Welcome one and all to this year’s Main Event. Pocky Day! Or in this case, Pocky Month! Yep, all month long I’ll be creating characters based on the popular snack, Pocky! Kicking things off will of course be the most popular of all Pocky flavors, Chocolate!

But before we begin…

Chocolate Pocky ~ Choco-tan

Self Critique: I kinda forgot to draw the back tie of the obi. By the time I realized it, it was too late. The outstretched hand is a little iffy to me.

All of the girls in this set are dress in some form of kimono, all based on a flavor of Pocky. There’s a bunch of flavors I could go based on, but to keep things simple, I chose the ones that are officially available and common in the U.S. Starting off, meet Choco-tan, representing Chocolate Pocky! I based the design of her kimono off the cacao plant, the basic essence of chocolate. Much like all of the girls in this set (except one), I had to find a plant that would go well with a kimono that was based on the flavor represented. The initial pose had both of her arms bent inward. However I decided to bring one of them out in a sort of presenting manner, like she’s greeting a viewer to the set and offering some Pocky! Kinda retreading old ground here since this pose is sorta similar to the one I did for Kim (Conquest of the Crystal Palace) from a few years ago. However this time I had a reference.

I was gonna keep things simple and just do a patterned background, but do one in such a way that it could look like packaging, right down to designing the chibi of Choco-tan. This whole set was actually planned since February of this year. And from the outset I planned for each girl to have a kimono and a floral design for their kimono (except for one of them, which I’ll get to when that’s done). It wasn’t easy, especially when looking up designs for kimonos and how to arrange the patterns. The hairstyles weren’t as easy. Choco-tan here is the tamest and most basic, but it only gets more extravagant from here.

The little chibis actually came about from a sketch from when I was designing the lingerie. While I shelved the lingerie designs for now, I still wanted to keep the chibi heads that I drew. Keep your eyes opened though. I got something special planned for these soon!

Next girl in this set, representing Strawberry Pocky, Ichigo-tan!

Self Critique: The planted foot should’ve probably been straightened out a little bit more as the foot is skewing a little too much.

Strawberry Pocky ~ Ichigo-tan

For Ichigo-tan, seeing as she represents Strawberry Pocky, pink is usually associated with move vibrant energy. So I based her outfit on the shorter versions of the kimono (not quite sure what it’s called exactly, if someone wants to help me with that). There were a couple of references I had in terms of designing the pattern. I painted the strawberry plant separately and was ready to leave it at that. Then I wondered what it’d look like to have a bunch of the smaller white flowers from the plant everywhere. So I made a pattern that had just that as well. For the backing pattern, I settled on small silhouettes of the strawberries.

The headdress was gonna retain the rather pop-ish look. Alongside adding the Pocky sticks to it, I added small tassels shaped like the part of the box you rip to open it. It’s not present on the U.S. boxes anymore (we use a small flap where you insert your thumb and pull the top open). But I think the Japanese boxes still uses the pull tab. Ichigo’s hair was one of the more complex to do since it’s based on one of the more detailed hairstyles in Japan. It’s not quite easy transplanting it to how I do hair currently, but I think I did an alright job.

Green Tea Pocky – Matcha-Tan

The half-way point. Here’s the next Pocky-tan. Representing Matcha Pocky, it’s Matcha-tan!

Self Critique: Not too fond of how I shaded in her wrists. I mean, I think I’m getting the hand of what I should be doing, but something tells me it wasn’t necessary to shade them in the way did did there.

I should probably address her name. Everyone had a flavor that could be a name (Choco, Ichigo, Nana to name a few) Matcha though (aka Green Tea)… well try as I might, couldn’t think of anything else. So she’s the only one of the five that completely shares the name with the flavor.

