We're here! We've reached some a trio I've been DYING ( get it!? GET IT!?) to paint and illustrate! It's Gen 1's first (and only!) ghost type family of Pokemon, starting with Gastly!
What is there not to love about this Pokemon and his evolutions? Not only are ghosts just bad-ass and awesome in concept, but these guys all have a very unique look that transforms them visually per evolution, with an adorably silly personality that you can't ignore. Gastly has a very peculiar design in that he's just a floating head amidst a formless purple haze (Hendrix should be playing in your head now). For the longest time, I thought it was of an aethereal nature...Only JUST learning that it's poisonous gas...hence why it's part poison and wait for...why it's named GAStly. Man, I feel almost embarrassed at not realizing any of that.
That said, before learning that the purple was poison, I wanted to illustrate it in a cosmic fashion - have a dash of stars in purple and blue hues dress the disembodied head. It wasn't working very well because although I had an image of how I wanted it to look - the direction wasn't solid (this is a pun, because ghosts are not, please laugh now) and ended up looking messy and weak. Then, my mind picked up on utilizing a popular artist and his famous work to dress Gastly...Yes, van Gogh's Starry Night would be a perfect fit...the impressionist markings to create swirls dancing around the ghost would be perfect! Except it wasn't.
Eventually, I said screw it. I went nuts, and kept building up the purple body with blues and cyans and magentas and everything in between. I collaged in images of nebulas and played around with paint splatters and wet and loose brush strokes. I eventually found what I was looking for in depicting my vision of a Ghastly born of corporeal energy, violent but free, and dressed the head with the trademark off the face eyes and a devious smile. The composition of having Gastly's head with a flowing body is a first for this series, and fills the page very well in my opinion. I am content with how this turned out and hope you feel the same way too!
Thus concludes the first of three ghost Pokemon many of you are also fans of. Haunter is a personal favorite of mine, so I'm going to make sure to double my usual efforts to get something special for tomorrow. Keep your eyes peeled!
+ 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.
Ghastly has a lot of awesome appearances in the anime...But this is one of the cutest :D