Coming off the heels of a successful Mega Man pixel art project, I knew I had try another! After my girlfriend ordered us some more canvases, I settled on my next painting subject: Link from The Legend of Zelda! The Zelda games have been some of my favorites ever since the original 1986 NES release, and Link’s 8-bit design was the perfect fit for a budding pixel artist. Below are some pics that detail my process.
Naturally, the first task was to create a 16×16 square grid that would work with the template that I found. I struggled somewhat to get it perfectly in the middle, and I had to do some math to make sure all my squares would be the same size. I only have my old 12-inch ruler from elementary school, so this took me a lot longer than I had anticipated! Time to upgrade my straight-edge…
From the first and second pics, you can see that I started adding color. Lucky for me, Link’s sprite only uses three shades! I used a red and brown mix for the shield, belt, hair, feet, and face. Honestly, I’m not sure what that thing on the right is supposed to be. Maybe some sort of shoulder pad?
For the cross, outer shield, arm, and face, I used a mix of yellow with just a touch of brown so it wouldn’t be too light. I think I probably could have made this hue even lighter, but it ended up working out after adding my background.
I’m not ready to do anything too crazy yet for a background, so I settled on a color inspired by the shades found in the dungeon levels of the original game. It’s not exact, but I think it’s dark enough to really make Link’s sprite pop out in the painting. Nothing too fancy here for brush work. I liked the idea of leaving a little white around the edge and then brushing toward the outside to get that feathered look. My girlfriend said it looks like a ring of power surrounding the character!
I’m super happy with how my project turned out! Truly, this is such a fun way to spend an evening, and of course, I’m looking forward to creating more. What should I paint next??
Thanks for stopping by to check out my art! Did you play the original Legend of Zelda? Are you a fan of the series? Tell me about it in a reply below! Also, be sure to subscribe to my blog via e-mail to get content delivered directly to your inbox!