Saving and Exporting Pixel Art

This article was supported by Patreon! If you like what I’m doing, please consider supporting me there.

Also, this is the part 8 of a series of articles, read the whole series in the Pixel Grimoire. I’ll get a bit technical here so feel free to skip paragraphs of things you are not interested in.

Bitmap and vector

Let’s start talking about how images are saved in the computer. If we simplify a lot, there are basically two types of 2D image files: bitmap and vector.

Vector images are mostly a collection of points, line coordinates, and color information, which makes them very useful por creating images that can be rescaled into pretty much any resolution. The main drawback is that it’s hard to use it for detailed images like photos, and you have very little fine control on the pixel scale. While it’s possible to create something that looks like pixel art on vector, or exporting pixel art into vector format, it’s rarely done. …


Working with lines

This article was supported by Patreon! If you like what I’m doing here, please consider supporting me there :)

Also, this is the part 7 of a series of articles, read the whole series here in the Pixel Grimoire.

What are lines

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Phil explaining what lines are used for

Lines are one of the most important art tools ever invented, they are there to emphasize forms and contrast. You can’t see lines in the real world, but it’s something that helps us divide spaces, create texture and describe volume and direction.

In pixel art we have a very limited space in our screen. Since each pixel counts, lines can become very expensive. For this reason, if you’re working with a very low resolution it’s not very recommended to use lines in your pixel art. Even if you have some space it’s always a good idea to really consider each line and try to get away without using them. …


Basic Color Theory

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Also, this is the part 6 of a series of articles, read the whole series here in the Pixel Grimoire.

Understanding Colors

Even when using a pre-created palette we still need to think about the colors we are using. My main objective when it comes to colors is to do as much as I can with as little as possible. I’ll try to explain some characteristics and synergies between colors.

We can break colors down to 3 main aspects: hue, saturation, and value, or HSV for short. There are more ways to break down colors, like HSL, RGB, LAB, CMYK and many others, but I chose HSV because it’s a very simple and direct way of manipulating color when drawing. …


Basic Shading

This article was supported by Patreon! If you like what I’m doing here, please consider supporting me there :)

Also, this is the part 4 of a series of articles, read the whole series here in the Pixel Grimoire.

This article is a little longer and text-heavy than the previous ones, so buckle up!

How light works

We see things because of light, and when we draw something we are actually trying to represent how the light reacts to that object. …


Anti-Alias and Banding

This article was supported by Patreon! If you like what I’m doing here, please consider supporting me there :)

Also, this is the part 5 of a series of articles, read the whole series here in the Pixel Grimoire.

This is a slightly more complex theme, so the article will be a little longer and more advanced than the others. Don’t worry if you don’t understand it all at first, a lot of it is very subjective and opinions about anti-alias and banding differ vastly in the pixel art community.

I won’t go into software at first but focus on exploring and explaining these concepts. In the Now What?


A basic Aseprite animation

This article was supported by Patreon! If you like what I’m doing here, please consider supporting me there :)

Also, this is the part 3 of a series of articles, read the whole series here in the Pixel Grimoire.

What is an animation?

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The breakdown of an animation

An animation is an illusion of movement caused by a sequence of images played in a specific order that shows progressive phases of that motion. Our job as animators is to make that sequence look as convincing as possible.

The timeline

The fist thing we need to understand is the timeline. It’s a way to represent multiple images in a single file. …


Cluster sketching and painting

This article was supported by Patreon! If you like what I’m doing here, please consider supporting me there :)

Also, this is the part 2 of a series of articles, read the whole series here in the Pixel Grimoire.
I’m using Aseprite for this tutorial. In this article I’ll teach a technique for sketching and drawing pixel art that is similar to the process of a traditional painting. I usually call this technique cluster sketching, since I start with big color clusters and refine them until I’m happy with the result.

What is a cluster

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Some pixel clusters highlighted

A cluster, also called color cluster or pixel cluster, is a continuous group of pixels of the exact same color. There’s some debate whether they can connect diagonally or not. I believe they do connect, I call that a weak connection and I try to avoid them, but I don’t worry too much about it. …


An absolute beginner’s guide

This is a little article on how to start making pixel art, intended for those who are really starting out or never even opened a pixel art software. For now I’ll cover only the very basics, how to create a file, setup the canvas size, and work with a color limit.

This article was supported by Patreon! If you like what I’m doing here, please consider supporting me there :)

Also, this is the part 1 of a series of articles, read the whole series here in the Pixel Grimoire.

Before Starting

Before jumping into pixel art, remember: pixel art is just another art medium, like guache, oil painting, pencil, sculpture or its close cousin mosaic. To make good pixel art you need to be able to make good drawings. In general, this means studying anatomy, perspective, light and shadow, color theory and even art history, as these are all essential for making good pixel art. …

Pedro Medeiros

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