I can't speak for Kawiku but I could offer you a few tips based on how I do my pixels .D. (feel free to ignore these if you want).
I don't know what programs you have at your disposal, but the one I (and Kawiku) use is PaintToolSai. i'm sure similar effects can be achieved in Gimp, Paint.Net or similar programs with layers. (Gimp and Paint.Net are free, btw, but I don't know exactly how they work) Basically, this is how I pixel and how im sure Kawiku does too (or verrrry similar). I'll add in an MSPaint friendly bit too~ i think thats what griffsnuff uses for hers 1 - Using a small canvas and a really small brush (like 1 pixel across, doesn't have to be a pixel brush), I do a sketch of whatever I want to pixel. I might draw extra details on top on another layer if i want to. It looks like this: sta.sh/0209aiyqu1r7 or with details sta.sh/0svo6uaw3ne (these are screenshots from a commission btw, sorry for any confusion) -you can do this in msp too. Pick a faint colour (like light grey or really pale blue) to do a sketch underneath with the regular brush. Same thing as above really .D. 2 - Using my pixel pen (it's called binary pen in Sai, don't know about the others), i go over the sketch on a new layer with clean lines (made of single pixels). It helps if you make the opacity of the sketch layer lower (more transparent). Like this: sta.sh/02232p9pzpa7 -again, you can do this in MSPaint, just use black and draw your outline on top pf the sketch. Then just get rid of the sketch colour when you're done (if you dont know the fast way to do this, ill write it at the end) 3 - phew hard bit over! Check it looks ok from time to time as you draw it by the way. But now the lines should be done. That's when you add colours! Eg. sta.sh/016oj9qyc4gm (was changing colours here, sorry for the two images). Do this on a separate layer underneath your lines -Fill bucket .D. 4 - After that you can choose to add shading if you want~ use lighter and darker tones of your colours and don't forget to colour in the lines too! Leave black lines in the shadows and make them lighter colours in the light. Use a layer clip to do this (if you dont know what i mean by that, instead just do your colour changes on a new layer on top of everything). -This is something i find easier in Paint, so sometimes i put the sprite into MSPaint and finish it in there c:
Now, fast erase 1 colour trick in mspaint. There are two colour boxes in mspaint. In the first box, get the colour you want replacing (eg light blue). Using right click, get the colour you want to replace it with (eg white). Now get the eraser tool, hold the right click button and rub out over the light blue. It should turn white .D. If not just ask me about it
Hope all this helped .D. Good luck! (and sorry for long message!)
Yeah, I know, right? Pixel art is awesome, but you really need to have lots of practice when doing pixels, especially when doing very detailed and colourful pieces. I will! I think it would be a bit easier if you just kind of made a tutorial out of it so you won't have the need to rewrite the thing over and over(?). You're welcome!
In a word, i'd say it's fiddly. One pixel off can make everything look wrong and making each colour visible requires a bit of knowledge about how the things work - I ended up making a white highlight around a bunch of feathers in one of my recent icon commissions to make it stand out.
Do you think i should? it'd be fun making a tutorial ;D;
Yeah, that's why many people just say "Fuuuuuuuuuuuck that." to pixel art(*raises hand*). YES! I do! I personally have seen a handful of tutorials on pixel art that was good-ish, but they didn't really explain the most important things. They were like "I do it like this. I don't know why, but yeah." ._.
Yeah it's a little annoying to work with. I give up and walk off more than I sit and work on it xD On a slightly off-side note, I had some sleeping tablets last night and was trying to animate a pixel icon it didn't go well at all xD
Alrighty! Next time I do a pixel art, I'll make a tutorial out of it~ Or I'll just use my D'night sprite for it lol, then I can give a tutorial on animating them too, yes..?
Gosh I hate that >< it took me forever to figure out how to just draw some smooth lines in Sai because no-one actually explained it! Or when people say 'then shade it'. HOW. WHAT COLOURS. WHAT BRUSH. WHAT LAYER SETTINGS. AGH. xD I'll try and explain everything I do for you~