Tradition WIP 1

tradition wip1

Ah, the doodle.  So crappy yet so important.  This will be a complicated composition, but I think I should be able to pull it off.  I have a lot of discarded attempts scattered in my sketchbook for this one.  : /



Here are some sketches I’ve done recently.  These are pretty much just practice, so forgive any glaring wrongnesses.  I’m trying to get the hang of charcoal pencils as well as learning how to do far-off trees.  Not so successful on either of those yet, but I will struggle onward.

The Fountain


The Fountain represents our ability to overcome adversity and start anew, either through determination and inspiration or through the simple passage of time. This Ikon washes the past away, allowing us to move on however much our lives and selves may have changed.

Ahh.  Good to be done.  Getting all the foliage/wisteria to line up and fly straight was so fiddly you have no idea.  I think at one point I had four different layers I was working on for the line-art, and by the end the most expedient way to deal with it was to collapse them all down onto the same layer.  Of course,  that meant I had to erase all the overlapping bits, but it was definitely the best way to make sure everything lined up properly.

I need to do something that doesn’t involve petals or leaves for the next one.  Also, I have been ruminating on Virtues cards and had some good ideas.

The Fountain–WIP 4


Getting there….getting there.  The line art is very nearly done; I pretty much have the ground to clean up and then probably some branches that I will tweak as I do the colors/move the wisteria blossoms around for optimized composition.  I haven’t laid down the flats on the blossoms yet; that’s why they are overlapping things in a weird way.

The water.  Ye gods, the water.  I spent the last three days working mostly on that fountain, because if there is one thing this style does not do well, it is water.  The semi-transparency just doesn’t work in most cases, so I have been treating water as opaque throughout the deck.  And because the lines have to be so bold and joined-up, you can’t get some of the gestural quality that can make the eye think it’s seeing a liquid in motion.  Still, I like the end result, even if it was slow as molasses to get there and made me want to tear my hair out.

The Fountain–WIP 3


There’s going to be a lot of cleaning-up of lines in this one, I can tell.  X__X

Today I sketched in the male figure as well as the fountain.   I was extremely pleased with how the pose came out in the end, though it took me several tries and erasing the whole thing and starting again.  I did use reference for the face, because I am absolutely terrible at angles like that, but the body was from imagination.

The fountain also went through a few iterations as I was building it up, but I have a pretty good idea of what it’s going to look like now.  I wanted to go for something Byzantine and ancient as stone, because this card is a Milestone and something of a force of nature rather than something polished and civilized and manmade. Now that I have the design, I will have to go in and break parts of it too, because it is that old.  : /

One of my favorite things is getting to design objects/clothing.  I think a really cool job would be scene and prop design for movies or stage productions, and if there were any way I could stand living on the West Coast that might have been a thing I considered as a career.  But alas.

I love it when objects and environment tell their own story without needing words.  There is always a reason an object looks how it does, because it’s a product of the culture and circumstances it came from.  It’s one of the things that really good video games do really well (see Bioshock and its sequels–oh my goodness, the visual language in those games).

In any case, this is coming along nicely.

Deepest Forest


In thorns and light and brambles and reddest blooms, it goes all the way down.

Well, here it is.  I think it has changed a good amount since the last WIP I posted.  I like how the ink-over-watercolor turned out in the end, though to be honest I did not begin this painting thinking I would finish it that way.  I used a Copic multiliner for the black ink, and a Uniball Signo Angelic white ink pen for the other.

The stretching of the watercolor paper turned out to be a success; even after I cut it off the board there was hardly any wibble in the paper.  I should be able to re-use the board after I clean it up a bit, too.

I think I need a new scanner.  This one has a very difficult time capturing the robust-ness of colors (and ye gods I need one with a larger scan bed).  My current one may or may not be about 12 years old.  <_<

The Fountain: WIP 2


I haven’t been keeping up with this like I should, but today I needed to sit down and just doodle wisteria blossoms for a while.  The trick is in making them detailed enough without having them be too cluttered or losing the detail in the small scale.  Actually, the real trick is to make your eye fill in the details by implying them with brushstrokes.  I am not good at this.  I am much too precise and detail-oriented.  At least the line art style for this deck plays to that as a strength.