ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Become a Pixel Artist

Updated on January 21, 2017
That Grrl profile image

Laura has been writing online since 1996. Her first content was sold to a print zine. She is a solo publisher of her own sites.

8 Bit Pixelated Flowers


Pixel art is an image drawn pixel-by-pixel using a limited color palette and usually primitive/ retro computer graphics tools. Microsoft Paint, a bitmap graphics editor, was a popular software for creating 2D sprites and pixel art.

Pixel art was used for 2D games. It's retro now. 3D games took over and there weren't many 2D games around any more. MapleStory is one which still uses pixel art. Computer icons and those tiny smiley graphics are also still created using pixel art.

Like ASCII art, pixel art is coming back into usefulness now that there are small applications (for mobile phones, etc.) which need simple art files and illustrations.

I've begun making pixel art. Mine is the size of icons. I've used some of my pixel art as favicons for my sites. It's interesting to work with pixels. You need a fairly steady hand, or the patience to go back over your work and remove tiny extra lines and pixels one by one. Most of the graphics software make it easy to fill in your colour. To make the more detailed art you need to pay attention to shadowing and light. Just as photographers and other graphic artists do.

Pixel art used for icons is much simpler. It's flat. You can use two basic colours, one for the outline to give it shape inside the basic outline and the other just to give it colour rather than leaving it black and white.

I'd like to do the more detailed pixel art. I've been working my way up to it. I'm not ready to share my early creations, they are a bit discouraging while I figure out the process and how to make the light and shadows work to give my graphics depth rather than just looking odd and warped.

My Pixel Art Avatars in Real Size and Enlarged

My Pixel Art Rose

Pixel Art Drawing Tutorial

Learn Pixel Art


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • SotD and Zera profile image

      SotD and Zera 

      8 years ago

      Sorry for the trouble! And thanks for the comment on my hub.


    • That Grrl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Brown 

      8 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      You're welcome Zera. (Both of your comments came through. I deleted the double).

    • SotD and Zera profile image

      SotD and Zera 

      8 years ago

      Even if they're being overtaken by other graphics, there's still a lot of charm in pixel art. Thanks for the roundup of resources!


    • That Grrl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Brown 

      8 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      Thank you. I love odd, vintage and unique art. Especially the simple stuff I can understand and work on myself. I'm good at ASCII art but I'm still getting the hang of pixel art. I've seen some amazing, very detailed art that makes me think I will never have a masterpiece of my own, but... that doesn't mean I have to give up on my little miniature masterpieces.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      8 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      I bet I could do this! I was an art techer before any of this was around and this would be all new for me. I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. I gotta give this an Up ONE AND BEAUTIFUL. I'm now your fan!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)