The title is supposed to be "Passing through Blood and Poppies", but dA won't accept a title that long. Bummer.
My second entry for `hakubaikou
's Rurouni Kenshin fan art contest. The theme is (still) "passages". The angle I took on the theme this time was more like "the beginning affects the passage".
If you don't recognize the character, it's actually a young Aoshi. (He was only pictured in two panels of the entire manga, so I could understand if he didn't look familiar
. ) I chose to depict him as a young man because I wanted to show that every passage has a beginning, and the manner
of the beginning effects the rest of the journey -- through life, space, time... whatever. His
journey started in war and cold blood -- he became cold, calculating, and hungry for battle.
Another important symbol in this piece is the poppies. (Yes, those squiggly gold blobs are poppies.) Red poppies are often associated death and sleep. Here, they represent death of childhood innocence. Though I doubt if Aoshi ever truly was a "child". At a very young age he learned to bury his emotions -- or put them to sleep. Thus is born the man with "the ice-cold blood of war" running through his veins.
Talking about the image a bit more objectively, I really enjoyed creating the blood effects
. In the BG I used acrylic ink at various levels of dilution, and had a field day spattering them as gruesomely as I could across the page. My mom's face was priceless when she saw me trying to wash the "blood stains" off my hands XD. On his face I used copic marker -- which is fun, but not as messy to my great disappointment. I'm also a little disappointed in the way the gold pen came out in the scan. It's such a nasty green color
. In person it's all metallic and catches the light in cool ways. Truly, it does! But alas, I cannot fix it...
Copic and Prismacolor marker, acryllic ink, watercolor, metallic gel pen, white paint.