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Blood and Poppies
By Elle-H   |   Watch
177 36 4K (1 Today)
Published: August 13, 2008
© 2008 - 2019 Elle-H
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 :D. ) 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 :XD:. 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...

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Copic and Prismacolor marker, acryllic ink, watercolor, metallic gel pen, white paint.
Image size
498x800px 177.89 KB
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Comments (36)
chibi-seijitsu-chan's avatar
What a striking piece! You've captured him perfectly. ^^
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Azure4's avatar
I love this image! I actually came across it years ago when I browsed the gallery for the Hakubaikou contest so I'm glad I can tell you now how much I like it! You have some amazing work, I'm glad you share it :)
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Elle-H's avatar
Elle-H| Digital Artist
Aw, thank you. It's really great to hear that my work was enjoyed from back then!
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kiryuu500's avatar
I recognized my favorite character from this series instantly. I found you on HakuBaikou.com and wanted to comment on your tremendous talent. The young Okashira is spectacularly portrayed here. Cold, emotionless and covered in blood. Very nice. Thank you for uploading it.
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Elle-H's avatar
Elle-H| Digital Artist
Thank you! Sorry for the delayed reply, but I'm glad you enjoy it!
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bluegirl4's avatar
The red makes his eyes stand out. haha. That must have been fu, splattering ink.
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RainbowTunnel's avatar
Great job! Ruroken is my absolute favorite manga of all time. And boy, I've read a lot of manga.

The art itself is magnificent - I couldn't ask anyone but Watsuki-sensei himself to do a better job =)

And the funny thing is... I did recognize him xD;;
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Elle-H's avatar
Elle-H| Digital Artist
Heh, that's great! I know RK will always hold a special place in my heart, as well.

The bangs give it away, I think. :D
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RainbowTunnel's avatar
It was actually the ponytail style, the scarf, and the look in his eyes for me xD (the bangs did play a big role)
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KaoruxKenshin's avatar
Congrats on winning....second? Anways I love this it's gorgeaous and the colors play well together
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Lain-Luscious's avatar
Lain-Luscious|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Beautiful work, he does look a LOT like Aoshi, his nose and lips are beautiful and the whole composition of this is great too.
:heart:
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Elle-H's avatar
Elle-H| Digital Artist
Why thank you! I'm glad it does look like him -- I was a little worried when I drew that ponytail. And so many RK characters have blue eyes and black hair :D.
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Lain-Luscious's avatar
Lain-Luscious|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes but the eyes, the way they are drawn, and the expression, and the bangs, that's very Aoshi-ish.
I think you did well to make him look like him ^^
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Mr-King55's avatar
you've got some winning skills, this looks amazing! x
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save-the-lunchboxes's avatar
Wow, your art is incredible :D
Lol, 'bloodstains'
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mokona418's avatar
Good luck for your entry ^^ :heart::heart: :D :D
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Elle-H's avatar
Elle-H| Digital Artist
Thanks! I finished 2nd overall -- yayz!
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mokona418's avatar
oh, it's good! :heart::heart: But i think you deserve more situation~ :iconwarstar:
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Vonny88's avatar
Vonny88| Digital Artist
Awesome pic! I like the way you did the blood! :D
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Elle-H's avatar
Elle-H| Digital Artist
Thanks so much! The blood was a lot of fun. :evillaugh:
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Vonny88's avatar
Vonny88| Digital Artist
Your welcome! :D
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yara001's avatar
yara001| Traditional Artist
:clap: that's really good!love it :heart:
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Elle-H's avatar
Elle-H| Digital Artist
Thank you!
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anonymous's avatar
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