Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gryphon Tarot - The Lovers

The Lovers is an interesting card. Taken literally, it can me simply the love between two people. A more in-depth look at the card itself however reveals that it is about relationships. Whether it be romantic in nature, or friendship, or the relationship between yourself and say a job, or a career. This also leads into the interpretation of a difficult choice at hand. Traditional decks showed a man standing on a forked road, with two trees at hand. One bearing flowers, the other fruit. It's ultimately about love though, be it being in love with another person, a career choice or something else.

I chose the yin-yang layout as it is a common symbol of balance and the relationship between the female yin (white), and the male yang (black). The symbol in the lower right I initially had as the symbol for Venus but later changed it to the correct one, Gemini.

What I have done so far here is to mask off the gryphons with masking fluid first, and then go over the background with a wash consisting of Alizarin Crimson, and Dioxazine purple in about a 30-70% ratio between the colors. I wanted the focus of this to be the two lovers in the center, so I opted for a minimal background to this piece. The gryphons themselves are done in gouache and paynes grey respectively.

Here I've darkened the background considerably to get a more vibrant shade of the pink that I was initially aiming for. The gryphons are now more refined, having used a mixture of gouache and paynes grey for the highlights on the black feathers and adding some yellow ochre and cadmium yellow on the beaks and paws to pull the viewers focus towards the linked hands.

And here we have the finished card. The symbol in the lower right has been replaced with the corrected one for Gemini. I added a very thin border around the white gryphoness to add contrast and make her pop out from the background.

Next card up, Card XIII Death.

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