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ASCII art tutorial 1.0

By diamondie
162 Favourites
I've been working on this tutorial since May or June, but multiple things have caused delays and I was only able to finish it now. Click the Download to Desktop button to view the tutorial, which is a single HTML file without any images, besides the inline ASCII pictures of course. The title image is made with FIGlet, except for the border.

I've changed the structure of the tutorial multiple times and I hope it's clear enough now. There are surely some errors in the information, so feedback and corrections are appreciated. I'm afraid the HTML isn't too pretty, I might fix that in the future.

I've decided not to include any links in the tutorial, because they would go stale eventually. It's easier to edit the description field than the actual file, so I provide a few pointers here. Most of the things mentioned in the tutorial (such as software, fonts and definitions of words) are easy enough to find with Google.

:bulletred: The ASCII tutorial in Spanish, kindly translated by =jSepia
:bulletred: My ASCII art website
:bulletred: ASCII art on DeviantART
:bulletred: JavE
:bulletred: The history of ASCII art, mirrored here

Most ASCII pieces in the tutorial are mine, the rest are used with permission. Unfortunately I've had to leave out a few pictures that I couldn't obtain a permission for (the author was unreachable or didn't reply to my email), but I provide links to them. Here's also a link to `nemoorange 's great piece used in the tutorial, so you can view it as intended and comment on it.

:bulletred: Echidna by Andreas Freise (for the "Textures and materials" section)
:bulletred: Dolphin by Donovan, scroll down the page (for the "Camelized" section)
:bulletred: It Figures by `nemoorange
© 2004 - 2021 diamondie
anonymous's avatar
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ED-127's avatar
  CCC                 l  !!!
C                       l  !!!
C        ooo  ooo   l  !!!
C        o  o  o o   l
  CCC  ooo  ooo   l  !!!

FangirlofArt's avatar
I don't know if you're aware, but you have a drawing on your home page called "babushka" that depicts a "matryoshka". "babushka" means grandma or old lady. "matryoshka" is the name of the toy.

Feel free to ignore this message if you where aware of this beforehand.
kittenken's avatar
Thank you so much for this!!!! I've been looking for a tutorial on how to do this FOREVER
HeatCrystal's avatar
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Nighteba's avatar
I turned my screen upside-down & still can't see what you tried to draw...
leehaneul's avatar
spaghetti-legs96's avatar
MichaelOSullivan's avatar


MichaelOSullivan's avatar
_____ ___ ____




looks like i need some help :-)
MichaelOSullivan's avatar
Nice tutorial!

Just stumbled across
it, will help me make
some ascii pictures of
my own i think :-)


_____ ___ ____
| | | | _|
| | | |_ |
MentlegenJack's avatar
Oooh.... an ASCII tutorial. You don't get a lot of these avidly advertised on the web. I don't do a lot of ASCII art myself. But i took a look at your tut and it is a very neat tut. I mostly looked at the pictures, some really amazing ASCII art in there.

Here is some love, just because there is not enough love comments on here :D
AnimeLuver25's avatar
Very good tutorial. I feel stupid asking this, but how do you type a line like this "|" in Courier New? I think there's something I'm missing. (I copied and pasted that one)
anit0523's avatar
Do you mean the shift+slash? | Right above the enter key. It looks like an elongated colon, but its actually a straight line. It should be the same in courier, i think. |||
diamondie's avatar
It depends on your keyboard. :-> I'm using a Finnish keyboard, so for me the pipe character is produced by Alt Gr+<, but it's in a different key in the U.S. keyboard (and most other keyboard layouts) and I can't remember where it is.

Thanks for commenting.
Sushimitzu's avatar
Awesome tut, keep it up :> Also there could be some more examples. ._.
diamondie's avatar
Thanks. You're right that the tutorial could be more conclusive and have more examples. I've been supposed to revamp it for a few years, but other stuff has always come in the way...
supersmilehappy's avatar
very interesting, just found out this was an actual artform, but how do those things that are copy pasted with chain letters, you know the footprints, the heart, the rose, how do they fit in?
diamondie's avatar
Usually those pictures use proportional fonts like Arial (and often contain non-ASCII characters). Many people consider them to be ASCII art, even though technically they are not. Pictures drawn in Arial used to be called "AOL macros", which is because they were used in an AOL webchat (or forums?) which used this font.

I once got commissioned by a PR agency to draw Mona Lisa in Verdana (another proportional font). I had never tried drawing in a proportional font before - it's quite difficult to make something like Mona Lisa. Sadly the project was cancelled. I think it would have been for Microsoft.
supersmilehappy's avatar
wow too bad the project was canceled, that must have been a shiton of money you missed out on
diamondie's avatar
Yeah... It probably would have been a decent amount of money (especially considering my very low income). I try not to think about that too much. ;-P
supersmilehappy's avatar
well you have a lot of talent, mabe ull get another job like that soon
danielnikolic's avatar
A blast from the past, brings up nice memories...
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