4 fun PixelArt exercises

In the following article, we will talk about the importance of reduction and definitions in pixelart. We will show you four examples of different pixelart definitions and of course, you need to do it. It’s very interesting and fun, you can see for yourself!

It’s an excellent exercise to see how the reduction of size and definition works in your drawing. The pixelart, going through the famous Atari, Family Game, Sega, up to the present day in this article, we won’t keep you any longer, read on!


The definition in the reduction and enlargement of the image, is a very important issue in drawing, and is often difficult to carry out. When reducing the lines tend to become thicker, the frames tend to darken, and the details tend to be lost, for this reason, it is necessary to manage a good balance of the total image.

This is true for digital work as well as for printed reproductions. It is often difficult to visualize it well, and to calculate how much what we draw will be reduced, another difficult thing is to avoid entertaining drawing details that will not end up being appreciated if the image is reduced.

In this way, when enlarging (although it is not usually the most common) large empty spaces may appear, lines may lose strength, and the grays generated by frames may become lighter.

It is worth clarifying that here we will see something that you will not always have to face in your drawings and should not predispose you to generate simple drawings all the time. Enjoy drawing in your own way, add details that you like to draw and generate interest and personality to them.

You should keep in mind that more than once, you will have to face these situations, and before you get a headache and a stress attack, take the opportunity to study and practice it.

Continue to enjoy drawing, but don’t forget all the technical details that more than once you will be forced to fulfill.

Although this question has always arisen, because in general, the originals of illustrations and comics in books and magazines, are usually made bigger than how they will be printed.

It can be something complex to incorporate, because it may sound abstract and until you are not in the situation itself, you may not face it fully, for this reason, I am interested in presenting this issue with the definition in pixels.

The video game culture taught us to appreciate this type of definition, we live with this evolution, and I’m sure you know how to distinguish these different image qualities.

So you can better appreciate this concept. In this way, I can bring it closer to you so that you can assimilate it in the best way, and I calculate that you will easily understand it.

reduccion y definiciones en pixelart

Continuing with the same, we will deepen a little these cultural competences, we know in depth the history of the pixel, from the first video games of Arcade, Atari or Family game.

Here the pixel definition was very low (the first Mario Bros, had a size of 16 x 32 pixels) through the Sega Genesis, PC games, and Playstation 1, where we see an improvement in definition, until today’s games, which seem more real than reality itself (about 1920 x 1080px).

We can understand and appreciate all this evolution, since we understand how it works.

The pixel is a basic compositional element with a defined shape and size, from which you can generate an immensity of images, depending on the definition we use.

As this definition decreases, there will be fewer pixels in the image, that is, the size of the pixel will be larger in relation to the image itself, so a dot that was an eye could now occupy the entire face. Therefore, you will have to be careful how you adapt each element.

I will show you four examples of different definitions, and I invite you to do them too, since it is a good exercise to see how the reduction of size and definition works in your drawing.

It is worth clarifying that each of these cases, is redrawn, to decide where each pixel goes, as you reduce the definition, each space becomes very valuable.

Here, an example of a simple drawing, it is not a pixelart, although it is not noticeable, it is composed of a large number of pixels, 300 per inch. In this case, this pixel measure is the definition used to generate the drawing.

The sheet can have a measure in centimeters or inches and a definition in pixels, the latter gives us the quality that the image will have and the possibilities of increasing its size.

On the other hand, the definition is measured in pixels, because our computers work in this way. This will be the initial drawing from which you will start to make the different versions, that is why, it is convenient that it is a simple drawing, since, having many details, it will be more difficult to reduce that information, and if you do not do it, it will generate a more confusing image.

Original drawing in 300 ppi.

Here you will work on the first reduction, which will have a definition of 100 pixels x 100 pixels. When you begin to generate this image, you will see that it already begins to have a staggered shape, since the pixels begin to influence the shape of the drawing, in this case, they are small, but they are visible to the naked eye, it may already remind you of a video game you have played.

Here, the first confrontation to the reduction, you will have to take into account some simplifications that you will have to do. Very thin lines may be lost or blurred, small details should also be avoided.

To generate a diagonal, you must generate a staggered shape between the pixels (like a ladder, like the cane or the hat). Curved shapes will tend to look more square, since you must generate them by means of these staggered diagonals and other situations, according to the particularities of your drawing.

When you make this first reduction, you must decide where there will be details, where not, and how will be the lines that you draw.

dibujo en pixelart
Drawing in 100px x 100px. Left in big size to see details. Right final size.

For the next reduction, you will work in 50px x 50px, here, you will have to simplify even more, do it conscientiously and decide which detail matters and which not.

You will have to dispense completely with small details, everything you draw will occupy important space in the drawing, in this case, you will have to omit more details than in the previous version, and simplify much more the forms, this logically, will force you to make a clear illustration.

In this case, the width of each pixel influences the thickness of the line of the character, so you will know that it will have a fairly thick outline.

If you have a texture or raster, which generates some gray, you will surely have to avoid it, since the points (pixels) will be very large in relation to the image, a pixel can be a point of a raster, an eye, an arm, a hand, etc.

Therefore, you will have to look and stand several times in front of the image you are generating, to observe it carefully, and see where to add and/or remove elements.

dibujo mas pequeño en pixelart
Drawing at 50px x 50px. Left large to see details. Right final size.

The last version will be in 20px x 20px, you will see, that the image is almost lost, they are only symbols, or directly pixels. Here, you will have to simplify as much as possible, to create a high contrast icon.

There is no longer any contour line, they are all black and white planes, so you have to carefully place each element to redraw it in such a way that the original image is interpreted.

In this example, you will see that the face is completely black and the backpack is composed of a white block and a black one, so here, you have a more complex challenge, to continue reducing the original image, trying to maintain the similarity.

imagen de un dibujo estilo pixelart
Drawing in 20px x 20px. Left in big size to see details. Right final size.

Looking at the reductions, you will notice that you can always recognize the original drawing. Although it is reducing its size, and consequently its details. This exercise that you will do with pixels, you should also do it with the drawings that you want to publish, although there are certain differences, there are also similarities.

Printers also have a minimum point and line width that they can print, and the fiber of the paper can make the areas with a lot of ink widen and cause details to be lost.

For this reason, this exercise visualizes this reality that you will have to face assiduously. We face to analyze how a drawing is readapted by reducing its size and definition, a great drawing issue called reduction, you can use it both in illustration, as in the cartoon, in logo design, etc..

Anyway, you won’t always have to reduce your drawings, but yes, it’s something you will have to face, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. This exercise will train your eye and help you to solve with little, I hope you enjoy it!


During the course of the article we talked about reduction and definition in pixelart, we explained with several exercises and illustrations, how is this art so loved by all.

With these 4 exercises with different definitions in pixelart, you will have time to entertain yourself and practice, practice and practice, that way, it will get better and better, and you will be able to see clearly, how reduction and enlargement works.

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