pixel art character drawing process

My current project, which is a story set within a computer game (see intro to it here), involves creating pixel characters. I’ve not made any pixel art before and it’s turning out to be a pretty fun way of drawing. I presumed that there would be technical, computer design type fundamentals to it but I was glad to discover that it is basically exactly the same as drawing with pencil and paper in that you start broadly and then refine until you’re happy. The only difference is that you’re working with a predetermined amount of squares. I expect I’d need to employ more graphic design tools if I was creating complex pieces but as I only need static individual objects it’s super basic. Here is process:

Firstly I’ve been sketching the character on graph paper, which has been helpful way to begin converting lines to squares. This isn’t a very good example, there are a couple of better ones at bottom of this post.

character sketch

Then I grab the area that the character needs to fit into from my backdrops, which are scanned paintings, and begin sketching as you would with a pencil.

pixel art 1

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intro to the next book

Work on my next picture book project is about to grind to a halt for a while, I cannot kid myself that it won’t, but I still plan to have the bulk of it done by the end of the year. As a little something of what it might be about, here is the first couple of pages turned into a teaser preview. *right click view image* will biggen it.


I’m going to complete the first third of it asap so I can try it on with some publishers before it gets shelved till July. It involves a lot of playing with pixels so I can do a couple more process type posts soon on what I have learned so far about that.

internet adventure part two

Here is part one if you missed it.

As you know (as you’ve read part one) we’ve just travelled from Lagos Nigeria to Wickenburg Arizona USA in search of both a haircut and the Mayor John Cook’s house, where there is a large outdoor entertainment area with a nice view. Presumably John Cook likes to barbecue. Hopfully we can catch him in the act of doing a barbecue.

john cookI’m guessing we’re after the non black and white John Cook who is wearing a hat, because he appears three times up in that screenshot there. Click on his little face.

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internet adventure live

Let’s go on an Internet Adventure in real time, like playing Animal Crossing. I’ve just decided this so I don’t know where we’re going. Big adventures start as small adventures usually so starting small is good. The smallest real life adventure you can go on is probably to the shops. The nearest real shops to me right now are in a transition period between being old shops and being new shops but let’s go to them on the internet anyways, there may be adventure to be had.

shopsThere’s no shopping to do here. I can no longer get my hair done at Hairtique, which is something that I never did. Maybe there is another Hairtique at which I can get my hair done.

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