&PIXEL TUTORIAL It was about time that Stef, former pixel queen from ages ago finally creates a pixelling tutorial! But i must apologize in advance, because even though my pixels might look neat, my explanations might not be that clear. I am really bad at explaining things, but then again, i'll do my best this time :)

First of all, you will need a graphic program. It can be any fancy program like Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop, or simply good old Microsoft Paint. For the purposes of my tutorial, I will show you how to pixel in MS Paint (because it's the most common program, and the best imo ^-^)

If you open your paint program, you will see some tools at the left of your working area. It's very important to know what they do, and to experiment them all. Below is a quick presentations of all of them. If you already know theirs functions, you can skip this area.

The selection tools: These tools are used to select portions of the image youíre working with. These selections can then be moved around, copied, or edited without affecting the rest of the image.

The eraser tool: This tool can be used to "erase" some parts of your image.

The fill tool: Just like if you were pouring a liquid in real life, the Fill Toolís "paint" will fill an areaís shape with color.

The eyedropper tool: The eyedropper is used to "pick up" any colors located in your work area.

The magnifying glass tool: The Magnifying Glass, or Zoom tool, can be used to get a closer, more detailed view of an image.

The pencil tool: This is your basic drawing tool. The pencilís stroke is a single pixel wide, which makes it useful when you are drawing pixels.

The paint brush tool: This tool is similar to the pencil, but has more features, such as the ability to change the shape and size of the paint brush.

The airbrush tool: The "spray" is a little like the regular paint brush, but instead of a constant filling, it generates a semi-random distribution of pixels.

The text tool: This tool is used to position and enter text into your image.

The line tool: Use this tool to create straight lines.

The curve tool: Use this tool if you wish to create curved lines.

The shapes tools: Use these useful tools if you want to create shape quickly.

Okay, so this is where the fun begins. First, you will have to decide what you will pixel. For the purposes of this tutorial, i decided to pixel a bear.

The most important thing to do when you are starting a pixel is to zoom in your image to the maximum. (Preferably 8x) Then, you will have to use the "pen" tool. (Or any other tool you feel comfortable with, but i really suggest the pen.) With it, you will create the outline of your bear. You can choose another color than black for the outline if you wish (and i really suggest to do so, it just looks better). You can draw freelance, or pixel by pixel, the most important thing is to clear your lines when you're done. Below, is an example of a bear with cleared outlines (Zoomed 8x), and then an example of a bear with no clear outlines.

see? The first bear came out a lot better than the second one right? That is because I removed the unnessecary pixels on the first one so the lines doesn't look like they're overlapping on eachother.

When you're done with the outline, it is time to add some color to your pixel. I strongly suggest you to use vibrant colors. (To They are more catchy and capture the visitor's attention quickly. To do so, click on Colors (On the title bar) and then - Modify Colors, then, you'll have access to a bigger color palette. So, to add color to your pixel, use the paint bucket tool to fill the areas you want colored.

I also suggest you to add some shading to your pixel because this is a very important part of your pixel's identity. You have to do it correctly, otherwise it will look plain weird. To do that, you use the "normal" color you used for the filling, and you choose a darker/lighter shade to do the shading. You have to determine a light source, it can either be from the left or right, you decide! Then you have to draw the highlights and the shadows in function of where your light source will be. Don't worry if it doesn't come right at the first time. The best thing to do is to experiment and practise :) On my case, it looked like this:

And then you're done!