How to sprite in MSPaint:
Have you seen those dumb Megaman comics that people post on the internet? 90 percent of the time people use ripped sprites from the Megaman games as the base for their (usually poorly made) sprites. This is a tip on how to create an okay to good lookin' sprite without resorting to copying Capcoms work.
The first step is to draw something on paper. Anything will do.
Next, color it in. It doesn't matter if you colored it in on paper or if you colored it in Photoshop, as long as it has color you're on the right track.
We'll use these two drawings as an example:
Open up a new paint file and copy and paste your drawing into the program. So as to not anti-alias the drawing, go to Edit - Select All and then click on Image - Stretch/Skew. Stretch the file 50/50 for both horizontal and vertical three times. This makes the image smaller to somewhere around 100 percent.
(This image is zoomed in at 200 percent.)
It's recommended to zoom in to whatever size you're comfortable with. x10 really does help when you're spriting something this small.
Step 1: Surround the small image with a box of any color. If the image is surrounded by a bunch of whites that won't go away with one swoop of the Fill tool, take any of the pixel tools and carefully go around the image until they're gone.
Step 2: The next step is to create an outline. In the menu select Colors - Edit Colors - Define custom colors. There is a gradient bar over to the left with an arrow on it. Choose a color that's close to black, but still has quite a bit of gray on it. This way, if you ever put your sprite against a completely black drawing you can still see the outline. It's okay if you want to go with pure black.
Now, go around the edges and add the outline where you think it should be. Clean up any white pixels along the way as you do so.
Step 3: Remove the color from the sprite. If you zoom in, you can see what almost looks like jpg artifacts in your drawing. You only need three colors instead of eight, so take the pure white and erase the insides of the outline.
Step 4: Pick your colors! Open up the Edit Colors menu and go to Define Custom Colors. Choose a single color of your liking and then move the arrow three times to get a light, medium, and dark shade of those colors. Repeat this process if your sprite has other sections that need a different color.
Step 5: Fill the outline in with the medium color. Take your dark and light colors and shade the sprite. For those of you who don't know, shading is based on where the light reflects off of you. If you're sitting at your computer in a dark room, look down at your hands. The glow of the monitor brightens up most of the hand, but where the light doesn't reach is pretty much dark. This is why when you shade it should always go light - medium - dark.
Step 6: Viola! You're finished! You can stretch the sprite an additional 100/100 (i.e. 200/200, 300/300) to make it bigger. It's time consuming and takes practice, but you can create some pretty cool sprites this way... unless you want to be hardcore and do it completely by scratch with the pixel tool.