Making Isometric Art

by RPGking (PM)

See everything made by this user or team.

Current Language: English
Very Helpful
of 9 vote(s).


Isometric art, is at best tricky. You need to have patience for it to work. So here I will show you how to make isometric art, as well as some of the basic prinicipals of how to do it...



Isometric arts main challenge, is lines... look at this image of how the lines are lined up... they are lined up 1 pixel high, 2 pixels wide. And that pattern repeats...

If you look closely at this picture, you'll see lines or rows of 2 pixels, each lining up diagonally with one another to form a isometric line.

In the bigger picture, the unison of these lines creates a cube.

The unison of the lines in the picture above, when zoomed out, make up about 50% of the cube you see here.

Heres the tricky part, wrapping it all up, using edges. Edges are by far the most tricky but yet most flexible part of any isometric piece. Look at the picture below, there are many types of edges that can be used for isometric art.

Observe how the lines add up to link the other together.

You can use any style edge for isometric art, each one has a more defined look to it, one may be more curvy than the other, on one may be more sharp than the other, it all depends on your personal preference. I prefer using mixed edges because I find it gives a more stylized look to the art. Anyways, lets move onto lighting.


One of the most defining features of any isometric piece is the lighting, and the way the light hits the object. Lets say I have a white cube.

My cube without lighting applied.

This looks plain, so lets define a light source.

My cube with a light source defined, but with no light?

The light source has been defined, but there is no light here is where the critical aspect plays a role. Observe how the light strikes the cube...

The cubes apearance drastically changes, notice the area where no light is hitting is darker.

The cube changed, notice the color changes and how the area unaffected by light got darker, also, notice how where the light strikes, or is close too, the lines change from solid black, go to a lighter color. This is a rule of thumb that should alway be obeyed while creating isomtric art.


This is one of the hardest things to do in isometric art, all pixel art even, finding the right color pallete. And seeing how they react with one another based on the intensity or position of your light source. Look at the picture below.

My cube, with  light source defined. But whats so special about it?

This is the same cube as above, but wiht a light source defined... the same it maybe there is something very important about the colour selcetion. Look at my pallette for it.

Notice the careful selection of colors...

For isometric art to work, you need 4 primary colors, each differing in order from darkest to lightest. The first color in the pallette should be for the backend of the cube, a solid black, the second color in the pallette should be used for areas not affected by light, the third should be used for lines affected by or near the light, and the last color on the pallette should be used for areas affected by light. Now that you know the basics, we can make a cube...


Step 1: Open up MS paint, the default paint application for Windows.

Step 2: Go up to Image in the uppermost toolbar, and select Atributes, change the images WIDTH and HEIGHT to 128x128.

Step 3: Make a grid on your blank image, like so, you may use this picture for reference. Do not forget to zoom in to 800.

You may use this a refence or to start your cube off of.

Step 4: Go to the very bottom of the picture and find the pink line where it starts. Remeber, from the bottom. Make the line as indicated in the picture.

Step 5: Now make a line using the line tool as indicated in the picture.

Step 6: Useing the select tool create a box around th line you made, copy it, then paste it, but flip it horizontally and move it to the opposite side, it should look like this.

Step 7: Now select the whole mass, copy it, paste it, and position it as it is shown on the picture, notice how the guidelines are lined up if you need help.

Step 8: Now lets connect it all, look at the picture.

Step 9: Lets put it all together, right-click on yur drawing with the select tool selected, and click paste, flip the pasted form 2 times using 90 degrees. Then add it to the top of your square, like shown.

The finshed result...

The finished result.


There's been a total of 6180 views(s).
There's been 4657 people that have viewed.