How to Draw Pixel art in Pixelmator

  • By Christopher Kielty, last updated September 07, 2016
  • Filed under: Pixelmator

I’m using Pixelmator 3.3.2 and it wasn’t immediately obvious to me how to paint one pixel at a time.

Pixelmator 3.3.2 Limestone

There’s the brush tool, which can be set to a diameter of 1. But the brush tool causes a lot of antialiasing. Antialiasing can be good, but this wasn’t what I was looking for.

The brush tool causes antialiasing, even when set to 1

So I dug into the preferences pane and found the pixel tool. This is exactly what I wanted. Thanks Pixelmator.

Pixelmator preferences

Just drag the tool from the preferences pane, drop it on the tool palette, and you’re good to go. Ready, set, pixel art.

Drag and drop the pixel brush tool into the tool palette

Much better.

The pixel brush doesn't cause any antialiasing

See also: How to draw a nice, flat, single color lightbulb icon in Inkscape

Now I wish there were a pixel eraser. I suppose I should be thankful there’s a pixel brush. Maybe in GIMP?

I don’t use pixel art a lot. I really prefer vector graphics and 3D. But on a computer monitor, for certain situations, it’s tough to beat the crispness of good pixel art. Another tool in the arsenal. This makes be nostalgic for MS Paint.

The pixel brush keyboard shortcut is P. Switch back and forth between the pixel brush and the marque tool (for erasing exact areas) with P and M.

Good old fashioned pixel art

Eastman Reference Pixel Art