Pokemon Art Academy brings Skitty-sketching to Europe in two months' time, when the 3DS game hits the region's store shelves and eShop on July 4.

The game that's putting the art into Articuno provides step-by-step lessons for drawing 40 Pokemon, as tutored by the probably white-coat wearing Professor Andy. To be honest, we don't know if Skitty's one of those 40 - sorry - but Pikachu, Oshawott, Charizard, Fletchling, Fennekin and Torchic definitely are.

Maybe Skitty's one of the 100 templates artists can reference in Free Paint mode, and if it's not you can scan in an image of the critter or whatever you so wish using the 3DS camera. And when you're done etching your Fletchlings, you can share your creations via Miiverse.

Update: Nintendo confirmed Pokemon Art Academy launches in North America this fall, and it'll be available on the eShop and at physical retailers.
[Image: Nintendo]
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12th May 2014 – Grab your stylus and start your Pokémon-drawing journey in Pokémon Art Academy launching on 4th July exclusively on Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 2DS systems. This Pokémon-themed iteration of the Art Academy series offers budding illustrators and Pokémon fans alike 40 lessons to learn how to paint, sketch and draw with beloved Pokémon characters. Along the way, students of Pokémon Art Academy can pick up actual illustration skills that they can transfer onto real canvas or paper, or share their digital masterpieces with the world.

The Art Academy series made its debut on Nintendo DS in 2009, offering a comprehensive virtual art studio with a variety of realistically behaving art materials. Wield the stylus with tactile precision on the Touch Screen to use the plethora of paint, pencils and pastels. What sets the Art Academy series apart are its easy-to-follow lessons with step-by-step guides that teach genuine painting and drawing techniques. A friendly tutor takes students of all ages through these lessons, each of which breaks down complex-looking images into simple steps. Gradually, players pick up more and new techniques that allow anyone to create artwork they can be proud of. Whilst previous Art Academy titles were focused on traditional and fine art, this Pokémon-themed iteration lets players try their hand at illustration. So join the Pokémon Art Academy and meet Professor Andy, who teaches players to draw and train their creative skills - beginning with starter Pokémon and working up to legendary masterpieces.

Every artist needs tools, and the Touch Screen toolbox once again houses a bright range of pencils, pastels and paint. There are also art materials brand new to the series, such as Markers that make block colours with clean sharp edges, and Airbrushes that allow for a fine graduation of colour. In addition, the new Outline Pen leaves a smooth line that cannot be coloured over – perfect for cartoon drawings with slick borders. Finally, players need not worry about making mistakes when experimenting, as the new Undo feature allows the removal of several previously made steps from a masterpiece-in-progress.

Pokémon Art Academy boasts 40 lessons in which players can encounter favourite Pokémon from throughout the series – even including those from the recent Pokémon X and Pokémon Y games – such as Pikachu, Oshawott, Charizard, Torchic, Fletchling, Fennekin and many more! Students can progress through four different levels of lesson, beginning with first drawings in Starter, discovering new skills during Novice and Apprentice, and culminating with mastering a new talent in Graduate courses. They will first learn how to draw colourful Pokémon profiles, then build up Pokémon out of simple shapes like a cartoonist. Later lessons introduce colouring techniques such shading, shadow and depth that bring drawings to life. For the first time in the Art Academy series, it's even possible to add a finishing touch by placing completed artwork against a selection of backgrounds for dramatic effect.

As players hone their skills, they can try out Free Paint mode, where Pokémon can be created in any style using the full range of tools. Over 100 reference pictures of Pokémon are included for inspiration, while images taken with Nintendo 3DS Camera can also be imported into the game. For those who want to keep their artistic juices flowing, there's the new Quick Sketch mode where players can jump into short, simple drawings and practice producing Pokémon sketches quickly – perfect when out and about, or as daily practice.

All accomplishments can be saved into an album, as a truly personal collection of character cards featuring your artwork as the illustration, together with your signature. Share masterpieces locally with other Pokémon Art Academy players, or post them to Miiverse to show the world your greatest artistic triumphs. And while you're there, you can always ask for help with techniques from the friendly Miiverse community of art and Pokémon fans.

Learn to draw your favourite Pokémon characters and gain real-life illustration skills in Pokémon Art Academy. Start your Pokémon-drawing journey on 4th July 2014 exclusively on Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 2DS systems, available via the Official Nintendo Online Store, at retail or as a digital version from the Nintendo eShop.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.