Keyes Beholding – SotN Grim Reaper

Speed Painting: Keyes Beholding–SotN Grim Reaper

As a fun exercise I decided to find a screen shot of one of the greatest 2d side scrolling games ever made, Castlevania SotN.  Eventually I’d like to create an entire HD remix of the screen shot as a fun wallpaper background.  For now, I’m going to try and go through piece by piece as a study.

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I’ve taken liberties on the actual design of the Grim reaper.  This is a pixel interpretation, this is how I imagined it to be.  You remember that right, back when we used our imagination to play games?

Its always amazing to me how much ‘detail’ they convey with what little pixels they had.  the position and composition of the characters.  The values and colors that are used to imbue this pixilated representation with as much character and mood as possible.

I played with my brush settings a lot on this one, trying to re-discover my all-purpose brush.  In the end I still felt the settings were a little lacking, but they are much closer. 

Also I had fun with the tattering technique.  It just using an eraser to do away with various sized circles.  With a few clicks, suddenly a bland edge begins to read as a highly detailed tattered cloth.  Pretty fun when magic like this happens.

Once again the 2d world lighting plays its part, roughly 45 degrees up from eye level and to the front is the source.  It plays out wonderfully with some very stark highlights on such a dark character. 

I love how colorful the grim reaper can be.  There is so much saturation in this guy and you’d never expect it.  Its one of the things I feel make the old school sprites so beloved, they have so much color in them, no matter how dark the material the hue’s vibrance screams, ‘I’m having fun, and you should too!’

Thanks for checking out my work! 

PS.  Big thanks to music contributor:  Theo Keyes