Creative Sugimori Style Poke'mon Art

Posts
11
#1
Hey all! I didn't see a thread like this around, so I thought I'd throw one up. Anybody else made any attempts at imitating Sugimori's art style? I know it changes from game to game so it can be hard to pin down, but I try to do my best impression sometimes. Here's a few pieces I've done.

Fake'mon Pieces:




Official Poke'mon & Trainers: (It's easier just to post a folder of them from DA, I think) http://pixelplantzone.deviantart.com/gallery/62490889/Sugimori-Style

Anybody else ever try to give it a go? Any successes?
 
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Mozart

Annoying Twit
Member
Posts
73
#2
I have! Ish, I do trainer portrait edits for people from time to time so of course that means staring long and hard at official art/trainer portraits and going from there.


What I have learned is that though it looks simple it's really not because you have to make sure you don't overcomplicate the shades and lines if that makes sense. I would love to give it a try on my own without the pretense of doing an edit to an already done sheet of art.

Edit: Also can I just say I really love the pun on Warmoset, it almost makes me mad how good it is.
 
Posts
11
#3
Your edit looks clean! And haha, I love the pun too. My brother helped come up with it.I'd love to eventually do sugi-styled art for all the starter evolutions, but I have 36 Fake'mon fully spirited at least! You can see the whole evo line for Warmoset here.
 

Jephed

Trainer
Member
Posts
98
#4
I really want to learn how to draw art like this (not necessarily ken sugimori style, but I'm trying to make art for my game as well)... Any tips, aside from practicing a lot? lol

Could you recommend certain types of brushes? I'm trying out multiple different kinds of software, such as Photoshop and Coral Painter, but I seem to have a lot of trouble with finding good brushes.
 
Posts
11
#5
There's a really nice set of tutorials here. I personally use Photoshop because I'm familiar with it.It can be hard to nail down sugimori's style because it changes from game to game, but usually it consists of the main color layer, the highlight layer, a shadow layer and a deeper shadow layer. I'm running out the door right now but I'd be happy to go into the way I do it a little later.
 

Jephed

Trainer
Member
Posts
98
#6
There's a really nice set of tutorials here. I personally use Photoshop because I'm familiar with it.It can be hard to nail down sugimori's style because it changes from game to game, but usually it consists of the main color layer, the highlight layer, a shadow layer and a deeper shadow layer. I'm running out the door right now but I'd be happy to go into the way I do it a little later.
That link is actually quite helpful! Nice! Thanks so much, I'm also looking at some tutorial video's atm. I'm pretty bad at art as of right now, but I do want to learn it very badly!

I mean, I have the necessary tools, now I just have to practice a lot.
 

Mozart

Annoying Twit
Member
Posts
73
#7
I use Medibang! It's free and provides a lot of brushes you can download and even customize, also screentones which is very nice. The website also provides user-made tutorials which is how I discovered the magic of the fluffy watercolor brush.
 

Jephed

Trainer
Member
Posts
98
#8
I use Medibang! It's free and provides a lot of brushes you can download and even customize, also screentones which is very nice. The website also provides user-made tutorials which is how I discovered the magic of the fluffy watercolor brush.
Interesting! I'll be sure to check that out! :)
 

Phoenixsong

mulberry ambush
Member
Posts
37
#11
Aw, yeah. Sugi-style fakemon are my jam, largely because I can't sprite worth a lick, haha. My whole fakedex website is full of these things. I guess I can show a couple of the more recent ones?


Finolt and takhampos, both pure water. Just finished revamping/redesigning these yesterday (the old ones are here and here if you're curious).


And then there's the little guy in my avatar and its evolution, the ice/poison runnino and rhinovire. Hooray for terrible puns?

I don't think I've really nailed down a consistent personal version of a Sugi-esque style yet, heh—a lot of even my newer artwork tends to fluctuate between looking more like one generation or another. Maybe as I continue adding new stuff/revamping all the old, ugly, chalky-looking stuff (why is that hideous mega arcanine still on my website aaaaaaaa) I'll eventually settle on something that looks good across the board. In the meantime, eh, close enough!

