19 December 2012

Calendar Giveaway!

These puffins will be ringing in the new year!

One of my ongoing projects for the last 20 months or so has been a monthly wallpaper for readers of this blog.

It’s taught me a lot, encouraged me to explore Illustrator and Photoshop, and allowed me to create one piece of art each month just for me (well, and all of you!) rather than for our business.

By the way, there are versions of each wallpaper without the month on it, so it’s still a great place to find pretty desktop, iPhone, and iPad wallpapers!

This year, I have created an actual paper calendar out of my artwork. Some of the wallpapers had to be reworked extensively, and one of the months is completely new. But you’ll see a lot of familiar friends in this calendar :]

I mostly created the calendar to give as gifts, but I am also giving one calendar away to a reader of this blog!

To enter, simply comment on this post and tell me your favorite wallpaper of mine. The deadline for commenting is by the end of the day on Friday, December 21.

I will pick a random winner and mail it to you, anywhere in the world. Be sure to include your correct email when commenting – that is how I will contact you to get your address!

With luck, it will get to you by late December or early January, and you can enjoy 12 original illustrations all year :]

Here’s a peek at all the months:

Desktop wallpapers turned into calendars!

Thank you so much to everyone who has enjoyed my wallpapers – it was wonderful to hear that other people liked and used them!

P.S. – if you want to read more about the calendar, I also posted about it on my art blog.
UPDATE: The winner of the giveaway is Maurice – congrats! Thank you so much to everyone who left a comment, your support makes it fun to make art :]



17 December 2012

Roundup 10: Games Made With Free Art!

5 more games!

Wow, our tenth roundup of games made with the art on this site – pretty cool! This time we’ve got a couple of holiday games, an awesome rocket mouse with a haunted-house twist, a colorful vocabulary game, and the first game made with the Super Kuwalio game pack!

Read on to see how developers have used the free art on this site!

Read more…



14 December 2012

Free Game Art: Letter Tiles

This is free art – it is under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Type: iPhones, iPads, android, etc…

Download the art here!

Letter Tiles For Word Games

free letter tiles scrabble word game

What are you waiting for?

Have an idea for a word game? This set is for you!

This game art pack was created in response to a suggestion left on this post – if you have an idea for a game pack, go to that post and submit your idea!

There are a lot of word games out there that just use letter tiles and maybe a board. Using your imagination and these letter tiles, you’ll have your own word game in no time!

Read more…

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1 December 2012

iPhone iPad Desktop Wallpaper: December 2012: Penguin Ornaments!

The best treat is hanging around with the right person during the holidays…

What is it about December that makes me love birds and tree branches? This time, the birds are hanging on the tree – and those of you who also follow my other blog will notice the reappearance of the penguin shapes that I am obsessed with.

Read more…



28 November 2012

Free Art: Winter Holiday Icons!

This is free art – it is under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Download the art here!

Winter Holiday Icons for Apps and Games!

Are you thinking of creating a holiday or winter-themed app? Maybe you want to release a special holiday version of your existing app or game?

This icon set is ready to help you do this!

free game app art winter holiday icons

Free icons for you to use in your projects!

Ideas for using these icons:

  • Prizes to collect in a game
  • Thumbnail icons for profiles in an app
  • Images for the cards in a memory game
  • Populate the background scenery in a game

I’m sure you can come up with more!

What’s Included

You get the ten icons shown above as PNGs, in the following sizes:

  • 100×100 pixels
  • 500×500 pixels
  • 1024×1024 pixels

This should allow you to use them in a variety of ways, as thumbnail images all the way up to app icons. Just choose the size closest to what you need (larger than the size you need), and resize it to fit your app.


If you use these icons in a game or app, let me know! I will include your app/game in a special post featuring apps that use the art on this site :] It’s a great way to get the word out about your app!

Send me an email via my Contact page or direct message me on twitter!

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21 November 2012

Four Ways to Deal With the Longer iPhone 5 screen

designing for different iphone screen sizes

960 pixels + 176 pixels = designer headache

The iPhone 5 introduced a longer screen: the same width, but with an extra 176 pixels in height.

Most users seem to appreciate the extra space, but it poses a design challenge for app makers: how do you create a background for the different iPhones?

Note that we are talking about the iPhone retina and the iPhone 5 – the older unretina phones have screen sizes that are simply half that of the iPhone retina.

