Advice on practicing for 8x8, 16x16 and 32x32 characters?

Most I can do for the latter two is blocky stick figures that aren’t so good for animation

The first, I’ve got are VERY simple for 8x8

What I want to do is be able to make sprites that resemble non-pixel sprites/characters more easily, like a 16x16 Conan The Cimmerian and such

But I learn via very basic steps and don’t do so well with innovation admittedly, especially if it comes to putting ideas on paper so to speak

Want to be able to make ones like in JRPG like Octopath Traveler and the like

Start at 32x32 (or larger, if you have a size you’re comfortable at), and make smaller versions of it, without trying to maintain the exact same proportions - focus on communicating the important features instead.
Study existing sprites from games with those sprite sizes you like the look of. The SNES and GBA in particular had many good-looking games that Octopath was inspired by. You’ll notice that the most readable ones for RPGs don’t maintain human proportions, they go for a chibi/SD look where the head takes up around a very large part of the sprite. Limbs are often thick and short, and the arms and legs are animated with different amounts of exaggeration to take advantage of the fact that at some RPG view angles, the arms are more visible than the legs anyway.

8x8 characters are practically their own artform and the tricks for 16x16 and 32x32 don’t really work at this size. I’d recommend putting that one off until you’ve gotten very comfortable with 16x16, by then you’ll hopefully have a better understanding of how to simplify and what’s most important to show.

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Thanks, know any particular games which also have a “This is how we first drew X”?