So confession time: I’m not good at art. It’s something I’ve always valued and wished that I was good at but I just can’t seem to figure out how to draw, sketch, paint, sculpt, etc. I’m really good at putting my head down and pushing through difficult tasks, but turning a moment of inspiration into something beautiful that you can hold in the physical world has never been my thing. So I’m just going to lean into the skid and start making art digitally.
I’ve always been captivated by the pixelated art styles of retro games, and playing
a few years ago made me realize that’s a medium I want to explore. A medium I think I can be good at. So naturally, I started researching. In this issue I’m going to share three of the
useful/interesting things I’ve found.
P.S- I also added a new section to the bottom of the newsletter! Moving forward where I’ll document my journey into pixel art. To add some extra spice I also decided to add a small loop/clip of (what I hope) is halfway decent 8-bit inspired music that I’m going to be making every week on the OP-Z we have at work. This is half because I think it makes some seriously cool sounds, and half because I want to get better at really learning how to use this thing.
In this issue
🎨 Beginners guide to pixel art
🎥 A different kind of cinematic trailer
🕺 Toosie slide
How to start making pixel art #1
The first two places most people go to learn things are Google and YouTube, and I am no different. Typing into Google led me to
this Medium post
which I dove right into. In it, the author gives some practical advice about how to get started, what programs to use, and offers some examples as well.
Reading past the intro, I realized that it turned into a fairly practical tutorial. So in order to continue I needed to get started with a program. After a few more searches I found that the one that was recommended in this post (
) is actually a well-regarded program for pixel art so I went for it. It isn’t free, but it also isn’t expensive so I figured why not.
Aseprite v1.3 trailer
Deciding on Aseprite led me to my second search engine of choice: YouTube. I typed in Aseprite in search of tutorials and ended up finding a trailer for the program. I decided to watch it just to see what I should expect and was completely BLOWN AWAY but the amazing art that I saw.
Of course, I don’t expect to be able to make anything close to what these people are doing but seeing what was possible just by moving pixels really got me inspired. I figured it might be a good way to introduce you all to the magic of pixel art as well.
Toosie Slide (8 Bit Version)
As I’m sure you noticed, the music in that trailer was absolute fire. Which sent me down a Chiptunes/8 Bit rabbit hole on Spotify while I was working and I came across this gem. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory. Enjoy.
In a real frenzy of pushing buttons I came up with this loop on the OP-Z. I’ll definitely never use it, but I learned how to quantize and change the length of a pattern so that’s good, right? 🤷♂️
Anyway, to start off this pixel project I’m just following the tutorial from the Medium post above. Hopefully you can tell what it is.
It’s harder to tell what it is when zoomed all the way out, but I’m working on it.