- What is Pixel Art? (Pixel Art vs Oekaki Pixel) thepixelpalace.deviantart.com/…
So we know what pixel art is. Great. But now how do you shade pixel art exactly? Can you just swipe your pencil tool over the image like you do with a brush tool in order to create shadows?
As we recall, real pixel art involves the careful and thoughtful placement of most, if not all, of the pixels in the image. So we need to know the correct way to add shadows and highlights to our pixel masterpieces, yes? Well here is one way to shade pixel art:
Dithering is when you pixel two or more colors in a pattern to give them a blended look. You can dither with any two colors and it will always turn out right if you do so properly. So, how do you dither? Take a look at this very basic and easy-to-understand tutorial by kitted on dithering basics:
As you can see, the two colors are pixeled in a checkerboard-like pattern until they look evenly blended. This is a main distinction of dithering, and it is pretty easy to do. Also, you do not have to dither in straight lines either. As long as you keep the pattern consistent, you can curve your dithering to fit the object you are shading. Here a great tutorial by Sinister-Starfeesh on circular dithering:
Here is a piece by ShoneGold that showcases different dithering styles:
And here are some helpful tips from ToySkunk about regular and irregular dithering and the dangers of pillow shading:
Beware of pillow shading! Pillow shading makes your pixel piece look flat and fake due to the center position of the light source. Many starting pixel artists use pillow shading without knowing it, and then wonder why their piece looks kind of... ew.
When adding shades and highlights to your pixel art, try to use a light source that shines from an angle or anywhere other than directly into the middle of the pixel. Doing this adds a touch of realism to your piece. Here are some handy pillow shading tips by nekkers :
And last but not least, here are a few other forms of pixel shading:
And make sure to check out this helpful compilation journal by !
PE: Pixel Art TutorialsSo you have discovered the wonderful world of pixel art and want to create your own But you don't know where to start or what techniques you might need to learn. This article will give you some tips and tutorials to help you on your way. Some links in this article do go off-site, as a warning.
Do I need a special program?
No! Something as simple as Microsoft Paint, Paint Shop Pro or the Gimp, all of which are free, are all you need to start with pixel art. Well, that and a mouse/touchpad (and a computer ). Photoshop can be used to pixel as well, but it is costly, so unless you plan to use Photoshop for a multitude of digital media, it isn't the best investment for pixel art.
Free downloads of MS Paint and Paint Shop Pro can be found here: http://www.bunnystick.com/tdlc.html
What are some useful Pixel techniques?
When it comes to shading, both dithering and anti-aliasing (often called AA-ing) are your best
If you find any other useful pixel art tutorials on dA, feel free to submit them to the group's Pixel Art Tutorials folder!