Pixel art is an artistic technique that has been around since the early days of computer graphics. It involves creating images pixel by pixel, using only a limited color palette and a grid to work with. Pixel art can be found in many classic video games, but it’s also popular among contemporary artists who create digital illustrations, animations, and even 3D models.

Drawing pixel art characters requires patience and skill. However, once you master the basic principles behind this style of illustration, you’ll be able to create your own unique characters easily.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps involved in drawing pixel art characters from scratch. We’ll explore each step in detail so that beginners can follow along easily.

Step 1: Choose Your Software

Step 1: Choose Your Software

To draw pixel art efficiently, you need specialized software designed for this task. There are several options available; some free while others require payment.

We recommend choosing one based on its features and user-friendliness as well as compatibility with whichever device or platform you’ll be working from.

One such software is Procreate- more commonly used by iPad owners- Though it costs $9.99 , Procreate comes packed with all required features needed for drawing minecraft-style character designs like layers tools etc.! Other notable ones include Aseprite (PC) ($14-$25), GIMP (Free), Piskelapp (Free), PyxleOS (Free) among others

Step 2: Sketch Out Your Character's General Outline

Step 2: Sketch Out Your Character’s General Outline

The first thing you need to do before going into any details is to sketch out your character’s general outline on paper or digitally using your preferred input device. This will give you an idea of how much space the character should take up and where it should fit within your defined canvas size which brings us straight talk about…

Canvas Size:
The canvas size determines how much resolution/detail/detail will go into i.e smaller canvases generally have less detailed characters whilst larger ones have the capacity for more detail.
It is advisable to pick a canvas between 128-pixels square and work your way up as you become comfortable with drawing pixel art!

Step 3: Fill In Your Character’s Base Colors

After sketching out the general outline of your character, you should then color it in. Gently fill pixels with various colors on individual layers , ensuring that each layer does not have any spaces or gaps before proceeding to colour any separate regions like hair skin & clothing stored on different layers.

Remember – even though these are base colours, always try sticking to a maximum of sixteen palette variations which would be available while shading later.

Multiple shades tend to create much greater contrast at once- letting things appear too sharp and distinguishable from one another!

Step 4: Add Shadows And Highlights

Lighting in Pixel Art is pivotal whether you want your character illustration highly detailed or likes its cartoonish basics only!
Add shadow by picking a darker version of the colour already used on separate parts (light source) such shadows must look uniform across all body part directions either coming vertically down or diagonally towards an object and moreover make sure they hit where shadows would likeenly fall!
When adding highlights which works opposite of shadows, wherever light sources hits directly adjacent to as it falls oppose adds brilliantly extra sparkle/details/ shining effect ypu can use lighter hue variation whilst keeping simillar tone range.

Tools come handy during this stages- Curves adjustment makes granular control over brightness/chroma layeing without distracting from seamless RGB set pattern
as lasso tools feature selectable polygon shapes that let us sky-dodge frustration selecting each individual pixel when selecting parts rather than manually picking them off screen takes forever with regular ways alone!

Lastly don’t forget immitating real-world physical properties here : depending upon materials shirts/skirts/hats/shoes might reflect/refract less/more light. Being on equal level with real light theory will make cg art phenomenal.

However, layering a darker overlay over all the new batch of highlights and shadows can preserve image’s integrity, delicacy & give the extra depth sensation

Step 5: Finish It Off With Extra Details

While this is already considered icing on top of icing.. Attention to details add subtle nuaceneshades not many pay get left out most of times.
To suit your character design style- ensure that you add propotionate detailing to hair strands, for instance if thats your thing or more detailed muscle lines as it fits.
This might seem like a pointless part when in actual fact most professional pixel artists always put time into checking each element to ensure they appear wholesome across devices/screens & deliver evenly
Including gestures facial expressions even microscopic detail attention layered last minute by veteran designers forms a signature mark which sets them apart from others! A good example being adding scars battle marks whatever fits your esthetic.


Drawing pixel art characters is an exciting adventure worth getting into! Taking baby steps through progressive iterations and consistent practice over extended periods ensures refinement over time , leading to becoming adept at creating wonderful and unique characters!

Remember- it won’t come easy but just like learning any other skill/technique requires patience and effort eventually. Try following these outlined steps consistently while experimenting along the way with additional ideas/ effects which catches your interest – what’s important is you keep practicing relentlessly until mastery hits doors!.