Pokemon One a Day: Hitmonchan
Sorry I'm late...This one took quite some time to complete! I'm super tired but today's piece was totally worth it. We have a bunch of firsts on Pokemon One a Day today, featuring the one and only Hitmonchan! For starters, this is the first time that I haven't depicted a Pokemon in a full body presentation. It's true! Look back at the last 106 illustrations and you will see the treatment I give to portraying a Pokemon is in their full form, regardless the style! Secondly, this is the first Pokemon I've painted in grayscale.
I wasn't torn at the thought of breaking the streak set for full body and color illustrations because the overall work that went into this more than makes up for it. This was absolutely exhausting to do, but oh so bloody worth it! This has got to be one of my favorite pieces to date - it required tons of research and taught me about the world of advertising from back in the day and of the sport in and of itself.
For reference on Hitmonchan, I used photos of the boxer Rocky Marciano, and for the poster I referenced several decades worth of gorgeous and retrofitted ads for big fights. In particular, I looked at the and only Cassius Clay, Mohammed Ali. Other than the boxers, I kept my eyes open for phrases and words that appeared often between the posters, and tried to fit them into this page appropriately.
An idea that I was wanting to implement but obviously declined was giving both Lee and Chan their own posters. I pictured Lee facing right for yesterday's work, and Chan looking left and towards Lee the next day. This would be the first of its kind in that two pieces of art linked up together, but would fail to meet the one new style/interpretation for the day requirement. Besides, as a boxer, Hitmonchan fits better for the poster.
Wait, hold that thought! Interestingly enough, Gamefreak actually published their own version of a hype poster featuring Hitmonlee with his Japanese name in large print, amidst the rest of the text in English as well. I found the work as I did research 3/4 the way done with my own as I was search for the few references I threw into the work that I hope you all appreciate. I remember Primeape fighting in a tournament in the anime and found it was the P1 Grand Prix, and had to throw that in there, as well as coming up with a tag line(The Fight's On In Celadon!) and where the fight would take place. The actual location is lifted from Game Freak's fight poster.
As for the actual art of the piece, Hitmonchan was stylized in a way that is more buffed up and has his cartoony elements visible tied to a more realistic anatomical disposition. It's a decent balance and one that was fun to get down. Mean muggin', Hitmonchan is looking ready to fight and end the coming battle in his favor. Speaking of ending, the work came to completion after all elements were arranged - texts, logos and icons, borders, line work, art, all of it had to be finished before I took the work and ran it through the elements. I desaturated the piece, added textures to show wear and tear, and painted over the edges of the poster for further damage.
And that end's today's work! This one took a lot of time and effort, perhaps up there with only a few others. I hope you enjoyed this take, and hope it wasn't what you were expecting - I love to surprise you all and hear your reactions as such. Thanks for viewing and good night, see you 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.