Whether you’re an art enthusiast or an avid gamer, it’s hard to deny that pixel art has been making a huge comeback in recent years. Reminiscent of old-school games, this minimalist art style is rich with nostalgia even today.
Of course, whether you’re creating sprites for your own video game or dabbling in a new art style, learning the ropes of this creative endeavor can be a challenge. How can you create art that packs a punch when you’re doing it with a bunch of squares?
We’ve put together a quick pixel art guide to get you started. Here are a few basic things to know about how to make pixel art.
Get to Know Your Medium
If you’re just starting to wonder, “What is pixel art, anyway?” it may be a good idea to get to know your medium first. Pixels didn’t become an art form until the early 1970s, though it didn’t begin to explode in popularity until the release of early PlayStation and N64 games.
As a budding pixel artist, take some time to check out both vintage and modern pixel art for inspiration as you define your style. Are you aiming to recreate the look of 8-bit or 16-bit graphics? What size do you want your pixels to be?
Get the Right Software
You’ll be happy to know that there are no complex tools required to make pixel art. In fact, all you need is a basic computer graphics program, and you can even find one for free online!
Note that all types of software, free or paid, will come with a learning curve. Take some time to get used to the program setup, including everything from pencil and line tools to the settings for aligning your artwork to a grid. You may need to watch a few tutorials to get the hang of it.
Diving in is the best way to enhance your skills! As with any type of art, it often helps to begin with a rough sketch before cleaning up the line art for more consistency. From there, you can introduce colors and shading to bring your creation to life!
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help
As you learn the ropes, consider finding an online mentor who can help or taking a class to get inspiration. This is especially true if you don’t have a background in art, as it can help to know the fundamentals of lines, colors, and shading before you jump into making pixel art.
If you’re hoping to create pixel art fast, you may even want to contact a pixel artist for hire to get your hands on the finished product in less time. As you improve your skills, you can always create your own projects down the line.
Know the Basics of How to Make Pixel Art
Whether you want to dive into the nostalgic world of this classic style or create a retro game of your own, knowing how to make pixel art can help. Like any style, taking some time to practice is crucial. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different ideas and techniques as you learn!
Want more tech tips and guides? Be sure to take a look at our other content for additional advice.