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    • I’ll elaborate more on how to prepare a canvas for pixel art in a separate thread, but I set up this one at 384 x 256 pixels (256 is about the pixel density - on average - of a high fidelity NES or low fidelity SNES game).

      Now it was time to drop pixels! There are lot of programs you can use for this, but I use photoshop since it lets me manage/change colors very easily via layer effects.

      There aren’t any special tricks here, at least not that I use. It’s kind of a grind, but I just work on carving out the shapes with pixels, using the sketch I created as a visual guide, until the figures look complete. It takes many hours, which is why I like to keep the palette somewhat limited: maybe 2-4 colors for the uniform, 2-4 colors for skin tone, etc. Too many colors or layers can also dilute the sharpness of the pixel art and just make it look like a blurry or lo-res photo.

    • With the figures done, it became obvious the background needed a lot of love to make this come together. I added texture by drawing a bunch of horizontal lines with my pixel brush and then sort of erratically erased away parts of them with my 1px eraser tool to create a random, gritty texture.

      I did that a couple times with a dark and light color for both the dirt and the grass to give it depth. Then I cheated a little bit by adding a radial gradient to the base layers to create a nice, but subtle vignette to further focus the eye in the center. Then I added the chalk lines and home plate, but it didn't quite feel done yet.

    • The figures and the background didn’t quite feel connected. In order to ground them in the scene, I added in some shadows, dust, and dirt particles. I also softened the area where the dirt met the grass by erasing and adding pixels so it was no longer a sharp edge.

      At this point, it felt like all the pixels were in place, so I after some final adjustments to the colors, it was done!

      I really like this piece a lot. At the time, I was doing mostly pixel animations like this one, which is a whole different process, and even more time consuming, so this was a nice and refreshing departure from that. Now I do a lot more static compositions like this since they can be framed and put on the wall.

    • Amazing!

      I really enjoyed learning about your process. Whatever skill it is that enables people to start with a white screen and add pixels to it until it's art is a skill I don't have, so seeing the steps you took from inspiration to final work is really cool for me.

      It's clear you've put a ton of time and effort into this. What was it that drew you to pixel art in the first place?

    • Thanks Ryan! I grew up on Nintendo and Sega, so that was an obvious place where my interest in pixel art started.

      I've also always wanted to make my own little worlds, whether it was through drawing or illustration, and so when I saw this video a few years back, I thought to myself, "hey, I could do that!" Pixel art seemed like a great outlet for this.

      So I tried it out and I haven't stopped since!

    • This is AMAZING!!! This conversation should be in some hall of fame. It's incredible that anyone can do this, especially with a photograph having so many details of wrinkles in the uniforms, etc. 😲

    • This truly is a work of art! What strikes me the most, when looking at this masterpiece, is the attention to detail to each and every pixel. In our design world we talk about this concept a lot, but it is a “proverbial pixel”, here it is an actual one.

      The process, the composition and the entire concept of your work speak volumes about your talent as an artist 👏

      Please share more of these visual delights 😉

    • Thanks Chris! It's definitely easy to get lost in the monotony of those little details, but it can also be kind of fun and meditative too. And the end result usually makes it worth the effort.

    • Thanks Vilen! Appreciate the kind words. Doing pixel art has definitely given me a new appreciation for each and every pixel in other design work. I'll definitely post more process write ups soon.