The Fountain–WIP 3

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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.

The Fountain: WIP 2

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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.

The Fountain: WIP 1

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I only took about a week off before I started working on a new one, yay.  The random number generator indicated that the Fountain would be next, so I spent some time tweaking the design of it.

This all is what I call the “doodly” stage.  I’m mostly working out what I want to include, and where. It’s also a good time to make sure the anatomy isn’t going to be too funky, because I’ve learned the hard way that if the anatomy ends up funky, once you fix it, the people will not fit in where you wanted them to.  : P

I’m a little worried this is too close compositionally to the Stargazer.  I might experiment with flipping it left to right next time I work on it and see if it still holds together.  That would differentiate it somewhat.

And that is wisteria flowering in the trees, and yes I know damn well what I’m getting myself into, but I can’t help it.  I always do this to myself.  : /

The Visionary

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The Visionary is the part of us that creates grand designs and tries to execute them– that wants to change the world and believes that it can be done. Unlike the Stargazer, the Visionary’s plans come from within; but both frequently result in lifelong quests and obsessions. Out of all the aspects, the Visionary is the most likely to create something which will stand the test of time; but in exchange it is also an engine of perpetual dissatisfaction with the way things are.

Waugh, this one was epic.  It edged out the Empress for most hours of work time (30 exactly).  As suspected, the colors were challenging but not hair-pulling-out frustrating like they were for the Gate and others.  I had a pretty good idea of the unifying scheme, what with all the metals on a background of blue.  The planets were honestly the hardest part, and I had to redo them a few times to find a variety of colors that would pop and draw attention without being garishly disharmonious with everything else.

Visionary: line art preview

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I missed cleaning up a couple of places and there are still a few tweaks I want to do, but this is where the Visionary is at right now.  The line art is basically done and I am going to start in on the color next.

I did not ultimately have to scrap as many things as I feared, but I definitely had to pitch/redo more things than I was hoping.  This is actually somewhat simplified (gods help me) from the height of its convoluted-ness.  But I think I finally have it in a state where it is not just a jumbled complicated mess, but you can still see plenty of intricacies.  The Visionary’s machine should be intricate after all, in ways that only make sense to its engineer.

The Visionary–WIP 4

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Okay, so this is a little jumbly right now but I promise it’ll make more sense once I put in color flats to hide things wot are under other things.  Right now I am focusing on getting it all actually up there, and later I am sure I will have to tweak composition.

I’m pretty sure my 2 cards/month goal was not overly ambitious, but this card is probably one of the worst ones to start with in terms of amount of work it is taking.  Hopefully it will go a little quicker now that I have most of the gear-shapes done; those have been absolutely hell even with Photoshop doing a lot of the hard work.  Even the planet-globes, round as they are, are not nearly such a headache and go up much faster.

In other news, I am about 80% of the way done with a composition for my next watercolor piece.  Then I just need to do color tests…and pencil it out…and then paint it.  : /

I’m going to try something stylistic with that one in a stained-glass/Art Nouveau sort of vein…because I don’t already tend towards that with these cards, natch.

The Visionary–WIP 3

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Work continues apace…a very, very slow pace.  Further hampered by the fact that I decided after almost an hour of fiddling with one element to just take it out entirely.  (Ugh.)

This is not where my strengths lie, in hard edges and human constructions.  They have rules and geometries that my brain is not made for.  I would much rather be playing with organic shapes and swoops and curves.  My uncle once asked me if I had ever considered becoming an architect and I replied with certainty and not a little bit of horror that I had not–it is annoying enough to have to pick up a straight edge without also having to worry about precise measurements that could make a building fall on someone.

So I am going to try hard to keep this card dynamic and full of movement, even if it has all the damned straight lines there ever could be.