WIP Card Challenge - 4 of clubs

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  05 May 2013
WIP Card Challenge - 4 of clubs

I wanted to do something along the lines of fantasy but also didn't want to do any of the face cards as I felt that the subject would be a bit too constraining. Thus I went and looked up the history and evolution of playing cards. Hearts were the clergy, spades the nobility, diamonds the merchants, and clubs the serfs. Then I recalled that playing cards were also sometimes used for fortune telling and so I went to look up the different meanings for each card. A lot of the meanings were about love and success which I don't feel like doing at this time but I stumbled upon the four of clubs which represents lies, betrayal, and changes for the worse.
Four is also considered an unlucky number in many Asian cultures as the word for four sounds similar to the word for death, although I'm not sure how much of this I will incorporate.
  05 May 2013
Here is a quick sketch of my subject. I have an evil spirit sort of thing leading my character to his death. I'm wasn't quite sure what I want as an environment, other than a cliff/end of world thing that drops into black, and so the only thing that I could come up with so far is a graveyard.

and a few sketches trying to flesh out what my characters will look like. I decided to go with a young brother and sister. For their outfits I'm looking at something simple as they are serfs.
  05 May 2013
Another card that has been thoroughly researched. I like the idea. How about an update?
  05 May 2013

Re-found my composition with the correct dimensions of the artwork area for the card. Blocked in some base colors and cleaned up/defined my sketch. Then I stepped back to look for more reference.

I don't really like how my big evil spirit thing is looking currently. It looks like the lolwut pear, but as an eggplant. Hopefully that will change once I start adding in detail with material aspects and texture. As such, I've been looking for reference photos and one I really like was this illustration someone did of Gengar. I do want to achieve that smokey, ethereal, ghost look in my final. I also like the teeth and feel that doing something like that, with some blood, dirt, and grime, will help pull the large white/black contrast away from the teeth so I can pull it back down onto the lantern.

Another image that I look to for inspiration is by Tracy Butler. She uses a lot of club motifs in her illustrations, centering around her comic, and I would like to try to incorporate more of the clubs or the number 4 elements in my illustration
  06 June 2013
Sorry for the lack of updates, I've been out of town. Now that I'm back hopefully I'll be able to start working on this again.

After painting some more and looking at my previous drawing, I wasn't really liking the composition. It felt too far away and removed from the action. Here is a second sketch that I am trying out.
I was thinking that I wanted to add more form to my evil spirit thing instead of just having a formless blob. Since I have an angler fish protrusion thing I started to look at the head/face shapes of those fish couples with how snakes open their mouths. I'm not quite sold on how it looks currently as it feels very standard monster to me and I feel that human mouths on non-human objects are creepier.

  07 July 2013
Sweet, the deadline has been extended to the end of August.
I had picked up a lot of texturing and shading assignments for various animated shorts so I kept on pushing this painting back.
Here's what I did in the past two days. Blocking in some color and adding in some base details.
I really wanted that reaching pose so unfortunately that means my human character needs to move to the side and I can't seem to fit in the girl. I tried to do a receding frontal pose but I couldn't get it to look correct and an upward stretch pose makes the character smaller than I like.

7/27 Saturday

7/28 Sunday
  07 July 2013
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