How Do You/did You Do It?

skytwig

Ok, Chronata's thread is the final inspiration..... You are all so inspirational..... It is time for me to start my deck.

So, I have some questions for the deck creators here.

What are the sizes of your originals? Do you draw, paint, whatever on a bigger canvas or do you keep it to the size it will be printed?

If you make it much bigger, is detail lost in the shrinking?

I will be using colored pencil and possibly watercolor, not sure yet.....

Also, did you make a 'storyboard' first or just go card by card?

thanx :)
 

Astra

Actually, from what I've seen, the larger the medium the better. Digital art has different constraints, but if you're working from, say, a 3' x 5' canvas (or whatever), you won't lose ANY detail on the card itself. Of course, the larger you work, the harder it is to scan or photograph the image correctly, so you might want to go with the maximum size of a standard flatbed scanner, which is about 11"x17". The minimum you want to work with, for sheer comfort's sake, would be about 3 times the size of the card.
 

Lady Eclipse

Hi Skytwig,

Great questions.

"What are the sizes of your originals?"

Depends on which deck of mine we're talking about. The Lady Eclipse was originally drawn as 8x10. The Soul Reflections and the Catch a Falling Star were about 3x the size of the actual cards. The new deck (4), is following this same format but my number 5 remains to be seen since I haven't decided what medium(s) I shall use.


"Do you draw, paint, whatever on a bigger canvas or do you keep it to the size it will be printed?"

I create the cards on a much larger 'canvas' due to it being easier for me to work on. Many publishers would rather the cards be larger than actual card size since it's a lot easier to reduce size and not lose resolution rather than try to make cards that are too small, larger.

"If you make it much bigger, is detail lost in the shrinking?"

No.


"Also, did you make a 'storyboard' first or just go card by card?"

No storyboard. I just created card by card since I already knew in my mind's eye how I wanted each one to look.

Joy to you,
Maralee
 

baba-prague

The only advice I'd add is that you should do one image in the size you're most happy with, then scan it and try printing it out (in high resolution and colour) at the size of the final card. This will give you an idea of how much detail will or will not be lost. It may sound a bit of a fiddle, but it is so much better to do one or two of these test prints than to find out too late that some of your hard work won't be visible in the final cards.

We have details in both our decks that can only really be seen with a magnifying glass (the "eye of God" at the end of The Chariot's wand is one example), but this is deliberate - we test lots of sketches at real card size so the elements that need to be immediately obvious are. The thing you want to avoid is visually "losing" detail that is vital to the overall card.

Best of luck - and please let us see the work in progress!
 

HudsonGray

Smallest I did was 2x3", the largest was 6x8", but they were all scanned & fit to the cards, so I'd say do a test size first, to see what you like working in vs how it shrinks down to the final card size. If you're making large cards, they can be up to twice the small card size. That's quite a range.

Detail 'tightens up' when you shrink it down. You can check on a photocopier to see how yours adjusts in proportion. I worked with line drawings, which are different than doing color work. If you get too small in detail in color, you stand the chance of more being 'lost' as you go down in size.
 

Major Tom

Many here will know that I try to encourage study of tarot along with creation of tarot decks. I mostly try to do this by example. Major Tom's Tarot was created in order to encourage people to create their own tarot deck. The Tarot Lovers' Calendar is created not just to showcase different original tarot decks but to provide hints how to use the creation process as a learning experience.

My latest effort is a Marseilles style deck done in conjuction with 78 Weeks of Study.

These cards a drawn in an attempt to mimic the Marseilles 'woodcut' style. They are draw with mechanical pencil on A4 size drawing paper. The image measures approx 8x10 inches without boarders. After the image is drawn in pencil - I go over the pencil with a black roller ball pen. Then I scan the image into Photoshop/PaintShopPro where I clean it up and colour it. I also add the borders and titles with the computer but believe publishers prefer to do this themselves?

I want to encourage everyone to join in, but realise a card a week for 78 weeks is a heavy schedule. So why not join in where it is appropriate for you to join? Are you working on a specific card? Why not post it along with your impressions in the appropriate 78 weeks thread?

Some people call this posting of cards and reflections blogging. Others still might call it bragging. :laugh:
 

Chronata

Wow! I had no idea that my deck would be an inspiration to anyone, Skytwig!
But I am really happy to hear that you are ready to plunge in and start your deck!

