Tutorial for Drawing Animal Pixel Art

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Tutorial for Drawing Animal Pixel Art
You can trace over a real photo to create pixel art. (Hands on blue sky background image by Piter Pkruger from Fotolia.com)

If you love the look of pixel art, you could try your hand at making your own. Pixel art is a form of digital art that is composed of raw pixels and is usually drawn one pixel (a square that makes up images on a computer screen) at a time. The result is a drawing with crisp lines and vivid colours. Since pixel art can take on a whimsical and cute look, an animal would make a good subject for a pixel drawing. You can use even the simplest graphic editing programs to create pixel art.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Graphic editing program

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  1. 1

    Open Microsoft Paint or Apple Paintbrush on your computer. Open a picture of the animal you want to draw in the program to help you with the general outline of the pixel art. Make the picture larger or smaller by going to "Image" and then "Attributes" and typing in the size you want the finished pixel art to be. Click on "View", "Zoom" and then "Custom" to zoom in on the image.

  2. 2

    Choose black as the primary colour in your colour palette (the square on the top) and the "Pencil" tool from the toolbox. Outline the outside edges of the animal with black and clean up any other soft edges outside of the outline with the "Eraser" tool.

  3. 3

    Click on the colour palette and select a colour to begin colouring in the animal. You can also use the "Pick Color" tool (it looks like an eyedropper) and click on an existing colour within the animal picture to use it. Use the pencil or "Fill With Color" tool to fill in the entire outline with the colour. Leave small details like facial features in tact.

  4. 4

    Double click on the first colour in the colour palette to choose a custom colour. Move the arrow down the colour scale and choose a colour a few shades darker. Shade the edges of the animal on the inside of the outline for a more three-dimensional effect. Think about where the light will be hitting and shade on the opposite side as the light.

  5. 5

    Choose a lighter colour in the colour palette for the highlights. Place the highlight colour with the Pencil tool on the high points where the light would be shining. Use a dark outline colour (darker than the shading colour) to outline the facial features and other small details.

  6. 6

    Colour over the black outline with a colour a few shades darker than the colour you used for the shading to make the outline less stark. Save the pixel art animal when you are finished.

Tips and warnings

  • After each step, zoom out to check your progress and to make sure the pixel animal looks good in its actual size.
  • Save the pixel art animal frequently to avoid losing any progress.

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