How to Make a Pixel Avatar

Written by angela neal Google
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How to Make a Pixel Avatar
Draw one pixel at a time (High-tech pixelated backdrop. image by artcalin from

If you have signed up with an online community, then you will most likely want to upload an "avatar" as a visual representation of yourself. An avatar can be many different sizes and types. Pixel avatars are digital drawings that are created by drawing one pixel at a time, which look crisp and look more "boxy" or like a cartoon. You can turn a normal picture of yourself into a pixel avatar with some simple, free software.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Photo editing program

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  1. 1

    Open up Microsoft Paint"(Windows) or Paintbrush (Mac). You can also download a free program like Paint.NET (see Resources) to carry out the follow steps. Go to "File," "Open" and open the picture of yourself that you want to use in your avatar.

  2. 2

    Click on the "Select" tool. Click and drag your mouse to select the specific area that you want to use as your avatar, like your face, for example. Go to "Image," "Crop" in the top menu to isolate that area. Make the image smaller by going to "Image," "Attributes..." and then type in the size in pixels that your avatar needs to be.

  3. 3

    Click on the "Pick Color" tool (it looks like an eyedropper) and click on the area of your image to set the colour in your colour palette. Choose the "Pencil" tool and start tracing the outlines of your picture.

  4. 4

    Colour in the outlines by choosing the colour with the eyedropper and selecting the "Fill With Color" tool, or fill in more precise areas with the pencil. Your picture should look like you, only with more crisp lines and vibrant colours like a cartoon.

  5. 5

    Go to "File," "Save" and save your pixel avatar with a .GIF or .PNG file extension. These file extensions will make your image compatible with the image uploader on the website. If you save it as a .JPG, it will lose some of its clarity and the image won't be as crisp (like a pixel drawing should be).

Tips and warnings

  • Click on "View" and then "Zoom" to make it easier to add one pixel at a time.

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