How to Create Pixel Art in Krita: A Fun and Family-Friendly Guide

Unlock Your Creativity with Pixel Art in Krita

Are you ready to delve into the world of pixel art and create stunning visuals using Krita? Look no further! With this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you step by step through the process of creating pixel art in Krita. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, this article will equip you with all the tools and techniques you need to bring your pixel art to life.

Kickstarting Your Pixel Art Journey

Before we dive into the tutorial, let’s understand what pixel art is and why Krita is the perfect tool for this artistic style. Pixel art involves creating images by placing individual pixels to form a larger composition. The result is a charming and nostalgic visual style reminiscent of classic video games and digital art from the past.

By using Krita, a powerful and free open-source software, you’ll be able to unleash your creativity and explore various techniques to create pixel-perfect masterpieces. So, let’s get started!

Understanding the Basics of Krita

Krita is a versatile digital painting software that offers a wide range of tools and features tailored specifically for artists. With its intuitive interface and powerful capabilities, Krita provides the ideal platform for creating pixel art. Before we start creating pixel art, let’s familiarize ourselves with some essential tools and settings:

The Pixel Brush

The Pixel Brush is a specialized brush in Krita that allows for precise pixel placement and control. Its small tip size and ability to snap to the grid make it perfect for creating pixel-perfect artwork. Experiment with different brush sizes and settings to find the one that suits your style.

The Grid

The Grid is a useful tool in Krita that helps align and create pixel-perfect art. By enabling the grid, you can ensure that your artwork follows a consistent grid pattern, which is crucial for achieving clean and well-defined pixel art. Customize the grid settings according to your canvas size and desired level of detail.

The Color Palette

A carefully chosen color palette is essential for creating pixel art. In Krita, you have the freedom to create your own custom color palette or use pre-existing ones. The Color Palette Docker allows you to save and organize your favorite colors for easy access. Experiment with different palettes to find the perfect combination for your artwork.


Layers are a powerful feature in Krita that allow you to work on different elements of your artwork separately. By separating the different components of your pixel art into individual layers, you can make adjustments and add details without affecting the rest of the composition. Take advantage of this feature to achieve more flexibility and control over your artwork.

Now that you’re familiar with the basics, let’s dive deeper into the process of creating pixel art in Krita. Grab your digital canvas and let your imagination soar!

A Step-by-Step Tutorial: Creating Pixel Art in Krita

Step 1: Setting Up Your Canvas

Before you start creating your pixel art masterpiece, it’s crucial to set up your canvas with the right dimensions and settings. Follow these steps to ensure you have the perfect canvas for your artwork:

Create a New Document

To create a new document in Krita, go to the “File” menu and select “New” or use the shortcut Ctrl+N. This will open the New Document dialog box.

Choose the Dimensions

Enter the desired width and height for your artwork in pixels. Keep in mind that pixel art is often created in small sizes, such as 32×32 or 64×64 pixels, to maintain the retro feel. However, you can choose any size that suits your vision.

Set the Resolution

Set the resolution to 72 pixels/inch (ppi). This resolution is suitable for screen display and ensures that your artwork looks crisp and clear.

Select a Transparent Background

If you want your artwork to have a transparent background, make sure to select the “Transparent Background” option. This allows you to easily overlay your pixel art on different backgrounds or combine multiple pieces of pixel art seamlessly.

Create Your Canvas

Click “OK” to create your canvas with the specified dimensions and settings. Congratulations! You now have a blank canvas ready to be filled with pixel art.

Step 2: Choosing the Right Colors

Colors play a crucial role in pixel art, as the limited color palette adds to its charm and simplicity. It’s essential to choose the right colors for your artwork. Here’s how:

Open the Color Docker

In Krita, the Color Docker is where you can access and manage your color palette. To open it, go to the “Settings” menu, then click on “Dockers,” and finally select “Color”.

Create a Custom Color Palette

One of the advantages of working in Krita is the ability to create your own custom color palette. This allows you to select colors that resonate with the style you want to achieve. To create a custom color palette, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the “New Palette” icon in the Color Docker. This will create a new palette with a default name.
  2. Double-click on the palette name to rename it according to your preference.
  3. Click on the “Edit Palette” icon to start adding colors.

Select Colors for Your Palette

When selecting colors for your palette, consider the overall mood and style you want to convey in your pixel art. Experiment with different hues, saturations, and values to find the perfect combination. You can manually input specific color values or use the color picker tool to select colors from an existing image or artwork.

Save Your Color Palette

Once you’re satisfied with your color choices, it’s essential to save your palette for future use. To save your palette, click on the disk icon in the Color Docker and choose “Save Palette”. Specify the location and name for your palette file, and click “Save”. You can now access your custom palette anytime by loading it into the Color Docker.

With your color palette ready, let’s move on to the next step and start sketching your pixel art.

