Pixel by pixel : Ma(n)chine

We start this new section with a picture entitled « Ma(n)chine » and first painted on paper. Funny fact : I am left handed and so I use my left hand to paint on paper but… I have always used my right hand with a mouse ! As a consequence painting on a computer is kinda frustrating most of the time but who cares ? 🙂

Step 1

The first step is maybe the worst, hardest and the one I really hate ! Using one color, most of the time bright red, I use some tools to paint lines. Yup only bare lines to create the basic structure of my painting. At that point there is no doubt that it looks like… nothing yet.  🙂

The first draft takes an awful lot of time but is essential.

 Step 2

On the second step I will correct some lines, make smoother curves and start adding colors. Choosing colors is no piece of cake since I can only use 16 including the background ! At this point I try to choose the main colors while saving as many as possible.

This is indeed my 6th draft. Well, I know, lots of unnoticed (yet needed) retouching 🙂

Now we can get onto the real thing ! Once the main colors are chosen I need to repaint manually all the red lines (doh!). On this occasion I can also make some corrections and start thinking about how I am to going to fill each area. Usually I cut some part of the gfx and copy it to another work space (screen) so that I don’t see what’s left to be done 🙂 Also I work with a magnifying glass.

 Step 3

From now on the magnifying glass will be my best friend ! I mostly use the most powerful zoom to mix up pixels. I have to confess that unlike most skilled graphicians (pixel artists), I mostly paint « at random » placing pixels here and there until it brings me some satisfaction. 🙂

DRAFT8bis
If you think this is zoomed, then don’t watch the next screenshot !

Ok I’m not totally painting at random but almost as I put blocks of pixels on the zoomed area and have a look at the real size picture to see the end result. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but in all cases it requires several attempts.

Presse-papiers-1
We’re zoooooooming in !

 Step 4

Well that’s it, you know the thing ! I’m sorry but this is not a tutorial, just an article about a humble picture I painted. Oh before I show you the following steps, I need to say two more things : first, this picture entered the gfx compo at the Atari coding convention SillyVenture in 2014 and ranked… last (aouch it hurts ! :)).

Secondly, you can also see it in the impressive Thunderdome demo by Checkpoint. I was glad and honoured to take part to this great production (I also did other graphics but they were mostly reworked pictures).

DRAFT9
This time I also completed the middle and lower part of the picture.

 

DRAFT11
First try at pixelling the steam. Yeah I know, it really looks like a cauliflower ! 🙂
DRAFT12
This time it really looks like steam ! Much better !
DRAFT14
Changed the background color, added some black outlines so that hopefully it looks good. 🙂 Call it final !

Want more ?

I found a scanned picture of the original artwork I painted on paper so here it comes. To be honest I like the paper work more than the pixel counterpart but hey… 🙂

scan10

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