Octobit 2016

A month of pixels

Thursday, November 3, 2016

I participated in Octobit this past month. I really enjoyed drawing something every single day. Also, I loved interacting with the other artists who were participating, on social media and Slack.

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#0 Beginning

To start, my cousin, Ben, and I had a hack day. We built a computer program to convert images into an image with a limitted color palette. This is the result of applying a "neon" palette to an image of me that Alexandra and I took at Finnriver cider out on the Olympic peninsula. I really liked how it turned out, and made it my profile image on Twitter.

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neon profile image

#1 Gameboy

For my first "real" octobit image (if following the theme makes it real), I applied the same program to the same image using the Gameboy color palette. I didn't like how blocky some of the areas turned out, so I hand-dithered it around the beard and hair.

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gameboy profile image

#2 Reptile

Based on this image of Sobek, Egyptian crocodile diety, first published by Jean-François Champollion.

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sobek

#3 Molusk

Oysters! I tried to imagine what it is like for them to be alive and feeding. I drew and animated this, and most of the other Octobit drawings using version 3 of Pixaki. It's really great to be able to make art all on my iPad.

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oyster feeding

#4 Music

A zombie cellist for October. Based on this photo of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jalisco by Pedro Sánchez.

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zombie cellist

#5 Boom

A cannon, ready to fire. Based on this photo of the Tsar Cannon by Wikipedia user Graham Colm.

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cannon ready to fire

#6 Fishermen

Technically the people in the photo I based this one off of are USGS researchers taking a sediment core. I liked it because it had a nice crane on the fishing boat, and I had just seen some fishmen loading / unloading their boats at Fishermen's Terminal in Ballard.

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fishing boat

#7 Nostalgia

For me nostalgia is working in my parent's garden.

Nostalgia is almost synonymous with retro-gaming. I enjoy my memories of playing hours of Donkey Kong Country, Genghis Khan, and Duck Hunt, but the garden feels more like home than a video game.

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gardening

#8 Dogs

Woof! I drew this one entirely on my phone with Dotpict.

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pixel art doggie

#9 Desert

These penguins technically live in a desert. All of Antarctica gets very little precipitation. Another one drawn entirely on my phone with Dotpict.

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penguins

#10 Dessert

Yum! This animation is one of my favorites for the month. I'm an ice cream hound.

This is the first time I drew a sketch using a regular drawing tool (either Paper or Procreate, I forget which) and then used that as the reference for a pixel art drawing. See the sketch here.

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ice cream

#11 Heavy

Based on an image by Anna at Old World Wisconsin. I first encountered this when searching for images of oxen on Wikipedia.

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yoked oxen

#12 Birds

Some Stellar's jays at different sizes.

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stellars jays

#13 Cold

A minimalist snowman. Not even a complete outline.

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snowman

#14 Superhero

Nikola Tesla, not your conventional superhero.

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tesla

#15 Cozy

I started this drawing in Dotpict on my phone, and then I imported it into Pixaki to add some lighting effects (just the fire colors at 50% opacity) and animation.

This seems to be the people's favorite. It got a lot more "likes" on Twitter than any of my other drawings. I wonder if using multiple apps helps make for better drawings? Maybe it just means I spent more time on it?

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cozy by the campfire

#16 TV

Our TV antenna was on our silo. I loved to watch it move after we made an adjustment.

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moving the TV antenna

#17 Grandparents

This may be the most personal of any of my drawings. I drew a pixel art portrait of each of my grandparents. Red grandpa was a pro golfer, red grandma has some great stories about working on the mink farm. Blue grandma makes lovely paintings on gourds, and blue grandpa is a retired fire fighter. I love them all.

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my grandparents

#18 Summer

Summer means grilling: burgers and corn on the cob. Drawn in Dotpict.

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burgers and corn

#19 Fear

I didn't want to draw anything too scary. One of my sisters sent me a link to a video collection of cats afraid of cucumbers.

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cucumber cat

#20 Space

The Apollo 17 Saturn V rocket, ready to launch. Based on this photo.

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saturn V rocket

#21 Vehicle

Horse based on this photo by Wikipedia user Ealdgyth from the horse collar page.

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octobit pixel art drawing

#22 Poison

Practiced more with smoke on this one.

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poison

#23 Underwater

A swimming barracuda. Based on this photo by Wikipedia user Laban712.

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barracuda

#24 Weird

There was an article recently about how kids can be really mean to robots. I imagined where the roles are reversed and humans are the "weird" looking and acting people.

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robots and one weirdo

#25 Time

Tea time! I live by timers.

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timer says the tea is ready

#26 Magic

Okay, so flying machines are science, not magic. The fact that we can fly still feels like magic. Based on this photo of the Wright Flyer at Fort Myer in Virginia.

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wright flyer at fort myer

#27 Heavenly

One of my cats loves to pull down towels. He's naughty but heavenly cute.

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naughty but cute kitty

#28 Fire

This one was inspired by a Dan Mangan song. He retweeted my tweet!

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robots need love too

#29 Sleep

Sleepy kitty. Based on a photo I took. I changed some of the proportions to cartoonify it a bit.

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sleepy kitty

#30 Portrait

A portrait of Myke Hurley, from a clip in his first vlog where he had the camera in portrait-mode. I think he liked it! He commented with 5 heart emojis on Instagram 💟. I hadn't really done much "fan art" before. This is fun!

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imyke - myke hurley

#31 Horror

Another one that I didn't want to be too scary. This is based on Edvard Munch's "The Scream" painting. Also, I find it ridiculous that Apple renders the "weary cat face" 🙀 as a scream, very much like the person in the painting.

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the scream - kitty version

I will continue making pixel art, but not every day. It was fun for a month, but too much to keep up with. I like to make other things, too.

Thanks to everyone who liked my art this past month! I enjoyed meeting so many other people in the Internet community.

I interacted more with the rest of the pixel art community by doing octobit, too.

Special thanks to the developers of the apps that I used for this project. It was so nice to be able to draw on my phone and my iPad with great tools.