How do pixel artists create random colours for example Grass. Some games use a Grass texture with different colours That are green and are similar. I jist want to know how people create it.

  • 2
    You might want to look into the HSB colour model. That is usually leading or at least helpful.
    – Vincent
    Mar 18, 2017 at 11:57

2 Answers 2


There's no way to know for sure what each individual artist does to make (short of asking them directly) but making something similar is fairly easy. Since you have no reference photo I'll try to replicate Minecraft's grass block texture, but you can scale this up to any size.

enter image description here

  1. Create a new image that is 16px X 16px
  2. Use Filter > Noise > Add Noise... (I used 50%)

  1. Use Image > Adjustments > Gradient Map...
    • Click on the gradient to get to the Gradient Editor
    • You can see my settings below, My first color is #49892B and my second is #243E16 with "Location" set to 50%

  • Click OK to close the Gradient Editor and again to close the Gradient Map. Your image should now look like this:

And you have some modest looking pixel grass! That should be enough to get you started, but if you're looking to make something with a limited color palette, I would play around with the the Image > Adjustments > Posterize tool. Happy spriting!


In true pixel art the artist will usually have a limited palette of colors to work with (16 and 32 are popular limits). In the age of 8 and 16 bit machines, those were actual hardware limitations, nowadays the limitations are used mainly to keep the piece cohesive and read more like pixel art and not just low-res graphic.

The best way to start with pixel art is to start with a palette. Making your own cohesive palette requires a good grasp on color theory, but you can always use some "ready made" ones. The recently popular (and newbie friendly) palettes are Pico-8 and DB16. Of course you can always use a palette from a vintage hardware, like the Commodore64 or NES. If you are using a palette, you just choose the colors from that palette for your grass.

If you want to choose your own colors, just bare in mind that you will only need few colors to make a good grass tile. Depending on system you want to emulate, you limit yourself to only few colors. 8bit systems would use anywhere from 2 to 4 colors, 16bit systems could go as high as 8. With that in mind:

  1. Choose a mid-tone green you want for your grass. You want a color that looks good and goes well with the mood of your piece. Save to swatches.

  2. Double click on the color in photoshop and change the value in Luminosity (, the circled L: on the right of the panel, add between 10 and 20 to the value) to create a highlight. This will be the color where the sun hits the grass. Save to swatches.

  3. Double click on the original color again and now decrease the luminosity by around 10-15 points. You might want to shift the hue as well (play with the values of H: on the panel or just drag the arrows up) to more of a blue-green. This will create your shadow.

enter image description here

With those 3 colors you can make a solid 16x16 tile. If you want something bigger (32x32) for example, you might want to add another highlight (based on your previous highlight, +luminosity, shift hue closer to yellow) and another shadow or two.

If you use a dedicated pixelart program, choosing colors is even easier. See the below color panel from Pyxel Edit

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.