Creating your Pixel Art with Photoshop



Choose an image that you want to create pixel art with. It will be better if you can draw very well and scan into Photoshop.

I’m not good at drawing so I found my favorite anime character, Naruto for this tutorial.

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Step 1 – Tracing General Outlines:

Set the opacity of your image to 40%.

Using Pen tool, trace out general outlines of the character.

Ignore those lines from shadows and highlights for the time being.


Step 2 – Touching Up Paths:

Most likely there will be some corners of the path that will look a bit off.

You can improve the corners by using the Convert Point tool. Simply click on an anchor point and drag the controls to adjust.

Rename this path layer to General Outlines once you are done.


Step 3 – Tracing Highlights:

Similar to Step 1 and 2, trace the outlines for the highlights of character with Pen tool.

Rename this new path layer as Highlights Outlines..


Step 4 – Tracing Shadows:

Same thing here. Trace the outlines for the shadows of character with Pen tool

Rename this new path layer as Shadows Outlines.


Step 5 – Stroking Paths:

Select General Outlines in Paths tab to load the paths.

Go to Layers tab and create a new layer. Name it as base.

Set your foreground color to #000000. Select Pencil tool and set its size to 1px.

Select Pen tool and right click on the path to choose Stroke Path with Pencil.


Step 6 – Applying Base Colors:

Select the Paint Bucket tool, set Tolerance to 0 and uncheck Anti-Alias.

On the same Base layer, fill in the basic colors of the character.


Step 7 – Applying Highlights:

Create a new layer and name it as Highlights. Repeat Step 5 and 6 for the Highlights Outlines in Paths tab.

But stroke the paths with foreground color #FFFFFF this time.

Fill in the shapes with #FFFFFF as well. Set the opacity of this layer to 60%.


Step 8 – Applying Shadows:

Create another new layer and name it as Shadows. Do the same as Step 7 for the Shadow Outlines in Paths tab.

Stroke the paths with foreground color #000000.

Fill in the shapes with #000000 and set the opacity of Shadows layer to 20%.


Step 9 – Touching Up Details:

We are almost there! But the lines of the forehead logo seems to be too thin

I set my Pencil tool to 2px, select that logo with Path Selection tool and stroke it again with #666666.



Complete the design by adding a nice background. I applied Noise filter to the background.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial. Thanks!

Click here to view the final image.

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19 Comments | Write a Comment

  1. WolfKit says:

    This isn’t really pixel art. It is more like oekaki.

    Refer to the “What is Pixel Art?” Section of this tutorial.

    Probably one of the most relevant lines is this:
    “Pixel art is set apart from other digital art forms by its focus on control and precision.
    The artist has to be in control of the image at the level of the single pixel, and every pixel should be purposefully placed.
    When pixel art is done purposefully, offsetting just a few pixels can have a dramatic effect on the image.”

  2. Willie Tiger says:

    I confess, I have not came to this blog in a very long time. nevertheless it was one more joy to see your fantastic content.

  3. hikaru says:

    ya dude nice work liked it a lot

  4. angel says:

    wow, its pretty amazing, im working on a project of Naruto and its going well but its difficult following these 10 steps!!

  5. courtnay says:

    Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.

  6. Pepekun says:

    Hello, i am new fantastic Naruto in pixelat.

  7. mac says:

    i like naruto hentai more… nice tut

  8. Johnson says:

    Hey that is an impressive attempt Yami!

    Yup. I’m a Naruto fan too. Just finished watching the sad latest episode on Asuma’s death. Sigh.

  9. Yami says:

    Wow ! I love both : anime and pixel art, combine the two is awesome, here is my result:

  10. Johnson says:

    Thanks for your kind words Ronald 😉

  11. really great tuts:)i like it. i like your site as well:)i have a friend which really fun of pixel gonna show this to her:)keep up the good work in here:)


  12. Johnson says:

    Glad you guys like the tutorial 😀
    Yup. Pixel art is pretty time consuming.

    Thanks TutorialsRoom for featuring this page.

  13. Nice! Again, It was chosen for the home page of 🙂

  14. Yeti says:

    Nice work there! I would say to those who want to try this out, keep at it! it will take lots of time! but in the end will pay off. Oh and practice hehe!

  15. monsterTruck says:


  16. des says:

    Wonderful masterpiece…it’s hard to find a tut like this!!!

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