• Anna

Mixed Media - Watercolour and Coloured Pencils - Taiga from Toradora

Toradora anime poster


Toradora is one of the most loved 'Slice of life' anime. Watching it as a 34 year old woman brought tears to my eyes. It may be because I was taken back to my teens and was feeling a bit nostalgic... OR, I'm just old now. LOL.

It was all about having people around you that you care about and making important life choices. I was really lucky to have amazing friends in my teens and some are now life-long friends. They were an integral part in my growth as a person and they've supported me in so many ways. This anime reminded me of what is truly valuable to me - my family and friends.

Taiga feeding Ryuji with chopsticks GIF

Above: Ryuji and Taiga

Feature character - Taiga

Cute and Kawaii Taiga wearing red scarf from anime Toradora. GIF

Above: The absolute cutest, Taiga from Toradora

Taiga reminded me a little bit of a chihuahua, but cuter. She was fierce and will get into fights with people who are bigger than her... and she wins. She wasn't afraid of and is true to herself. Although she comes across as this this small, badass chick, she actually has a heart of gold. I love how her character developed and uncovered the different layers to her personality. On top of all of this, she is one of the cutest female anime characters I've seen! If she was food, she would be a cute layered cake.


Taiga wearing angel outfit from anime Toradora

Above: Still shot of Taiga from the anime Toradora

There was a lot of stills with Taiga being really adorable, but there was one scene that stuck to me where Taiga was not only cute, but beautiful. She performed in a school play dressed as an angel. Taiga had a solemn sadness on her expression which added to her charm even more.

The Artwork

Watercolour, coloured pencils and pen art of Taiga from the anime Toradora. by Anna Legaspi Art

Above: Watercolour, Coloured pencils and Ink on watercolour paper. Anna Legaspi 2021

Tools used

  • Mechanical pencil

  • Rubber or eraser

  • Daler-Rowney Aquafine Watercolours

  • 48 Arteza Professional Coloured Pencils

  • Winsor and Newton Cotman Water Colour paper (140 lbs / 300 gsm, 10" x 6")

  • Bic Cristal Original Fine pen

  • Music from my Jazz Anime by Anna Legaspi on Spotify to set the mood. I also listened to the podcast Serial Killers.


Following from my last attempt on watercolour and coloured pencils with Honey from Ouran High School Host Club, I wanted to push myself a bit more. I wanted to use the medium to its advantage, but I wasn't really sure how to do that. So I started with what I thought would make sense, which was do the first layer of watercolour on Taiga. I purposefully made sure that the paint was watered down and made light washes. I knew if I didn't, I may not be able to reverse the mistake once the pigment dries.

I added more layers of watercolour and gave the paint a chance to dry in some areas before adding more paint. Whilst I was trying to copy the reference, I found a set of colours that I really liked when used together. Unfortunately, I don't know what the colours were exactly, but it was the most intense purple, blue and pink I could find. In the end, I ditched the colours on the reference and just went with my new colour combination. One thing I also like is the yellowish background behind Taiga. It just really complements the purples in the painting.

Once I've layered as much as I could with the watercolours, that's when I brought the coloured pencils in to start with details. Some areas of the painting, like the angel wings, already had a lot of character even with just the watercolour. I didn't want to cover this up, so I only added coloured pencils to create more shadow or to emphasise on detail. For the rest of the piece, I still think I used too much coloured pencils, but I actually quite like the effect of coloured pencil on textured paper. It makes the painting look more tangible than just a flat art piece.

Overall, I'm really pleased and happy with this art piece. It's my first true attempt in using coloured pencils with watercolour and I think the results are great. Although, I'm hoping that there is still some more room for improvement whilst I try to find my art style.

Up Next

I think I'm in a shopping mood since I've decided to buy more watercolours and give the ones I currently have to my mum as she is also wanting to paint. I've just made a new purchase in Amazon and I can't wait to give it a try when it arrives and share it with you guys!

Thank you for taking the time to read about my thoughts on Toradara and I hope my art has made a positive contribution to your day. If you like what you've seen so far and want to follow my art journey, please follow my socials or subscribe to get emails when I've got a new post.

Remember, It's not about creating the best art, but creating art that makes you happy!

All the best and until next time!

Lots of love and positivity,