The good people at Pixowl recently hired me to create original works using their mobile world builder, The Sandbox Evolution. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to revisit some ideas I had for standalone pieces, but never got around to finishing (or starting, in some cases).
For my first piece, I dug up the sketch below (2009?) and polished it into a full scene.
This is the screencap version:
Here's what it looks like on my actual iPad.
When revisting the concept, I experimented with dynamic symmetry to constuct a visually pleasing composition. I plan to describe this approach in a future post once I become better acquainted (and have more free time).
To set the otherworldly mood, I relied upon a triadic color scheme consisting of 16 shades plus a special red that has an effect similar to the color cycling of yore. To see it in action, you'll have to view the piece on your iOS or Android device.
For the last several months, I experimented with variations on the above piece, which started as a menu screen for a project. When the game was abandoned, I repurposed the screen to be a stand-alone piece.
For my future personal work, I plan to transition to a style that's less overworked. Ideally, I settle on something with the appearance of effortless mastery, although from my experience with art, this new approach will likely be more time consuming than the current one.
Typically, my pixel art doesn't start and end with a single PSD. Instead, I undertake a series of pencil sketches to explore shapes and compositions.
Please ignore what appears to be a beach volleyball player on the right. She's just doing her own thing, and had little influence on the final piece. Once I zero in on a sketch I like, I recreate it digitally, blocking out the colors to establish the mood.
This pixel sketch can serve as the foundation I work on top of to achieve the final piece, but mostly it's a side-by-side reference so all the energy doesn't die once I throw perspective lines over the WIP.
Keep watching this space! I have a number of exciting developments I will be able to share soon.