A pixelart piece long 2 years

It's finally over.

Tibetan Daemon
Tibetan Daemon

It took me over two years to finish it, and, I'm still not entirely satisfied about it. But that's how it goes, isn't it? I could probably be never enough satisfied about it.

If you haven't found it by clicking on the preview above, here's the link straight to it:
The Tibetan Daemon.

Tibetan Daemon Head Closeup
Tibetan Daemon Head Closeup

This is my very first piece of pixelart so big: it's 587x470px, without the frame. How I came up with this size, I don't know. And it's full of colour ramps. 62 colours total, many of them have been trimmed down and recalculated many times.

Tibetan Daemon Palette
Tibetan Daemon Palette

Technically speaking the piece is a collage of different sources, I'm not going to lie to you, I didn't come up with the character (unfortunately) although it inspired me so much I decided to pick it up when I first saw it, and still influences some of my drawings.

This is how it evolved: I started with the trace of the picture, which was taken during the Tibet Great Prayer Festival in 2009 at a good size, I did want to do something really big, and I started doing it with some heavy dithering which I was developing at that time.
After something like one week of work, my hard-drive crashed pretty badly, with all the swearing that normally surround these events, especially when your last backup was a week prior the beginning of it.
Lucky I was: I had already started showing the first steps to some close friends and I ended recovering a two days earlier save file. 2 days of work, on anything is a lot.

From there I decided to pick it up again last year (2010) and remove all the dithering, rework the colours correctly and trim them down quite a bit.

Once I got the main character up right, I wanted to put it in the right scene: I started with something that could resemble a theatre scene, but ended up thinking about the Potala Palace and give it a very moody colour contrasts in the background.

The Potala Palace
The Potala Palace

From there, I went on and off working on it and after another year I had this final one.

What did I learn?

Always do frequent backups. Always.

Then, pixelart related, I think it's mostly: decide of the scene first and then create the whole thing.
Having to do with a white backgrounded character and trying to fit it into something good enough, is never easy and sometimes it feels impossible.
The final work took ages as I continuously had to adjust things, change colours, and change elements as they would never fit what I initially thought.

Which brings me to the last lesson learnt: do the first sketch immediately: especially colours and shapes and try to close it down as soon as possible.
If you, for some reason, need to work on a piece for long periods, with long pauses between them, you definitely have to avoid overdoing details, even if they might look good, unless you're extremely confident on what you're doing (which is rarely the case in my situation).
This means that once you have the whole scene with the right colours, you can run through the dithering and make it look really good, blending everything together in just one shot (or two).

I think that's all for now, I'm constantly working on different stuff, and I hope I can come up with something to show real soon.