Skyrim Fan Creates Incredible Picture of Whiterun Using Only MS Paint

Skyrim Fan Creates Incredible Picture of Whiterun Using Only MS Paint

A beautiful recreation of the capital city in Skyrim showcases the talent of its creator and elicits new appreciation for the Microsoft program.

A Skyrim fan has created a flat-out gorgeous painting of the game’s iconic city of Whiterun via a surprising medium: MS Paint. This is yet another example of Skyrim‘s staying power, as the game has remained a favorite in the RPG space for more than 11 years and has been released many times on newer platforms. It even averaged 20,000 active players on Steam Charts over a recent 30-day span.

Players are introduced to Whiterun early in the game as the capital city of Whiterun Hold, located in the center of Skyrim. Its wooden and stone palisade walls and its position on a large bluff make it an intimidating and entrancing center of commerce (and a bit of wish fulfillment for fans of The Lord of the Rings‘ breathtaking city of Edoras). Sometimes it’s even a center for comedy, like when Whiterun guards randomly go swimming.


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Reddit user kettu1 recently shared their own version of Whiterun, which was designed using only MS Paint. An enlarged view of the painting attests to its painstaking creation, with MS Paint’s gridded raster graphics laid on purposefully to create a smooth, Disney-animated feel. One can imagine the two horsemen in the image riding in motion, as well as a breeze blowing gently through the trees. The thatched roofs and stonework are blended seamlessly, and the clouds are as beautiful as anything created by someone with an actual paintbrush. It goes a different direction from the recently revealed Whiterun 3D remake in Unreal Engine 5 — this one is content in two dimensions, looking quaint and pleasant instead of sprawling and powerful.

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The Reddit community reacted enthusiastically to the painting, with many users offering praise for the way the artist captured the spirit of the city using only a rudimentary digital painting program. The artist noted that although sometimes they use more advanced tools, they chose MS Paint for this work because it feels “nostalgic.” This suggests the artist leaned into their own nostalgic feelings for when they first discovered Whiterun. After all, this is firmly a recreation of the city, not a reimagining — like the one made by a pink-loving Skyrim fan.

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As developer Bethesda finishes work on the upcoming Starfield and begins planning Elder Scrolls 6, it certainly has a deep well of fan art to inspire the Skyrim follow-up. It’s likely Bethesda will be looking to outdo Whiterun in size and spectacle in the new sequel, but it also knows the reason so many people have fallen in love with Whiterun and the world of Skyrim at large: It feels like an actual place where anything can happen, rather than a big grid where NPCs follow paths and wait for the player to snap them into action. Skyrim is a classic example of interactivity being prioritized over beautification; otherwise, the locales might as well be paintings.

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim – Anniversary Edition is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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