Anyway, for her kimono, I decided to go back to the long style, with sleeves that go all the way down to the hips. Being that Green Tea is more rooted Japanese culture (or rather, Chinese, and all of Asia) to the point of there being a ceremony, I thought it best to go this route for Matcha. This extended to her hairstyle, which is more relaxed and not as extravagant as the others. The pattern for the kimono was unique as Matcha’s more closely resembles the gradient of the Matcha Pocky box, right down to the little grains. However, I did have to flip the dark part from the top to the bottom as it would cause a confusion between what’s a result of the lighting and what’s actually part of the kimono’s design (it was already tough with Choco and having the white of her kimono on the bottom). I did want one hint of fanciness on her, and that is her earrings. While small, she likes to show them off!

Going back to the design of the kimono, The pattern is, of course, the green tea flower. Not much to say about it.. But I did have better practice using the watercolor brush when I was making it on another canvas.

Cookies & Cream Pocky ~ Cookie-Tan

Gleaming with sophistication. Representing Cookies & Cream Pocky is Cookie-tan!

Self Critique: I probably should’ve picked another leg placement, or just another pose in general as this looks too similar to Xiuying’s pose back in September.

Cookie-tan wasn’t as straightforward as the others in this set. For starters, cookies and cream. Not quite what one would call natural. To put it another way, each flavor in this set can be traced back to a plant that it comes from. And from that, I could make into a floral/plant pattern. This however is different. I could’ve done some kind of cow-spotted kimono to represent the cream part, but it would simply be a girl wearing a cow kimono. Not quite the message I want. So I settled on doing the intricate patterns you see on some cookies, like Oreos. The packaging of the Cookies & Cream Pocky had a cookie on there with a pattern, so I went with that, but to instead represent the cream. The cookie part I made into little transparent brown splotches all over the kimono. So somewhat hammer the point home, I also gave her a cookie headdress.

The parasol I tackled differently from last time. With Xiuying, I traced the little parasol she had in her body-chan pose. This time, I traced a 3D model of parasol I found from Clip Studio Assets. While not quite the route I would’ve liked to go, given the time constraints I had to make due, at least to get the angle right. From there it was a matter of getting the pattern into position and using mesh transform to warp it to the right angle. I did the 3D Model trace again on the parasol in her icon there too, though less detailed since I wanted to keep it simple this time.

Chocolate Banana Pocky ~ Nana-tan

The last of the Pocky-tans. Representing Chocolate Banana, the cheery Nana-tan!

Self Critique: I probably should’ve given her the geta that doesn’t have the two prongs. Not much else I can think of at the moment.

Nana-tan was added into this set at the last minute. For the entire year, I was set on having just four. In my stealth poll on Twitter, Nana-tan got the boot. However, I realized that having only four was gonna be kinda weird, especially since four is something of a bad luck number in Japan since one of the pronunciations for it sounds like “death”. So I added Nana-tan back in around September. I wanted her to have a short kimono, much like Ichigo, but I wanted to have her sleeves slightly shaped like a banana, hence the pose I chose for her.
The pattern of her kimono was gonna have a whole tree this time for the banana, with brown swirls to represent the chocolate. The placement of the tree was a little tough since it was kinda detailed when I made it. So I settled on keeping it to the bottom of the the sleeves and bottom hem of the kimono. I was wondering for a while what was missing on her before I got to work on her. That’s when I gave her glasses. I also decided on a twintail hairstyle for her since, well, half of what she represents is a banana!

And that’s it for all of the Pocky-tans! But it’s not over yet! I got something special planned with these five, so stay tuned! For now, thank you for viewing and joining me in this Pocky-themed adventure in kimono design!

Done on Clip Studio Paint Pro. Intuos4 Tablet used. Choco-tan, Ichigo-tan, and Matcha-tan, a model was referenced. For Cookie-tan and Nana-tan, Body-chan model was traced for schematic skeleton, then drawn freehand afterwards. A 3D model was traced for Cookie-tan’s parasol.

Choco-tan, Ichigo-chan, Matcha-chan, Cookie-chan, and Nana-chan are (c) DeadPhoenX. Pocky brand is (c) Glico.

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