Howdy folks, Gwen here – Living Ember’s writer and artist. My blog posts will be about the story and art mischief I’ve been up to…


The evolution of art style and tree design…


We’re in the process of developing our art style. Though we are fans of pixel art and games like Stardew Valley, what we want to achieve with our art style is a drawn style more along the lines of a brighter, twee version of Don’t Starve.

In putting pen [graphics pen] to paper [graphics tablet], it became apparent that the first attempt (see tree below) was not working for us. 

small tree drawing


Only by having something as a visual starting point did we begin to formulate further ideas about what we wanted. We came up with some keywords that are now guiding the development of the artwork:  



Jenny and I both like watercolours, so we embraced the idea of using a watercolour texture and then sketching over this, then layering further to get the level of ‘tuftiness’ we wanted. The next iteration of the pine tree (image below) is much closer to the style we are seeking.

rugged watercolour tree

Here’s another example of a rather flat first iteration of a tree…

flat tree

…and then the more developed version…

rugged tree with parts

As we keep developing our art style we’re sure to keep improving and getting a better idea of what works for our game. I’ll be sharing images of undeveloped and developed images as we go along. 

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