View Full Version : Step by Step (Emperor Tarot)

02 February 2006, 05:03 PM
I was asked to do a step by step for my next tarot card, so here it is, the Emperor. I spend 70% of my time on the actual drawing (pencil and paper) and 30% coloring in Photoshop, so there is nothing much in the ways of digital techniques. Before I go on with the 6 steps, some materials I recommend for drawing are :regular HB for prelim sketch, 6b-8b for final, lumograph for smooth lines, krylon fixative spray-- gives it a soft glaze and protects your scanner too. Paper can be anything, doesn't matter. I use staples bond paper all the time.

1. Set the Primer
My base colors, kept the values simple, had my choice colors on a separate layer for easy reference.

2. Tweak colors
Done with majority of the base color, ran it on color balance and hue/saturation to tweak them. Went for a redder version for now.

3. Clean up
After adding a darker background, I cleaned off excess paint. Also erased some stray paint I left behind. I wasn't too meticulous in cleaning up, I think some left over colors here and there glues the areas together. Your call, really.

4. Blur Some
Used dodge, sponge and blur tool to soften edges, especially for hair and fur. I try not to over-do it but I get carried away sometimes...

5. Highs and Lows
Almost done. Added strong pinpoints of lighter color in areas that can use it. Made a separate layer for this and set it on overlay. Used burn tool to give it a darker range.

6. Digital Fastfood Ready to Eat
Hit up my auto-level and contrast buttons to correct the values. Also messed around with color balance some more. When I want to isolate just a certain area and color (i.e. the blue under-robe), I use replace color instead, or laso tool it and do color balance. Slapped on the border and its ready to serve.

Sorry, not much in the ways of a tut, I should have a longer one in my CA sketchbook somewhere. Till then!

02 February 2006, 05:35 PM
cheers lucavi, very nice insight awesome work as usual i can't decide which one i like best though. the 'fool' or this one. saying that i love the others too.:D

02 February 2006, 05:36 PM
lucavi -- Thanks for posting. I must say, your contributions to the DSG this week are amazing. Your style is very distinct and captivating.

I wonder if one artist has every "swept" the entire DSG week? If not, you may be the first :thumbsup:

02 February 2006, 05:38 PM
That's the most useful tutorial I ever read, thanks for sharing your technique.
A part loving very much your work, I found it very useful for the fact I often make works in which my pencilwork is the 80% of all the process, seeing this kind of colouration gave me a lot of ideas.
I usually colour my stuff in painter classic, with some overlays and colour adjustments in Photoshop. I'd really appreciate and be very grateful for a critique or suggestion about these works of mine, if you have a bit of time. (don't want to annoy, it's just that this technique is very rare around, and you're truly skilled in it)
First Date (
The Path (
Those are the most recent complete ones, and I often loose my pencilwork strokes, thing that I really don't want to.

02 February 2006, 02:38 AM
Lucavi: many, many thanks!!!

02 February 2006, 07:51 AM
lucavi, your cards are awesome! Great stuff.

03 March 2006, 12:29 AM
really really big thankyou johann for you break down.

03 March 2006, 12:38 AM
great to see you on cgtalk lukavi. And thanks for this very interresting step by step.

03 March 2006, 06:03 PM
You are quite an amazing artist. Yet i feel abit ashamed to have not noticed your work untill the tarrot card sketch of the week.

Great work, insightful tutorial.
I'll be sure to apply it to my compositions

03 March 2006, 06:13 PM
Very much appreciated, lucavi!

03 March 2006, 05:22 PM
That just looks great. Maybe you can consider designing a complete Tarot set - I'm sure it'll sell well.

03 March 2006, 04:49 PM
Always true, a fantastic drawing makes coloring a breeze.

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