The Duck Pokemon
Today's feature is…a water bender?! Nope, it's Golduck, who I have illustrated unleashing his latent psychic abilities in combination with his power of all things water.
Hell, forget even water bending, this guy is a super saiyan at this point. It's a shame Golduck is not actually part psychic type, he could at least get some STAB with the number of telekinetic based moves he learns. The focus of this illustration was to depict Golduck in sort of calm rage. Water can take on so many shapes and forms, and Golduck here is ready to show you first hand.
Of all the Pokemon to illustrate this past week coming back from hiatus, Golduck was the most difficult. Psychic type being among my favorites, I knew I wanted to do something special with an unofficial Psychic like Golduck, a Pokemon for some reason I really like. I say "some reason" because he's not super interesting otherwise, and I can't say why I do enjoy his character. I think it harkens back to the episode where we were duped into believing Psyduck evolved and all the headaches he was giving Misty (and himself) would soon pay off.
Either way, he's very distinct in his appearance as he's not exactly the evolution you were picturing for Psyduck. He's all blue, stands upright and is decently tall at 5' 07", has an uncharacteristic tail for an avian creature, and has a strange red gem on his forehead, exactly like Persian's who we just saw a few days ago. What gives Game Freak, why do they share that characteristic? And why did you put two Pokemon with such close design choices right next to each other?
First and foremost, outside of all the water swirling about and his crazy eyes, you may notice the overall…brolic nature of the Golduck here. I experimented with making him thin and elongated, like a stereotypical Psychic being strong with the mind and not with his fists. However, a key characteristic of Golduck is that he is a very talented and powerful, speedy swimmer. Swimmers have more developed neck muscles and upper body strength so my humanoid shape here is more closer to our bodies than the the humanoid shape seen in the original. It's a stylistic choice that separates this rendition to the original with a simple "do you even lift, bro?" kinda deal.
Anyway, having the bod plus the brains makes for one OP duck, and after dealing with the physical element it was time to focus on the mental side of Golduck. And the good kind of mental. I knew I was going to change the ruby sphere lodged into his head into something more mystical, like a third eye. How I imagine it when not activated is perhaps a slit sitting on his forehead, with gold light emanating from underneath the skin. And yes, gold is certainly a fixture for this direction. Some people wonder if there was an error in naming, and that Psyduck, who is yellow should have been Golduck. The thing is, within the Japanese culture, gold is associated with telekinetic abilities.
I added some yellow areas onto this Golduck to give some throwbacks to Psyduck, seen in the legs and tail area. The eye brows were also yellow but it made him look even more super saiyan, so I had to scale it back…heh. I also made the beak and webbing more saturated and yellow, upgrading it from the pale yellow in the original. Speaking of webbing, I decided to give him under-arm webbing due to the fact that I couldn't incorporate feathers into the design. Because Golduck swims at high speeds, I thought it would be cool to give them such webbing to help control their bodies when they skim the water. I picture Golduck swimming so fast that they can leap and glide for a short bit, like flying fish. Also, I figure steering and braking underwater would be more efficient with this little upgrade.
So that about wraps up today's work! I hope you like this take on Golduck, as well as the illustrations for the rest of the week. Because we've hit the weekend, its break time for me so get ready for some more work come Monday! Enjoy your weekend.
+ 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.