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5 Free Online Pixel Art Makers That Will Help You Create 8-Bit Masterpieces

2D Pixel Art

Photo: Wirestock/Depositphotos

The options for digital art are endless. As technology advances, there are seemingly no limitations. You can pick and choose your tools—and, most importantly, what you'd like to create. Some folks, for instance, love a retro aesthetic. In that case, pixel art is appealing. If you love the blockiness in this type of art, then it’s time to give it a try. It’s now easier than ever with online pixel art makers.

Pixel art makers are digital tools that allow you to create artwork using individual pixels as the fundamental building block. You work within a grid system, where a square represents a single pixel. This sounds meticulous because it is meticulous. But working block by block gives you complete control over the design.

The best of these tools are crafted so anyone can use them, whether a beginner or a pro. They provided a range of drawing tools and color palettes, making the blank canvas ripe with possibilities. Most importantly, pixel art makers give you the ability to see each block and zoom in and out. This allows for creating intricate details and seeing an overview of the art. It's vital—especially if you’re working on a small scale. Some characteristics might be lost or obscured without that ability.

Get started creating 8-bit art when you try one of these free online makers.

Pixel Art Landscape

Photo: Nataliia_Lehka/Depositphotos


Free Online Pixel Art Makers

If you’ve ever used an image editor—from MS Paint to Photoshop to Canva—you’ll recognize the general format of online pixel art makers. They have tools on the left side, such as drawing, painting, and an eraser tool. When you’re done creating your pixel masterpiece, you can download them from the makers to save on your computer.


Pixel Editor

Screenshot: Lospec Pixel Editor


Lospec Pixel Editor

The goal of the Lospec Pixel Editor is to allow you to make pixel art and to do it fast. When you first enter the editor, it has a screen where you select a canvas size and palette (although the palette isn’t required). Once you’ve picked your canvas, you’re taken to the interface with standard tools—a pencil, eyedropper, and eraser, among others. It has a layers function, which makes image creation a much easier process. Lospec expects to add features to its editor in the future, so be on the lookout for what it implements next.



Piskel markets itself as being a sprite maker. A sprite is a small picture used in computer graphics and video games. They often represent characters, items, and other elements within a game or animation. The animation part here is key, as Piskel allows you to produce animations by adding additional frames. Coupled with a host of tools and transformation capabilities, Piskel is powerful.


Pixilart Maker

Screenshot: Pixilart



Pixilart allows you some of the most control of online pixel art makers. It works a lot like Photoshop. You control the size of your canvas (the max is 700 pixels in width and height) and select a ready-made color palette (optional). You’ll then be loaded onto a blank canvas, where you can adjust the pixel size. Use the pencil tool to have the most control over your drawing, or paint with pixels and test out new brushes. The right-side navigation gives you a helpful view of your overall composition to see what it’d look like zoomed out. (This is great if you’re creating an avatar for social media!)


Pixel Art Maker

Screenshot: Dinopixel


Pixel Art Maker

Pixilart has a lot of bells and whistles, while Pixel Art Maker is more barebones. It has just a few tools and a seemingly infinite amount of pixels to scroll. You can’t change the size of those pixels or your brush size, so you’ve got to work on the same small scale no matter what you’re drawing.

While some might find it restricting, it invites you to get to work immediately.



In terms of interface, Dinopixel has a middle-of-the-road amount of tools and capabilities. Like Pixilart, you can change the dimension and size of the pixels you’re working with. It covers the basic drawing utensils and has a mirror function for symmetrical designs. You can even make GIFs with it.

Pixel Fruit Art

Photo: Andegraund548/Depositphotos


Online Pixel Art Tutorials

If you’re interested in 8-bit but don’t know where to start, YouTube creators have you covered. While they each use different programs, the concepts and techniques they cover translate to any graphic editor.


Everything you need to know about Pixel Art!


How To Pixel Art In 10 Minutes


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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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