Splinterlands Art Contest // Week 167 // Pixel Art


Hi there HIVERS and Splinterlanders. I have been practicing a bit with Pixel Art, which is a way to draw and animate pixels.


Basically we define the resolution we want to work with, some tips are:

  • Choose the resolution based on your experience or the smallest details you need to show. I.e: an eye of 4x4 pixels, will require an approximate 30 pixels square area to draw the head, and so on.
  • Start small so it will be easier get into the basics: shapes, shadows, projections and small details.
  • Animate those small pixels to get more experience.
  • As soon as you feel you need more pixels, expand you canvas size but remember: "the more you use, the more you need to handle".
  • Start simple.

Splinterlands Pixel Art Entry


This is a well known tool when making pixel art animations, backgrounds and more. This is the one I have used. So the process steps are the following:


After doing some initial tests I decided to set the canvas size as 250 x 350 pixels(width x height) as that's what I would need to draw the smallest details as the eyes and because of the total size of the card.


The process was about drawing the full body, which took me around 7 hrs. Usually I take creation process of 3 hours lapses maximum then a stop for 30 minutes - 1 hour, depending on how time consuming is. I recommend you to always stop and start the next day so you can always give a fresh look.


So at this point I started making the frame which has a lot of details. Also I had to decide how to project shadows which I did using a dithering technique. Normally you can use different hue/saturation or even brightness of the colors in your palette but when you want to push yourself to the limits I recommend you using a small palette and think how to do the same but using less color possible.


So using the only white I have on this palette, I added this shinning effect trying to keep the original aspect of the card.


This part was a bit tricky as the background has many colors on the original one but instead of using many colors I ended up using the 1 bit technique. This allows you to use just 2 colors to paint something. The trees has no color(the black background is there) but the color is the dark green which draws, so combining them together we can draw.


More details, always keeping the guides for the center as the original card needs it.


Adding some text, using the same font they use in the original card but as I cannot make italic, voilà, a pixel art splinterlands card has born.

As I am very curious and to make my work unique I did some animations as you can see on the final gif:


A Question to you:

  • Do you think would it be a good idea making a whole series of this pixel art animated cards and sell them? Would you buy it? Please leave a comment.

Palette used for this:


Note: You may find a lot of palettes on lospec.com


  • Pixel art is time consuming but it gives you the opportunity to express your creativity and also to animate things from zero.
  • Never give up! always do whatever it takes to make it happen.

PS: I am working on pixel art to make games, so far I am working on my first 2D game using pixel art and Godot Engine but as soon as I finished 2 or 3 worlds in the game I will be posting about it.