The process of drawing my first bboy pixel art
AKA: Making a pixel bboy is not a replacement for actually practicing and/or exercising, but I like to think it is.

I honestly haven’t been sessioning much lately. The last time I actually spent a dedicated time breaking was roughly around 3 months ago. Even before then, I only had practice sessions once every couple of weeks. It’s a bit different than the days where I had the 4x week sessions back in college, or semi-daily practices in the gym when I was in New York. I’m pretty sure my recent severe lack of exercise messed up my cardio.

Nevertheless, I wanted to do something with bboying, so I decided to spend some time making a pixel art bboy. Using a picture of one of my favorite bboys, Roxrite, as a reference and using the techniques I that learned from HeartBeast a couple of days ago, I went through the process of making my first pixel art of a bboy.

step 1

The first step was to start off with basic shapes and connect them. I used a series of circles and ovals to make the general shape of the bboy. For what I was doing, any other shapes would have done the job just as good. In fact, the general shape may have been better using a combination of boxes and triangles. I’m just personally used to using circles when I draw by hand.

step 2

The next step was to fill everything in to make a silhouette of the bboy. There were a few rough lines and ugly pixels around the left side, but I would fix those later on.

step 3

After creating a silhouette, I spent some time cleaning the lines. I removed the ugly pixels around the right leg, shaped the torso to include an arm, and erased some pixels around the legs and feet in order to form the shorts and shoes.

step 4

Next, I colored in the silhouette with single colors. There are various ways I could have approached this step. In HeartBeast’s videos, he sometimes would start off the same way I did, by filling in the silhouette with solid colors. Other times, he would start off with lighting and form shapes using various shades of grey before moving onto colors.

step 5

I added some matching color socks and low-top shoes because what bboy wouldn’t want to rock some dope kicks.

step 6

I proceeded to add in the hair and a bit more detail to the shoes. I initially added the little wave thing found on puma suedes, but it made the shoes look a tad bit sloppy, so I took it out.

step 7

The final step was adding the details. I admit, this step is a pretty big change compared to the previous step, so I will try to go through my entire process.

While I was adding in the lighting, I realized that I absolutely hated the colors. My initial choice of colors made everything looked very earthy and boring. In certain cases, like a post-apocalyptic theme, those colors would work wonderfully. However, I was making a bboy, and bboys are flashy.

I changed the shirt to red for a lot of reasons. Red is the color of extremes. It is vibrate, strong, and passionate. It’s the symbol of strength and vitality. Also, it’s my favorite color (this is honestly the only real reason). Furthermore, because red is a very strong color, I brightened and desaturated the brown color of the shorts in order to contrast the intensity of the red a bit better.

I scaled the entire image down a little bit. I was having a lot of trouble with lighting. Because this was my first attempt, I realized that I started off with a canvas size that was far too large for me, and working with a smaller canvas would make the lighting much easier to handle.

After that, I proceeded to add lighting located at around the upper left corner. It was fairly tricky figuring out where the folds of the clothes were, so I spent a significant time playing around with the pixels until I felt satisfied with the look.

When I was done with the lighting, I add some final touches to everything. The hands were still solid circles at the time, and I didn’t think that I would be able to form fingers at such a small scale. However, I still decided to mess around with them and was able to form something that I thought looked decent. I also noticed that there was a very big gap between the shirt and the shorts, which made me uncomfortable. I added in the grey undershirt to fill in that space. Lastly, I added in the armband because its Roxrite and armbands look cool.


The final product

The body is a bit too wide and there are some rough pixels around the shorts, but overall, it was a fun attempt at making a bboy. I really enjoyed the entire process, and I think I might make this a regular thing.

The software I used was aesprite, which is open source and can be found here:

Written by Ryan Bruce Badilla on 03 January 2017