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.  : /


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.

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.

The Fountain: WIP 1


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


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.