Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ptero Tarot: The World

I've always defined and described myself in terms of black and white. I'm bipolar. Seeing myself and my world in shades of gray has always been hard -- if not completely impossible -- for me. A friend of mine challenged me to draw "gray," and what emerged was this card for my Tarot deck.

I've become somewhat less rigid in my views over the last 18 years. There's more room for ambiguity in my world. So when working on updating this drawing, I chose to use color -- not just some color, but every color. I converted the original into vectors in Illustrator (resulting in a HUGE file) and then colored my stippled spirals with a spectral gradient. Using a clone of the stippling in black, I offset it slightly so that each tiny pip has a black shadow. I built a black border and set it into the field of dots, largely to eliminate what I still see as mistakes and flaws in the original design. Lastly, I moved my typography (rather shamelessly paraphrased from Babylon 5) near the top of the image, changing it from black to gray with a black shadow.

I've included the original for comparison. Even though my challenge was to draw gray -- and from a distance it is perceptually gray -- I've never fooled myself into thinking this drawing was anything but black and white. Just like I used to be.

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