Pixel Art: Ice Man

Pixel Art "Iceman" by Chris Sanyk 512x512


  1. Ice Man is especially challenging. He’s translucent, and reflective, neither of which I know how to do effectively yet. I’ll have to work on this more.
  2. I used such a light shade of blue to convey “ice” that I felt he needed an outline, so I used a very thin outline in a slightly darker shade of blue, at 512×512 resolution.
  3. The pixel art trope for reflective things is to do some highlights and cross hatching. I didn’t attempt that, not for any real reason, other than that the style I’m working in demands keeping things simple, and highlights and reflections are a bit more than I want to do at this point. As an exercise, though, it would be worth playing with it just for the experience. I’d really like to hear suggestions for effective techniques for hinting at reflections and highlights.
  4. I’m not sure what can be done to simulate translucency. I could always use an image format that uses alpha channel and set it at a suitable value. Since my background is flat white I don’t really have anything to show translucency against. Of course, if I changed Iceman’s pose to show limb/body overlap, that would be a good opportunity to use it. I guess dithering with the alpha channel is one potential approach, as is simply hand-blending the under color with the over color. That would work for a static image; for a moving image that travels over a dynamic background, real alpha transparency would be in order.

I’d really like to hear from more experienced pixel artists on this: what would you do?

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