How to Make Vector Vexel Art with Photoshop

On this post you will learn about how to make Vector Vexel Art with photoshop.

What if I told you about making Vector Vexel Art is not easy ? hehe but don’t worry, i will share this vector the tutorial with basic skill first.

First, we need to pay attention about the technique. You can find all vector vexel tutorial on youtube, but almost everything on youtube are timelepse video. So, Its hard to understand what they doing on that video.

Okay i will explain first about the button

Okay, this all tool for this articel How to Make Vector Vexel Art with Photoshop

Pen Tool
Pen Tool is a main button or tool to make vector vexel art. With this tool we can make any shape (In Shape Layer Mode). So we use it to make face shape and other shading shape to blend the colors skin, cloth, and hair.

Brush Tool
Second is Brush Tool, this tool we will use for shading the skin after we make the shape. We will also shading costume, hair and etc.

Arrow Tool
This Tool allow you to select single or multiple paths/shapes for editing. The Black Arrow (Path Selection Tool) icon make us to select the whole path, so we can move it around. The White Arrow (Direct Selection Tool) allow us to select and edit parts of a path, whether that is individual points, positions, curve/angle, or the section of the path.

So lets Begin

First, we need the object / photo to turn into vector vexel. Lets we use this photo

Lets we use this photo


After that, create shape to define the shape of the face. For me, i create 2 layer shape. First layer shape define eye, nose, mouth/lips. And second to define the hair and body / shirt.

Then, how to make that shape ? By using Pen Tool Of Course. To use pen tool for make shape. Press P and select shape box at top window. Then define the shape.

To make curved shape. Lets See this picture below

How to Make Vector Vexel Art with Photoshop with this image.

  1. Click and drag to create new anchor point on a new layer.
  2. Click and Drag again to add new point.
  3. And next, click and drag to make a third point.
  4. now, we are going to loop around and mimic the curve. So click and drag to create a new point near the exisiting point in the middle.
  5. Make sharp point at the end by press alt to get the convert point tool, and move the handle bar so its pointing to the left new.
  6. Complete the path by clicking on the first anchor point again.
Editing the shape

How to Make Vector Vexel Art with Photoshop ~ using a combination of pressing alt and ctrl to get the convert anchor tool and the white arrow respectively can make you to edit your shape. By zooming bit closer we can make it the shape to be thinner

If we use black arrow / path selection tool, we can go to edit > transform path or we can copy and paste the path too

We can make more than one shape in one layer, with this, we can save much layer for a little shape, and you can still edit the shape and edit the relationship among each other with black arrow button.

Okay, thats all basic information that you need to know before we going to make on. Now, define the shape of the mouth, eyes, and nose like this.

Second, make mouth and eyes vector vexel

Before i going to vector vexel the skin, i usually do the lips and eyes first, Lets begin

First, follow the lips shape using pen tool like we use for creating lineart / outline shape face.

In this tutorial, we will use pink color with hex code #fa8170 and now we need brighten the lips with more shape layer. In this tutorial we will use 2 shape layer to brighten with hex #ffa48c and #ffc3a9.

Okay, before i continue about the brighten the lips. We need to know this Clipping Mask Method. A clipping mask is a group of layers to which a mask is applied. The bottommost layer, or base layer, defines the visible boundaries of the entire group.

To do clipping mask, Arrange your layer first to set the base layer. Then, right click on the layer > select create clipping mask

And now we brighten the lips. The first bright layer with hex code #ffa48c is shape like this

The second brighten layer with hex code #ffc3a9 is shape like this

Result of the vector vexel will be like this

So, the next we need to know about mask. Mask its different with clipping mask, its give us extra icon when active like this.

If we active mask icon, we can erase some part of shape so we can make shading effect

To make shading with mask, First we need to active the mask. For example the shading on the lips bright layer

Select the lips bright layer then click that icon on the bottom window

Now, by selecting first bright layer, click on the right icon to select mask

it will be like this, it will be selected by seen the square corner frame.

Now, after that press B or click brush tool to configure our brush. For this tutorial it will configure like this.

Yeah like that, i use soft rounded brush (see blue rectangle ) with mode : normal, opacity : 33%, and flow : 100%

After we configure our brush lets use it by hold left click to ours shape and use it well to make transparency effect on our shape.

After understand that, use it too on brighten layer 2

How to Make Vector Vexel Art with Photoshop ~ some times my friend ask “How i can shape like that ? do i have a base why you shape like that ? ” basically is the bright spot on the lips. So on the second bright shape layer i just use simple and small shape for that to make bright spot like that. About the dark color too. Basically the dark spot we see if different we make a new layer. Need some excersice to make more sense.

For the teeth i just make like this, with this color palette with shape like this. Of course with shading.

So, how about the tongue ? i just make simple shading like this.

Oh, about this inner mouth, we can add brush to make shadow like with mask method


Ok, With same method we create the eyes in vector vexel.

  1. Make base eyes shape
  2. Make cornea of the eyes
  3. Add a shape in the cornea and shading it with mask
  4. Of course, the pupil
  5. Then, some touch highlight in the eyes
  1. First, shape and like picture and shading it
  2. Add more shape and shading it xD
  3. Then shape red and shading it softly

Do it the other eye.

Third, make skin vector vexel

Make skin vector vexel its little bit tricky, but lets go on.

Sorry, i dont active the hair layer, so its look like this
  1. Make base layer with first color
  2. second, add bright color with second color
  3. more bright color with third color
  4. Add first basic shadow
  5. Then add More shadow
  6. Finally, darker shadow

And always be focus on the layer order, After that we can shading the the all the layer one by one

Fourth, The hair

The hair for How to Make Vector Vexel Art with Photoshop its more tricky than the skin. I just use my feeling on this part

since, we already make lineart the hair shape, so we just duplicate the layer and delete non-hair shape to make the hair base shape.

Hair Palette

This is the step by step to make hair

  1. after we make base shape hair, add more shape like picture.
  2. Then add more shape use the second palette color
  3. Add more shape to give lightning effect by using the third palette color
This is final form of our tutorial

Okay that is it How to Make Vector Vexel Art with Photoshop, now we finish the tutorial how to make vector vexel art version 1
Why version 1 ? Cause i will create more vector vexel art and share it here. So subscribe my website to get notifications update about this website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *