Welcome to my new blog series where I will gradually introduce the 78 Tarot cards of my new card deck, the Neon Kruppa Tarot. The new cards will be available starting November 1st, 2023 - if you would like to own this set, you can place your pre-order now!
Opening this series is The Empress, which in many ways sets the tone of my new card deck: Mystical and bizarre, gentle but nonconforming. The colour scheme of the card is a radiant combination of purple and turquoise, with black inks underlining the contrast. I used this colour scheme for all 22 of the new Major Arcana cards. (The four suits of the Minor Arcana each come with their own distinctive colour scheme).
Here you can follow the creation of my new card step by step:
1) My drawing is based on a licensed reference photo provided by Grafit Studio, Yerevan. It stems from their "Assassin" reference package. Here, I traced the outlines of the photo using KRITA and a mouse, after which I printed the outlines at reduced opacity on a piece of BIOTOP 3 paper for proportions.
2) My drawing is done using 4B pencil on BIOTOP 3 printer paper. I used multiple, soft layers of graphite for shading and highlighted brighter areas with an eraser gum. I introduced lots of details like an array of robotic arms, contrasting the unassuming pose.
3) I scanned the drawing using my EPSON ET-8550 photo printer, added a transparency layer and continued processing the drawing in KRITA, a pixel-based digital painting program. I placed a dark gray base layer "below" the drawing and used lighter shades of gray to elevate areas of the drawing, thus creating the impression of light.
4) I used the ink brush tool in KRITA to enhance the contours of the shape and to introduce dark hair.
5) Now I converted the "landscape" of gray values to a purple colour map. This colour pattern is characteristic for all the Major Arcana cards in my new deck.
6) Turqoise is added as a second color, creating an astral, otherworldly impression. This second color is also sparingly added to shadowy parts of the drawing, evoking the impression of an ethereal glow. As a subtle nod to the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot, this Empress also gets a little Tattoo.
7) In the final editing, I give the colours a lot more contrast and saturation to account for the printer and paper selection. The card frame, card number and caption is added in SKETCH, a vector graphics tool.
How do you like my new Tarot card, The Empress? Is there anything else you would like to know about it? If you would like to own my Neon Kruppa Tarot, you can pre-order the cards starting now. You can read all about my new card deck in this recent blog entry.