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February 27, 2013
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Pixel Art Tutorial - Basics for Beginners by Gasara Pixel Art Tutorial - Basics for Beginners by Gasara
I've been asked rather a lot recently how I make my pixel art, what program do I use, how do I make avatars..? I thought about making a quick little tutorial explaining the hows of my pixel art but then it occured to me that some people might need a little more than that. Some of you might not have the first clue of what pixel art is or how you go about making it but still want to give it a go. This tutorial is for you guys. If you've played around with pixel art before or have read other tutorials then you probably don't need this but if you've never seen anything beyond someone's icon on dA then please pull up a chair.

I also just want to say please don't be put off by its wordiness. I'm a very visual person, I learn better from images and diagrams than descriptions, but for some reason my tutorials seem to end up as a wall of text. I think it's somewhat justified in this case as I've tried to explain things rather then just saying 'this is how you do it, you don't need to know why'. Sometimes that extra information can be beneficial.

I always think of Delia Smith in situations like this, when she started her How To Cook programme and spent half an hour explaining how to boil an egg. People called it condescending and ludicrous but the fact of the matter is if you don't know how to turn on a cooker and heat water to boiling point then simply telling you to 'put an egg in a saucepan of water and boil it for five minutes' isn't going to help you at all. Sometimes you really need to explain everything. I love you, Delia ♥

I really do hope some of you find this useful. Remember though that this is just a guide based on what I know of pixel art and how I work with it. You'll naturally develop your own techniques over time and how you colour will reflect how you might colour digitally or paint traditionally - and all of that is perfectly okay. Wonderful, really, because uniqueness is great. And like I mention in the tutorial, there are loads of other things you can look into if you're interested, such as anti-aliasing, isometric pixel art, creating palettes... There's so many great ways to work with pixel art, and so many wonderful things to create. So good luck, guys, and remember to have fun.

Oh, and if you create your first piece of pixel art using this tutorial then I really would love to see. Feel free to link to it in the comments so I can take a look. :tighthug:


--> Pixel Art: Basics for Beginners
--> Pixel Art: Animation for Beginners


I'm posting this tutorial up in time for Gasara's Birthday Celebration Contests. Hopefully some of you will be able to join me in making March pixelicious and joyous!
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Adzuma Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
can;t wait to break out the wacom tablet and give this tutorial a shot, just wondering though; Are you using the vanilla gimp, or are there some addons that i will need to have for this tutorial?
Gasara Featured By Owner 5 days ago
No, this is just the basic version. No add-ons, scripts or anything. :D
yusay Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014
This tutorial is awesome! You explain things very well :D I just have one question about moving the image in gimp though. I selected the picture with the rectangle select tool and then used the move tool to try to center the picture, but it moves the whole layer with it. Do you know how to move the image without moving the layer? ^^;
Gasara Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
When you move things in Gimp it will usually move the whole layer. You can reset the boundary of your image though so the layer edge matches up with the canvas edge again.

Simply drag your image as you have been doing. Like you mention, this will move the entire layer. Once you have your image centred click on Layer in the menu bar and then Layer to Image Size. This will change the layer boundary back to the edge of the canvas and your image will still be in the center. If you have a coloured background you can simply fill in any bits you need to with the bucket tool. 

Hope that helps!
Kawaii-KaguyaHime Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Student Digital Artist
thank goodness!
there's hardly any GIMP tutorials!
chazb22z Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014  Student
I'm such a noob, thank you sooo very much:happybounce: 
baileyjustin14 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014
baileyjustin14 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014
what size shoulfd the beginning pic be
Betherno Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014
Thanks for all the tutorials  i'm newbie with Gimp and i want to do awesome pixel art like u :D
Gasara Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014
You're absolutely welcome! I wish you all the best with your pixel art. :dance:
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