Thursday, July 31, 2008

Suit of Pentacles is progressing!

The summer energy must be good for me because I have been working a few hours each day for the last two weeks on the tree tarot deck. I now have all of the pentacles sketched out, and I have started doing the watercolor backgrounds for them.

I thought I'd take this opportunity to talk about my process for each card.

1) I start with reading and researching the card I plan on painting extensively. This includes looking through my own tarot deck and library about the card.

2) Then I go online and look at other artists' renditions of the card, read on the symbolism, etc.

3) At that point, I write a list of meanings and symbols I'd like to convey and do some small sketches (maybe 1.5" x 2.5" high). Just to get the creative juices flowing.

4) During this stage I burn some incense I specially crafted for divinations and then meditate for a bit on the design, painting the card in my mind.

5) Now I'm ready to start sketching more seriously. The sketch comes together, and finally, I am ready to trace the whole thing out on Canson 128 lb Rough watercolor paper.

6) Usually a bit later, I come back and look at the sketch and then if I'm satisfied, I start the watercolor layer. I have painted the entire deck with mostly Shin Han Professional Artist watercolors, with a few Winsor and Newton colors thrown in. I love the Shin Hans for their brilliant colors!

7) The watercolor portion takes a while to paint, and I let it dry in between layers and work on something else. Finally, when its dry, I go back in with some white acrylic, watered down (liquitex works best) and I add in some detail. This is a method of painting I developed especially for this deck, and I love how wonderful it makes everything look!

8) The acrlyic dries. I then go back for my third and final layer--with a Faber Castell medium point waterproof/india ink pen. I define areas, add detail, and so forth.

9) Then I scan at 400 dpi! That is it!

:) More tarot cards to follow soon!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Updates - Tree Tarot Deck

I have been so busy writing my dissertation that my tree tarot has not had the progress that I wanted it to have. But these last few weeks, I have managed to paint four cards--and I have several more rough sketched. I am still hoping to finish this project by the end of 2008, but we will see how busy the fall is. I have decided to work on the suit of pentacles next, although I have concept sketches of many cards yet to complete from the swords and cups.

Nine of Pentacles

Rooted deep in the earth during the winter months.

Page of Pentacles

I am finally on my second suit - the pentacles. These are wintery. I'm not sure what I think of the ground on this one yet. I might revise it. But the sky stays.

King of Wands

The final card in the suit of wands! WOOT!

Tree Tarot - Queen of Wands

Finally, I have been able to paint more tree tarot cards. Here is the queen of wands. The cat looks a little sad, so I'll have to brighten her up a bit :).