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Akira Watercolor : First time for everything

This 1988 Japanese anime changed my life forever. Almost as vital to my imagination as the Bible. I can't recall how old exactly I was, but I was young when I saw this film with a good friend of mine. We watched it and witness all kinds of wild mind-blowing new capabilities to animation.

Nudity, cursing, blood, and dark storylines with no resolution, but sad and tormenting depressing darkness? Well, sign me up and call me Sally. I was hooked and Akira was the magical gate to some of the most wonderful art I have been blessed to see. A friend vs friend scenario where both are anti-heroes to the person they are. 

Watercolor on Watercolor Paper

I've been experimenting for about a year with this Leda Art Supply 5B pencil I purchased from Amazon. I love it, the ability to retract your lead and protect the tip and have various leads instead of pencils. The option to sharpen the lead to such a fine point is one of its best traits in this, no wood to hack away at. The brushes were probably dollar-store brushes and the paint from there as well likely. One or two may be nicer ones, but I know they aren't professional brushes as I wouldn't be able to afford those and treat them the way I do these. The paper is Canson XL 60lb watercolor paper. Ink is Black Deleter 4 ink and the pen, well you can use felt tip Micron pens or Staedtler pens or you can use what I used and that is the Tachikawa nib tips.

I never really tried watercolor. Time and again I would dabble in the effects of watercolor if the tools and everything were already laid out, but I have always been intimidated by it since middle school. I have been on a journey for the past year or two with my art learning and business. After leaving my last job, I knew I wanted to risk it all for the life I always wanted for myself. The life of an artist, but one that was successful using his art for what he cares about. I knew that would take a lot more skill than I have currently, so helmet on, bootstrapped and engines revved, I start learning. Watercolor is one of those skills I need to know and master.  For fun and personal enjoyment. I will revisit watercolor after dipping my toes in all art forms to build an even groundwork for my future. 

I worked on thin layers, about four. The first layer was a thin coat of translucent color just to color code the painting. Then after drying that layer with my handy-dandy wife's blow dryer with six various options and comfort control... I painted the second layer with a thicker and more saturated coat. Blow-dried again. The third coat was a thicker and more detailed layer for the shadows. Blow-dried a third time and then the very thick coat of watercolor that has much less water to it so that it almost resembles guache. 

I took the design from the original anime but incorporated a more gritty and gross style. I think this turned out just as I imagined and would love to learn and master this art style. Check out my video on the process and the outcome on Youtube. 

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