(By the way, I updated Golbat's design a bit yesterday, the changes may or may not be immediately recognizable but regardless, if you want to see it check out the link for yesterday's Pokemon in link form at the end of today's show!)
Today's art features Oddish, one of Nintendo's weakest designs for this generation. I mean, no offense Oddish fans, but this design is pretty lazy! Its a purple blob with little legs and some grass shooting out of its head. I guess it doesn't need to be all that complicated for a stage one creature, and I suppose he's kind of cute...But you gotta admit Oddish isn't all that interesting otherwise.
Now, I go about my designs in two ways : I draw the Pokemon from my memory onto the canvas to create a very raw draft or I'll look it up on Google and then approach a draft with a little more insight and test out a style or direction I could take it. Oddish was born of the former- There's not much to his design and I wanted to add more to this little purple ball so I drew him out from memory and from there I began to start adding the Bonnyjohn details. From the get go I knew I didn't want to give the creature a mouth, heck even the eyes were going to be omitted.
This is because I wanted to take a very realistic approach to the creature, and have my Oddish being living vegetation to the fullest. I wanted my Oddish to have a body like a cabbage, or at the very least have a bulbous shape made up of a hide of leaves stacked wrapping about its core or seed. This then evolved into shaping its limbs as roots of some sort, and then I developed the back story - that my Oddish is a plant that runs around and plants itself underground as defense and moves on after the coast is clear.
Turns out that's what Nintendo had done with Oddish all along. After a certain while of drawing and painting, I'll look up images of the Pokemon at hand and do research to make sure my ideas hold merit or I'll look up official info to base off of. Turns out Oddish is based off of the mandrake, an actual poisonous kind of vegetation, and if you're a Harry Potter fan you've read/watched about the magical version. Oddish did a lot of what I had imagined it to do in my representation, so the OG Oddish became cooler in my book already.
I felt my design was less special because my ideas were already used but it made me feel cool at the same time that Nintendo and I had connected our thoughts for the design. I then realized Nintendo never properly capitalized on those ideas (not that they could, they have to go stylized to fit the Pokemon into one style) so I continued full steam with mine. For example, Oddish plants itself into the grounds, but how I picture it is that as it does, its roots burrow and extend out into the ground and coil itself little by little to create legs for itself. Thus, as it is seated into the dirt and soil, the bottom of its body will be covered in mud, dirt, soil, grass stains and I colored those into my Oddish as well.
Visually, my Oddish has green eyes instead of red because I liked how they popped out against the purplish body, which I decided to spice up with reds and blues. By giving it green eyes, I can save the normal red eyes for a certain dastardly and evil as all hell Vileplume that we'll see at the end of the week...;)
Getting down the leaves was troublesome. I tried "various" hairstyles and settled on on that balanced out the top portion of the Oddish, who is bottom heavy with the bulbous body type it owns. I added markings on the leaves as a way of deliberately giving it a trademark quality, since the original Oddish is just so plain. Also, the markings are reminiscent of what's to come in the evolutionary line.
The Oddish that we have when I finished was born out of me having difficulty cleaning up the style. Originally this Oddish was very clean and soft, with smoothed out outlines. I very much enjoyed it but it never felt finished. I decided to throw in all sorts of colors and thick black outlines which really made it pop. Eventually, I got this acid washed look which was absolutely PERFECT for this Pokemon, since its part poison type. I hadn't explored this coloring style yet either, and it was a great way to make the normally bland Oddish type full of excitement and energy.
And there you go! Today was a long read, wasn't it? Well, if you've stuck with me thus far, thanks for reading and viewing the art! You can help a brother out and share this project with Pokemon fans the world all over!
Thanks for reading and viewing, as always! Today was a bit of a long read, wasn't it? Sorry about that! XD
+ Pokemon One a Day is a series illustrated and curated by Bonny John in an effort to represent the the first generation of characters from the world wide phenomenon that is known as Pokemon. The idea is simple - to draw and share one new Pokemon a day (weekends off!) until every Pokemon from the set is completed. This project is an exploration of fine art styles for learning and leisurely purposes.