Monday, April 9, 2012

A History of the Ptero Tarot: Three of Swords

This is yet another drawing that I liked in principle, but didn't care for the finished result. Alas, I'm not sure I'm that much more happy with it now.

Originally, in trying to distinguish my Tarot deck from others, the suit of swords was to be rechristened "Knives" and all of the illustrations would show short blades. That's how I got a trident in there instead of swords. A couple of years later, the suit would start taking off in a new direction that I liked much more. This card was rendered obsolete to the disappointment of no one.

In coloring this, I undrew the original dolphin figure, separating it from the background first, then again eliminating the interior details to give me a shape I could render transparent in Illustrator. I reversed the original hatching from black to white, softening them somewhat satisfactorily. I tried a lot of colors for the clouds, but since I decided not to tamper with the black sky, everything I tried looked far too bold. I eventually settled on a gray gradient. This colored version is only slightly less monochrome than the original.

I like this version more than the original, but I'm glad that I was able to abandon it for inclusion in the deck. It does my ego some good to fail from time to time: there was no way to save this drawing.

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