Here are four ways you can design for the longer iPhone 5 screen:

1. Different art entirely

designing for different iphone screens

option 1: two different background images

The obvious first option: use different pieces of art!

If your background is heavily illustrated or needs to be the exact size of the screen (for example, if you have borders or a scene, like in a game), you will need to make two different backgrounds sized for the two different screens.


  • best customization
  • can create an illustrated scene or richly textured components


  • uses up the most memory
  • have to create more art (which equates to a higher cost for the designer)

Read more…

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15 November 2012

Free Game Art: Repeatable Background – Night Meadow

This is free art – it is under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Download the art here!

Repeatable Night Meadow Scene Background

This scene is intended to be used for side-scrolling games – the background repeats, and has two variations to alternate between.

It is also a parallax background set – the foreground and the background are separated, so that they can scroll at different speeds if you so choose.

It has two clouds and a moon for you to use in the sky, and a tree and some flowers to use in the foreground.

It’s a simple set, but can get you started on a side-scrolling game!

free game art repeating parallax background set

A night meadow scene that repeats and can have a parallax effect!


The art is provided for both iPad and iPhone, in retina and unretina sizes.

  • Backgrounds: two versions to alternate between. The heights are sized for landscape mode on each device.
  • Foregrounds: two versions to alternate between. Again, sized for landscape mode.
  • Sky objects: two clouds and a moon to populate the night sky.
  • Ground objects: a pine tree and some flowers to add variety to the foreground.



Please let me know in the comments if you would like more repeating background sets – if there is enough interest I can add to this one or create several other scenes!

And as always, I LOVE to hear about what games you make with the free art on this site – if you finish a game with it, send me an email via my Contact page or direct message me on twitter!



8 November 2012

Free Game Art: D Pad and Buttons

This is free art – it is under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Download the art here!

D-Pad and Buttons

The iPhone has lots of ways to control characters in-game: tapping, tilting, etc.

Sometimes, however, you just want an old-fashioned D-Pad and some A and B buttons.

free iphone game art d pad and buttons

Everything you need to convert an iPhone into a retro game!

Allen Tan, who will soon be releasing an awesome starter kit on the raywenderlich.com site, is just such a person. He also used the art in a two-part free tutorial: How To Make A Side-Scrolling Beat ‘Em Up Game Like Scott Pilgrim with Cocos2D. Check that out if you’re interested!

His punch-em-out game really needed a D-Pad and buttons, and he couldn’t find any good looking ones out there for free.

So I made him one.

And now you all get to benefit!

free iphone game art d pad and buttons

Mockup of the D-Pad in action


How It Works

The D-Pad is a set of 9 images: one for when no buttons are pressed, and 8 for when the various directions are pressed.

There are three buttons: A, B, and a blank, for you to put on whatever you like. Each button has a pressed and unpressed image.

They are all sized for the iPhone and iPhone retina, though they would work well on any other device with a similar resolution.

Feel free to tint the controls with a color to better match your game! Check out this post to learn three easy methods of recoloring artwork.

The images are provided at 100% opacity, but you can set them to be somewhat transparent so that your game shows through. Below you can see a mockup of the D-Pad at 70% opacity.

free game art d pad and buttons

A mockup of how the controls look at 70% opacity



As always, I LOVE to hear about what games you make with the free art on this site – if you finish a game with it, send me an email via my Contact page or direct message me on twitter!

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1 November 2012

iPhone iPad Desktop Wallpaper: November 2012: Stingray

A stylized stingray prowls in the depths…

november iphone ipad desktop calendar wallpaper

Is it really November already? I’m not sure I would notice the time racing by if not for the monthly challenge of creating a desktop wallpaper :]

Read more…


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26 October 2012

How To Recolor Artwork For Your Game

Learn how to make these changes happen!

Let’s say you are making a game on a budget, and have found some free art somewhere (like on this site). 

Great! But often the free art is somewhat limited – you can’t really choose if you want an orange snake or a green snake, or if your robot has a blue head or a green head.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew how to recolor the artwork so that you can have a bit more variety?

Well, read on to find out a few easy ways to do this in Photoshop!  Which option you choose will depend on the artwork you are trying to recolor and the effect you are trying to get – if one doesn’t get the results you want, try another!

Download the files for this tutorial here – includes several PNGs and a PSD file.

Read more…