How To Make Pixel Art In Paint Tool SAI

Pixel art is all the rage these days, so it’s understandable that many designers would want to add it to their skill set. It’s fairly easy to make with digital software, including Paint Tool SAI. So, how do you make Pixel art in Paint Tool SAI?

To create pixel art in Paint Tool SAI, first, you need to create a neat outline or sketch of what you want to draw. Next, you must draw the pixels within the outline and color it in. Lastly, don’t forget to add shadows and highlights.

Keep reading below for more detailed information.

What is Pixel Art?

The distinctive art form known as “pixel art” celebrates the large, clearly visible pixels that are the basic building blocks of an entire image. Pixel art may be enjoyed for its distinctive pixel visuals and the method used to create it, which involved working with a small size and color palette. The simplicity, with amazing combinations of large colorful pixel blocks, is frequently where the beauty resides.

How to Create Pixel Art Using Paint Tool SAI

You can create pixel art in Paint Tool SAI by following the instructions in this section.

For more information on how to create pixel art in Paint Tool SAI, watch this video below:

Pixel tutorial Paint Tool Sai

Step 1: Make a Simple Outline

  • Make a New Canvas with a resolution of 450 x 450 pixels. Because we’ll be using pixels, a large canvas is not necessary. Use the Pen tool to begin drawing!

With a dynamic stance, we can give the image some motion. A picture with motion is always more engaging and enjoyable. Additionally, keep in mind that the cleaner your sketch is, the simpler it will be to pixelate.

Step 2: Draw a Black Outline to Form the Basic Foundation 

  • Create a New Layer over the top of the sketch layer and adjust its opacity to 20–30%. 
  • Use the Binary tool, sometimes known as the Pixel tool in some software versions, and begin to pixelate the outline. 
  • Make sure your brush has a 1 px size and 100% opacity. Take the time to make your lines as clean as you can.
  • To start, you may play around with several layers or canvases until you feel comfortable with the Binary tool and are happy with your outline. Anyhow, you may always correct your errors later and carry on.

Step 3: Make Another Layer

  • To avoid worrying about messing up the lines when drawing, making another layer and drawing pixels in the sensitive areas would certainly be wiser. 
  • Then Merge down all levels except the drawing layer, which you may remove or disable.

Step 4: Applying color

After finishing the pixel outline, we can add color to our object. 

  • Take the Magic Wand and first choose the area that you wish to color. Next, add a New Layer on top of it, and use the Bucket tool to fill in the chosen region.
  • With each piece of the design, repeat these procedures. To make coloring much simpler, it would be preferable if you created a distinct layer for each large component.

Step 5: Zoom In

  • Enlarge your drawing to roughly 300-400%. 
  • You will notice that there are a few single-pixel gaps here and there when you operate with the Bucket tool. 
  • With the Binary tool, you’ll need to color them independently.

Step 6: Create Shadows

We may begin creating shadows as soon as we’ve finished working with the base colors. 

  • Create a New Layer and clip it onto the base color layer above our base color layer. We no longer have to be concerned about straying outside of this area when drawing.

Note: When working with pixels, you might feel tempted to add a lot of colors to make it appear more lifelike. It is preferable to utilize a base color, two colors for light, and two colors for shadows. Your pixel art will appear cleaner as a result.

Additionally, you might try adding one additional vivid color for the highlights. You might select a new hue for this design that is entirely distinct from your primary color scheme, which would work well to create an intriguing appeal.

And that’s it for pixel coloring! Good work!


And there you are. In this article, we showed you how you could create pixel art in Paint Tool SAI using very simple and easy-to-understand instructions. We hope this tutorial will prove useful when you want to make your own pixel art. Happy editing!