(Currently:Spade King Sketches, Updated on:May.11.2011) Playing Card design W.I.P.
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    (Currently:Spade King Sketches, Updated on:May.11.2011) Playing Card design W.I.P.

    Hello CA! I'm working on a set of playing card designs using some random characters I've made. I only drawn up on so far, though. I'm still pondering what kind of Layout I should use, and how things should go together. Since this is only the first in the set, I'm still very likely to change things, may it be color choice, character designs, are the style chosen in general.

    So here's the first card, what do you guy's think? Should I just move around a few things, or should I just scrap it and start from scratch? Thank you for your time in advance.



    Updates on page 2.

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    Last edited by SockHyren; May 11th, 2011 at 11:24 PM.
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    It's cute, she looks slightly off-kilter although I understand that as her shifting her weight - but it starts leaning too far to the right (our left) because that sword looks larger, as well.

    And this is just a completely subjective opinion, but maybe try to explore designs that complement the symbol of the card, too Not necessarily as obvious as a character with say a Diamond on its chest, but playing with the ideas of the symbols that could affect the overall silhouette (ie a Kingly whale.. bear thing or something silly for the card of Kings).

    "It's not rocket surgery." _Sebudai
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    I really like how clean this picture is and it is well coloured!

    It is very symetrical though, which I feel is holding it back. I think an easy fix for this would be to play around with the symbol in the background. Right now its competeing with the character for focus. Maybe try fading it out, making it smaller, maybe even getting rid of it.

    I also agree with the previous post that she looks like leaning a bit too far.

    Anyways I think this has a lot of potential! Good luck! = )

    My Website <--- Still under construction = (

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    Sorry it's taken so long to replay and thank you guys, I've been swamped with school and haven't been able to work on this for a little while.

    AestheticMachine: I've been doing some research on playing card, suits, history and other things. I'm going to use the other international suits as design motives for each character and overall suit theme. For example, Since one of the diamond suits alternates is coins, I'm probably going to use a more modern, economy driven theme. I'm still writing things down as I go, so I should have some newer stuff up later on.

    kittens: Thanks! I'm going to completely revamp this one when I get some time, the static posing and shading were bugging me in the first place, that and I wanted to redesign the character to fit a the playing card suit theme better. Really, I did this one to kick start myself so I wouldn't end up forgetting the idea like I tend to do with other stuff. I needed a direction to push myself to study the basics more. As it was, the general goal of "become a better artist" left me demotivated, as I had no clue where I wanted to go with my stuff.

    Thanks for the comments guys! I'll try to put some actual updates up later this week. I'm swamped with work right now.

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    Good Ridiculously Early Morning CA! It's that sock person again with some update of this little project of mine. No characters this time around, since I'm still sketching some ideas out, but I figured it would be a good idea to show off some Layout ideas I had. After all, it wouldn't make much sense to do 52 pictures and not have a clue how I'm going to lay each card out.

    I thank the two user who commented again. You're ideas were definitely a good help to me (There SHALL be bears!)




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    Upper left: It's too plain.

    Upper right: This is my fav, it's slick and functional, but i'd steal the number font you used in the lower right and use it on this design.

    Lower left: looks cool, but the design isn't functional. corners are used for playing cards because of the functionality, moving that information to the sidebar removes the functionality and will make the cards clinky to use.

    Lower right: Yawn...

    Keep on trucking, love the project!

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  9. #7
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    I kind of prefer the upper left because it is simple (maybe you could add a tassel to the bottom of the black area to represent a tapestry . . or maybe that's a bad idea. )

    The upper right is nice too. . .your logo bothers me a little in that the white circles in the border are really close to the edges because of they're size, and making tangents when you squint. If they were a tad smaller it might help.

    Also, have you considered sketching your own number font to match the cute fairies? It's not as hard as it sounds. You just need to establish a consistent grid to design all the numbers (or letters) on, and think of a rule that all the numbers have to follow within that grid. (totally random made up rule examples for making a typeface: the x height of the latters should all look pudgy, and the left edges should all be straight)

    Always wanted to design a deck of cards. . .and a chess set. Looking forward to seeing it finished!

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    Progress has been going slow. The more I resaerch stuff, the more time I end up thinking about what should go on each card rather than actually doing it. I am sketching, though. Besides, I screw up the most when I try to rush into a project.

    Anyway, I took one of the face layouts from the previous update and expanded it some more. Hopefull it didn't come out too busy.



    I updated the logo, too, and added a diamond. I'm still working on the color choices for clubs and hearts.



