There were a lot of artists I would have liked to use for the Tarot cards (particularly Lee Kennedy, who is a Girly Comic staple) but I chose those that fit the major arcana best. This is not a realistic spread of tarot cards- a proper layout would have covered up too much of the tabletop.
Because some of the cards had extreme perspective, I drew them to normal dimensions and used the Free Transform tool in Photoshop to warp them into the main composition. I then used the channel menu to separate the line art from the white background and filled the lines in in black to make sure they were clean and crisp. I kept flipping the picture - unless I'm aiming for a particular effect it's usually pot luck which way round it ends up.
Tarot from left to right:
- The Fool from Septimus Le Page In The Killer Frock Of Doom by Jenny Linn Cole.
- The Lovers from Roommates by Zack Gardner.
- The Empress from Kelechi, queen of the world by Jonathon Dalton.
- The Chariot from Tankless Tasks by Jeremy Dennis.
- circus poster from Strangers To Love by Douglas Noble and David Baillie.
- newscast from Pumpkin Coach by Allen Ashely, Serena Lock and Mayko Fry.
I created a new layer for the colour underneath the line art, coloured the illustration in and applied a a blue filter to the mobile phone screens.
Then I started putting the details in. I added "makeup" to a separate layer on the face
...and knocked the opacity back to make it more subtle. Watercolour painters use purple and green under a flesh coloured wash to create realistic flesh tones.
I added shadows, highlights and gradients...again these are on separate layers, so I can remove them if something goes wrong.
There were a few more tweaks I did to the rest of the illustration, applying yellow highlights and colouring some of the lines.
This is a screengrab of the final illustration - it's a good idea to get into the habit of naming and organising all the layers. There are at least 35 here. The whole process took about 6 weeks to complete (working evenings and a couple of weekends). A simpler illustration can take two evenings.
Here is the final product! It has been cropped a little but most of the detail has been kept in.