Electric / Flying Type
What's going on in today's Pokemon One a Day illustration? What kind of style is this? A wanna be Monster Hunter inspired theme? Believe it or not, Zapdos seen here was born with Native American art styles in its beginning phases. Let's find out how it evolved into this end result!
The Native American culture is comprised of many tribes, all of whom have their own customs and cultures, including beliefs and distinctions with their artistic capabilities. Once upon a time, I had considered doing all three legendary birds with a theme - depict them in ethnic art styles with respect to their origins in mythology. Zapdos would obviously be based on the concept of the "thunderbird".
My Zapdos was born of angular shapes and markings. I looked up several birds done in varying Native American inspired, themed, and original art. I mixed and matched what I thought would look nice for Zapdos - a creature who is menacing because of its razord sharp edges. The creature embodies lightning in more than one way. I began a base and started extending from the center, highlighting the main aspects of the body little by little.
I would eventually get stuck - I was using too many borrowed concepts that weren't necessarily meshing together. I had to drop the Native American elements and develop something new. With experimentation of angular marks and simple markings of shapes like circles and squares, all of a sudden I had a design that seemed to walk out of Monster Hunter with their stylistic depictions of beasts.
I kinda liked it, but again, I had to make it my own - I didn't want to use Native American styles if I weren't doing it right , and Monster Hunter as a style is awesome but I was already too far into the day to stop what I was doing and research Monster Hunter art to have everything in compliance...If you know me by now, I try and get all the details, especially the subtle ones for maximum effect.
Thus, I just kept adding and building up the creature. Zapdos here is quite busy - your eyes end up racing all over the place. I really have no idea how you all will react to this one but I've come to like it - it's high energy like the creature itself. I just had to go with my gut feeling that this all worked out and keep on trucking along. I hope you enjoyed today's work and write up. 2 birds down...1 more to go! See you tomorrow with Moltres!
+ 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.