Gathering pixel art inspiration

I’m hot on the trail of some really great pixel art. I just haven’t figured out the best execution yet. That is to say, I don’t know what medium I’m going to be working in. After searching around on the Internet I definitely found a lot of great inspiration. Here’s a collection of pixel art ideas which I think is pretty awesome:

Beaded Simon Belmont

Simon_Belmont_by_therodersabidesYou’ve got to love this Simon Belmont (Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest for the original NES) made out of pony beads. It looks fantastic and you only need four colors of pixels! For the lazy, here’s the same character in LEGO, but instead of rocking the flame whip he’s just in a walking pose.

I think this is better than my thought of using Samus Aran as my subject. But I also found a pretty rad version of her in pony beads as well so she’s not out of the running yet.

Art Medium

There’s still the question of what to use as the pixels themselves. Pony beads are cheap and easy to attain locally. But they also look like a children’s art project… not something I want hanging on my walls.


Here’s a good example of the quality of piece I’d like to end up with. Roronnyrose put together a video tutorial where she made this wood Link from The Legend of Zelda. It’s wood blocks which were hand painted to match her color palette and then glued together.

She ordered the wooden blocks (I’d guess they’re one centimeter cubed) online. This is a nice alternative to making them yourself because they come pre-sanded. But I’m sure you could do this with a table saw to rip square stock and a band saw to cut that into cubes. But for a nice finish you are going to want to sand the faces and that’s going to eat up the rest of your life. For instance when I made the pixel art Gimp tutorial I was using a canvas that was 96 by 72 for almost 7000 pixels. Granted a lot of those were background which I wouldn’t populate, but still…. what a nightmare.


Here’s another possibility. It’s a character from Bubble Bobble made from colored tiles. These were found at a local art store (not local to me, but to the guy who pulled this one off). The key here is that they were pretty darn cheap. I think it looks pretty nice. I really like the little variations in color and it’s more reasonable to purchase a bunch of tile and glue them to substrate than to paint thousands of wooden blocks and glue them together.

I’ve had a few other thoughts. Ideally wooden pieces the size of Scrabble tiles would be my choice but I haven’t found a good source for that yet. I also like the thought of using beer bottle caps. But I certainly don’t have enough of the same colors to fill out the project and I don’t think it would look very cool if the caps were painted.

Keep checking back… eventually I’ll lock onto just the right technique and then it’s on!

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1 Response

  1. Jeremy Cook says:

    I love the Bubble Bobble (I always thought it was Boggle for some reason) mosaic. Here’s my attempt at reproducing a faux 80’s video game character in tiles: – Not as good, but I was happy with it.

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