What is Pixel Art?

Pixel art takes many forms, and different artists would give different definitions, but it boils down to the fact that pixel art is forming graphics with raster image editors, basically working on the level of the pixel, the most basic element in a computer’s display. If a more specific, well-defined definition is wanted, then pixel art can be categorized by the colors it contains, how large the picture is and how it is used. Initially, pixel art was a way to make the colorful images in computer games without taking up too much space, and that’s how the various categories were born.

Nowadays, of course, computer gaming graphics have moved on from pixel art, but it is still rampant in cell phones and other handheld electronics. There are a number of people doing pixel art, but not many of them can draw the more detailed pixel art, and even fewer do professional pixel art.

All pixel art can pretty much be grouped as either isometric or non-isometric. With isometric graphics, the artist draws in 3D, with specific angles and projections, straight off, instead of going through 3D processes. That’s a lot of what games use, and all other dimensions of pixel art are non-isometric.

For those who just want to focus on the details, it is now quite popular to draw dolls. It’s isometric pixel art, but the base, maybe a head and a bust, are premade, and the artist just draws the face, hair, clothing and anything else they want to add. The best are the most accurate and original.

These “dollers,” as they’re often called, are not inept. Theirs is as much an art form as any other. It requires the same types of skills and original thinking. Anybody can do it, though, with practice, so you should try it sometime.

Pixel art covers a wide range of artistic expressions. At first, it was the only type of computer graphic available, but now it’s just one of the ways to make computer art, and it has many subtypes.

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