I’m in the early stages of illustrating a full tarot deck and I’d love to give you a glimpse into the process. Here is a card that was recently approved by my art director. It’s titled Drawing Down the Sun, the traditional tarot name is The Hierophant.
Traditionally in the classic Rider-Waite tarot deck The Hierophant is shown with his right hand raised in blessing, he forms a bridge between the heaven above and the earth below. He is considered a bridge between deity and humanity. The card suggests guidance, to follow positive advice, be a role model, do the right thing and keep on the right side of the Gods.
The theme of this tarot deck is green witchcraft, faerie and folk magic which is the specialty of Ann Moura. She has written several books on the topic, therefore the symbolism is slightly different in the Green Witch Tarot, however I won’t reveal too much about that. I’ll leave it to Ann Moura to speak of.
Working on a larger project is quite different from doing personal work. Usually I make up a lot as I go along but when working for a client it’s key to ensure your vision is fitting theirs.
I receive an art description from the author, then I proceed with doing a rough sketch based on the description (black/white). The sketch is then sent to approval, when it’s been approved I move to color and develop the piece a little further.
In this case my first color was really rough because I had a sunset theme in mind (second image) which I wasn’t certain would fit with the author’s ideas. The color was declined as the theme of the card was more fitting for more of a daylight setting. I then did another color rough which was then approved (third image). Afterwards I proceeded to develop the details on the piece in accordance with the art description and finally sent in the final. In this case there were no revision after the initial color change.
I’m fortunate to be working with both a great art director and author on this project, which always makes a project more enjoyable. This is the 7th piece out of 79 I will be doing for the deck! I will be sharing more of the process here with you as we move along with the tarot deck.
The illustrations have been shared here with the approval of the publisher.