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Sugimori Style Guide 2 by Xous54 Sugimori Style Guide 2 by Xous54
For a while now I've been meaning to write a new Guide for how I draw in Sugimori's style, but I never had the time. Recently I was able to find time to make the guide, so here it is! I hope it's helpful. I'm pretty bad at giving advice (and by extension, even worse at writing guides) so if this isn't helpful at all I apologize.

Like it says at the end, if you have any questions regarding the guide, feel free to ask.

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anatiidae Featured By Owner May 14, 2018
This is a really neat tutorial, thank you for sharing < 3
ThunderDash123 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
This is really helpful, also your art looks awesome
surviorlaura Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
First, I'd like to say your art is magnificent! Also, When I make my Trainer Cards, I use some of your art since they're really good. I will place a disclaimer saying any of your pieces I use are yours. 
Pokemontrainernat Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
When you get the pika just right.
Cr0ss0ver3 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Student General Artist
WHat is the program you use 4 that I cant read it
Kageto-Okami Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2016  Student Digital Artist
This guide really helped. I now use this in all my drawings. Thanks.
timrots Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the great tutorial. I just made my first FanArt for Pokemon. And again... Thanks!
Kageto-Okami Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2016  Student Digital Artist
I have been searching all over for a guide like this.  You're amazing.  I'm definitely applying this to my drawings from now on.
tonykon12 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2015
i like it, it help me a lot, good tutorial
Yog451 Featured By Owner May 17, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Great guide!
finally linart without a tablet :D
CartoonWatch Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
thank you!
tnguye3 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! Very helpful. I'll try get the Sugi style down with this. ;p
therealDJ-Robbie Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Whoa this is extremely usefull
ToXiniX Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Xous is a genius. 
Kynexn Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014
Now, this seems like an excellent Sugimori-Style tutorial... but, what about Red/Green Sugimori style? That had a lot more white it in than anything else for the 'mon. Do you have a way of tutorialing that?
kasanelover Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I managed to draw with this guide! :dummy: I mean, it doesn't look exactly like Suigmori but rest assure you, my Fakemon have been looking a lot better with the pre-sketch strategy! :D I even used it on another piece of work and so far, it's one of my most successful (In my opinion)! :dummy:
Garchomped Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
what opacity do u use for the shading? like how dark is it 
and when u make the gap in the shading, the blending, do u use the eraser tool? and set it to a density 
i use paint tool sai so this was hard to follow 
Mydrago97 Featured By Owner May 18, 2014
Nice guide ^^
Thanks taking your time making this awesome guide ;)
I'm fan of your Fantastic Artwork ^o^
I will train in this style thanks for guide again xD
I going join Pokebeach Cuz you are there
You are awesome artwork maker
Cya there
MigueCozano Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hi! wich number of colour do you use for the shadows and highlight? do you use them in two different shapes? thanks!
MigueCozano Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
great! :D
Pyroaura98 Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Just wondering is the program you use free or does it cost money to download?. I tried doing this on photoshop elements 10 but it doesn't seem to work on there.

Thanks :D
FrostyFennec Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014
trainone Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Do you do guide lines before you draw the sketch?
jawsjawwad123 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Umm need some answers about the Jacs Paint Shop I have windows 7 laptop
1) Harmful to laptop?
2) How to download to my laptop
3) Is it free?
4)Does it slow down internet connection?

Tag365 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2015
The better free applications to paint images are GIMP and
Lorna-RoseFoX Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Can't wait to try it ^^
Cyrilcynder Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Xous, What type of tablet do you use? i Use a Wacom Intuos Graphics tablet.
Risintrainer2 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Are there any other painting programs you recommend other than Jasc Paint Shop Pro 9?
Xous54 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Student General Artist
I haven't really tried any others (aside from Adobe Photo Elements 3.0 which was alright), but I hear GIMP is one that's used a lot. That and of course Photoshop.
sadmac356 Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2014
Yeah, GIMP-the poor person's Photoshop. At least, in my case it is.
Risintrainer2 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Ah I see, Thanks :D
TheWhiteScatterbug Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for this awesome guide!
I always wondered how Sugimori does this artworks and now i know:)
Maybe i will try it out too, even though it looks very time consuming':)
All of your pics are so awesome!
Mr Sugimori would be surely proud of you:D
Keep it up!
SnoWizard Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013
fakemon that i made, could use a critique…
Xous54 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Student General Artist

Sorry for the late reply.


Color-wise it looks fine, as well as design-wise. It's very good in those regards. As far as the shading is concerned, it doesn't look very "official." Here's a very quick example of how I'd handle the shading:


Using the colors / outline in the original piece and colored using a mouse, so it's not 100% accurate to how I'd handle it, but it's a good example of the overall placement/style and a way to do the shadows. (Plus I had to darken parts of it to make the outline workable, so ignore the all-black parts.) Compare your version with this, and you can see the difference in shading. Try using more fluid lines instead of the sporadic circle shading if you're going for Sugimori-style.


I hope that helped! If you have any questions, send me a Note - I'll see it easier that way.

TheNemetrix Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I read your guide and made something similar. I used Photoshop CS2 for this. Here's the link:…
iiDrBubbles Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I used a little PS and Sai for this cx Though it wasnt, easy it was fun c:
Cycloneus Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
Please Please Please PLEEEAAASSe respond to this comment anyone!!
Is JASC Paint Shop Pro 9 the only software I can use???? Would Paint work as well?
Zeluthus Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013
I'm not sure if paint would work, because I use Paint all the time, and I can't make any backgrounds transparent. Paint Shop Pro is supposed to be kind of the more elaborate Paint.
Xous54 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Student General Artist

Microsoft Paint would likely not work as it doesn't allow for transparent backgrounds (as far as I know). You could do Sugimori-style art with it but it would be significantly more difficult.


Other programs should be able to do what I described in the guide, but I'm not 100% sure as I've never used other programs to make Sugimori-style art.

Cycloneus Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013
Okay, thank you. I have now downloaded the trial, but it is Corel Paint Shop Pro 5. It does have the transparent background, but I don't know how to use it... I guess I will have to experiment with it a little. Thank you for your information and for making this guide.
Sinkeh Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
Paint as in the one thats always on any computer?
Anatonator Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this guide will surely be useful, your artwork is always an inspiration!
TheJintendoGamers Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Student General Artist
TheJintendoGamers Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Student General Artist
I have a question. I use an old version of Photoshop, (Photoshop 0.6 to be exact) and I can't figure out how to make the pixels all black without going over the image again. Do you know how to do it?
Electa-B Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Student General Artist
I love you. Your guide is beautiful. I only know how to sketch but I have access to all the necessary tools to be able to complete my work digitally, this guide was all I needed. And to think I found it by Googling "Chesnaught". You sir, are a hero.
OminousEcho Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
hey this inspired me to try this with out really any real tools other than a pencil and photoshop. 
WindUpNanoStar Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2013  Student Filmographer
This is amazing, When I get the time I'm going to study this..very intensely :D
mondecolore Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for this great tutorial! :happybounce:

I was able to create this Pikachu thanks to you:…

Again, thanks! :heart:
Squeeblez Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Forgot to mention, I tend to use the line tool for the stuff that I make (just a habit that I picked up over time.) The lines DO come out smoother than Sugimori's but I still like the results nonetheless. Never would have thought of using the threshold feature.…
Squeeblez Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

I use psp 7, though, really simple and easy to use in my opinion.
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December 17, 2011
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