Goldfish Pokemon

Water Type

Negative space! I failed you! Kind of...Today's illustration features Goldeen, the first fish based Pokemon to enter the Pokedex, despite having seen many water types already.

I had been wanting to explore negative shape for a while on the series, but didn't have the right creature to play the style up for. Because my canvas is white and features a black border, creating an artificial "container" full of color to be cut into to feature negative space would be too much work and look a bit forced. Because Goldeen is largely white, I could dissolve her into the canvas itself.


Somehow, the work evolved into a watercolour piece despite the fact that the strokes represent that style of paint when it wasn't my intention at all!

Of course, I'm glad it somehow magically worked out in my favor like this - it certainly fits the fish's background!


As a creature with flowy fins, this combination would be even better to play with - the orange markings would go a long way in helping the silhoutte form and give weight to the actual colors painted on the canvas. Originally, the piece was going to be ultra minimalistic - just the orange markings, the horn, lips, and eye would have been visible. The problem with this is that it looks like the piece spills out lazily. The gamechanger for the equation would be to use cool hues as shadows (bluish-purple) for the underside and the fins to help the viewer's eyes absorb the character more easily to make it feel like a whole object.


The minimalistic trend continued until I had a flat colors laying against white. I liked this look but it didn't seem quite finished to me - I swapped out brushes from the wet to one of my mainstay textured dry, and began to get shades in between the negative spacing and shadows to have the work look more dissolved into the canvas. From there, I added more color and energy into the strokes, and defined areas like the lips.

So let's go over that again- the dry brush used to define the flats ended up turning wet in appearance...Magic!


The main challenge was to use enough color to give Goldeen form, but also have white to leave ambiguity and let the negative space take over. I guess because I didn't use negative space as much as I wanted, I can save that artistic direction for another day. For now, you get an unintended watercolour painting!

What do you think of this end result? I hope the style is to your liking as it is to mine, and I was glad to finally incorporate it today! Thanks for taking your time to stop by and checking out today's Pokemon One a Day illustration. See ya tomorrow!




+ 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.


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