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About Digital Art / Professional Member Just plain Donovan was already takenMale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 8 Years
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Often, this stuff is Newest in the relative sense of the term.

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The easiest way to figure out what I actually like, at least as far as what's posted on dA. Otherwise there'd be a LOT more work by Japanese game artists.


Sunny Forest Path by LordDonovan
Sunny Forest Path
Before the customary rambling, might I suggest some classic Secret of Mana music? As usual, I've tried to recreate that old favorite game feel, and what better to accompany it than authentic, thematically appropriate old video game music? This image isn't as good as the classics, but if I pair them up, I might trick you into thinking it is. (Don't tell yourself you just read that, let's keep it between us, okay?)

So yeah, this picture is yet another attempt at that tone I loved so much in older games, in this case the lush vibrant feel of Secret of Mana, and I think I'm getting closer at least. It's also more practice at cracking the challenge of digital painting that doesn't feel too crisp and digital, in other words trying to be as good as my current digital painting idol Ovopack. How in awe of his skillz am I? The only reason I don't consider his digital painting technique 11/10 is that I re-calibrated the scale to make him the new 10. Unfortunately, his technique is as mysterious as it is awe-inspiring, and I've clearly got a long way to to. So far, I should apologize for bringing his work up in regards to mine.

And finally, the picture is about just creating what I'd want to make games look if it were up to me. (Which isn't the case because I'm not good at programming and can't afford to hire a programmer.) As should be abundantly clear, I miss the old colorful and not perfectly realistic style old games had. I miss those cute video game style ponds with the sharply defined, non-marshy edges. And those trees with the relatively compact, dense foliage. On the other hand, I don't really miss the old technical limitations, the need for perfectly tiled graphics and the like, so I left that out. I want to recreate that old intent, but using the capabilities of today's hardware. In fact, ideally a scene like this picture wouldn't be 2D at all but glorious interactive 3D. That's what I'd be doing if I could. Well, eventually. My first priority would actually be the game I wish Minecraft had been, in which case, while I sure would try to kick the GRAPHIX up a notch, and make things more organic where I could, scenery like this just wouldn't be practical. There'd have to a lot more straight edges.

Now, with that all said, and because it's not enough information until it's too much information, you might be wondering about the composition. It's a bit... bland for a stand-alone image I just made for my own artistic fulfillment, right? Well, that's because that's not how this picture started. It was originally done for a person who wanted me to do some backgrounds for their game, and turned out not to like where this was going once it was well into production. So, since I at least liked where it was going, I went ahead and changed some things, like replacing the bland dirt clearing in the middle with the pond, made the path continue off to the right, changed some of the plants, and turned that lemon into lemonade. In a way it works for the sake of "what I want games to look like," since it was originally drawn as just another background for a video game. And it was the first time in a while I did a finished image with no concerns in mind except for how I wanted it to look, how much it was falling short of that, dang this is taking too long, I"LL NEVER BE AS GOOD AS THE GREATS, HOW DOES OVOPACK DO SO MUCH BETTER WITH LESS DETAIL, utter despair... And finally finishing it. Oh, and then failing to color correct it so it looks on my newer main monitor like it did on my old Cintiq, where it had a subtly warmer feel I just can't replicate. I'm pretty sure that until I can get a newer one, I'm just going to use it for drawing and color on the main monitor. So as usual, I need more money. Wonder if I'd have any luck on Patreon...
Highway to the Moon Canyon Background by LordDonovan
Highway to the Moon Canyon Background
This is a background I did for a game currently in production called "Highway to the Moon." It's a top-down shooter in which the player is driving up the titular highway, thus the downwards, long-distance viewpoint. You can follow the developers, Vernacular Games, at their facebook page or their blog.

As for my traditional commentary on the art itself, I realize it's certainly a deviation from my standard color schemes, but it's supposed to be a badland canyon in the not-so-nice future, so I layed off the blues and greens. And it only hurt a little! Furthermore, while the overall piece may feel a bit drab, it's the background for a super twitchy shooter, so I didn't want too much high contrast to detract from focusing on what's trying to kill you. It definitely looks nicer in the context of actual gameplay, and as far as game art, that's what matter most.
The Mayor of Dungeon Town by LordDonovan
The Mayor of Dungeon Town
SUBTLE EDIT: I colored this on my old Cintiq, and have less faith in its color accuracy than my newer main monitor, on which it looked somewhat drab and slightly off-color. Normally I edit images to look "correct" on my main monitor before posting them, but forgot to do it with this one. Until now. Of course, what with every monitor being different, you're probably seeing something slightly different anyway, but dwelling on that is the path to madness.

I did this image a while back for a project called "Dungeon Mayor." Basically, you're the new mayor of a very small town on top of monster-filled ruins, and it's up to you to build the town and explore the dungeons, both of which goals help further the other. This particular illustration was both the first Mayor design, (with the intent of having multiple choices,) and the splash illustration for early promotional blog type stuff. Since the idea was to show both being a politician and a warrior, I figured that a handshake and a sword covered both angles. The sash really cements the whole thing too, because who needs subtlety? Also I just plain like those old-fashioned official sashes people used to wear. Why'd they ever go out of style? Anyway, the project ultimately never really went anywhere, but I still think the picture was good. Totally looks like the kind of guy who'd keep potholes filled and ogres slain.
When the air grows chill and the shadows deep, I return from beyond the veil to... Finally be active on dA again. And write in dramatic Halloween-esque fashion because it's the time of year I can get away with it. Yep, thematically speaking, Halloween is easily the best holiday, and Autumn in general is pretty cool.

But I digress, the main point here is to announce being back, if anyone cares. I figure it's been long enough that a formal acknowledgement is appropriate, so I'm finally biting the bullet. As a friend suggested, there's really no other way around it but to get it over with. I could try to explain various reasons for my hiatus, such as a long stint of Internet connection problem issues, but is it really important? Probably not. Point is I'm going to actually try and post stuff and reply again instead of just checking in for Notes and such. Maybe even deal with that huge pile of messages that's accumulated. But in any case, I figured a new Journal was the best place to start. Speaking of figuring, I'd like to post a Journal with some photos that are mildly interesting but not of adequate artistic merit to post on their own, so I need to figure out how to do that exactly.
  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: Castlevania SotN Soundtrack
  • Watching: Ancient Aliens
  • Playing: Terraria


LordDonovan's Profile Picture
Just plain Donovan was already taken
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
United States
Single commissions, contract work, full-time employment, whatever- If you think I'm the man for job, let's talk.

volcott at gmail dot com

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lil-puppy23 Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015
inuto500 Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015
happy birthday
ShinSamus Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Birthday cake  icon 
Have a great birthday! ^_^
onjikun Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Happy Birthday :)
lil-puppy23 Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014
inuto500 Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014
happy birthday
QueenSpazKoopa Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey its me SpazKoopa from :iconspazkoopa94: Just letting you know i switched accounts and i hope your having happy holidays!
advancedviolinist29 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013
SpazKoopa94 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
sorry for the late birthday. here it is. hope you'll come back some day!
Rea-Usax Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
happy b-day!
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