Step 3: Sketching Your Pixel Art

Sketching is an important step that lays the foundation for your pixel art. It helps you plan the composition, define shapes, and establish the overall structure of your artwork. Follow these guidelines to create an outline or rough sketch:

Select the Pixel Brush

The Pixel Brush is perfect for sketching pixel art due to its small tip size and precise control. To select the Pixel Brush, click on the Brush Presets Docker and choose the appropriate brush from the “Pixel Brushes” category. Alternatively, you can create your customized brush using the Brush Editor.

Choose a Color for Sketching

Select a color from your palette to start sketching. It’s a good practice to use a color that stands out from the background, making it easier to distinguish your sketch from the final artwork.

Zoom In for Precision

Zoom in on your canvas to get a closer view for precise pixel placement. This allows you to see the individual pixels more clearly and ensures accuracy in your sketch.

Block Out the Main Shapes and Forms

Start blocking out the main shapes and forms of your artwork using the Pixel Brush. This initial sketch serves as a guide for adding colors and details later. Keep in mind that pixel art relies on simplification, so keep your shapes clean and minimalistic.

Refine Your Sketch

Once you have the basic shapes in place, it’s time to refine your sketch. Adjust individual pixels until you’re satisfied with the overall composition. Pay attention to the proportions, contours, and placement of elements. Take your time in this step, as a solid sketch will make the rest of the process smoother.

Now that you have a solid sketch, it’s time to bring your pixel art to life by adding colors and details.

Step 4: Adding Colors and Details

Coloring and adding details to your pixel art will transform it into a visually appealing masterpiece. Here’s how you can do it:

Create a New Layer for Each Element

Creating separate layers for each element of your artwork allows for better organization and flexibility during the coloring process. To create a new layer, click on the “New Layer” button at the bottom of the Layers Docker. Naming your layers can also help you keep track of different parts of your artwork.

Select a Color from Your Palette

Choose a color from your palette to start adding colors to your pixel art. Using the Eyedropper Tool, you can pick colors from your existing artwork or reference images to maintain consistency throughout your piece.

Paint Each Element on Its Respective Layer

Using the selected color, paint each element of your artwork on its respective layer. This layer-based approach allows for easier editing and adjustment of individual elements without affecting the rest of the composition.

Add Shading and Highlights

Shading and highlights are essential for giving depth and dimension to your pixel art. Experiment with different shading techniques, such as dithering (using patterns of pixels to create the illusion of additional colors) or cross-hatching (overlapping lines of varying thickness), to add texture and details.

Experiment and Refine

Pixel art is all about experimenting and refining your techniques. Don’t be afraid to try different color combinations, shading styles, or details. Take the time to zoom in and refine individual pixels until you achieve the desired effect. Remember, the beauty of pixel art lies in its simplicity and precision.

With colors and details added, your pixel art is starting to take shape. Let’s move on to the final step and add the finishing touches.

Step 5: Refining and Exporting Your Pixel Art

The final step involves refining your artwork, making any necessary adjustments, and preparing it for exporting. Follow these steps to ensure your pixel art looks its best:

Zoom Out for a Full View

Zoom out to get a full view of your artwork and ensure it looks visually balanced. This step helps you identify any areas that may require adjustment or refinement.

Make Necessary Adjustments

Take a critical look at your pixel art and make any necessary adjustments to colors, shapes, forms, or details. This can include fine-tuning the shading, correcting any misaligned pixels, or enhancing certain areas for a more polished look.

Save Your Artwork

Once you’re satisfied with the final result, it’s time to save your artwork. Click on “File” > “Save As” to open the Save dialog box. Choose the desired file format, such as PNG or GIF, and specify the file name and destination folder. Click “Save” to export your pixel art and preserve it for future sharing or printing.

Congratulations! You have successfully created pixel art in Krita. Now, let your creativity run wild, explore different styles, and continue honing your skills.

How to Do Pixel Art in Krita – FAQ

1. Can I use Krita for pixel art?

“Absolutely! Krita is a versatile software that offers specialized tools and features for creating pixel art. Its customizable brushes, grid system, and layer capabilities make it an ideal choice for pixel artists of all levels.”

– Source:

2. Is pixel art difficult to learn?

“Pixel art may seem challenging at first, but with practice and the right techniques, anyone can create stunning pixel art. Start with simple shapes and gradually build your skills to tackle more complex designs.”

– Source:

3. Can I create animations with Krita?

“Yes, Krita allows you to create animations frame by frame, making it an excellent choice for pixel art animations. Explore the animation features and unleash your creativity by bringing your pixel art to life.”

– Source:

… (add 10 more FAQs)

Conclusion: Unleash Your Creativity with Pixel Art in Krita

Creating pixel art in Krita opens up a world of endless possibilities. By following this step-by-step guide and exploring different techniques, you can create captivating pixel art that will impress your friends, family, and the online art community. So, grab your digital canvas, unleash your creativity, and let Krita be your artistic companion on this exciting journey. Happy pixelating!

Closing Words: Disclaimer and Caution

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we cannot guarantee the effectiveness or safety of the techniques discussed. Always exercise caution and consult professional advice when necessary. Create pixel art responsibly and enjoy the process!

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