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pixel art tutorial - for beginners and traditional artist

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avatar len-kun
Level 52 : Grandmaster Witch
1,108


i've been asked quite a bit how i do my pixel art, so

i wanted to do a tutorial! this tutorial is on
how to do my characters. ^^

here's what you need to follow along! ;



if you don't own Photoshop, there are some free trial's you can take
but it does cost money if you want to use it often. it cost around $9.99 a month. that isn't so bad?
but its totally worth it! you can do so much more then just pixel art :D

WARNING!: i use a Macbook, so some things with controls may
vary if you use a PC, but i'll try my best to explain it both ways!

now that you have what you need, lets get started!

for starters, just sketch out any character of your choice! (no need to have a finished character) after your finished,
snap a pic of it and send it to your Mac or PC through email (or AirDrop if you have an iPhone)

once done with that, open up Photoshop. before you open up your sketch, set the canvas size to
200px by 200px (250px if your sketch has more detail then mine) and just for example, the size of the image above is about 200px also!

start outlining the whole character with black or a dark color. (the outlined color can be changed later)
make sure your lines don't look like this, also! it makes everything look messy and unprofessional. xD


now you can start to add color! i usually just start with simple base colors (as you see in the image) and shade after i have it all planned out.
you don't have to do it that way, but it makes things easier for me. ^u^


now for shading, what i like to do with my base colors is to give them each 3 colors each, each darker or lighter
then the other. (this is just my opinion also, do it in your style!) but for example :

and just a small tip with hue and good-looking palettes to the eyes; try to keep within a couple colors and
dont make a bunch of new ones xD and for hue and palettes, make sure your colors are obviously deferent from the rest of your colors!
thats all i gotta say bout dat lol


congrats! you are all done! if you wish, now you change the color of your outlining! go up to select, and choose color range, use the first option that should say sampled colors then by using the eyedropper tool, select the color on either your canvas or hue cube. once its selected, go to edit and then select the color you want to replace it with with, once again, either your canvas or hue cube. feel free to now add little hearts, crop, a white outline to make it pop, do whatever you want!

i hope you all found this helpful! if you have any questions about how to do something, didn't understand, or something else, please let me know! i would also love to see your artwork if you followed this tutorial as well! thank you so much for reading, and have a great day!

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  • RubenVerg
  • Level 19
  • Journeyman Nerd
  • December 3, 2018, 7:32 am
wow, very helpful!
  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • December 3, 2018, 9:38 am
aahh im glad ! <3
  • TETQ
  • Level 14
  • Journeyman Unicorn
  • December 1, 2018, 2:38 pm
Ah, the sketch is Amazing!
  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • December 2, 2018, 8:34 am
awww thanks so much !! ♥
  • Nationwide
  • Level 45
  • Master Skinner
  • November 30, 2018, 4:06 pm
tysm for this wowzer i needed it
  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • November 30, 2018, 7:58 pm
hahaha hey its no problem! glad this could be of use <3
As a pixel artist myself, I have to say your work is great! Though, I use Aseprite rather than Photoshop, mainly because Aseprite was created specifically for pixel art.
  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • November 30, 2018, 7:58 pm
ahhhh thanks so much! <3 and yes, im only familiar with Photoshop, thats why i didnt suggest anything like that, but i've never heard of Asprite! :D i bet its fantastic !!
  • Pangamma
  • Level 54
  • Grandmaster Pixel Painter
  • November 30, 2018, 6:32 am
I love it. You are a true pixel art enthusiast and I appreciate that.
  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • November 30, 2018, 6:57 am
awww that means so much to me! thank you so much ♥
  • Eijirou
  • Level 22
  • Expert Button Pusher
  • November 29, 2018, 9:22 pm
Thank you Owo
Can i ask? Your skins are amazing!! Ive been thinking of making a fanskin of you?
  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • November 30, 2018, 6:56 am
its no problem at all! ahhhhh omg are you serious!!??? i would love that !!!
  • Eijirou
  • Level 22
  • Expert Button Pusher
  • November 30, 2018, 3:52 pm
okay ^^ i'll message you when im done
  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • November 30, 2018, 7:54 pm
awwWW THAANK YOu !!! ♥♥♥
  • CatGirlGamer
  • Level 21
  • Expert Skinner
  • November 29, 2018, 6:47 pm
i could legit do this in firealpaca like i don't need photoshop lol

