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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperArt (Moderator: JWK5)Pixel Art Improvement
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ATSalamanders
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« on: November 28, 2020, 02:45:58 AM »

Hello!

I'm quiet new to the forum but I've been stuck on something for a while. What do you think is the best way for improving pixel art? I know practice is very important and so learning, but sometimes I look at my art feel like I've reached all I'll ever be. Does anyone have any advice on improving your pixel art? I'm very hungry to grow into a better artist. I can give examples of my art if anyone is curious on my skill level, but it is quiet amateurish. Thank you!
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droqen
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2020, 06:12:00 PM »

I would say try new things you're interested in, take risks, become resilient to failure and try again!

What "improving" even looks like is very personal... I discovered I really loved 8x8 pixel art and have spent a lot of time just playing around in that space. It's very meaningful growth to me, but not something anyone would have suggested to me to 'become a better artist'.

- What art styles interest you? Study them, try to recreate them from scratch.

- What subjects interest you? (That is, what do you want to be able to show through pixel art?) Are you capable of doing so? Have you tried, and failed? What does failure look like, and how can you fix your failures?

- What looks amateurish about your art to you? How can you improve it?

I guess my overall advice for 'how to improve your pixel art' is 'ask better questions' - and that's not meant to be dismissive or rude.. Figuring out how to ask better questions is super valuable, and the act of doing so involves meaningful introspection and self-analysis.

You won't become a better pixel artist by aspiring to become a better pixel artist, you'll become a better artist by aspiring to become something specific. To some degree that means practicing a wide range of stuff to help you figure out what it is you want to become, and to some degree that means selecting one thing instead of letting yourself focus on everything.

It's possible to become better at everything too, but you'll only do that by becoming good at one specific thing at a time, and then repeating that until you're good at many things.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2020, 06:19:45 PM by droqen » Logged

goatonaboat
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2020, 03:25:50 PM »

I think that studying art fundamentals can help heaps. Many pixel artists go with it because they're programmers first and artists last - but the thing is you can still tell when pixel art is just a step above programmer art.

Study things like the building blocks of anatomy - literally. Gesture drawings, forming objects out of spheres and cubes, working only with dark and light. Reducing what you do to the bare minimum allows you to focus on the importance of just getting the feel, or vibe, of what you want to draw. After all, if you're working with an 8x8/16x16/32x32 pixel grid you really need to know how to use those pixels.

Also, ask for feedback lots but train yourself to not take critique personally. One big problem with pixel art can be that your drawing's intent can be clear as day to you, but look nothing like what you think to anyone else. It can be good to show people your sprites (maybe even animating) in a background for context, but not tell them what it is - see if it's obvious or not.

Also, in relation to above, practice animation alongside this. A lot of people get animation really wrong. Once again there are animation fundamentals, and plenty of Youtube videos that can explain them and give you useful animation exercises.
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droqen
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2020, 07:12:02 PM »

Dang. You know, I never think about it, but I started with animation before I could even draw anything to animate. (To be fair, I still feel like I can't draw anything to animate.) Just animated balls and lines and stuff in Flash. I don't know what the animation software landscape is like these days, but I think that was priceless experience.
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