@Pixel Plant Zone, I really like what you've got there! I've been admiring the sprites you posted in the feedback thread, and the Sugi-style art is just as nice. I wish I had the patience for both this and pixel art, haha. Definitely looking forward to boopsie's evolutions—it's supposed to be eevee-like, right? Lots of potential in the base you've got there!

@Jephed, there are plenty of brushes you can experiment with in any program if you want to! Thing is, I personally find that I don't really need any fancy brushes for Sugi-style art if that's what you're after in particular. I use MediBang as well (albeit the Android version moreso than the PC version), and all the brushes I use are there by default. You can easily get away with the pen brush for inking lineart and either the watercolor brush or the pen + a soft eraser for shading/highlights. I do like using the "mapping pen" brush for lineart these days, as it gives the lines a slightly "rougher" feel. If you zoom in close to a piece of actual Sugimori art (see here for an example), you'll see that the lines aren't perfectly smooth; the mapping pen gives something reasonably similar for basically no extra effort. Of course, at the sizes most people will be seeing your artwork it probably won't be noticeable without close scrutiny, so if you prefer the smoother lines from the regular pen or the program you choose doesn't have a similar brush available, that's fine, too!

More or less the only "custom brush" I use is an eraser that I modified to have the same properties as the watercolor brush, but you can do that right in the interface: just look at the settings for the default watercolor brush and then create a new eraser that copies those settings. I like using the watercolor brush and eraser for the shading and highlights, because the reduced opacity lets you layer the color on and I like what it does to soften/lighten the edges of the shadows and lights. Definitely experiment and see what you feel works best for you, though! I think a lot of getting comfortable with any art program is just playing around with the settings that are already there before you worry about fishing for outside tools. User-made brushes are great and can provide a lot of useful presets, but you'd be surprised at how many different effects you can achieve just by tweaking or creatively using what's there out of the box!

While I haven't really used it much myself, you can also look at Krita as another free option. Or you could try Paint Tool SAI or Clip Studio Paint (currently on sale until tomorrow as of this post, I believe?) as non-free options that are still really popular and also don't cost an arm and a leg/a monthly subscription like Photoshop. Lots of people I know use SAI for fakemon art in particular, so if you find that you're comfortable with the interface then that may be worthwhile. Really, though, how much you like the interface is all that matters, as with enough practice you can create basically the exact same art and effects in any of these, or in something like GIMP or Paint.Net, or whatever.

(I do also have Photoshop, and while I don't use it as my primary program for fakemon art any longer—these days it's mostly just some cleanup after the bulk of the work is done in MediBang—I used to use it for pretty much everything and could maybe offer some advice on some of the basics and somesuch if you need it.)
 
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Jephed

Trainer
Member
Posts
98
#12
Aw, yeah. Sugi-style fakemon are my jam, largely because I can't sprite worth a lick, haha. My whole fakedex website is full of these things. I guess I can show a couple of the more recent ones?


Finolt and takhampos, both pure water. Just finished revamping/redesigning these yesterday (the old ones are here and here if you're curious).


And then there's the little guy in my avatar and its evolution, the ice/poison runnino and rhinovire. Hooray for terrible puns?

I don't think I've really nailed down a consistent personal version of a Sugi-esque style yet, heh—a lot of even my newer artwork tends to fluctuate between looking more like one generation or another. Maybe as I continue adding new stuff/revamping all the old, ugly, chalky-looking stuff (why is that hideous mega arcanine still on my website aaaaaaaa) I'll eventually settle on something that looks good across the board. In the meantime, eh, close enough!

@Pixel Plant Zone, I really like what you've got there! I've been admiring the sprites you posted in the feedback thread, and the Sugi-style art is just as nice. I wish I had the patience for both this and pixel art, haha. Definitely looking forward to boopsie's evolutions—it's supposed to be eevee-like, right? Lots of potential in the base you've got there!

@Jephed, there are plenty of brushes you can experiment with in any program if you want to! Thing is, I personally find that I don't really need any fancy brushes for Sugi-style art if that's what you're after in particular. I use MediBang as well (albeit the Android version moreso than the PC version), and all the brushes I use are there by default. You can easily get away with the pen brush for inking lineart and either the watercolor brush or the pen + a soft eraser for shading/highlights. I do like using the "mapping pen" brush for lineart these days, as it gives the lines a slightly "rougher" feel. If you zoom in close to a piece of actual Sugimori art (see here for an example), you'll see that the lines aren't perfectly smooth; the mapping pen gives something reasonably similar for basically no extra effort. Of course, at the sizes most people will be seeing your artwork it probably won't be noticeable without close scrutiny, so if you prefer the smoother lines from the regular pen or the program you choose doesn't have a similar brush available, that's fine, too!

