How to Make Pixel Art in Krita: A Fun and Friendly Guide

Discover the Magic of Creating Pixel Art in Krita

Do you want to unleash your creativity and learn how to create stunning pixel art? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through all the steps to make pixel art in Krita, the popular digital painting software loved by artists around the world. From choosing the right canvas size to mastering pixel-perfect details, you’ll become a pixel art master in no time. Get ready to dive into the captivating world of pixels and let your imagination run wild!


Pixel art is a unique and nostalgic form of digital art, reminiscent of classic video games and retro graphics. It involves creating images pixel by pixel, resulting in charming and highly detailed artwork. Krita, with its intuitive interface and powerful tools, is the perfect software for pixel art creation. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or just starting your creative journey, Krita provides a platform for you to bring your pixel art dreams to life.

Before we delve into the step-by-step tutorial, let’s explore the essential aspects of pixel art in Krita:

1. Understanding Pixel Art

Pixel art is characterized by its blocky and pixelated aesthetic, often associated with 8-bit and 16-bit video games. Each image is constructed pixel by pixel, allowing artists to create intricate designs with limited resources. The art form requires meticulous attention to detail and a deep understanding of color theory and composition.

Quote: According to Pixilart, “Pixel art is a form of digital art, where images are created using a raster-based graphics editor, like Krita. The artist places individual pixels on a grid, resulting in a retro-style image with a unique aesthetic.”

2. Choosing the Right Canvas Size

The first step in creating pixel art in Krita is selecting the appropriate canvas size. The canvas size determines the dimensions and resolution of your artwork. For pixel art, smaller canvas sizes are generally preferred to maintain the retro feel and keep the pixel-to-pixel precision intact.

Pro Tip: Start with a canvas size of 32×32 pixels for a basic project. As you gain more confidence and experience, you can experiment with larger sizes.

3. Mastering the Pixel Brush

The pixel brush is the key tool you’ll use to create pixel art in Krita. This brush allows you to place individual pixels with precision, providing ultimate control over your artwork. Experiment with different brush sizes, opacity levels, and blending options to achieve the desired pixel art effect.

Quote: Pixel Prospector shares, “The pixel brush in Krita is a pixel artist’s best friend. Use it to craft each pixel with care, creating smooth lines, vibrant colors, and intricate details that define pixel art.”

4. Understanding Color Palettes

Color plays a crucial role in pixel art, as limited color choices are often a defining characteristic of this art form. To maintain the aesthetic appeal of pixel art, it’s essential to work with a restricted color palette. Choose a palette that complements your artwork and enhances its visual impact. You can create your own custom palette or explore pre-made ones available online.

Quote: Lospec advises, “A limited color palette allows you to create harmony within your artwork. Experiment with different color combinations to breathe life into your pixel art creations.”

5. Embracing Symmetry and Patterns

Incorporating symmetry and patterns can add depth and visual interest to your pixel art. Krita offers various tools and features to assist you in creating symmetrical pixel art effortlessly. Take advantage of the symmetry options and explore different patterns to make your artwork stand out.

Quote: Adobe Creative Cloud suggests, “Embrace symmetry and patterns to create pixel art that is pleasing to the eye. Symmetry adds balance and patterns add rhythm to your creations.”

6. Adding Shading and Highlights

Shading and highlights are vital to give depth and dimension to your pixel art. Krita offers a range of tools and techniques to help you achieve realistic lighting effects. Experiment with different shading styles, such as dithering or cross-hatching, to enhance the overall appearance of your artwork.

Pro Tip: Use a separate layer for shading and highlights, allowing you to make adjustments without affecting the underlying artwork.

7. Saving and Exporting Your Pixel Art

Once you’ve completed your pixel art masterpiece, it’s time to save and export it for sharing or further editing. Krita supports various file formats, including PNG and GIF, which are commonly used for pixel art. Ensure you save a backup of your original Krita file (.kra) to make future modifications easier.

Pro Tip: Consider scaling up your pixel art before exporting it to ensure better visibility on different platforms or when printing.

Tutorial: How to Make Pixel Art in Krita – Step by Step

Now that we’ve covered the essential aspects of pixel art in Krita, let’s dive into a step-by-step tutorial to create your very own pixel art masterpiece:

Step 1: Setting up Your Canvas

Before you start creating your pixel art, it’s essential to set up the canvas with the appropriate size and resolution. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Krita and create a new document.
  2. In the “Create New Document” dialog box, enter the desired canvas size. For example, choose 32×32 pixels.
  3. Set the resolution to 300 pixels per inch (PPI) for a print-quality image or 72 PPI for web or screen display.
  4. Click “OK” to create the canvas.

Now you’re ready to embark on your pixel art journey!

Step 2: Familiarizing Yourself with the Tools

Krita offers a wide range of tools specifically designed for pixel art creation. Let’s explore some of these essential tools:

  1. Pixel Brush: Select the pixel brush from the brush presets. Adjust the brush size and opacity as per your preference.
  2. Color Palette: Access the color palette by clicking on the color wheel icon. Create custom colors or choose from pre-made palettes.
  3. Layers: Utilize layers to organize your artwork and make adjustments without affecting the entire composition.
  4. Selection Tools: Use the rectangle or lasso selection tools to create precise selections for editing or applying effects.
  5. Fill Tool: The fill tool allows you to quickly fill areas with a selected color, saving time during the coloring process.
  6. Eraser: The eraser tool helps you clean up any stray pixels or make corrections to your artwork.
  7. Zoom: Use the zoom tool to get a closer look at your pixel art and work on intricate details.

