I’m a pretty good programmer, but I’m a self-taught artist. That said, I think I make fairly decent programmer art.
It’s not beautiful, but it’s not strangely proportioned stick figures either.
I used to draw all the time when I was a child, but aside from taking a drawing class in high school, I haven’t had any formal training.
So I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve my craft, especially when it comes to creating better 2D graphics.
A long time ago, I found Alexey Garkushin’s page of pixel art tutorials.
While I’m sure there are more up-to-date documents out there, the page hosts tutorials from a variety of artists, including “So You Want to Be a Pixel Artist?” by Tsugumo which starts out with the ubiquitous grass tile and takes you through multiple lessons on coloring and shading to make your tiles look much more pleasing. Eventually the lessons take you through animating a fighting game brawler sprite.
Also available are tutorials on animating water flow, creating a pixelated portrait, and working with isometric views. They are easy-to-follow and give some insight on how to create the kind of art seen in some of your favorite classic games, such as Final Fantasy 3 (or 6 if you didn’t play it on the SNES).
There are even a few tutorials on non-pixel art, such as using Photoshop to render human hair and a general art tutorial that is appropriate for anyone interested in learning more about how light and shadows play on objects.
If you want to see how some amazing examples of pixel art, check out PixelStamps, “a collection of stamps pixelated by the pixel artists of the world.” When people click on stamps, the stamp price goes up to indicate the popularity of it. It’s a pretty neat site that gives you an idea of what’s possible with a few strategically-placed colors.
Do you know of other pixel art tutorials? Or art tutorials in general? What’s your favorite?