More or less the only "custom brush" I use is an eraser that I modified to have the same properties as the watercolor brush, but you can do that right in the interface: just look at the settings for the default watercolor brush and then create a new eraser that copies those settings. I like using the watercolor brush and eraser for the shading and highlights, because the reduced opacity lets you layer the color on and I like what it does to soften/lighten the edges of the shadows and lights. Definitely experiment and see what you feel works best for you, though! I think a lot of getting comfortable with any art program is just playing around with the settings that are already there before you worry about fishing for outside tools. User-made brushes are great and can provide a lot of useful presets, but you'd be surprised at how many different effects you can achieve just by tweaking or creatively using what's there out of the box!

While I haven't really used it much myself, you can also look at Krita as another free option. Or you could try Paint Tool SAI or Clip Studio Paint (currently on sale until tomorrow as of this post, I believe?) as non-free options that are still really popular and also don't cost an arm and a leg/a monthly subscription like Photoshop. Lots of people I know use SAI for fakemon art in particular, so if you find that you're comfortable with the interface then that may be worthwhile. Really, though, how much you like the interface is all that matters, as with enough practice you can create basically the exact same art and effects in any of these, or in something like GIMP or Paint.Net, or whatever.

(I do also have Photoshop, and while I don't use it as my primary program for fakemon art any longer—these days it's mostly just some cleanup after the bulk of the work is done in MediBang—I used to use it for pretty much everything and could maybe offer some advice on some of the basics and somesuch if you need it.)

@Phoenixsong Thanks for the handy tips! I haven't checked out MediBang yet, but I'll be sure to do so!
I already messed around with some things and I created my first Fakemon art with Paint Tool SAI and Adobe Photoshop.


I found it very difficult to implement sugimori's artstyle in such an inadamant object inspired Pokémon. I took my own approach at the lighting and shadows, because I find stuff like this harder to do then let's say: a cat.

Still, even though this isn't Sugimori-style, and the concept of a book isn't difficult, I'm still very glad with my end result, given this is my first time I ever did something like this.

It took me almost twelve hours to make though. Hahaha xD
 

Phoenixsong

mulberry ambush
Member
Posts
37
#13
That's really good for a first attempt! The shading's simple, but for something with a bunch of flat planes like a book, it gets the point across just fine. And yeah, inanimate objects are definitely tricky, but based on a quick play around with a book I had on hand, I'd say that's pretty accurate to where the shades and such would fall. If you'd like a few tips (and if not, feel free to disregard these):

-Try adding a little bit of shading to the top teeth as well. A little bit of shadow from the topmost cover would probably fall along the bases of each tooth, or at least most of them (unless they're actually on the same level as the cover as opposed to slightly underneath it).

-The shadow falling across the inside of the book would probably cover more than just the bottoms of the pages, I think (unless I'm misinterpreting your light source). Right now it looks a bit more like there's some smaller, rounder object that's casting that shadow, rather than the entire rectangular cover. You wouldn't need to shade the entirety of the inside of the book, but a bit more than what you have would probably make a bit more sense. Two-thirds of the way up, maybe?

-Not quite related to the shading, but have you considered simplifying the pattern on the cover a little bit? It looks nice, but it's a bit busy for a typical pokémon design. It'd probably be a lot of extra work to do at this point, but a smaller number of slightly larger chain-patterns could get the idea across without being quite so distracting. Maybe even just one chain on each side of the eye? Although then again, with the cover as narrow as it is, you wouldn't have as much room to show that same kind of pattern if the chains were larger. Something to experiment with in the future, maybe.

Don't worry about it taking twelve hours; everyone starts out pretty slowly, but with more practice (and just getting used to your art program so that you know what/where all the tools and keyboard shortcuts and such are) you'll end up being able to move a lot faster. Speed is just as much about finding a good workflow as it is about skill, so just keep playing around with your art program options until you find one that's really comfortable and easy for you to use.
 

