Graphics I started learning pixel art, but does it look right?


Hello! I started learning some pixel art techniques and working with Asesprite to animate them. This is the first iteration I made, back before I realized it's easier to just stick with 4 directions instead of jumping straight into 8. (You may have to zoom in a little, I'm running the game in a 320x180 resolution and these sprites are 14x18 in size 😬.)

So yea, very minimal. Just a person with a jumpsuit, helmet and purple shades. I wanted to improve the design and after hours of watching other artists give tips and offer advice I sat down and made something a little better...I think 😁

Waaay more shading, maybe more than what is needed for a 16ishx16ish sprite, but it's somewhat of an improvement. I changed the clothing color and went with less saturation, and a risky move, no outline. I'm very pleased with the Down animation, it just feels right. From there it feels less cohesive. On the Up animation the back of the head doesn't look right, and I feel like the shading for the light reflecting off the helmet isn't what it should be. The side profile gives me the worst feeling. The face seems so different along with the shading on the helmet, and the leg animation look muddled. I did spend a lot of time on this, and I'm not sure if it's just fine, a few pixels away from looking great, or I'm in way over my head and should just stick to simpler art for the time being. Right now it feels like all 3 are true 😅

EDIT: Here's a blown up version I roughly made into gifs so you can see them better:
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Another hint, slightly change hues when drawing darker/lighter colors, it makes the Sprite more lively. Again, you can find these hints in dedicated pixel art sites, they are full of tutorials. Avoid YouTube vids, they fail to convey as much info as a well written article.


I read a few more articles tonight and tried a slightly larger size (32*32) I haven't tried animating it yet but the shading looks way better. The Hello sticker was just for fun 😄


When working on humanoids in the 16 pixel range one decision you have to make which impacts the look quite a bit is: odd pixel width or even pixel width? With an odd-width character you can separate the legs with one pixel, but the eyes need to be separated usually with either one pixel or three pixels (depending on how you do proportions). With an even-width body the eyes can usually be put two or four pixels apart, but you must use a two-pixel gap between legs.

(I prefer odd pixel width. And in the outlines vs no outlines debate I tend to go with outlines.)


most of the time id say a good written article can be perfect for learning stuff. but looking at your art id reccommend "pixel pete" on youtube his got some real great video on youtube.

and its actually how i learned how to pixel. id go over alot of his videos. theres so much great info from making palettes to how to do outlines properly, to perspective and shading techniques.

cant really go wrong. it will give you some foundation skills and then u can move onto some well written tutorials. or learning by watching what others have drawn and how they conveyed certain things.

carnivac on pixeljoint used to do some terrific work with limitied palettes. his also got a deviant art account but his username is different there. might come up in a search if u search "hero celestrial force". the guy always put down his work as not being very good or valuable. but to this day im yet to see anyone do it better then him.

p.s. i know alot about him cause ive followed his work for many years. ive chatted with him privately. and. even seen work he hasnt released publicly.


The shading in your latest piece could use a fair bit more contrast, you can barely see the different colours unless viewed up close. Very common with beginners, perhaps due to lack of confidence in the detailing. With bolder colour choices, any problems with shading and details will be more apparent, but the sprite will look a lot more interesting once they're fixed.

The visor in particular could benefit from a stronger highlight to give a more shiny effect.


🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
It's almost always better to have fewer colors but space them further apart so every color sticks out. I didn't even realize your sprite had 3 different blue shades for the shirt until I tried pasting it into GIMP, it's so flat it looks like one shade of blue at first glance. You're just wasting effort on details the player won't ever notice right now.

Also, try to avoid 1-pixel-wide lines. When doing any sort of animation with them, it's really easy to make them look broken and ruin the sense of direction. Always make arms and legs at least 2 pixels wide.


Hopefully I'm not stepping on toes here, but I made some quick edits to your latest sprite to show some things I would change personally. I kept it as close to the original as I could in terms of design, pose and light source.

space officer sprite edit.png
- The head was brought down closer to the torso to make it a bit more top down looking, which I assume was the original intention based on the 4-way movement in the first post.
- The colours use a bit of hue shifting, which was suggested by vdweller. There are also 6 less colours overall.
- The limbs were made 1 pixel thicker, which was suggested by Yal.

Overall, the end result gives a bit of a different style, which comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer the 1 pixel wide limbs look, it's actually sort of popular. Hopefully you get some ideas from this example, and if you like it, feel free to use it, or edit it however you want.
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