but lit
  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • November 29, 2018, 6:55 pm
ohhh really? photoshop is the only software I know can do everything In the tutorial, so I have no idea what firealpaca can do! would you mind letting me know if it’s free and what’s in it? I would love to know an alternative program that’s free and can do the same instead of suggesting a monthly payment program lol ;)
  • CatGirlGamer
  • Level 21
  • Expert Skinner
  • December 1, 2018, 7:48 pm
it's free (so is medibangpaint which is like the same thing by the same creator but with minor differences)

and i tried making pixel art in firealpaca

and it's absolute trash maybe because i'm bad at art i don't know but still

but here's the website if you want it http://firealpaca.com

ive used it for a really long time so there's like no virus or anything

and i mean photoshop can obviously do a lot more but firealpaca is like kind of a less advanced painttool sai

here's what i made because i didnt have anything else to do and i couldnt go on the internet because it went out so i had to go from memory https://pasteboard.co/HPOQBGH.png it's not shaded yet oof

but i guess thats also proof of what firealpaca looks like and stuff too so woo
  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • December 7, 2018, 8:20 am
omg tysm!!! thats soo cool! and WOOW i love your art! its so amazing !!! <3<3
  • CatGirlGamer
  • Level 21
  • Expert Skinner
  • December 8, 2018, 8:04 pm
no its trash :(
  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • December 9, 2018, 9:15 am
heeey dont say lies to youself! every good artist always says that ♥ there is always room for improvement! <3
  • CatGirlGamer
  • Level 21
  • Expert Skinner
  • December 9, 2018, 12:42 pm
but i suckkkkkk even though what i sent you is pretty old art still
  • TsukiaKari
  • Level 48
  • Master Necromancer
  • November 29, 2018, 5:41 pm
yes
amazing as ever
glad you took my advice on tracing photos xD
  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • November 29, 2018, 6:51 pm
awww tysm!
and darn heckin! thanks so much! If you never showed me that, I would never be doing this! <3
what do you recommend for canvas size for icons? i'm trying to make myself one.
  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • November 29, 2018, 6:50 pm
ahh I see! well, any size works. It depends on the size of your character. maybe make the portrait on a 100px canvas if your going simple (200 is always a good size if more detailed or larger amount of pixels) then crop it or adjust afterwards.
thanks!

  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • November 30, 2018, 6:57 am
no prob! <3
Pixel art is not traditional art, it is pixel art.
These are not traditional arts, traditional arts are made more realistic.
  • CatGirlGamer
  • Level 21
  • Expert Skinner
  • November 29, 2018, 6:47 pm
the title is saying it's for beginners and traditional artists, not that pixel art is traditional art. :)
  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • November 29, 2018, 6:46 pm
yes, KittyCat12346 is correct. I did mean sketching on paper! very sorry for the miss understanding :)
i believe what they meant by traditional art is art in real life, like a sketch on a paper. it does not necessarily have to be realistic.
  • Momu
  • Level 43
  • Master Fox
  • November 29, 2018, 2:48 pm
Oh god I needed this! Lol I’m getting photoshop soon on my Mac laptop and I really want to get into pixle art. So I’m really happy. Thanks lennie ♥ (Can I call you lennie?? If not it’s ok xD I just thought of it)
  • CatGirlGamer
  • Level 21
  • Expert Skinner
  • November 29, 2018, 6:47 pm
lennie
lenny

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • November 29, 2018, 6:44 pm
ahhh I’m so glad! If you have any more questions, I’ve been doing photoshop for awhile, and I’d love to share my knowledge! And of course you can call me lennie !!! I love it ! ╰(*´︶`*)╯♡
  • Momu
  • Level 43
  • Master Fox
  • November 30, 2018, 3:09 am
Than I will be sure to come to you! ^^ your pixel art is just so darn cute and it looks so easy xD So why not try? (Yay, I thought that name really fitted you well. So I went with it x3)
  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • November 30, 2018, 6:59 am
sure thing! <3 and omigosh thanks so much! it takes a little while to get okay at it but its worth it! xD and yaaaass ive never been called lennie before so im a happy bean ! ~ ♥
omg thank you so muchhh <333 I just need to find an alt for photoshop
  • Mangled
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Meme
  • November 29, 2018, 2:45 pm
Actually, if you don't want to spend the extra cash on Photoshop, programs like GIMP work well for pixel art. :)
Thanks for the advice!
  • len-kun
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Witch
  • November 29, 2018, 2:20 pm
aww its no prob! and i wish i knew one, but i sadly dont xD
ooF

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