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December 12, 2010
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Sugimori Art Evolution by CrystalClair Sugimori Art Evolution by CrystalClair
I noticed that Ken Sugimori's art has evolved into quite a few different forms over the years. I decided to draw 4 that I thought summed up his style's evolution.

Current Sugimori art doesn't even look Sugimori anymore.

I like - 1st> 2nd and 3rd>4th
I don't like the overall structure of the second one but I like the narrow eyes. I'm okay everything but the large eyes in the third one.

I kinda wish Sugimori never made his eyes big. Partly because I like his narrow unique style and partially because my art style has big eyes and Pokemon seems to be looking more and more like my style and it makes me look like I'm copying from Pokemon when I'm not.
X_X
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:iconpoke-max:
Poke-Max Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I most like the second style. The first style is too angular, and the third has weird eyes - which the fourth style made even worse. For me, the Fire Red and Leaf Green styles were best.
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:iconmegarezfan:
MegaRezfan Dec 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I like how Sugimori was back in charge of art and design in X and Y, Ohmura was still in there though making all the art (and designs probably) for all the NPC trainers.
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:iconjoiski:
joiski Nov 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I just want to point out that Sugimori wasn't in charge of the artwork for the Unova region (fifth generation) (with a few exeptions). He still plays an important role in pokemon artwork, but there's another artist who has "taken over". That's why your 4th picture is so incredibly different.

My personal opinion is that I can understand how the creators after over a decade of using the same kind of style wanted to switch over to something more "fresh" in their eyes (maybe?). But I think that part of what makes pokemon, pokemon is of course the artwork, and I think the Ken Sugimori style, whether altered/evolved as in Heart Gold/Soul Silver/Diamond/Pearl/Platinum or old-school Red/Blue/Green is the equivalent of true "pokemon-feeling". The style is so inviting and approachable, and really makes me want to go out there on a quest to "be the best that ever was" :happycry::love: I also think the previous games have been more fortunate with the trainer designs :dead: Because the clothing designs on Black/White/B2/W2 were really not good :(. Fortunately though, the designs on X & Y are pretty descent, as is the game's artwork. I think they've gone back to a more pokemon-ish style, which is what fans enjoy the most.

Sorry for my random babbling. :XD: I think you did a very good study/good observations. :)

P.S. How can you not like HG/SS artstyle, it breathed life into a gorgeous classic! :heart: I think the style was beautifully executed and felt that each character was done justice. And the eyes. Yes they were bigger than normal but just big enough to not be overwhelming. If they had gone bigger it would ruin the feel. But that's just my opinion :XD:
Sorry again :XD:

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:icondarkdoomer:
darkdoomer Sep 25, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
if i could post an image reply, i'd embed Louis Wain's artworks - from cute kittens to trippish abstract cat demons.
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:iconyoshiboy64:
yoshiboy64 Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i love his first style it looked more like a comic book back then ^_^
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:iconrosemarypiros:
rosemarypiros Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
i want misty back DX i should draw her =D but it might come out bad xD
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:iconsidetrack1:
VERY keen observations! :D.Quoting Bulbapedia

"Sugimori's change of style over the years has been noticeable. Initially, he used a stiff, lightly shaded style that was very reminiscent of the early works of Akira Toriyama. However, in recent years, his drawings of people and creatures have had more muscle definition, shading, and more natural and fluid poses."


Any more deviations like this showing and explaining an artist's developments over time?.
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:iconsmitting:
thats not sugimori's art though, its a different artist for generation 5
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:iconchocorroles:
The last face you used looks like Bel's game art face. That artwork wasn't by Sugimori but by Ohmura Yusuke.

All the trainer art in Black & White was done by Ohmura Yusuke except Juniper, N, Ghetsis, Hilda and Hilbert. Those are by Sugimori. Sugimori isn't the main artist of Pokémon since Generation IV.

Ohmura indeed tries to follow Sugimori style like everyone has been doing till now, but there are indeed notable differences in his character proportions, coloring, linework, shading,etc.
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:iconcrystalclair:
CrystalClair Jan 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow! That explains the stark style differences! I'm also disappointed that my favorite BW characters weren't drawn by Sugimori, like Cheren, Shauntal, Lenora, Dento, Iris and Skylar.
*It just seems too wrong to spell it Skyla

I'll have to correct the picture then.
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