I couldn’t bring you any real donuts, but pixel donuts are the next best thing! Today I’m going to walk you through the steps of pixelling your own delicious donuts! Too bad you can’t actually eat them.
1. Draw an oval.
This is going to be the top of your donut. Don’t worry about making it a perfect oval, or it won’t look like a real donut.
2. Draw a hole in the middle of your oval.
Give it at least 3-4 pixels depth (when working at this size) so it’s deep enough to tell that it’s a hole rather than a dent.
3. Draw the base of the donut
Pixel straight down from the outer edges of the donut, curve the corners, and draw straight across. Now it kind of looks like a tire laying on its side.
4. Clean up the jagged edges.
Refine your outline to 1 pixel width. When you get to the edges, make sure to create a smooth, gradual curve or your donut will look lumpy.
5. Fill in base color/s
Use the fill bucket to color in your donut. I wanted mine to be iced, so I used two different colors.
6. Shade your donut
Pick a light source and shade opposite to the light. keep this shape rounded so the donut looks 3D. In pixel art, since you’re working on such a small scale, you want to be sure there is plenty of contrast or else you won’t be able to see that you shaded it at all. It’s also not necessary to use a lot of extra colors. On this size, one shadow color should do the trick.. I also added the cake color to the donut hole, so now it looks more like a hole and less like a spot.
7. Integrate your outlines
Color your black lines to blend them into the donut. I also added drips where the icing melted.
In general, you want to keep your color count down when doing pixel art, so I shaded the chocolate icing with the colors from the cake. I added one color to highlight the cake part. Remember to highlight in curved shapes, and away from the outline so that your donut looks puffy and 3D. I added a little highlight to the edges that were shaded. This helps them pop a little more.
9. Decorate your donut
Finally, you can add sprinkles, drizzle, filling, powdered sugar, or anything else you can think of to decorate your little donut.
Yummy! Here are some other donuts I made using these same steps.
(The actual image resolution I used in this tutorial was 50 by 50 pixels; the steps are shown zoomed in 800%)