    Last edited by SockHyren; April 11th, 2010 at 01:48 PM.
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  11. #9
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    I like how you changed the border of the logo. I think the design would be more consistent for the diamond logo if you leave the four tiny diamonds out. White space is really important too.

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    Character Sketching 'n Stuff

    I'm just doing the Spade fairy this time around. I got some ideas for the Jokers, but I don't have anything drawn up yet.





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    After about...1...4...6 months maybe? Wow, I haven't touched this in ages. Welp, not use lamenting about it, I'm going back to work on this.

    I did/redid a few emblems. I'll get some actual drawing up soon.

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    I would add more dirt so it looks like a real card. Cards are particular because they pass thru lot of hands so get consumed

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    Two of Spades Sketch

    I'm starting to draw the pictures for the actual cards. I wanted to re-draw the Ace first, but I couldn't think of a decent composition, and I had this one tumbed out already.

    For the Spade suit, I'm going with a more organic, forested look. With an assortment of whimsical creatures and such. But, I also realize the the Spade suit represents the military class, so I was thinking about having the forest actually be the site of an abandoned battle field, with an large castle with TONS of over growth as it's head piece.



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    Sketching for Spade Three. I'm going to do an old hermit standing by his decrepit home. There will be three trees growing in and around said house. I used Sketch-up to help me with the perspective and which angle I want the viewer to see the house in.







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    Three of Spades final sketch

    This is the composition I'll go with. I'll clean and ink this and start on the next soon.



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    Starting on the next one. I'm still roughing out a composition for it, and the idea behind the card is very undeveloped.

    It's supposed to be a small girl finding a strange rather evil looking mask on a tree and, kids being kids, wanting to try it on.



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    Spade four change

    I changed my mind about what I was going to put on the four of spades. I'm still keeping the idea about the mask, but I'm going to put that on another card. Instead, I'm going to put a small scene about a bird lady (lower body is that of a bird, head and torso is human) having a dispute with a tiny man, much like the one on the Two of Spades.

    I wanted to have characters in this card set to stress the fact that this series takes place in the same world.

    I'm still having some trouble composing things, so any word of advice or suggestion is greatly appreciated. If you think everything I've done up to now sucks...let me know anyway. I have thick enough skin.



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    Is there a reason that the numbers are upside down? When fanned, they should be readable by the holder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon_Lyle View Post
    Is there a reason that the numbers are upside down? When fanned, they should be readable by the holder.
    Now that I think about it, that would be a problem. I though having the numbers reversed would make a cool effect, but I guess I wasn't thinking about the function of the card enough. It seems I'll have to revamp the current layout images.

    Thank you for the suggestion!

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    AAARGH! THIS CARD!

    The current frame is just a place holder. I will change it soon. Please do not think that I ignored any advice.

    THIS DRAWING...! I don't know what it is about this card, but it just never seems to turn out right. I've been redrawing over and over again for days, and it still doesn't seem right. I'm going to stop playing around with this one and come back to it later. My head hurts~.



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    Time for Jonny's CRAZY explanation hour.

    The Four of Spades equates to the Four of Swords in tarot. The Four of Swords signifies a sudden clarification of ideas, an understanding of goals, the turning point that leads to fulfillment of your project.

    But your numbers are reversed. So the Meaning is reversed. It now signifies a muddying of ideas, a loss of direction, uncertainty in how this part will turn out, and developing fears about the whole of the project.

    But never fear, there is a solution - a way to reverse your misfortune:

    Step 1 - Return the numbers to their fully up-side-up position.

    Step 2 - Exit the building you are in, and run in a circle around its perimeter 3 times, counter-clockwise. (Direction is important!)

    Step 3 - After completing the third circle, immediately lie down on your back, on the ground, head pointing North.

    Step 4 - Proceed to sing the alphabet in reverse to the tune of 'Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts'. (Do not picture Bill Murray whilst doing so!)


    ::: We interrupt this fate correction to bring you . . . The Jon Dun Tawt Ya'll Yer Sangin Words Hour :::

    Them alpherbets can been sung backemwords to dat der gopher song real good like, with em little bit er fixin:

    Z Y X duh ble you-V-U-T-S-R Q-P-O-N-M-L-K J-I-H-G-F-E-D C B A dats how-I-sing-em-ABCs back words as I please.

    ::: Shucks, that brings back wedding memories. :::

    ***Some planning required. Compass not included. Process may cause weariness, dizzyness, and strange looks by others. Follow directions exactly. Proximity to magnetic fields may reduce effectiveness. Do not operate machinery whilst singing under the sway of misfortune. If condition persists, contact your family numerologist. Outcome most likely if completed before occurrence of the next full moon. Not responsible for loss of life, limb, or sanity if not performed as directed. Avoid contact with wooden boats until completed. No part of the process may be performed by proxy. In the event of rain, sunglasses must be worn. Do not attempt to insert duct tape into you nasal cavity at any time during this process.

