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Pixel Art Tutorial- What the heck is pixel art? v1

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By Pix3M   |   Watch
Published: March 7, 2013
© 2013 - 2020 Pix3M
With groups like :iconthepixelartists: and :iconpixels-unlimited: in mind, I saw a need to make a more succinct version of that wall of text I made earlier.

Thanks to:

:icontheovision:*TheoVision For his starwars piece [link]
:iconsilverquetzal:=SilverQuetzal For her bird: [link]
:iconcyangmou:*Cyangmou For his apple: [link] (I took his ref picture as an example of an obivously-not pixel art example as well)
:iconjoruri-chan:=Joruri-chan For her Vaporeon icon: [link]
:iconladydeven:=LadyDeven For her frozen fish: [link]
:icon1sh0t:=1SH0T For her commissioned journal doll: [link]
:iconmodethewoulfie:*MODEthewoulfiE For her art of her fursona: [link]

Above works were used with permission.

And links to my own examples:
Demifiend icon: [link]
Adult Scootaloo: [link]
(The little pony-Curly sprite isn't uploaded to deviantart ^^;)

I will also be sure to make changes when needed. Any suggestions?
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anonymous's avatar
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pequechip's avatar
pequechipHobbyist Traditional Artist
Wich programm do you recommend?
OMadHatterO's avatar
I never saw the Downsampled example before, but I have to admit that if it was polished better it would have looked real rad. I am so sorry but your example doesn't do the justice to the character.
Dakaido's avatar
DakaidoHobbyist General Artist
Despite the fact that I have done pixel art for almost a year now this is actually pretty helpful and it made me think.
These are some of the pieces I've made through this last year:
Pixel - Cake by Dakaido (the first one ever)
Ketos by me by Dakaido (first icon)
Kyrian and the coffeecup by Dakaido (done in March)
Rhari and Me by Dakaido (first big linked icon - 100x100)
Ciaran by Dakaido (latest icon)

Would you call either of these Pixel art, Oekaki or mixed media art? :)
Btw, if you have any tips to how I can get better, I'm very open :)
The rest of my pixel arts (aside from a few hiding elsewhere, can be seen here: dakaido.deviantart.com/gallery…

EDIT: I work in sai, usually with several versions of the canvas showing, and I usually work in the window with 800 - 1600 zoom, depending on the size of the canvas ^^
Pix3M's avatar
Pix3M Digital Artist
Ultimately, terms are mostly just words to help describe patterns we see

Pixel art mostly talks about the sort of art where you neatly arrange individual pixels so IMO, calling them all pixel art is all fine
VirtualDesignerVixen's avatar
VirtualDesignerVixenHobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for making this :D!
Pix3M's avatar
Pix3M Digital Artist
Raidot's avatar
never mind i'm still confused...
Pix3M's avatar
Pix3M Digital Artist
Is there something you would like to ask to make it more easily understood?
xNedras's avatar
xNedrasHobbyist Digital Artist
Really, really great tutorial! I learned a lot.
RHLPixels's avatar
RHLPixelsProfessional Artist
This is just a fantastic tutorial. I fav'd it before I even read it, I already knew it was going to be great lol
addyk2003's avatar
I second this. If more people read things like this, they'd understand what Pixel Art means and stop for a moment before they level their work "pixel". :D
anatiidae's avatar
Great way of defining pixel art! Love it.
Felizias's avatar
FeliziasHobbyist General Artist
Erm, I have a question: If you use non-traditional media (e.g. opacity settings), what category can you use on DA? ^^;
There is a customation :pointr: icons category but what if it's not an icon? :?
Pix3M's avatar
Pix3M Digital Artist
As far as I know, the categorization is mostly a matter of just simple common courtesy, and letting a deviation be eligible for a DD.

I don't think the categorization system knows about 'fuzzy' pixel art that uses pixel art and other tools that don't belong to this medium. You can probably just put mixed media pixel art into the pixel art folder and nobody would probably care anyways..

Except for snobby purists...
Felizias's avatar
FeliziasHobbyist General Artist
Ah, ok. :P
I had one, two people hint me to this so I thought there might be a better way to deal with this. :XD:

Thanks anyway. :)
EquinoxTriz's avatar
EquinoxTrizHobbyist Artist


Cave Story..? >.<

DavellaHippygeek's avatar
DavellaHippygeek Digital Artist
Thanks so much for this! I want to get into pixel art and it's surpringly difficult to find a complete beginners guide.

This has helped so much :)
jasetro's avatar
jasetroHobbyist General Artist
Im actually making a tumblr about a knight named pixelboy....not much is know but it looks good
VranzTheBlighted's avatar
VranzTheBlightedHobbyist Digital Artist
This might come in handy ;)
Almadeia's avatar
AlmadeiaProfessional General Artist
Amen to this. It's annoying explaining pixel art to someone over and over again and keep submitting to the pixel art section of the group =_=
MiningForDegus's avatar
MiningForDegusHobbyist Writer
Hmm, it's a bit much to think about. I see I'll have to study this more.
maverickmam's avatar
maverickmamHobbyist Digital Artist
Is MS paint a good program for pixels?
anonymous's avatar
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