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Airam Rojas Zerpa
Airam Rojas Zerpa

What is a Pixel? Learn the Basics of Pixel Picture Technology


How to Make Pixel Art: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide




Pixel art is a form of digital art that uses pixels as the basic building blocks of an image. Pixels are tiny squares of a single color that can be arranged in a grid to form complex shapes, patterns, and scenes. Pixel art is often associated with retro video games and computer graphics from the 1970s and 1980s, but it has also become a popular modern style for artists, designers, and gamers.


In this article, I will guide you through the steps of making pixel art, from choosing the right tools and resolution to applying colors and effects. I will also provide some tips and examples to inspire you. Let's get started!




pixel picture


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Tools




The first thing you need to make pixel art is a software program that allows you to draw pixels on a canvas. There are many options available, ranging from free online tools to professional software. Here are some of the most popular ones:



  • : A free online pixel art drawing tool that lets you create, edit, animate, and share pixel art. It has a simple interface, a large community, and many features such as layers, grids, palettes, frames, filters, and more.



  • : A free online photo editor, AI image generator, and design tool that offers a variety of creative options for pixel art. You can use it to resize, crop, rotate, recolor, filter, enhance, animate, and transform your images.



  • : A free online image editor that lets you resize, crop, compress, convert, optimize, and edit your images. It supports various formats such as PNG, JPG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, WEBP, ICO, etc.



  • : A professional image editing software that is widely used by artists and designers. It has many advanced tools and features for creating pixel art such as brushes, layers, masks, filters, effects, adjustments, etc.



  • : A professional vector graphics software that can also be used for creating pixel art. It allows you to draw with geometric shapes and paths that can be scaled without losing quality. It also has tools for color management, gradients, patterns, symbols, etc.



As for hardware, you can use any device that can control your cursor on the screen. A mouse or a trackpad is fine for most cases, but you may prefer a graphics tablet or a stylus for more precision and control.


Resolution




The resolution of your pixel art refers to the number of pixels in your canvas. The higher the resolution, the more detail you can add to your image. However, higher resolution also means larger file size and more memory usage.


The resolution you choose depends on the style and purpose of your pixel art. If you want to emulate the retro look of old games and consoles, you may want to use low resolutions such as 64x64, 128x128, or 256x256 pixels. If you want to create more detailed and realistic pixel art, you may want to use higher resolutions such as 512x512, 1024x1024, or 2048x2048 pixels.


Another factor to consider is the aspect ratio of your pixel art. The aspect ratio is the ratio of the width to the height of your canvas. For example, a square canvas has an aspect ratio of 1:1, while a widescreen canvas has an aspect ratio of 16:9. The aspect ratio you choose depends on the shape and composition of your pixel art. You can also use different aspect ratios for different purposes, such as portraits, landscapes, banners, icons, etc.


Color




Color is one of the most important elements of pixel art. It can create mood, contrast, harmony, depth, and style in your image. However, color can also be challenging to work with, especially when you have limited pixels and colors to use.


One way to simplify color selection is to use a color palette. A color palette is a set of colors that work well together and create a consistent look for your pixel art. You can create your own color palette by using a color picker tool or a color wheel, or you can use a predefined color palette from various sources such as .


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When choosing a color palette, you should consider the following factors:



  • The number of colors: The number of colors in your palette affects the complexity and style of your pixel art. Generally, fewer colors create a simpler and more retro look, while more colors create a richer and more realistic look. However, too many colors can also make your pixel art look messy and confusing.



  • The hue, saturation, and value: The hue is the color itself, such as red, green, or blue. The saturation is the intensity or purity of the color, from dull to bright. The value is the brightness or darkness of the color, from black to white. You should use different hues, saturations, and values to create contrast and harmony in your pixel art.



  • The temperature: The temperature is the warmth or coolness of the color, from red to blue. You should use different temperatures to create mood and atmosphere in your pixel art. For example, warm colors can create a feeling of energy, excitement, or danger, while cool colors can create a feeling of calmness, tranquility, or sadness.



Once you have chosen a color palette, you can apply it to your pixel art by using various tools and techniques such as fill, paintbrush, pencil, eraser, eyedropper, etc. You can also adjust the colors later by using tools such as hue/saturation, brightness/contrast, color balance, etc. You can also use filters and effects to add some flair to your pixel art, such as noise, blur, glow, pixelate, etc.


Drawing




The next step is to draw your pixel art using basic shapes, lines, and curves. You can use various tools such as rectangle, ellipse, line, curve, polygon, etc. to create the outline and structure of your pixel art. You can also use grids and guides to help you align and position your pixels.


When drawing pixel art, you should follow some general principles:



  • Use simple and clear shapes: Pixel art is not about realism, but about abstraction and stylization. You should use simple and clear shapes that convey the essence of your subject, rather than trying to capture every detail and nuance.



  • Use minimal and consistent pixels: Pixel art is about using the smallest possible number of pixels to create the maximum possible effect. You should use minimal and consistent pixels that create a smooth and coherent image, rather than using too many or too few pixels that create a noisy and chaotic image.



  • Use clean and crisp edges: Pixel art is about creating sharp and crisp edges that define the shape and form of your subject, rather than creating soft and blurry edges that blend into the background. You should use clean and crisp edges that create a strong contrast and clarity in your pixel art.



Here are some examples of how to draw pixel art using basic shapes, lines, and curves:



Subject


Pixel Art


Explanation


Apple


The apple is drawn with a circle tool and a curve tool. The circle tool is used to create the main body of the apple, while the curve tool is used to create the stem and the leaf. The colors are chosen from a red-green palette.


Bird


The bird is drawn with a line tool and a polygon tool. The line tool is used to create the outline of the bird, while the polygon tool is used to fill in the colors. The colors are chosen from a blue-yellow palette.


House


The house is drawn with a rectangle tool and a triangle tool. The rectangle tool is used to create the walls, windows, door, and chimney of the house, while the triangle tool is used to create the roof. The colors are chosen from a brown-gray palette.


Shading




Shading is the process of adding light and shadow to your pixel art to create depth, volume, and realism. Shading can make your pixel art look more three-dimensional and dynamic, rather than flat and static.


To shade your pixel art, you need to consider the following factors:



The light source: Th


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