Pokemon Art Style: A Guide

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘Guide to the *POKEMON* Art Style’ by Art Stylist

Written by: Recapz Bot

Written by: Recapz Bot

AI Summaries of YouTube Videos to Save you Time

How does it work?
The video covers Pokémon art styles: scanned watercolor, old-school anime, modern.

Key Insights

  • The video discusses the art styles of Pokémon throughout the years.
  • The first art style mentioned is the scanned art style or Ken Sugimori's watercolor style, which is known for its high contrast and unique use of white balance.
  • The video explains how to mimic this style using digital programs, focusing on line work with a medium weight brush pen and natural-looking intersections and tangents.
  • The color process involves filling the drawing with white, creating a palette with multiple shades for each color, and using a watercolor brush to build up shadows and contrast.
  • The next art style covered is the old-school anime style seen in classic Pokémon TV series. It is described as an amalgamation of 80s and 90s animation, with thin, textured lines and cell shading for shadows.
  • The video provides tips on creating the anime style, including selective outlining to emphasize tapering, specific colors from Pokémon cells, and basic face structure for characters.
  • It then demonstrates how to achieve a CRT TV effect by applying filters such as blur, sharpen, and noise to create a grainy, retro look.
  • The final art style discussed is Ken Sugimori's modern Pokémon style, which has evolved but maintains consistent rules. It shares similarities with the scanned watercolor style in terms of line work and rough texture.
  • The shading process for this style involves using a single tone for cell shading, paying attention to detail in adding depth and drop shadows, and using contour strokes to enhance shadows.
  • Highlights are added with large brush strokes for hair and lighter tones for other sections of the character, breaking up flat colors.
  • The video concludes by asking for suggestions for future art styles to cover.

Seedless Grapes: Are They GMOs?

Annexation of Puerto Rico: ‘Little Giants’ Trick Play Explained

Android Hacking Made Easy: AndroRAT Tutorial

Andrew Huberman’s Muscle Growth and Strength Workout Plan

AMG Lyrics – Peso Pluma

Alex Lora: Rising Passion


“The Pokémon franchise, much like Pokémon themselves, has had its art evolved throughout the years in many different mediums, starting from the humble beginnings of watercolor, to the ink and paint of animation cells, ending with our current era of digital art. I’m DocShotty, and in this video, I’m going to be breaking down the art styles of Pokémon. This is Art Stylus.

My challenge for this episode is simple. It involves drawing two characters, a unique trainer and their unique Pokémon, or Figmon, from scratch. As they jump into each new art style, time will go by, and the Pokémon will grow and evolve alongside their trainer. If you enjoy this video, and you want to see more, subscribe to this channel, and hit the bell for more art style related content. Now let’s jump right in.

The first art style I’ll be covering is what I call the scanned art style, or what’s known to fans as Ken Sugimori’s watercolor style. This is what most people picture when they think of the first generation of Pokémon games, but this style can also apply to the second generation. What makes this art style interesting, however, is that it’s purely accidental. The high contrast between the colors and the shading, along with its particular use of white balance, is the result of the type of scanner used to preserve the art. Fortunately for us, it unintentionally brought us one of the most iconic art styles in gaming history.

To showcase this art style, let’s introduce our Pokémon trainer and starter duo. All of Pokémon’s early art was drawn physically on paper, with ink being used for the line work. Because we’re working with digital programs, we have the ability to simulate the tools that were used in real life. In this specific case, we’ll be mimicking the look of the brush pen.

The line weight, or line thickness, for this art style, is going to be a medium weight that fluctuates slightly as the line moves along the canvas. To fluctuate means to change at random intervals. This is something that happens in real life with a brush, because you never know just how much ink is contained within the tip.

A small thing I want to teach you guys that’ll make the lines look a bit more natural looking involves the intersections and the tangents of the line. Two lines cross, that’s an intersection. When a line branches off another, it’s a tangent. Let’s focus on intersections. Imagine drawing an X on your canvas. Those four corners I made in the middle, round those corners. It’s a subtle thing, but it’s easy to do, and it makes your line work look more inky. Do the same with your tangents and any sharp corner of your drawing.

Now that we have our line work, it’s time to jump into color. The very first thing we’re going to do is fill the entire drawing with the color white. We’ll basically be highlighting the entire drawing before adding color.

Color-wise, using our fake mon as an example, I’ve taken my palette from Spiro. More specifically, colors for the beak, the head, and the belly. I made sure that for every color I intend to use, I would set aside at least three shades of it.

In order to properly mimic the shading style, I’ll be using a standard watercolor brush. Specifically, running color edge. What you want to do is build up your shadows, but don’t make it a smooth transition from light to dark and vice versa. We want a lot of contrast or difference in tone. Picture yourself dividing the colors into at least three sections. The white, or highlight, the lighter tone, and the darker tones. The divisions don’t have to follow a specific path.

For example, a character’s highlight follows the standard rule of positioning itself opposite of the shadow, but the shape of it can sometimes be erratic or random at times. I’ve looked at a bunch of official art, and I couldn’t really find a clear-cut pattern for the highlights. But this is probably due to the way the art was preserved. This is good for us, because it gives us a lot of leeway to experiment.

Now that we have our highlights and shadows, we can use our darkest color for the drop shadows, which would go underneath prominent features of the character. With our Pokemon, I’ve chosen to place a drop shadow underneath the beak, underneath the head, and underneath the tail. I’m actually going to break

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘Guide to the *POKEMON* Art Style’ by Art Stylist