Diamond painting kits offer a fresh take on paint-by-numbers. They let you recreate works of art by placing tiny rhinestones to create shiny, pixelated versions of pieces like Van Gogh’s Starry Night. In addition to the sets we found on Amazon, the guys at Pretty Neat Creative can make custom kits based on your own images.
Awesome Pixel Art
Pix Brix are interlocking single-stud bricks for creating 2D pixel or 3D voxel art. They not only click together like LEGO, but can be securely locked side-by-side for flat artworks. A special multifunction tool makes them easy to manipulate and disassemble. They’re also compatible with other major brick brands.
Despite their primitive gameplay and rough graphics, we have a fond place in our hearts for the old Atari 2600. Mauri Helme pays tribute to the classic 8-bit console with a 3D voxel art animation, featuring scenes from Pitfall, River Raid, Frostbite, Keystone Kapers, and the oft-maligned E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Looking for a unique gift for a car enthusiast? PXLCARS makes one-off pixel art illustrations of vehicles and can turn them into custom acrylic keychains. They just need some good photos of the car, truck, or SUV you’d like illustrated. Keychain packages include a copy of the digital illustration.
The biggest LEGO Art set yet creates a pixelated map of the world. It comes with an insane 11,695 round 1×1 LEGO studs which come together to form a 26″ x 41″ piece of art. After you place the continents with your preferred nations centered, you can fill the oceans with your own custom patterns. Drops 6.1.2021.
Fans of retro 8-bit gaming will love these colorful enamel pins inspired by the aliens in the top-down shooter Galaga. Etsy seller Wardingers offers a selection of handmade pixel art pins based on characters like the Bee, Butterfly, Scorpion, Galaxian, and Bosconian. Sold individually or in a set of all seven designs.
Rick and Morty season five arrives in June 2021. While we wait for the premiere, here’s a little something fun to fill your eyeballs with. Paul Robertson created this amazing 17-minute pixel art animation that envisions the duo battling an endless stream of baddies in an epic side-scroller video game. thE sIMuLAtioN iS coRruPt!
Idaho artist Thunktronix makes playful pixel-art sculptures of characters from video games and pop culture. Each of the sprites is made from 1/4″-thick plexiglass which has been decorated with translucent colors on back. Robotron, Donkey Kong, and the Mooninites from Aqua Teen Hunger Force are among our favorites.
Artist Ben Vessey created this awesome set of icons that transform iOS devices into a classic Apple Macintosh. The set includes more than 110 monochrome pixel icons in dark and light themes and six wallpapers. While the set covers many popular apps, Ben also offers a premium edition that includes five custom app icons.
There’s software out there that can stylize images, but this technology makes images from real wood. Its algorithms compare greyscale levels between images and patterns in wood veneer, then instructs a CNC machine to cut out pieces that can be assembled to form a complete portrait. Two Minute Papers explains.
TwistPixel Studios creates fun and vibrant wall art using mini Rubik’s Cubes as his media. Each work is sold in kit form, and includes all of the supplies you need to create your pixelated portraits. Designs include Space Invaders, Pikachu, Tony Stark, Pac-Man, and numerous others, all made using a limited 6-color pallette.
LEGO takes a page from the builder community by releasing a series of pixelated portraits you can assemble yourself. The initial series will include images from Andy Warhol, Star Wars, Marvel, and The Beatles. Each set offers multiple build options for different faces. Available 9.1.20.
Calling occupants of Planet Earth! This fun kit lets you build a pixelated 3D model of our globe using 1338 tiny bricks. The resulting planet is small enough to fit in the palm of your hands, and will look great sitting on your desk or bookshelf. Just don’t let the dog get ahold of it, or you’ll have a tiny armageddon on your hands.
Erik Jensen creates art using a non-traditional medium. Instead of paints, pencils, or ink, he creates original works and replicas of famous paintings using computer keys. He dyes the the keys with various colors then painstakingly arranges them into pixel grids. Erik sells originals and prints on his website.
Brandon James Greer is a master at creating pixel art. In this tutorial video, he explains some tricks and techniques for working with the most rudimentary of color palettes. 1-bit art embraces the limitations of a low-res monochrome image to focus on composition, patterns, and textures.
Garrick Campsey’s cyberpunk-inspired 2D platformer Lazr introduces the use of simulated cloth into its environments, adding a unique design and gameplay element. The flexible materials are used to create swinging ladders, ropes, and nets for the game’s protagonist to climb on. Demo available here.
Breakfast created this incredible work of kinetic art that uses spools of thread to display images. It has 6400 individual spools, each of which can rotate between 36 different colors to display a single pixel. The trick is that the spools actually are loaded with a long multi-color belt, rather than individual threads.
This high tech art toy lets you take any image and convert it into a pixel art template. Use your phone to upload a pic, and the smART Pixelator’s LEDs light up so you can place colored pegs, beads, or sequins in the right spots. With its interchangeable frames or hot-melt beads, you can save your designs permanently.
For those of us living in big cities, scenic roads are a bit hard to come by, but once you hit the open road, America has plenty of great drives. Expedia shares five of their faves, reimagined as pixel art from a late 1980s arcade game. We just love Oregon’s Columbia Highway.
If Garfield the lasagna-loving cat starred in a survival horror on the Game Boy Advance, it might look something like this bit of insanity. This pixel art short film by animator Lumpy Touch is some serious nightmare fuel, so you might not want to watch it right before bedtime.
All in Pixel created this animated masterpiece for The Verge’s Better Worlds‘ project. Based on a short story by Justina Ireland, it’s a science fiction tale about a woman determined to leave Earth for a more hopeful future on a colony only attainable for the wealthiest of people.