How to start drawing cute pixel art?

Here's my step-by-step tutorial on how to get started with cute pixel art with Piskel browser app!
Let's make your first pixel art piece ever!!

In general, for pixel art, you need:
- A computer
- A mouse or a drawing tablet
- A drawing program
You can also draw with a smartphone or tablet but this tutorial is for computer.

For beginners I recommend trying out Piskel. It's a browser app and has some basic tools. I do most of my animations and small drawings with it.
I also use Paint Tool SAI to draw my bigger pixel art pieces. It has a wonderful binary pen tool and a stabilizer. Another program I can recommend is Aseprite, which is specifically meant for pixel art.

About pixel art
When you read about pixel art online, you find a lot of "rules". Like you should only use a certain color palette and don't do this and don't do that. Yes, those "rules" are useful, especially if you are going for game development or some other thing where the rules matter. But we are now creating kawaii eyecandy for web. You can break all the rules and have all the fun. It's okay if it looks ugly. You get better at it fast!

Let's draw together with Piskel!

In this tutorial we will go through some of Piskel's cool features and finish your pixel art piece (o˘◡˘o)

1. Let's resize the canvas to 20x20 px.
Let's make a cute, very small piece for your first pixel art! Click the "Resize" tab and mark your width and height 20. Click Resize.

2. Now draw a cute face with the pen tool.
Cute little faces are such a staple in kawaii pixel art. This is very simple, follow my lead!

3. Pick the Circle tool and make a circle around the face.
It's starting to actually have a shape ~

4. Try to move it with the Move tool.
Move it to where you want it to be. I moved it a bit down, so we can draw ears! Try to center your drawing.

5. Let's draw ears with the Vertical Mirror pen.
If your drawing isn't centered and it's looking weird, you can also draw the ears with normal Pen tool. Let's make ears anyway.

6. Pick the Paint Bucket tool. Choose some color you like.

7. Let's color the animal!
Using the Paint Bucket tool.

8. Add any details you want to your animal.
Here I'm making this kitty have some stripes with Pen tool.

9. Don't forget to add the pretty blush ~
Take the Pen tool and pink color and add some blush to the cheeks if you want.

10. Let's create shadows. Pick the Lighten tool. Hold Ctrl and Shift, and draw some shadows.
You can go wild and shadow where you want or go under the chin like I do.

11. Now let's create light. Still using the Lighten tool, only hold Shift now. Draw some light.

Your pixel animal is done! You can save it in the right side menu: Export -> PNG -> Selected Frame Export: Download.
Here is how mine looks like right now:

Are you ready to level it up and make it have a blink animation?

Let's animate our drawing with Piskel!

Don't worry, it's easy \(★ω★)/

12. Duplicate this frame by pressing this button.

13. Having the second frame selected, close your animal's eyes.
Use the same color around the eyes and make the eyes closed with the Pen tool.

14. On the right side, drag this FPS thing to 2.
You don't need to blink so fast, kitty!!

15. Select the first frame. Duplicate it mooore!!
Now the animal will keep their eyes open for a longer time and doesn't blink all the time. I duplicated it 5 times.

NOW YOUR PIXEL ANIMAL IS ANIMATED! You can save it in the right side menu: Export -> GIF -> Download. Make sure you have the "Loop Repeatedly" checked.

Behold your amazing creation!

If you want to resize your pixel art, I recommend using Pixel Art Scaler in Lospec.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Please let me know if you used it and I would love to see your animal 。.:☆*:・'(*⌒―⌒*)))

Art made with this tutorial: