 Big Foot) @ 10/3/2015 14:49

This bleeds style. I love it. Fav

andylittle (Level 9 T-rex) @ 10/3/2015 13:03

@ Finlal - I understand the author - it's a great artistic technique to extract the main part (in this case a face).  This is a real artist - immediately obvious. Excellent piece!

Terff (Level 5 Killer Klown) @ 10/3/2015 11:58

woah!  Really great!  Nice work.

DatMuffinMan (Level 4 Mercenary) @ 10/3/2015 11:30

honestly it just looks kind of unfinished to me. The amount of colors in the clothes is fine, in my opinion, but the 'minimum' cluster on the clothes is bigger than the tiny details you get into on the face. I feel some bigger, bolder, clusters of shadow on the suit would finish it well enough, no need to touch it up any more than that. Also, I think having a 1px tilt on the cig instead of having 100% straight would match the sort of bouncy posture. 

That being said, I love that you used your signature 'bubble dithering clusters' or whatever you wanna call them sparingly here - having them on the cheeks and neck adds just the right amount of texture on those areas, and looks really nice! 

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 10/3/2015 11:18

Me too, thanks.

Finlal (Level 11 Special Agent) @ 10/3/2015 11:08

I wish you'd render his suit as great as his face.

Related & Tags

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