marthalaufejart pixelart beach

It is not easy to create a graphic from small pixels. As a child of the late 80s, the “college block” with boxes was my playground for drawing and building such pictures. This preliminary exercise made it easier to understand these pixel-constructed graphics and I quickly had my first successes in working digital. Hope you enjoy my quick Photoshop Pixelart Tutorial. Feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel and add me on DeviantArtTwitter. Okay, let’s start with this Adobe Photoshop Tutorial! First of all, you need to subscribe to Adobe to get Photoshop for Windows or Mac.

  1. Step: Select “File” – “New one” – and name your new file, like “testpixelartsomething“. Then change the point “unit” to pixels – resolution 72 (web) and size: 100 x 100 keep the other settings the way they are and click create
  2. Enlarge that tiny canvas in PS. Let’s give ourselves some orientation. Set up a grid by clicking on the menubar point “View” – “Show” – “Grid“. 
  3. Edit the grid to an appropriate match to your canvas: Go to “Edit” – “preferences” – “guides grids and slices“. Now you will be able to see the grid modification section. Change the gridline given to 1 pixel instead of inches, because we created a pixel-based canvas for pixel art. Quite obvious, right? Set the subdivisions down to 1.
  4. If you wish to change the colour of the gridlines, that’s up to you. I like to work with some blue but maybe you like black better. Choose your favorite and click the tab on the left “general”.
  5. Image Interpolation: This part is responsible for smoothing your drawn outlines. In pixel-art, we want hard edges, because we set the shadows by doing pixel by pixel. For hard edges, you need to set this to “nearest neighbour”.
  6. Click ok. Congrats, this is the setup for your first pixel-art! 🙂

Let’s start our artwork:


  1. Create a few new layer and test your new technique to create art:
  2. Use the Pencil tool (found under the brush tool) you can change the brush size by doing right click and change preferences in the menu popping up. Choose a square-like pen here.
  3. When you are done drawing your pixel-art, use the crop tool to reduce the size of the unused empty canvas background or keep the scenery you just draw (with background).
  4. Choose the final size of your image: Go to the menubar on top and click on “Image” – “Image size” – choose “pixel” and choose once more “nearest neighbour” and pick a size you wish to use. Hit ok and save it as a .PS file and .png.




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