1. Palettes for Pixel Art

    Hello Dear Reader,

    Today I’m going to briefly talk about palettes and share a nice resource where we can go for well-designed palettes.

    What is a Palette?

    A palette is the range or set of colours used in a particular composition.

    No traditional artwork can use an infinite variety of colours. The artist is limited to certain pigments and uses various mixtures of these pigments to create the colours used in a particular painting. One can possibly mix uncountable number of colours using variation of colour, brightness, and whiteness. However artists end up using only a small subset of colours in any piece of work.

    The choice of which colours to use and where - is one of the most important decisions in any composition. Choice of colours impacts tonality, emotion, setting, time of day etc. of the painting.

    How to Choose Colours in a Palette?

    There is no correct choice of colours. It depends on the goals of the artist. However that does not mean that any set of colours is fine. One must have at least an intuitive understanding of colour theory to be able to pick the right colours. (I will write more on colour theory some other time.)

    While choosing colours one must keep in mind the colour wheel, complementary colours, warmth of colour, colour harmony, tint, light and shade etc.

    Preset Palette (Hand-picked Palette)

    Even the brief discussion above shows that creating a palette is no easy task, and requires advanced knowledge. Therefore most beginner artists use a small subset of colours, a fixed preset palette for their artworks. These preset palettes have hand-picked colours which has been designed by an artist keeping in mind various factors - and can be used to create a certain type of artwork, and convey a certain mood. For e.g. a palette for a dystopian cyberpunk landscape.

    Preset Palette’s for Pixel Art

    When I started doing pixel art, most tutorials I read mentioned using a limited preset palette for your artwork. Every artist finds one or the other palette useful for the kind of work they do. Several of these palettes are available for download at Palette List (lospec.com). I found this website really useful.

    I started drawing with a 1-bit (two colours only) palette a few months ago and had really good results. The palette is called 1bit Monitor Glow Palette (lospec.com). Here’s a portrait I made using this palette.

    I’ve also started experimenting with a 2-bit palette called 2bit demichrome Palette (lospec.com), and I’m having fun creating with it. Here’s a small study of a pear using this palette…

    That’s it for palettes today. I hope you try out some of these palettes for your art or design work.

    Happy arting,

    Abhishek (art noob)

  2. Sunset in Wayanad

    We took a little family vacation to Wayanad, Kerala and Bandipur forest in Karnataka the last few days. I will write a detailed travel diary someday but here’s a photo of a sunset I took from a viewpoint in Wayanad.

    Happy Arting,

    Abhishek (art noob)

  3. Hindi Bitmap Font

    I’ve been working on creating a 10-bit bitmap font for Devanagari script - it is still work in progress, but here are the alphabets I’ve made so far. I plan to use these in my pixel art artwork - and games eventually.

    It’s slow going because…

    a) I’m doing it for the first time, and

    b) One has to be careful with the use of every pixel.

    But, I’m having fun doing it. Any feedback would be welcome!

    Bye for now,

    Abhishek (art noob)

  4. 1Bit Pixel Art Drawings

    The last few days I’ve been doing these 1bit pixel art drawings - and have been really having fun. Based on a recommendation from an artist on youtube I started with 1-bit palette because it is simplest, and therefore good for practice.

    What is 1-Bit Pixel Art?

    Someone asked me this question and here’s my response… Every dot in the picture is one pixel in pixel art.

    The number of colours available depends on how much storage we use for each pixel. If we use 8-bits - then we can use 256 colours (that is 2 to the power 8 colours) - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8-bit_color

    1-bit pixel art is where each pixel gets only one bit of storage - and therefore there are only two colours - one dark and one light. You can choose what those colours are but you cannot use a third colour. This is also called a monochrome image https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_image

    The Palette I’m Using

    I'm using this 1-bit palette https://lospec.com/palette-list/1bit-monitor-glow by polyducks.

    Practice Drawings


    Several types of hats on a tiny canvas.

    Pile of Stones

    Still 1-bit but I lowered the opacity on the background layer. So technically 2-bit.

    Lady by the Pool

    The last two are gifs, hope you can see them in your email clients.

    That’s it for today.

    Have a great day!

    -Abhishek (art noob)

  5. Pixel Art Practice - Trees from Blobs

    Hi All,

    Today I wanted to share with you my practice drawing of a tree, based on this tutorial by artist slynrd.

    And here’s my try, not so great I know 😝😎…

    Have a great day!

    Abhishek (art noob)

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