Pixel Art and Cartooning
I’ve been toying with pixel art as a drawing exercise lately. There’s plenty in common between drawing with pixels and cartooning. Both are exercises in abstraction and simplification.
My online avatar has gradually been evolving, losing detail in each iteration, to increase readability at small sizes.
I don’t know if it will stay in pixelated form, but it’s difficult to want to revert back to something with more detail.
There are certainly artists who are experts at pixel art, and I am not one of them, but it’s an interesting and enjoyable exercise. And I think it’s great practice for being a better cartoonist. You have to make things instantly readable with very little visual information. And as for character design, the process of drawing with pixels, in a constrained grid, emphasizes the importance of distinguishing features, body shape, silhouette, colour, and costume.
There’s been a lot of Star Trek playing the house lately. And it’s proven to be a great well of characters to draw from:
I’ve been doing a few characters whenever I get a chance between jobs. It’s a relaxing process, trying to recreate a recognizable image using a limited set of building blocks. And it’s incredibly satisfying to see all these little familiar faces suddenly take form. The variations are particularly fun.
Here’s a bonus Kirk for the diehard fans:
Knowing how I am with complete sets, I imagine I will keep at this until I’ve done every character from each series. And my transformation into King of the Nerds will be complete.