Reference art is quickly becoming my most valuable asset when it comes to studying pixel art.
This week, I used the Capcom game Bionic Commando as a reference to draw from. It’s an excellent action adventure game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).
When I was looking at this 1988 classic on my old CRT television and trying to draw it on a digital monitor, I learned so much more than I did when I tried copying a sprite/tile pixel by pixel.
Using a reference, instead of tracing, forced me to think about the size of the tiles, how the original artists utilized the limited color palette to add shading and depth, and develop my own process to draw.
I plan to draw more of these as the year goes on. The NES feels like a great place to start for a beginner pixel artist like myself. The art work is inspiring, but not too difficult.
If you’ve haven’t played Bionic Commando on the NES, check it out. It’s a unique, fun, and challenging game that is still worth playing today.
Jenny Hitbox is an amateur pixel artist who loves RPGs and CRTs. Ms. Hitbox is currently working on her first video game, Retro Trivia Quest, a visual novel for the original Game Boy using GB Studio.
When Jenny isn’t grinding for EXP, she be found riding her bike and avoiding social media.