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-   -   d4rk3lf sketchbook. (http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=100089)

d4rk3lf 19 December 2019 22:18

d4rk3lf sketchbook.
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Ok, finally we have this forum!
( I say "finally", even this was pretty quick :D ).

Thanks DamienD (because I feel your fingers was involved in this).
And thank to admin (that I already forgot the name).


Here's the thread, where I will be posting my very amateur drawings, and would like if people commented it.
I have so much to learn... every feedback is appreciated.

Here's two old images (I think I already posted them here)... where I draw this in HAM, not really realizing what HAM is... .hah.. :D

d4rk3lf 19 December 2019 22:31

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Here is some more recent work (that I didn't show to anyone).
It's painted from a reference image.

But this time - no Ham - only 32 color palette (although, I think I used only 10-12 colors in this).

Actually, I'll post the whole screen of DPaint. :)

d4rk3lf 19 December 2019 23:17

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This is my attempt drawing 3D models in perspective.

DamienD 19 December 2019 23:59

Heya d4rk3lf,

They are all very good, but the 2nd image in your first post is absolutely wicked :great

Must have taken some time to produce.

Dastardly 20 December 2019 10:25

Nice work d4rk3lf. I do like your moody, grey wizard(?) pic.

d4rk3lf 23 December 2019 03:23

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Well.. tnx people...
I am still learning.

If you like wizards... here's another one...

d4rk3lf 03 February 2020 00:59

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Another one:

DamienD 03 February 2020 01:13

Nice work d4rk3lf :great

Ami 03 February 2020 13:37

Some nice pixels here, if I need to choose, I would pick 3rd & 4th pic. Keep on drawing. :cool

grond 03 February 2020 14:29

The candle looks to me like a detail from some 18th century painting. Very well executed. The fantasy-themed pictures could be used in some Guild-of-Thieves-type text adventure game. You have a style of your own. Some images look a bit clumsy but in a good way. Hard to explain and "clumsy" sounds negative but I don't mean it this way. Sometimes people who can paint photorealistically choose to draw in such a "clumsy" style for effect.

Dastardly 03 February 2020 15:56

You have a good sense of the light source and this comes across in all your images. You also seem to create using strokes, like painting in real life and it gives your images a look of their own. Unlike my style where I pretty much build each element of the image pixel by pixel under zoom.

Nishicorn 06 February 2020 00:10

These images prove that you have a visual sense of proportion, lighting and beauty.

However, it seems some techniques and philosophy might improve the art.

My impression of these images is that they're almost 'pure shading' sometimes.

There's sometimes nothing that 'pops out', so it's like the whole image is a 'chaotic blur'. It's missing a clear focal point and visual coherence towards shapes and structures.

I think this comes from using too many and too subtle shades, so the end result tends to be almost pure shading. It's like digging a ditch with a spoon; mud and sweat is flying and a lot is happening, but the work doesn't really progress.

There's a 'lot happening' in these pictures, but they seem a bit 'muddy' and unfocused (and I don't mean visually, but philosophically and form-wise).

The resolutions also vary wildly.

I have some suggestions to improve coherence and bring out objects and features of the picture, while pushing others in the background. In the end, you should be able to decide and choose exactly what you want to 'pop out' to the viewer and what you want to remain 'background'.

Please note, I am not talking about distances or perspective here; a background mountain might be the thing you want to be the focus point, while a family picnic on the foreground doesn't get the same attention.

I suggest you try with limiting yourself first quite a lot.

If you use a TFT monitor with your Amiga, you can use real 160x240 resolution, for example. That's quite limiting, but still expressive in an oldskool, C64-sort of way.

Then you can limit the amount of colors and shades - for example, try to do that candle with only four shades of red (or whatever you want the candle to be), and three shades of 'light' (whether they're yellow or whatnot, is of course up to you).

You can use dithering techniques to bring out texture and blend the colors, and at first it might be difficult.

But if you manage to make the picture look good with low resolution and only a few colors, then it's very easy to 'improve' and add a few colors later, and use a bit more shades the next time.

When you instantly start with 'million shades', it can be overwhelming, and it's easy to start just messing around and relying too much on the shades instead of the form, the beauty, the feel and the expressive side of the object itself.

Limitations hone your skills, and at some point, you'll be able to increase resolution and color amount to whatever level you wish, and make your pictures look breathtaking.

Here's Mark Ferrari's higher-resolution stuff for inspiration of what something like that can look like:


However, I think you might have the inner ability to surpass Mark Ferrari's work, as he's stuck on a certain technical and visual level.

You climb a tree from the root.. you begin a 7000 km trip by stepping one step. This is why I recommend first limiting these things so you can focus on the core, and then naturally and automatically improve until you can just expand to any color amount and resolution and it'll always remain impressive on the pixel-level.

