Sammy Hall, a concept artist at Retro Studios, posted a marvelous collection of "pre-visuals, concept arts, production illustrations, and general shenanigans" from his work on recently released Wii platformer Donkey Kong Country Returns.

"I think most all of them were done entirely in [Photoshop]," Hall explains. "A few might be based on sketches I scanned in (like the eel), but a lot of the digital brushes were constructed from scans of markers, oils, pencils, etc. to find a kind of scratchy whimsical style."

You can check out more of his Donkey Kong Country Returns pieces after the break and in this forum thread. If you examine the "factory" image closely -- the one with the funny "Barrel&orBarrel" joke and all the Famicom/NES bits -- you might see a hidden Jumpman!

Oh, and you'll be able to see Mr. Hall in person, along with other talented artists, at Dallas' Diverge video game art workshops on February 20-22, where he'll "demonstrate his professional ability to convey epic landscapes and detail" with his speed paintings. 

[Via GamOvr, Destructiod]