I figure I better update this thread with (Smog) stuff before I head outta town today:
If you want to learn to draw the above style in Photoshop, I also made a detailed guide:
1) Open the sprite in photoshop and enlarge it, it will serve as the stencil here. Of course, you can feel free to draw your own line art as well as long as it's fairly conservative.
2) I lowered the opacity of the sprite, and in a new layer, traced its outline. On a 1000 pixel canvas, a 5 pixel paint brush is a good bet.
3) Line art!
4) Next, open a piece of old sugimori art of a pokemon with a similar color scheme. Ideally, it'll have all the colors you need. Otherwise, use your own eye where necessary (I made up colors for Maggyo's beak for instance). You can use sprites as a pallet, but the result is not as good.
5) Next, use the magic wand tool (the highlighted tool in the left-hand tool bar included in this slide) to select all the areas that are the same color (ie. "brown" or "yellow"). From there, use Select > Modify > Expand, and expand 1-2 pixels. Then, in a new layer, fill the selected area with the appropriate color sucked up from the Sugimori art.
6) Sharp areas or points may not get perfectly filled by this technique, so you should go into those areas and color in directly with a paintbrush.
7) Continue the process detailed above for each color, making a new layer for each color. When you do, you should have something that looks like this slide.
8) Next, you want to "opacity lock" all the new layers you made. Opacity lock locks what areas of a layer are colored and which aren't. This will let you freely color without "going over the lines." You may also notice I name my layers.
9) Use the air brush to draw in the shades/highlights, adjusting its size where necessary. Of course the shading/highlight colors also come from the original sugimori art.
10) The result of my coloring the "yellow" layer.
11) After doing this for each layer-- you're done! Reduce the size of the canvas and save in .png format.
Art forms are born from the tools available. You can't paint without paint brush and canvas, and you can't photograph without a camera. Furthermore, there's no point in complaining about the capabilities of the tools, that one grade of paint simply produces better work than another. There is no point in whining "Using tool x is cheap" because ultimately, if you don't use it someone else will. What really matters is the appeal of the end result.
You may disagree if you wish, but I have no obligation to bend my philosophy as an artist, just as you have no obligation to view my art.
Oh my God Chou, your art is amazing! I especially love the Breloom. I have absolutely no understanding as to why he reminds me of Kill Bill...
I'm digging the aquariums to. It feels like one of those things where I could just get a bottle of Dr. Pepper and stare at them for hours. Japan looks SO nice too. I'm most likely going there in Spring 2012. Probably around Tokyo though.
BTW, the Burungeri (or is it Burungerues?) and Eruufun are adorable! Hehehehehe...I still can't look at Burnungeru M without seeing the Pringles man. I think Game Freak is trying to say that you are what you eat, and eating pringles will turn you into a big ectoplasmic ball of water resembling the foods icon XD. Nice work though.
More aquarium stuff-- got bored, decided to redo the aquarium. Plus my fish died while I was on winter vacation . . . damn heater failed. :/
Of course it still doesn't look great since we just started, but I think it'll shape up quite nice! There are still some leftover plants floating in the tank-- not sure what I will do with the extras. For now I will let them float to suck up extra nutrients until the planted plants get settled and jump into high-gear.
On the left, you can see my CO2 diffuser, sending CO2 bubbles into the tank.
On the right, the ADA Steel inflow and outflow pipes attached to my Eheim External filter.
Above, ADA's Solar II Lighting system, equipped with 2x 36w PC Florescent lights. It's relatively low lighting for a tank of this size, but I generally think it's not a good idea to push the plants too much, and lower light is certainly easier on maintenance (higher light = higher growth rate, and ultimately a higher need to cautiously manage CO2/fertilization).
My new fishies, Japanese Rosy Bitterlings :) Right now all my tank residents are Japanese organisms.
A not a really good picture of one of my Amano Shrimp: