Flame Pokemon

Fire/ Flying Type

Half way through working on today's subject of Pokemon One a Day, Moltres, I realized why this piece was looking like something familiar but couldn't put my finger on it...

The Mockingjay pin from The Hunger Games! How the heck did that happen!?

By accident. Unknowingly, and by luck, I suppose! The final work is NOT an homage or parody/pun of that, and is merely coincidence. Moltres, of the three birds, is in my opinion the worst of the designs (not that the other two are unlikable) and I would assume the least favorite of the trio. This stems from the fact that when it comes to elemental birds, Moltres, clearly inspired by the phoenix, is the least interesting because it's most familiar to us as a concept. A bird of ice, and thunder? A bit more foreign, and therefore captures intrigue in our minds.


So, what could I do for the phoenix? I originally planned on doing a chinese style painting of Moltres - yeah, not the most original concept - but it would still be a style I hadn't done and it would be the most fitting. I tried to think of the pros and cons about going such a route. As someone might say, do you go for the low hanging fruit (the expected route of chinese Phoenix) or aim a bit higher?

I figured if there was one I'd get a pass for, it'd be Moltres. As you can see in the art shared, I ultimately passed on that take...What changed my mind? I suppose it was simply the fact that as much as I suppose I didn't mind, I guess it would've been too easy and I haven't really taken such a route for any other piece, and with the end so near, I shouldn't go that route now.

Moltres here was born as a draft when referencing asian styled depictions of birds from that intial thought on going with Chinese paintings. I eventually somehow made a golden badge/pin/statue kind of element when I decided to play up the usual garish yellow of Moltres. Moltres to me is honestly a rubber chicken on fire. I wanted to change up the body to white hot with red and purple/blue flames but that concept was only kept in my mind and never explored on paper.


As for the flames, I decided to go something more fantastic to depict them. The piece should not be looked at as something being represented in real life, but just concept of visualizations merging. Thus, the flatter elements in the form of a graduation of warm colors for the flames is decoration to the rounded body on a single plane. The gold was originally going to be more complex and intricate, but I felt that going a more simpler route would be stronger for the piece overall; yesterday's Zapdos was quite detailed, for better or for worse.

Annnd I think that about wraps it up - the completion of Moltres marks the end of the legendary bird trio of Kanto! We'll begin the final count down with the first and only dragon family of the Kanto dex tomorrow, so I hope to see you tomorrow with Dratini! Thanks guys and gals for tuning in to check out the work and read the daily write up - have a good one!




+ 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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