Essential Pixelart Tools For Mobile Designers

Pixel art has seen a major resurgence in popularity in recent years, especially for mobile apps and games. Though pixel art has been around for decades, originally used in older video games and graphics due to technical limitations, it has now become an aesthetic choice. The simplified and nostalgic pixelated graphics are appealing on small mobile screens. As expressed in this article, “Pixel Games: The Reason Behind it’s Wide Popularity”, pixel art games tend to have lower production costs compared to modern 3D games [1]. The nostalgia factor and retro feel tap into gaming roots. Overall, pixel art has proven highly effective, flexible, and efficient for mobile.

Drawing Tools

When it comes to creating pixel art on a mobile device, having the right drawing tools is essential. Here are some of the top apps pixel artists recommend for drawing and sketching on a mobile device:

Pixel Studio

Pixel Studio is one of the most popular free drawing apps for mobile pixel art. It provides a simple and intuitive interface along with a wide range of useful tools for sketching, animating, and editing your pixel art creations. Key features include a pixel-perfect pen tool, symmetrical drawing, and support for layers.


Dotpict is another excellent free option for creating pixel art on the go. It focuses on providing a minimalist interface so you can focus on the art. Dotpict’s standout features include a sticky pixel grid, radial symmetry tool, and color picker. It also makes it easy to export your work. The simple interface makes it a great choice for beginners.

Pixel Art – Color by Number

As the name suggests, this app allows you to create pixel art using a color by number approach. It provides a guided pixel coloring experience with access to a wide variety of intricate patterns and images to recreate. The app is very user-friendly and makes it easy to create beautiful pixelated artwork even if you have no drawing experience.

Animation Tools

Animation is key for bringing your pixel art characters and worlds to life. On mobile devices, there are a few standout apps for pixel art animation:

Pixilart is one of the most popular free animation apps for beginners. It has an intuitive interface and tools tailored for pixel art. You can create frame-by-frame animations and add effects like loops and ping pong. Onion skinning helps preview frames. Pixilart also has features to manage sprites and palettes.

Pixel Studio is great for rotoscoping animation. You can import images or video and trace over frames to animate. Onion skinning and frame management tools help streamline the process. Pixel Studio also has sophisticated features like mesh warping and bones animation for rigging characters.

For more advanced projects, Sprites is a feature-packed animation and sprite editor. It has tools like auto-inbetweening, texture mapping, and timeline previews. The UI is complex but powerful. Sprites is ideal for game animations, cutscenes, and complex character rigging.

Asset Creation

Pixel art assets like characters, tiles, objects, and more are at the core of any good pixel art game. There are many great tools available for easily creating high quality pixel art assets on mobile.

One of the top free tools is CraftPix, which offers a wide variety of assets in different styles that designers can use in their games. CraftPix specializes in 2D game assets and has a library of sprites, characters, backgrounds, and other elements that can be downloaded and implemented into mobile games.

Another excellent option is GDevelop, a free and open source game engine. GDevelop has built-in pixel art editors and asset creation tools designed specifically for making retro pixel art games. Designers can use it to create custom assets from scratch or edit existing assets.

For mobile designers looking to easily generate quality pixel art assets, tools like CraftPix and GDevelop are invaluable sources that can accelerate the game development process.

Color Palettes

Choosing the right color palette is crucial for creating great pixel art. Here are some top tools mobile designers can use to generate color palettes:

The Lospec Palette List contains a database of color palettes originating from old hardware with limited color options. It’s a great resource for finding retro-style palettes suitable for pixel art.

Pixilart’s My Color Palette feature allows you to easily create and edit a custom color palette. You can adjust colors, add new ones, and organize them into the perfect palette for your project.

For a more automated approach, try CoMiGo’s Palette Generator which instantly creates a grid of colors for you to turn into a finished palette. It’s great for quickly generating palette ideas.

Asset Management

Properly organizing your pixel art assets is crucial for any mobile design workflow. The best app for managing and organizing a pixel art asset library is according to many pixel artists on Reddit (source). makes it easy to categorize, tag, and search your asset library so you can quickly find what you need for your mobile designs. Key features include customizable folders, color coding, and built-in previewing/exporting tools.

Other recommendations for pixel art asset management include using general creative cloud apps like or open source options like . However, stands out for its specialized focus on game development workflows and pixel art asset pipelines. For mobile designers working heavily with pixel art, having a dedicated tool like can boost organization and save many hours of production time.

Sharing Creations

Pixel artists have several great options for sharing their artwork on mobile devices. Some of the most popular platforms include:

Pixel Studio – This mobile pixel art app has built-in social sharing features that allow you to easily export and share your creations. You can save your art locally or share directly to platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more.

Pixilart Mobile – The Pixilart app connects you with a creative community while also letting you produce pixel art on the go. You can save your work locally or share it with the Pixilart community.

Pixilart for Android – Available on Google Play, this app allows you to create pixel art and seamlessly share it on social media or other platforms. Artwork can be exported at high resolutions.


The pixel art community provides invaluable feedback, inspiration, and camaraderie for aspiring and professional pixel artists. Here are some of the top communities for connecting with fellow pixel art enthusiasts:

The Pixel Art Communities section of the Lospec website provides a comprehensive list of active forums, Discord servers, Facebook groups, Reddit communities, and more. This is a great starting point for finding pixel art communities tailored to your specific interests and preferred platforms.

The Pixilart community centered around the popular online pixel art editor of the same name is highly active. Members share creations, provide feedback, and collaborate on projects. The community spans the website, mobile apps, and social media.

Video Resources

Some of the best YouTube channels for learning pixel art and animation include Pixel Art Shop, Slynyrd, and MortMort. Pixel Art Shop focuses on teaching beginners the fundamentals of pixel art through clear tutorials. Slynyrd creates animated pixel art and shares speed paint videos. MortMort’s channel covers pixel art theory, tips and tricks.

These channels are widely recommended in the pixel art community as excellent starting points for learning the basics of both static and animated pixel art. Their video tutorials break down techniques in a step-by-step, easy to follow manner.


Pixel art can be an incredibly fun and rewarding art form for mobile designers looking to expand their skills. With just a few essential tools like Procreate, Aseprite, and Pixel Studio, you can start creating cute pixel sprites, intricate game assets, and animated scenes.

Finding the right balance of color palettes and carefully managing your assets will lead to a smooth workflow. While there is a learning curve, taking advantage of the many online tutorials and connecting with other pixel artists will have you mastering this retro artform in no time.

The pixel art community is welcoming and excited to see new designers join their ranks. With persistence and consistent practice, you’ll be surprised at the charming pixel art you can design. Soon your custom characters, animations, and worlds will come to life one pixel at a time.