Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tarot Cards Process

Since I posted the roughs for my next batch of tarot cards, I've been following with keen interest the followup discussion on the Aeclectic Tarot forums. (Should I link directly to the thread, or would that be kinda vain?) Some people have expressed a preference for the loose sketches over the more polished final artwork, and it occurs to me that it wouldn't be hard to provide two versions, given my current working method. Let me explain...

When I created the original three cards, a little more than a year ago, I started out with detailed pencil sketches and then scanned them into Photoshop. Then I blurred the original pencil drawings, applied a layer of transparent colors, and threw on a few opaque highlights. (I also moved or resized a couple of elements along the way.) The results were pretty rough - more so than the original pencil drawings - but they made a good basis for building up the final painted versions, and I've used the same method for pretty much all my digital painting work ever since.





If you compare with the finished versions, you'll see that I made a lot of changes in the final painting (especially on the Strength card). It seems like a lot of illustrators prefer to prepare a perfect, detailed line drawing and carry it through to the final image, but this sloppier process seems to suit me, and as a side effect it means that I end up with a lot of "rough draft" artwork that I can pull out of the Photoshop files later on.

Whew! I seem to have been blogging up a storm this week, but now comes a little bit of radio silence while I head off to the New York Anime Festival to do some show coverage for Anime News Network. Time to get into the interviewing mindset...

6 comments:

Thirteen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thirteen said...

Thirteen said...
I happen to love the color, myself. It's stunning, lyrical, beautiful and, IMHO, the right thing for the art you're doing in these cards. Half of the evocative feeling of that Death card is in the soft colors that gentle it into poetry, make the sunrise such a beautifully hopeful contrast to the gray graveyard, and seem to echo the music the figure is playing.

I think what the sketch folk are after is simply a chance to see the original sketches as well as the finished color. It is wonderful to see any artist's process.

Jelter said...

thanks for posting, it's cool to see the process!

Frank said...

good luck!!

Tazmin said...

I stumbled on the discussion of your Death card at Aeclectic, and I must say I can't wait to see how these progress! I would love to buy the finished set someday, whenever it is done. I just love your art!

DarkwingLady said...

Again you did a great job - the essence of Strength is to BEND, not to BREAK, something that is stronger than you. She looks as if she has conquered her beast self....

The Death is creepy, melancholy, and makes you think and feel.

The Devil strains at self-imposed chains, which, I've noticed, you create in a pentagram shape. Quite clever.

Please continue this to the end.... My prayers are with you.