ASCII art image designd with python
ASCII art image

Convert Image to Artistic ASCII Image Using Python

In this article, we will convert any given image to an artistic colored ASCII image using Python in less than 35 lines of code.

Original Image on the left and Final ASCII Image on right

This project will give you a solid foundation in understanding the structure of images and playing around it and that is in a fun way!! So, lets make some ASCII image using Python.

Dependencies Required:

You must have python installed on your system along with pillow python package. You can simply install pillow with pip install pillow. Firstly I will explain all the steps then we will proceed to the code snippets.


  • Open the image from the provided path.
  • Scale the images otherwise very big output image will be generated.
  • Convert the image into a greyscale image.
  • Get relevant character for each pixel from the character list(according to the pixel value, the character from the list is chosen i.e. “_” represents low density).
  • Now that character is printed on the new canvas of given size with ImageDraw function(in the function itself you can choose the colors to be RGB or B&W).
  • Save the newly generated image and you are done!!!


from PIL import Image,ImageDraw,ImageFont
import math

Import these libraries first

image ="InputImage.jpg")
scaleFac = 0.8
charWidth = 10
charHeight = 18
w,h = image.size
image = image.resize((int(scaleFac*w),int(scaleFac*h*(charWidth/charHeight))),Image.NEAREST)
w,h = image.size
pixels = image.load()

Here Firstly the image is loaded then the scaling factor is chosen (0.1–1) and the size of each ASCII character in the final output image is decided then the width and height of the image are taken and the image is resized. Doing so is very important otherwise more computational power will be used and the output images will be too big.

font = ImageFont.truetype('C:\\Windows\\Fonts\\lucon.ttf',15)
outputImage ='RGB',(charWidth*w,charHeight*h),color=(0,0,0))
draw = ImageDraw.Draw(outputImage)

Now the font for ASCII characters is decided. I have used inbuilt fonts of windows. After that, a canvas ‘outputImage’ of black color is created using Image function and ImageDraw object is created to embed ASCII characters on the canvas.

def getSomeChar(h):
    chars="$@B%8&WM#*oahkbdpqwmZO0QLCJUYXzcvunxrjft/\|()1{}[]?-                               _+~<>i!lI;:,\"^`'. "[::-1]
    charArr = list(chars)
    l = len(charArr)
    mul = l/256
    return charArr[math.floor(h*mul)]

This function getSomeChar will get pixel value as a parameter that ranges between 0–256 and it returns the respective ASCII character from the chars list. You can make your own char list if you want.

for i in range(h):
    for j in range(w):
        r,g,b = pixels[j,i]
        grey = int((r/3+g/3+b/3))
        pixels[j,i] = (grey,grey,grey)
        font=font,fill = (r,g,b))

This is where the most important work is done. We loop through each pixel and gathered RGB components and the mean of them gives us the grey pixel value. Now, in a draw.text it takes the position of embedding character as the first argument and character itself that is being chosen with getSomeChar function as the second argument, a font that we have chosen earlier as the third and fill that is color as the fourth argument."name_for_output.png")

Then just save the image…..and share the generated artistic image.

You can play around with font size, font style, scaling factor, canvas background, and characters list.

This is my first blog … so please let me know if you guys like this or not. Suggestions are most welcome .

Read another great article Visualize Sorting Algorithms With Python


Woring in the field of I.T. for past 3 years and have expertise in the areas of Machine Learning, App Development(Flutter) and Automation. He loves to write about new technologies and simple projects that can help beginners to start with.

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