365 Days of Pixel Art

Ben Porter
Jun 25, 2015 · 1 min read

A year ago I started a pixel art club on Twitter called @Pixel_Dailies. Each day we (Dario and I) tweet out a theme and everyone spends a short time making some pixel art. We RT a small selection each day and a bot reposts them to a tumblr account. The goal of the group is to do at least one pixel art drawing a day.

It’s been a fun journey and I’m proud to have just finished my 365th pixel art for the group. You can view most of my drawings through Twitter’s search feature, but I’ve also included a few of my favourites below.

Bio: When I’m not pixelling, I try to make games. I’m currently working on a procedurally-generated adventure game called Moonman. Catch me over on Twitter at @eigenbom.

My first Pixel Dailies. Behold this abomination! :)
One of my first bigger pieces. It’s okay, but I’d improve it by removing a lot of the pixel noise, making the pixel clusters bigger, and shading it to define its form better.
I would love to implement this gameboy demake of Spelunky one day! Thanks to a RT by the Spelunky account this drawing reached a lot of people.
This sandworm required some isometric planning underneath. I was reading Dune at the time!
I would never choose such an awkward angle and perspective again!
I drew this after seeing a similar piece by Valery Kim. I had planned to turn it into a game for LD but made this instead.
Puzzle knight! This guy will appear somewhere in Moonman.
Book titles were generated from Seventh Sanctum.
I experimented with a different technique for this piece. I modelled a house in Blender, rendered it out, and then overpainted it. See this for more info.
This was probably my first glimpse into how bigger pieces can be constructed. Unfortunately being limited to an hour meant I couldn't refine it further.
Finally, I started to be more liberal with my colours :)
The thick outline style has been popular on Pixel Dailies, although I never really got a hang of it. See e.g., Joshua Skelton for someone who does it well!
The design is all Justin Chan, but it was nice to play with a cartoon shading and a small palette.
Using a combination of alpha layering, clamping colour count, and cleaning up the result, I got this decent eerie smoke effect.
Everyone loves the NES :)
Every so often we did a big collab with each member contributing a part of a whole. The @Pixel_Dailies iso town was my favourite. Check out the final town!
Sometimes I’d end up with something and I had no idea how I made it. This is one of those times.
We tried to do at least one “material” day a week (e.g., snow, dirt, rock, metal), to help improve our fundamentals.
Low-res pixel art can be just as fun as the more complex stuff :)
This was an overpaint of a poster. It’s fun to experiment with different methods of making pictures, and reducing a high-res image to a small readable piece of pixel art offers a few interesting challenges and learning experiences.
I’m happy to have invented a method of creating cute characters. Start with a low-res mockup, upscale it using an xBRZ algorithm, then start refining and refining and refining.
I’d improve this now by adding a lot more shading, to e.g., push the back legs further into the background. But overall I was pretty happy with this one.
Protip: add some stars and the word space and it’s a million times better. ;)
This was for a Pixel Dailies competition, which involved rolling 3 dice and choosing entries from a list. I rolled “Polymorphic Ninja from the Void” and came up with this .. thing. The H.R. Giger influence on my life is strong. My favourite was “The polymorphic hunter who liked Gems” by PD mod Dario.
See .. add stars and space and even some cheese is interesting. ;)
We also did one “study” a week, where we took an artist or pixel art concept and studied the technique, colours, style, etc. This week was to look at the phenomenon of shading and banding. The bottom-left pokeball suffers from banding.
It amazes me how much detail you can fit in a very small amount of pixels.
Ruined by the background, and the contrast needs some work, but this character has stayed with me and I’ve revisited him a few times since!
Also see Dwarven Knight v3, which is much better!
Another candidate that would make a fun demake, if only I had the time!
Some days I just didn’t have time, and so something like this only takes 5-10 minutes to make. It can still be a learning experience — in this case I thought it was a fun design.
More armadillo than wine barrel.
Fitting something detailed in 32 x 32 pixels sometimes seems impossible, but perspective helps to squish everything in.
This was a huge deviation from my typical style, but seemed to have a lot of fans.
I just managed to squeeze this end at the end of a long day. SotC is one of my favourite games and so I spent some extra time trying to do it justice.

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