Vexel is a neologism for an entirely pixel-based form of raster art that imitates the visual appearance of vector graphics technique (i.e. sharp-edged lines and areas of flat colour or smooth gradient fills). The word itself is a portmanteau derived from a combination of “vector” and “pixel.”
The different nature of raster programs over a vector-plotted approach gives some vexel images a unique appearance when compared with traditional rasterized vector graphics, however, the increased flexibility comes with a loss of image scalability for print media, which is often a source of criticism. To compensate for this, most vexels are created at very high resolution.
A vexel may even be composed using vector graphic techniques, however it becomes a vexel when the vector elements are rasterized and further manipulations to the image are done in raster. Sometimes true raster images are placed behind and/or in front of the original vector elements to emphasize the surrealism that the vector elements produce. A vexel is not essentially created with paintbrushes, airbrushes or a freehand tool such as pencil, although some may include these elements if they are not the primary medium. Ben Woolley says “[V]exels were originally meant to involve a vector technique, not any particular aesthetic style.”
Here are some awesome examples of Vexel Artwork.