Introduction to Pixel Art – a Beginner’s Guide

Introduction to Pixel Art – a Beginner’s Guide

19th October 2018 0 By admin

This is the ultimate guide, a pre-introduction if you will. We often perceive a sort of division between pixel art and art, and although we can see the reasoning, the technical limitations aren’t much of a factor. Pixel Art is really popular for some great reasons: it looks awesome, you can make the most about each pixel, it brings back a nostalgic feeling for those who grew up playing Super Nintendo (like us) and is one of the easiest types of digital art to learn, which is why we recommend you to try your hand.


These limitations remove some of the fiddle room, narrowing your options, similarly to how vector art can reduce the nodes of a shape, but there is often one way to most successfully portray a desired stroke. In the early days of computers, pixel art was your only option, but as technology allowed images with higher resolutions, pixel art was still loved by artists, and still thrives. Pixel art is a unique digital art movement from back when video cards still had limited capabilities, although these days it is used to give a retro feel, as well as a childlike quality, and despite its simplicity, creating detailed Pixel art is a very time-consuming process.


It’s recognizable by its limited blocky shapes, and tutorials will go more in depth, but pix•el art is in fact a digital art where pieces are created through manipulating the pixels using minimal number of colors, so it’s manly about having control as none of the pixels are generated. It is easy to get caught up in erasing or be evocative in art, while in Pixel art it is much more obvious whether or not you’ve got it right, but flow can be regained through anti-aliasing. Designing your own pixel art can be profitable, although there’s not much demand, even if the gaming industry is growing with more indie titles, but you can learn to make pixel art as a hobby as well.


In order to make pixel art, you can use MSpaint, even though some people use programs specifically designed for pixelling and Photoshop to make transparent backgrounds, so here are some guidelines. First and foremost, you can tweak your colors as you go along, but it is always good to start off with the basic colors, and never use MSpaint’s default colors. Afterwards choose a shading style: dithering or cel-shading, or simply combine the two.


There are lots of toolbars in Aseprite to draw, but we just need a few buttons, as the main tool is the Pencil, with which we place our pixels. On the left you can see your color palette, so let’s change those to another, by clicking on the third icon (Pressets) and choose a good palette, as that’s the one you will be. Feel free to make it unique, as you can alt+click on an empty area and you will pick the transparent color to erase pixels, or click directly on the Eraser to select it.