I am still stuck on 160x240 myself, though..

P.S. I also recommend using Brilliance 2 (AGA), because it has really useful features that DPaint doesn't have (multiple Undos being one, and after I tried to go back to DPaint, there were like 5 different thing I was constantly missing and not having them made the workflow slow and tedious).

I can't remember all those things now, but trust me, Brilliance has earned its name.

I noticed there's a forum thread here dedicated to Brilliance tutorials:


grelbfarlk 07 February 2020 01:01

I love them, make a lot more. Some of these I just want to put a little character on screen and animate them jumping over stuff or walking through the scene while the wizard stands there stoically, perhaps quietly judging.
Do like 15 more and we can have a caption contest like it's the intro to an RPG. But don't rush through them, keep the consistent quality.
Brilliance 2 is quite good as well. Back when I painted a lot I switched over to it, but preferred animating in DPaint.

d4rk3lf 22 February 2020 21:08

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Thanks a lot guys. :)

I'll repeat, I have bellow amateur drawing skills, but I do it for fun.
Back in the day, when I had Amiga, I was trying so hard, but couldn't make it anywhere to look fairly descent, because there was no youtube, and I was stupid enough not to think to go to some drawing school and learn some rules from teacher. Also, I had that stupid attitude that I thought that people are just born with drawing skills (and I considered myself skipped from that talent ;) ), but in truth, anyone can learn to draw, it's just a lot of practice.

I have no intention in becoming professional drawing artist, and if I wanted, I'd definitely start practicing in smarter way (instead of doing 90% of the work from my head, I should first focus on replicating real images, which would be much better practice, and I would learn faster).
But I do this for fun only... and even by that.. and watching some youtube tutorials, I think there's some progress over past few years.
(I draw something...every 7-8 days... or even much longer.. so... few years are really not much practice).

Thank you so much, and I agree 100% with you.

Keep in mind when I started my "retro carrier" few years a go, I had no idea what hardware limitations of Amiga is... so I just took in Winuae something that is closest to Photoshop (and that was AGA Ham :D ), and the first two images are done in Aga Ham.
Later, I started reducing res, and colors. I skipped Ham completely, and started doing in 32 colors (like my Amiga 500). Then I started doing 16 colors... but last few images (and the one I'll post now), have approximately 6 to 10 colors...
It's one more reason why I like A500 even more.
I think 16 colors are enough for some amazing images, that could be used in the games, and for even more impressive (intro) background 32 is huuh.. awesome... that all.. of course, because of the fact we can pick any color from mighty 4096 palette.

Here's one wip:
Usual stuff I do... next will be something pretty different.
This one I tried to be more careful, and not to throw lines just about everywhere, but I used zoom, and carefully draw some outlines.

Now.. I am unsure where I go from here.
I can basically add details everywhere, but I don't think it will be smart (sometimes "less is more")...
Any advice is appreciated.

Sorry for long post.. cheers to all :)

d4rk3lf 10 March 2020 00:07

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Something, little bit, different.

Nightshft 10 March 2020 00:58

A lot of very nice pictures in this thread d4rk3lf!

d4rk3lf 23 August 2020 22:42

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Thanks Nightshft.

Just found one wip sketch on my phone, that I draw on my real Amiga 500 year, or so, a go. I think it has nice potential for some nice coloring. If the wall behind is black (or dark), I can already see nice dark blue moody colors on it.

I wish I could finish it now, but I can't, as my A500 is fully operational and on, but currently I don't have space to sit, and place my mouse. :)

skan 23 August 2020 23:12


Originally Posted by d4rk3lf (Post 1384147)
Something, little bit, different.

That.. reminds me of...something. ;)

Nishicorn 11 April 2021 18:23

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Hey, thanks a lot for your kind words!

I was a bit worried that I might've come off as too harsh in my criticism - I am kind of brutally honest that way, but at least you always know I am speaking the truth.

By the way, your 'Screen 01' picture blew me away! It's definitely the best so far in my opinion, and has a really deep mood and atmosphere. I love silhouette and monochrome pictures (among other things). It's the picture with the great silhouetted moody scenery.

I forgot to mention that you have a knack for creating incredible atmosphere and mood in these pictures - other people have also mentioned 'mood'.. there's something in there. If you can keep this element, being honest and sincere in your work, you'll be able to amaze everyone (and you kinda already are doing that).

I love the forest picture and this 'Screen 01' one the most, they're really moody! Now I want to create something similar (:

How dare you inspire me without permission! (:


Thanks a lot guys.
I think 16 colors are enough for some amazing images
Well, as the old Spectrum has proved over the years, even 2 colors (monochrome) are enough for amazing images, and even 160x200 or 160x240 is enough resolution for amazing images in my opinion.