My paintings for my deck are bigger than the actual cards will end up being...and I think that's good, because shrinking the image seems to make what I thought were huge glaring flaws, seemingly disappear!

Course now, I am really starting to panic because there are folks who actually want my deck! But...I have no idea what standard size the deck has to be...or if trying to fit them into a specific size will mess up the aspect ratio of the image...or...or...Yikes!
I guess I need to take it one step at a time, and just get the paintings finished first, before I worry so much about the publishing!

Once, long ago, I started a deck, using color pencils on 3X5 index cards. Not the best way to do it, I found...unless you do really detailed work, or have very simple designs! (But I do have to admit, they were easy to scan, and did not take up a lot of space on the computer!)

The most important( and hardest !) thing to do is to just begin...
Jump right in and make a card...or two. They don't have to be the final cards that end up in your deck, and you can change them at any time...but there is a great rush that comes with accomplishing the amazing feat of finishing your first card!
(Even though you have that daunting task of making 77 more cards!)

Besides, I really want to see your work, Skytwig! I bet it's awesome!
 

Majecot

Chronata said:

Course now, I am really starting to panic because there are folks who actually want my deck! But...I have no idea what standard size the deck has to be...or if trying to fit them into a specific size will mess up the aspect ratio of the image...or...or...Yikes!
I guess I need to take it one step at a time, and just get the paintings finished first, before I worry so much about the publishing!
Oh Chronata.. don't panic, I really have more patience that I sound... I promice not o knock on your door until your deck is done. :D

Chronata said:

Besides, I really want to see your work, Skytwig! I bet it's awesome!

I too want to see....
I am envious of your inspiration. I used to have such inspiriation to draw and paint and it went away a long long time ago. I think the last time I put pencil to paper was 10 years ago.
I so enjoy seeing the work that everybody does! There is so much talent here.
 

HudsonGray

What size to be? Just work in what feels good for you right now, and decide on that later.

The printer is the one that tells us what's do-able for card size. They work with standard sizes of paper, and for printing they want as much image on the paper as will fit. Take a standard 8 1/2 x 11" piece of paper and fold it twice, so you get 4 squares. This is the room you have to put 4 cards on a page, but with a 1/3" border at top, sides & bottom so the print rollers can pull the paper through (no print image ever goes to the very edges of the paper). Fold the paper again the long way to get a smaller set of cards--look at the size you have to work with in each square. If your cards have a frame on them, your interior image will be smaller than the square because you need space between each card to cut the cards out, and each card has that nice frame inside around the picture.

It's a rough way to explain, but you'll see what fits on a standard piece of paper this way. A PhotoImpact program (or was it the web editor?) sets a page up for you with equally spaced rectangles, and you work within those, if you're transferring things to computer. It also allows a space border on the page for the print rollers to grab.

If you're doing an old fashioned cut & paste in the physical world (off computer), check with a printer on what size of card stock he carries, some sheets are larger than the standard photocopy page--buy a sheet of it & use a ruler to see how many cards of what size you can fit on it & still allow the pull space & the space between the cards. But keep everything even so the cutting can be done properly later on.

If you like big cards, do big cards. If you like miniature decks, do a miniature one. We were able to fit 8 cards onto one piece of standard size card stock & the deck is easy to handle. But I was looking at larger cards, in a more square shape, but could only get 4 to a page that way with a lot of wasted space around them. You can't turn cards sideways, they all have to be in the same direction (paper has a direction in fiber so the sideways cards won't be as strong/stiff as the upright cards).
 

Ironwing

My originals are 5"x7" because I prefer to work small (especially with this time-intensive medium) and because the scratchboard I'm using comes in that size. It also comes in a large size that allows me to fit 8 drawings on a board.
The images have a thin black line border. The cards will be roughly 3.5"x4" (four to a sheet of 8.5"x11" paper) but final size depends on the printer. Scratchboard detail is easily lost with reduction, so originals in this medium need to be close to the printed size.
When I designed the deck, I made notes and sketches for all the cards, then drew a few cards to see if I liked them enough to want to continue. Of course the deck has changed and evolved since then, but the original notes gave it a foundation to grow on.

Lorena/Ironwing