Pokémon Sword & Shield has spiked the community’s excitement and vitriol for the last several months. But we’re not here to relive the controversies and backlash. This is for those who are anticipating a fun and faithful sequel to the 20-year-old franchise.
Ever since the starters and trainers were teased, artistically inclined fans had their software and digital pens ready to work. Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, and other websites were flooded with fanart with each new character revealed. Let’s look at the most stunning Pokémon Sword & Shield fanart that got us hyped for the games!
10 The Galarian Starters By 801yamaarashi
If one has been around in the fanart side of the Pokémon community long enough, they’ll notice a common type of art: compilation art. These types of fanart gather all the main or relevant characters in a series into an assembly representative of the series. The scope may vary, but in Pokémon’s case, the theme can be region, type, association (e.g. Champions, Legendary Pokémon), etc.
Starters are always selected for this type of fanart. 801yamaarashi's, or Yama’s, fanart of the Gen 8 starters is no different. What makes it stand out is the cute appeal and the impression it gives. Not only are Sobble, Scorbunny and Grookey assembled and holding Pokéballs, but it also represents how tight-knit the Pokémon community can be.
9 Bede By Gmendezm
Reddit user gmendezm created amazing fanart of a Sword/Shield character; this time the focus is Bede and his Duosion (who is making such a cute face!). This fanart is screaming with style and personality. His signature long coat seems to be the focus of the picture, and rightfully so. It commands attention like Bede himself.
Bede is a “prideful,” almost arrogant youth with nice clothes, a purple-centric style and has some mischief up his sleeve. He is one of the player’s rivals, and even his official art alludes to something potentially darker.
8 Allister By Gmendezm
Allister has fostered much intrigue in the community due to his super creepy and mysterious design. Some are speculating the Ghost-type Gym Leader is possessed, while others think it’s a special power, he holds similar to the Psychic-type Gym Leader Sabrina.
Gmendezm returns with another stunning piece of fanart for Allister. Somehow, they were able to make Allister creepier and cuter at the same time. Misdreavus and his signature Pokémon Mimikyu are also featured in the art, contorting alongside their master. What really stands out in this picture are the bright and popping colors, the gloss and the strong artistic style shining through.
7 Galarian Ponyta By Ting Tey
This goes out to the unicorn lovers! Twitter user Ting Tey presents fanart of one of the most anticipated Galarian forms: Ponyta. Not only does Ponyta become a Psychic-type in this form, but they made it into a unicorn with a fluffy rainbow mane. Did we mention that it could glow?
In Ting Tey’s art, they captured the magic and splendor of Galarian Ponyta with a vibrant and mystical color palette: pinks, indigo, violets, aqua green, sky blues. There’s a simplicity in the art style and presentation, too. This can instantly be a T-shirt, poster or something!
6 Sobble By John Reinfurt
Sobble is shaping up to become the most beloved Starter Pokémon of the Generation. The Official Pokémon Twitter even dressed in a theme and started a trend: #SobbleSquad. Naturally, a bunch of Sobble fanart will come out, whether it’s solo or with Scorbunny and Grookey.
Jon Reinfurt provides a nicely textured fanart of the Water Lizard Pokémon to celebrate the release of Sword/Shield. Sobble is surrounded by sparkles and bubbles, seemingly distracted by its surroundings. So cute!
5 Champion Leon By Gmendezm
And Gmendezm is back at it again! This Reddit user regularly posts his fanart of Sword/Shield characters in the Sword/Shield subreddit. This time, he’s coming to the community with a fierce take on the Galarian Champion Leon and his Charizard.
It’s rare that GameFreak would showcase Champions before the actual game comes out. Usually, they leave it up to the players to find that out in the story. No matter, Leon presents himself as an open and outgoing individual. Gmendezm captures him in a more serious tone while maintaining the Pokémon style. Keep it up!
4 Sonia by MikkuSushi
Sonia is another character that took the community by storm with her reveal. She is the granddaughter and assistant to Professor Magnolia and Champion Leon’s childhood friend. Like other characters in the series, she has a distinctive design with white heart accessories in her hair and on her shoes.
MikkuSushi created a bubbly and bright fanart of her. This interpretation elevates the excitement and enthusiasm of Sonia’s character. She’s twirling her hair, showing her painted nails and she’s very happy to see the trainer. Coupled with great lighting and a strong color palette, this is a home run!
3 Marnie By Magion02
This is a piece of fanart that is working in so many ways. The textures, the line art, the lining. It delivers a side of Marnie that a lot of people may not think about. In the trailer, she’s presented as slightly aloof but intrigued in your player character.
In Magion02, or Magion’s, interpretation, this shows a clinical side to her. It isn’t too far off since Marnie is more interested in battling than her career. Bulbapedia describes her as “calm” and “calculating,” but Magion’s take on her delivers that better than in the trailers and teasers.
Magion created fanart of other female characters in the series, including Nessa, Bea, Sonia, and the female protagonist.
2 Bea By Enomaru Saku
Fighting-type Gym Leader Bea became another fan favorite when she was revealed months ago. Her silver hair and eyes, black bandana, and stoic but intimidating look really strikes a chord.
Fan artist Enomaru Saku created a piece of work that captures Bea in motion. She is tossing out her first Pokémon like she is throwing a jab towards the player. Her eyes are razor-focused, and she is ready to win. Not only was Enomaru able to capture the essence of her design, but he also accentuated the moment with great lightning. Nice job!
1 Nessa By Najuco
This last artwork created some controversy over the lighting used, but we’re not going to talk about that. What we are going to talk about is how stunning this piece of art is.
Najuco, a Japanese artist, has a pretty distinctive style when it comes to her work. Nessa curiously looks back at the player character, a Dive Ball ready to be tossed and her body craned in curiosity. It’s slightly sensual and showcases the character’s beauty. It also makes one appreciate the details in her design. Keep up the great work, Najuco!