I once even drew a monochrome picture in 160x240 (:

It's really up to the artist - you can create a moving music piece on 1-channel PC speaker and you can make a radiating picture using only two colors. When you honestly channel your best self into your art, loving what you do, and being excited about your project, the end result has potential to charm the viewer no matter what resolution, color amount or method you use.

I am in a very graphics-appreciative mood right now, because just yesterday, I was shown the most beautiful painting - I am still getting over it, it was so amazing it blew my mind away. It was just a regular oil painting (I think), done by a japanese individual. I can't share it here publically, but if you want to see it, you could send me a private message and then I can ask the painter if I can show it to you.

The point of this off-topic yammering is that it doesn't matter if it's pixel art, painting, scribbling on a note, what resolution, what color amount, as long as you just love what you are creating. I never appreciated paintings -that- much (though I always admired them somewhat), because it's a dead-end for me - I could never even try to dabble in that sort of thing, I am more inclined towards pixel art, music, etc..

I always felt like computer art is closer to being able to express 'anything' more freely - paintings have limitations, they're not 'light', like pixels are, so light effects, glow and such are not as easy to do, etc. But this painting really blew me away - it's basically a simple flower arrangement against yellow background, but something about it just feels almost other-worldly.

So now I have new appreciation for all kinds of art, and looking at your pictures again, I realize I was probably too harsh, they actually do look very good, the candle is very lifelike and the light looks like light. A bit more contrast would serve it well (after all, light is a bright thing that creates deep shadows), but it's a good-looking picture.

Did you ever try monochrome? The challenge is that since there are no colors or even shades, all shading have to be done through 'dithering techniques', and you can make it look like different shades, but it just takes lots of work (and sometimes brain-wrecking experimentation) to get it to look like anything.

I included my monochrome test picture, although it's by no means interesting or good, it's just an experiment - but just to show you how difficult (and yet somewhat possible) it is to try to do 'shading' without colors or shades..

Draw on my Amiga 1200..

P.S. If you don't mind, with Your permission, I'll correct a few words that I think you meant to use instead of the chosen ones.

'bellow' = 'loud deep hollow sound characteristic of a bull'
'below' = 'underneath'

'carrier' = 'One that transports or conveys, a mechanism or device by which something is conveyed or conducted. (as in 'carrier signal')
'career' = 'A chosen pursuit; a profession or occupation.'

Nishicorn 11 April 2021 18:29

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Originally Posted by d4rk3lf (Post 1384147)
Something, little bit, different.

I love the planet picture, it's really cool!

Say, would it be possible to have these pictures in Amiga IFF format or GIF, as 'honest pixels', no scaling, no screenshots, etc..? Or are you protective of the 'sources'? (:

Analyzing that 'Screen 01' picture that I like so much, I notice one of the branches has a pointy end. You could do the same to all the branches, to add some realism - tree branches usually get thinner and thinner towards the end, until they're really thin and maybe pointy as well. It's a bit tedious work to do, but the end result is usually worth it. What do you think? You can see the tree in my monochrome picture, where I tried to do the branch-thinning.

Another thing - if you don't mind my ramblings and suggestions - you could start giving your pictures names. This makes it more intimate, more personal, and easier for us viewers to refer to the pictures. It doesn't seem fair to call a great picture "Screen 01" (: It also gives the picture a bit more meaning, and maybe context for the viewer. Just a suggestion, though.. sorry to dabble this much into your artwork, but I just love your pictures and I always want to 'optimize' everything I love (:

P.S. I just noticed you did an interesting 'light shading effect' on the branches that are shown against the moon. That's a great idea! Instead of having the color outline brighter than the moon, I would make it somewhat dark color, but between the moon's color and the branch's color. That way, it would look like the moon's light is kinda obfuscating the visibility of the branch a bit (a realistic effect you can see in the attached "C64 Top Gun Loading Screen" picture - the sun signs behind the airplane, so it kind of 'burns through' one of the planes nicely. I think this kind of effect would look really good in your picture.'

P.P.S. It's probably unfair to just upload someone else's work to display an effect, so I will upload my own WIP (Work in Progress) background pic (you can probably see what game it's inspired by) taht I attempted to create a more suble version of that similar effect. If you watch the mountain's edge where the sun and mountain meet, you can see I tried to do something along those lines (it's up to you to judge whether I succeeded at all, and if so, to what degree..)

This picture uses 320x256, which I have basically abandoned these days, so I don't know what I am gonna do with this pic.. the reason why it doesn't have much shading beyond the sky (besides being WIP), is that I wanted to have it for a game, where the players couldn't be shaded that much, so the ground had to be kind of 'neutral' or 'free of shading' as well..

Anyway, I hope this helps. Your pictures really have wonderful atmosphere.. I just had to say it again. (:

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