Pokémon Art Appreciation, Day 13: Psyduck 20

This post is part of a series for WeblogPoMo 2024. Each day in May, I’m sharing my appreciation for my favorite Pokémon card art. View all of the posts in this series.

Today’s card is the Psyduck promo card from the original Wizards of the Coast Promo set. It’s card number 20, released in 2000, and illustrated by Kagemaru Himeno. This is the card:

The Psyduck 20 Pokémon promo card

Himeno is one of the most prolific Pokémon card illustrators, with over 630 cards to her name. Her art style is extremely varied, and she has many pieces that look quite different from the others. In this regard, she is somewhat unique across the Pokémon card illustrator contingent. I love that she experiments with different approaches and produces different kinds of art.

We see Psyduck floating (or wading?) in a small pond, seemingly adjacent to a dense forest. Psyduck is holding his head, a trademark move caused by his constant headaches. A red question mark hovers just above, conveying another one of Psyduck’s trademarks—confusion.

I love the simplicity of this card, and the bold choice to render its main subject so small (Psyduck only takes up about 5% of the illustration!). It appears to have been painted in watercolor, which seems a fitting medium for the subject and scene. The colors are completely unsurprising: brown tree trunks, green vegetation, blue water, and a yellowish Psyduck with his typical brown bill. But the execution is delightful, with a lovely blending of colors in the water where the grass is reflected, and the slight ripples emanating from Psyduck’s confused stance in the center.

This card remains a favorite of mine, and I feel like it is the perfect representation of Psyduck.

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