Refining 2D gameart houses the quick and easy way

After a more stylized and outlined approach in the last tutorial (Building 2D game art houses the quick and easy way), I am going to refine a building this time, adding more detail and more depth.

Starting with one of the variations of the last tutorial, the log building with the yellow roof will get a make-over. The idea is to reuse the existing elements as much as possible and add to them to make it look more interesting.
The two lines that show the highlight and shadows of the planks are placed with a light coming from the top left in mind. Different settings would require different shading. A more centred light source would make both sides of the roof look the same, which defeats the idea of making it more visually interesting. 

The wood effect is explained in the tutorial I wrote a while back (Making materials: wood).

The ropes are simple lines with thicker strokes and little ovals for highlights, while the skull is a combination of circles (head, 2 deformed ellipses for the lower part, 2 dark and 2 lighter skewed circles for the eyes, a triangle for the top and a straight line with a curve at the end and a thick stroke, duplicated and scaled down twice before being mirrored).

The advantage lies in the ease to customize this. Rather than use the yellow roof here are two sample with minor alterations but a different look and feel to them.

Once you create the base shapes, play with them: choose different colours, alter the material from wooden planks to brick walls or metal doors instead of the wooden ones. The possibilities are endless and fairly fast to create and by keeping the files organized, you will soon have a library of elements that you can easily modify and reuse for other designs. 


Chris Hildenbrand

2D game artist, pixelpusher, vector bender, face turner for over thirty years. I worked on more games than I can remember... The most recent release is "Super Crossbar Challenge" for iOS (Android coming soon) with Shattered Box, Fredbear Games and PlayPlayFun.


  1. That's why this blog is one of my favorites.

  2. They looked great before, but now they look even better with the added details and without the outlines!

    1. That's the thing with vector art, it's so easy to start and create something good and then go in an polish at a later stage and take it to the next level.

  3. Thanks Chris, do you plan to have more tutorial on buildings, like shopping mall, cooperate building and cafe/food/restaurant?