Creation of pixel art graphics is not an easy job, it requires proper experience and, most importantly, time. It is not easy to create a complex pixel art scene quick, because you need to plan all the elements well and it is hard to automate the routine; a lot of components of the image must be developed pixel by pixel manually. Remember that only the artwork that was French polished (which needs more time) would be perceived by the audience as a professional one, any other attempts could look like pixel gimcrack.
So what should you do, when you need a pixel art assets for your game, but time is not an option? The answer is vector graphics. You are not misheard. The vector editor may help you to create pixel art scenes pretty quick, automating many routine procedures. The tool I’ve chosen is Adobe Illustrator, it is popular, it is powerful and in most case it is very handy.
There are several scenarios how Illustrator can be turn into the pixel art editor. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some of them are simple (moreover they can be called elementary ones), but some other ones require more patience. The general idea is clear: you draw vector shapes like you usually do in a vector editor, focusing mainly on drawing itself and having all the editing advantages. But then you turn (or stylize) the image into pixel art style.
Way 1. The anti-aliasing option turned off.
Simply uncheck the the specific checkbox in the Edit>Preference>General… menu or the same checkbox in the Save for web option panel. Voila! Now all the artwork you are working with has no anti-aliasing, so all graphic elements have hard edges.
The easiest one. It is very simple, but the result can be far away from the ideal. It is suitable for large geometric elements, but it is hard to control tiny elements, like outlines and so on. It is also very unpredictable, sometimes it is hard to imagine the final result. There can be some graphic artifacts.