I have always loved drawing.  Ever since I was little I wanted to become an artist some day.  In fact, whenever I played the board game ‘Life’, I always tried to get the Artist as my occupation and then the highest salary which was somewhere in the 6 digit range.  I can chuckle looking back knowing that artists in the traditional sense are not so well off.  I still draw occasionally, but it happens more on a tablet than pencil and paper.  With Pokémon Art Academy, I’ve found another great outlet for my artistic expression.

One of the hardest things for me when facing a blank canvas is deciding what to draw.  Past Art Academy games have given some of the typical art class subjects: vases, nature, people, and more.  With Pokémon Art Academy, I felt there was more motivation to go through the lessons and paint every Pokémon I could because I enjoyed the subject matter.  Each lesson introduces players to new tools and new techniques.  Sometimes players will be asked to draw Pikachu or Oshawott in the standard style.  Other times, the game will have players using colored pencils or even paint strokes to give the Pokémon a different look.  I sort of equate learning to draw with learning to play an instrument.  If you don’t practice, you won’t get better.  But more than that, if you don’t find songs to play or pictures to draw that you really enjoy, you won’t progress.  I guarantee people that learn to play the guitar did so by learning to play songs they like to hear.  The same is true for drawing or painting.  That’s a long way of saying that I really enjoy Pokémon Art Academy and I think it’s an awesome tool to help players of any age learn to draw.  Now granted, having a love for all things Pokémon helps to enjoying the game overall, but the formula is much better overall than past Art Academy games.

By Justin Sharp (except the background)

By Justin Sharp (except the background)

If I had the choice of purchasing an Art Academy game where the sky’s the limit, or an Art Academy game that’s catered to drawing characters from Pokémon games or Zelda games; I’ll choose the more focused approach every time. I need that extra push sometimes and the Pokémon Art Academy game does a great job of providing that.

Probably the best feature of Pokémon Art Academy is just how easy it is to draw Pokémon.  The game does a great job of slowly introducing aspiring artists to the different tools.  Instead of throwing every tool into the mix at the outset, the game steps you up gradually like you are studying to be an artist’s apprentice.  The game does it under the guise of becoming a Pokémon Card artist.  After each lesson, your finished product will be featured on a Pokémon Card that you can store for later and show off to your friends.  Players can share the card on Miiverse or with anyone by saving the image to an SD card.  There are also several new Pokémon images that are available for a free download to further hone your skills (I just received some Halloween themed Pokémon to draw just the other day).  As the lessons progress, players will have basic shapes and outlines of the Pokémon.  This was a huge help and one thing that kept me coming back to play.  My only real gripe with the game was that the game does not support the 3D slider at all.  I thought there could be some fun 3D drawings done by manipulating layers, but it’s not a huge omission.  The amount of content and tools that players can use makes up for this in spades.

If you have ever had any interest in art and you love Pokémon, you will have a blast with Pokémon Art Academy.  The lessons are varied and they step players up gradually.  For the more experienced artists, there is plenty here to keep your attention.  One of my favorite books growing up was a ‘How to draw the Simpsons’ book.  It motivated me to draw more and I got to learn how to draw my favorite characters from the show.  As a Pokémon fan myself, I’ve always wanted to draw Pokémon but never had the maddest skills to do so.  With Pokémon Art Academy, I was able to create some really cool Pokémon cards and had a lot of fun doing it.  Pokémon Art Academy is a great game for all ages and one that any level of artist can enjoy.