Doing Pixel Art Is Fun (You Like It Too?)

I read some tutorials about pixel art and got my mouse ready to do some painting in Gimp. After spending this day to draw some stuff, I must say that I kind of like doing this stuff. It takes ages to draw, and I have no clue about how to get the stuff look neater… but it’s bloody fun.

Here’s first arctic scientist (don’t know how much time this took… 30 minutes? Hour? Who knows, lost track of time)

After reading some more, and attempting doing bit more detailed stuff, I managed to get this done (in maybe about 90 minutes, including some web browsing in pixel art gallery):

The larger version is bit blurry, depends on your browser capabilities. Okay, scaled these in Gimp.

Next step me thinks is to try and see if I can somehow animate one of these poor bastards. I intend to first try drawing the animation as explained in this tutorial and see how much time that takes.

I believe this will be sufficient at least for the prototype.

Anyone else like to do pixel pushing? I enjoyed this.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. @Saul: It’s Gimp. I just moved layer panel left side to the drawing panel.

    @Leroy, eh… I disabled mic. And dunno how to get sound using screenr.com

  2. @Juuso:
    What is the program you used in the clip for the ice traveler? It doesn’t look like gimp

  3. @Saul: here’s how I did it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRI5IfDgR0E (although I actually was too focused on the video and ended up cleaning the sketch way too late :))

    Here’s some robot art just for learning:

    Please notice that these aren’t “how to” videos… it’s just how I did this stuff – and I need to learn a lot about how to do coloring. You are probably much better off by checking out tutorials.

    @Leroy: looking forward to it :)

  4. Argh, again… the anonymous above was me. Drawing pixel stuff between programming sessions is a nice change.

    Never had gimp dying for me. Bad luck!

  5. How about sharing the tutorials you used? Or are they from your previous post about pixel art? Also, why not post a short video or a post with images about your process for creating these little guys?

  6. @David: scaled…

    @Fili: :) I’ve come to use layers. Tons of them. With (somewhat) proper names. Makes life easier.

    @Leroy: Thanks! Care to show what you were cooking…? :)

    @Ano: Yeh, between programming sounds good. That’s what I try to do (although getting a bit carried away right now as trying to learn as much as possible)

    @Simon: Yeh, there’s many good things about pixel stuff. You really pay attention to colors and stuff. And ponder how to do the details… and where shadows go and on and on. I also like to use paper sketch, but not necessarily scanning anything (I like drawing by seeing a reference). I too will see if I will do pure pixeling or whether I shall use some filters or anything to get stuff to look nice.

    It’s not so much that I’d wanna specifically do pixel art… I just think it looks cool. And I want to look stuff that looks cool (of course I must have fun while doing the art)

  7. Pixel art is fun, and is a great way to learn about shading, color palettes, effects of different colors on the eyes, outlines, etc. Pixel art actually helped my artistic sense in a way that might have taken longer if I had chosen the traditional route.

    Whilst ‘pure’ pixel art is fun, getting to do ‘pure’ pixel art for ‘large’ projects can be a bit daunting (although still insanely fun). I prefer sketching everything out on paper, scanning it in, then finishing it up in GraphicsGale. Sometimes, I even create basic 3d models to get perspective, proportions and shading right without having to calculate it.

    Might be considered lazy, but it makes your pixel work much faster as you can just ‘fill in the blanks’ more or less.

  8. These do look nice. My wife likes doing some pixel stuff between programming, as to not doing one of these all the time…

  9. Awesome work dude, love pixel graphics. I did some pixel art stuff (Atari 800 style) a week or so ago, was a lot of fun trying to visualize something in such a stylized / simple form.

  10. Oh, forgot to mention: I like the second guy, he has a relaxed pose and lots of details.
    Instead of using the browser to resize the image, you should do it by hand. This way you are sure that everybody sees the same thing.

  11. OMG I hate pixel painting so much! So many hours spent in MS Paint doing characters pixel-by-pixel… After that I’ve discovered Photoshop and everything got easier: for characters larger than 48×48 I find useful to do a 3D animation and then paint over the pixel art. This way you keep your characters in sync. I tend to “drift” some features from frame to frame and after 5 frames I find the shoulder in places where it shouldn’t be :)

  12. If you want to make nice large pixeley images in GIMP, just use Image>Scale or the scale tool and set the Interpolation to “None”

    Looking good!

  13. That looks pretty good already.What I would suggest though, is getting a dedicated pixel program.Personally I am heavy into ProMotion from cosmigo, and GrafX 2, GraphicsGale is also recommended.The big advantage is that these tools are uncluttered and give you all you need to focus on pixeling, without the cluttering menues and stuff.Actually I find it much easier and relaxed working with those pixel tools, as they make building gradients and palettes so much more intuitive and efficient.

  14. Really good for your first attempts!

    I gave pixel art a try some time ago, mainly for mechanical objects (tutorial: http://bit.ly/9TdKFQ ). Drawing pixel art is really fun but also time consuming (results: http://bit.ly/aPEAal ).

    Nevertheless, writing/drawing a game with old-school-16-bit-era graphics would be great! There is so much more love in pixel art than it is in rendered 3D meshes.

Comments are closed.