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How to draw an “8-bit” person

Do you like the “retro” style of the drawings? 8 bits? If the pixels are your preferred minimum unit, you will have already thought about the possibility of making a representation of yourself in pixelated, but perhaps you have not dared.

With the following tutorial, we will see how to carry it out, step by step, and we will only need a graphic design program (the one you like best), patience and a bit of ease with the mouse.

First steps

Choose one (or several) photographs of you to base yourself on. It is not totally necessary, but it can help a lot when it comes to shaping the drawing. If you are in the same direction as you are going to draw yourself, better than better, although it is not essential.

To make the drawing, I used Paint.NET, an application with the simplicity of Paint but with much more advanced features. I have used this program because it is very comfortable to draw pixels, but you can also use any other that you prefer.

To begin, we open the program and select New. In Width and Height we establish 48×48 pixels. In the box that says Window (where does the zoom go) we establish 1100% and in the menu Watch we mark Pixel grid.

We are ready to start drawing. Something like this will appear:

retro 8 bit draw people draw us style pixelated pixel

It is also a good idea to fill the entire area with a color that we are not going to use in the drawing. In our example we will use an electric blue. The tools that we will use will be very few, just the following three:

tools tools retro 8 bit draw people draw us style pixelated pixel

It is recommended to learn how to use (if it is not already known) the use of layers – ideal to have each part of the body on a separate layer – and the theme of primary and secondary colors (with the two mouse buttons), although it is not essential either.

The shoes…

We will start with the simplest part, the shoes. It will only take a few seconds. Just draw a shoe and clone it next to it. The most important is differentiate with a black lineor a lighter color) the division or edge that divides one shoe with another.

Obviously, everything I explain is an example, and the limit is set by yourself. They could draw boots of Mountain (highest and gross), some skates or even barefoot.

shoes retro 8 bit draw people draw us style pixelated pixel

Some normal shoes, some sports shoes and some nice booties …

In the case of girls who want to draw with heels, they just have to leave an empty pixel underneath and it will perfectly simulate the heel in the pixel world.

Usually draw Boys it is much easier than drawing girls. The black lines of the contour in men do not look bad, however, in girls the lines should be more subtle. A good idea is to use the same fill colors, but a little darker.


The second step is also very simple, at least in these long pants without complications.

8 bit retro pants draw people draw us style pixelated pixel

Classic jeans, pixel edition

It is important to become aware of the proportions used for each part. You have to keep some balance, although the hands and the head will be a bit more exaggerated to save the format of cartoon.


Still keeping the proportions, we will draw the body, based on a rectangle. Once done, we can refine the top left to simulate the effect of depth.

body retro 8 bit draw people draw us style pixelated pixel

Look Mom! Without hands!

Now it is the turn of the arms and hands.


We extend the shirt a little to lengthen what will be the arms. Although we could draw outstretched arms, I have thought that hands more raised would be more showy.

arms retro 8 bit draw people draw us style pixelated pixel

At sketch you can see where we plan to place the hands, as well as the proportion adequate of them.

We will do the same with the head, reserving a greater proportion, since that is where the greatest importance of the work will reside, since the details they are important for us to be recognized.

finished body retro 8 bit draw people draw us style pixelated pixel

It is important to keep the proportions to be consistent with the rest of the body.


The first thing is to make an analogy depending on the shape from the head to draw. Like a cartoon, it tends to exaggerate (without going over). In this case, I have chosen a form rather square, which resembles the original photo.

head retro 8 bit draw people draw us style pixelated pixel

Once drawn, we retouch the edges to suit the consumer, until we acquire a shape that we like more. Special care in the chin or chin, you have to shape it.

Hair or hair

One of the steps where the representation should be most noticeable is when drawing the person’s hair. The hairstyle It is one of the things that give the most meaning in a drawing, therefore we must do our best at this point.

We also draw the ear to finish shaping the doll’s head. Some people may have very small ears (or covered by hair), in that case they can be omitted.

hair hair retro 8 bit draw people draw us style pixelated pixel

Hey! I am taking shape!

In our example, we begin to draw the beard.


We started the traits of the subject’s face. To simulate a mouth and part of the beard, we draw a series of pixels in the order that can be seen in the drawing. The noseAs it is a character in profile, the ideal is to “blend in” with the contour of the face.

features mouth nose eyes hair retro 8 bit draw people draw us style pixelated pixel

We also draw the eyes and the eyebrows. The eyes they are a part that can be drawn in a thousand possible ways. Ideally, keep the perspective of the drawing and make the one on the left smaller (in the example).

The eyebrows are a complement that in people with very open or aspect of surprise perhaps it is better to omit.

Final touches

To finish, we draw a jacket. All the complements that are considered necessary and coincide with the person to represent can be included. The important thing is to identify those details that make the person to draw special, and get them portrayed.

jacket shadows hair retro 8 bit draw people draw us style pixelated pixel

Shadow detail is something very simple that gives very good results.

Finally, it is very important to add shades (slightly darker in color) in different parts of the drawing. In this example, it has been added between the hair and the skin, chin, in the shoulders of the character and neck and, finally, simulating the folds of the pants.

Final score

Ready. We can now withdraw the Grid that we established at the beginning, add a good background to it and see the result. Or maybe put it on as an avatar in our Twitter or Facebook Or include us in some game from the early 90s.

end result retro 8 bit draw people draw us style pixelated pixel

Note: Remember that the drawing is with a zoom of 1100%, so the drawing is actually icon size. You can expand it in Image / Change the size and expanding the number of pixels (marking Nearest neighbor in option Repeat sampling, otherwise it will fade) or capture screen if you don’t want to complicate yourself.

And now, after all this … Do you dare to make yours and share it with us? You can upload it to Imageshack and include it in the comments.