Jephed

Trainer
Member
Posts
98
#14
That's really good for a first attempt! The shading's simple, but for something with a bunch of flat planes like a book, it gets the point across just fine. And yeah, inanimate objects are definitely tricky, but based on a quick play around with a book I had on hand, I'd say that's pretty accurate to where the shades and such would fall. If you'd like a few tips (and if not, feel free to disregard these):

-Try adding a little bit of shading to the top teeth as well. A little bit of shadow from the topmost cover would probably fall along the bases of each tooth, or at least most of them (unless they're actually on the same level as the cover as opposed to slightly underneath it).

-The shadow falling across the inside of the book would probably cover more than just the bottoms of the pages, I think (unless I'm misinterpreting your light source). Right now it looks a bit more like there's some smaller, rounder object that's casting that shadow, rather than the entire rectangular cover. You wouldn't need to shade the entirety of the inside of the book, but a bit more than what you have would probably make a bit more sense. Two-thirds of the way up, maybe?

-Not quite related to the shading, but have you considered simplifying the pattern on the cover a little bit? It looks nice, but it's a bit busy for a typical pokémon design. It'd probably be a lot of extra work to do at this point, but a smaller number of slightly larger chain-patterns could get the idea across without being quite so distracting. Maybe even just one chain on each side of the eye? Although then again, with the cover as narrow as it is, you wouldn't have as much room to show that same kind of pattern if the chains were larger. Something to experiment with in the future, maybe.

Don't worry about it taking twelve hours; everyone starts out pretty slowly, but with more practice (and just getting used to your art program so that you know what/where all the tools and keyboard shortcuts and such are) you'll end up being able to move a lot faster. Speed is just as much about finding a good workflow as it is about skill, so just keep playing around with your art program options until you find one that's really comfortable and easy for you to use.

I'll definately be able to adjust the shadows on the pages and the teeth. I'll be sure to try what you proposed! I'm not sure I'm going to change the pattern on the book tho. I have to agree it's very busy, but I think I'm going to keep this one as is, and try to keep things a bit simpeler with the next Pokémon!

Thanks for your honest and constructive feedback!
 
Posts
11
#15
@Jephed That's a really great first go at it! I think I agree on the chain pattern being a bit too heavy and maybe a little much. Try removing the black outline, that might make it not draw so much attention away from the whole of the image! Overall I really like it!

@Phoenixsong Whoooooa, you have created a TON of fake'mon, and your art is really nice! I love the texture overlay you've got going on! Definitely going to have to take the time to fully look through your dex at some point!

@Mozart Thank you so much!
 

Dr. Pikachu PhD

Trust me, I'm a doctor. Technically.
Member
Posts
23
#16
So this thread hasn't had some activity in a while, but I saw you all were discussing line art and had some really good advice for MediBang. Was wondering if anyone had advice for what brush type and size is best for replicating Sugimori art in photoshop? (I have Photoshop CS6). My lines usually end up looking too thick and heavy to be Sugimori.
 

Phoenixsong

mulberry ambush
Member
Posts
37
#17
Hm. Hard to say without knowing the usual dimensions you use for your artwork, but these days in MediBang I usually work in 2500x2500px square canvases at 200dpi, and my lineart brush is set to 6px. I may make it a little thinner (~4px) for fine details, or a little thicker (~8px) when I'm inking a long, sweeping curve because the pressure sensitivity in my stylus will make the line thinner during a big motion like that. Or I guess I could just temporarily turn off the pressure sensitivity, but eh. The same should work for Photoshop at similar dimensions since all that should matter is the image size, but if you tend to work on significantly smaller starting canvases then you'll want something a bit thinner than 6px, and vice-versa if you work larger.

As for the brush shape, unfortunately I'm not familiar with Photoshop brushes beyond the defaults; back when I used PS a bit more often I was inking with a pen and scanning it, haha. You don't really need a brush that looks a bit rough or shaky or anything; the details of the rough lines mostly tend to get lost and smooth out at the small sizes you usually see Sugi art printed/posted at anyway, so there shouldn't be much difference in practice. If you really want something like that, though, um... a quick search of DA's Photoshop Brushes category turns up this set, which includes a "scritchy line" brush that might do the trick?
 
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