Familiarize yourself with these tools to ensure smooth and efficient pixel art creation.

Step 3: Sketching Your Pixel Art

Before diving into the detailed pixel work, it’s helpful to sketch a rough outline of your artwork. This step allows you to plan the composition, proportions, and overall design. Follow these guidelines:

  1. Select a light color for sketching, so it doesn’t interfere with the final artwork.
  2. Use single pixels or small clusters to create the basic shapes and forms.
  3. Focus on capturing the essential elements of your subject or scene.
  4. Don’t worry about perfection at this stage; the sketch will serve as a guiding reference as you progress.
  5. Lower the opacity of the sketch layer to keep it faintly visible while working on the final pixel art.

Once you’re satisfied with the sketch, you’re ready to start adding pixels and bringing your artwork to life!

Step 4: Coloring Your Pixel Art

The coloring stage is where your pixel art truly starts to shine. Experiment with different color combinations, shading techniques, and patterns to create depth and visual interest. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the desired colors from the color palette.
  2. Begin filling the larger areas of your pixel art with the base colors.
  3. Use a smaller brush size to add details and refine the edges.
  4. Consider adding shading, highlights, and texture to enhance the overall appearance.
  5. Take your time and pay attention to each pixel, ensuring a crisp and well-defined result.

Remember, patience and attention to detail are key when coloring your pixel art!

Step 5: Adding Final Touches and Details

Now it’s time to add those finishing touches that bring your pixel art to life. Pay attention to the smallest details and make any necessary adjustments to perfect your creation. Consider these aspects:

  1. Add highlights to create shininess or reflective surfaces.
  2. Introduce textures using dithering or cross-hatching techniques.
  3. Refine the edges and clean up any stray pixels or inconsistencies.
  4. Step back occasionally and view your pixel art from a distance to assess its overall impact.

Enjoy the process of fine-tuning your artwork, and don’t be afraid to experiment!

Step 6: Saving and Exporting Your Pixel Art

Once you’re satisfied with your pixel art masterpiece, it’s time to save and export it for sharing and future use. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on “File” in the menu bar and select “Save As” to save your Krita file (.kra) for future modifications.
  2. Click on “File” again and choose “Export.” Select your desired file format, such as PNG or GIF.
  3. Specify the output location and click “Save.”
  4. Choose the appropriate export settings, such as color depth and transparency options.
  5. Click “Export” to save your pixel art in the selected format.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully created and exported your pixel art in Krita. Now it’s time to share your masterpiece with the world!

Table: Complete Information about How to Make Pixel Art in Krita

Steps Description
Step 1 Setting up Your Canvas
Step 2 Familiarizing Yourself with the Tools
Step 3 Sketching Your Pixel Art
Step 4 Coloring Your Pixel Art
Step 5 Adding Final Touches and Details
Step 6 Saving and Exporting Your Pixel Art

How to Make Pixel Art in Krita – FAQ

FAQ 1: Can I create pixel art using Krita?

Answer: Absolutely! Krita provides all the necessary tools and features to create stunning pixel art. Its pixel brush, color palette, and layer capabilities make it an ideal choice for pixel art creation.

FAQ 2: Is pixel art difficult to learn?

Answer: While pixel art requires attention to detail and patience, it’s not overly difficult to learn. With practice and dedication, you’ll gradually master the techniques and develop your unique pixel art style.

FAQ 3: Can I use a mouse to create pixel art in Krita?

Answer: While a drawing tablet is recommended for precise control, it’s possible to create pixel art using a mouse in Krita. Experiment with different settings and sensitivity options to find what works best for you.

FAQ 4: Where can I find inspiration for pixel art?

Answer: Inspiration can come from various sources, such as video games, movies, nature, or even everyday objects. Explore online platforms like Pinterest or pixel art communities to discover a wealth of pixel art creations.

FAQ 5: Can I sell my pixel art created in Krita?

Answer: Yes, you retain full ownership and rights to the pixel art you create in Krita. You can sell your artwork online, participate in art exhibitions, or even collaborate with game developers and designers.

FAQ 6: Are there any resources for learning more about pixel art in Krita?

Answer: Absolutely! You can find numerous tutorials, forums, and video guides dedicated to pixel art creation in Krita. Websites like Pixel Joint, DeviantArt, and YouTube are excellent platforms to explore and learn from experienced pixel artists.

FAQ 7: Can I animate my pixel art in Krita?

Answer: Yes, Krita supports animation features, allowing you to bring your pixel art to life. You can create animated sprites or even short pixel art animations directly in Krita.

Important: Watch Out for Intellectual Property

Disclaimer: When creating pixel art, it’s important to respect intellectual property rights and avoid infringing on copyrighted material. Ensure your artwork is original or seek appropriate permissions before using any copyrighted material in your pixel art creations.

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