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  26. #23
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    Since I was having some trouble thinking for more cards, I cleaned this one up and fixed the layout.

    Time for Jonny's CRAZY explanation hour.
    Dammit I lol'd!



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    Spade Five Rough

    Took some time to look at some pictures of nature and not-so-nature, and I decided to do a scavenger/vagabond like person looking in an old ravine and finding a bunch of old swords in it. It's to show that the area most of the spade cards in this set take place in, aside from being heavily wooded and having a bunch of cute little freaks, was a the site of an ancient kingdom/battle field. Sort of like a sword-in-the-stone, only the sword's owners were too lazy to drive them into stones so they through them into a river.

    This whole project is sort of an experiment in my ability to build a semi-coherent world, though I doubt I've been too successful so far. Meh.

    The drawing is still very rough, and I still need to put the swords somewhere (I took way too much time drawing the dirt).



    Oh, and I played around with the four some more:



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  28. #25
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    I think your sketches are adorable. I'm not sure they match the feeling of your graphics (which are very nice themselves) but nonetheless, I respect the amount of work you are planning on taking on.

    May I ask some questions?

    1-are the suits gonna represent a cohesive theme? I imagine you want all the cards to exist in the same kind of world, but how do you plan on organizing/differentiating it? Suits? Numbers? Face cards?

    2-Have you considered how the colors will play? Are they full color? are just the face cards full color? Limited palette? Themed palette? Suits one color? Would you have them all printed? How?

    I love your ideas, and I think you have some lovely work. I am simply curious to know where you are thinking of going.

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    Thank you for your response, good sir! It's very heartening to see someone likes this. I have been told about the issue with the boarders, but I'm not completely sure how to deal with it. The only thing I can come up with right now is to make sure my lines are as clean as possible.

    Now, for the questions:

    1.Yes, there will be a different theme for each suit. Though admittedly, I could flesh it out more, the general idea I'm running with now is this:

    Spades: Forest/Ruins. As you might have already noticed, the card's I've drawn so far have a good deal of plants and natural scenery in them, and the only man-made structure looks very run down. I decided a while back to run with the Spade's alternate symbol of leaves for this set. The ruins are there to imply that the place the Spade set of drawings take place in used to be a proud kingdom once-upon-a-time. That, and I just like drawing abandoned buildings (Blame abandoned-places.com).

    Diamonds: Bustling city/Merchandising. I'm still thinking about it, but for right now, I'm planning to set this suit in a 1930-esque, steam punk city. A lot of the focus will be on industry and commerce, being that the Diamond suit represents merchants.

    Clubs: Farm/Rural areas. Still thinking about this one.

    Hearts: I got nothing right now.

    For the numbered cards, I'm planing to do the first half (2-5) about what sort of characters/creatures you'd find in that suit kingdom, while the next half (6-10) would be about major areas and landmarks. Backgrounds play a pretty big role in all of the numbered cards, as I wanted to show the numbered characters interacting with it as if they were just living their lives normally. The face cards will display royal characters more prominently, to make them look more important than the other characters in the set.

    2.All the cards will have full color, and I'll likely go with a more muted color palette and waterpaint-ish look, like some of the later stuff in my sketchbook (Which I really need to update). Of course, I'm still doing a good deal of brainstorming, so I can easily end up changing my mind before I start actually coloring.

    I do want to print this set when I'm completely finished, but I'm dead broke and I doubt I'll be able to get the cash anytime soon. I'll just have to wait and see.

    Again, thank you for your comments! I'll keep working, and I should have another sketch up soon.

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  31. #27
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    I really hate to point this out, as It's not necessary, and clearly not your intent here, but you got my hopes up early, and now I'm slightly disappointed.

    Your initial posts were Aces witch prominently depicted single characters.
    You next first number card was the Two of Spades. I really liked that card (and still do.) The thing that stood out for me though was that it shows a figure under a plant with TWO leaves (Spades.) Genius, I thought. But that leaf number equals card number theme wasn't carried forward with the rest of these.

    Again for this type of themed deck it isn't strictly necessary, but I can't help but be upset (and paranoid, counting everything, trying to find the hidden number - driving me crazy: hence my last post.)

    My suggestions: (fell free to ignore, I've been quite unwell, slept through 80% of last 4 days, and fighting to stay awake now)

    Set your current 3 and 5 cards into the 6-10 range.

    Set your current 4 card as the 3 card as it has many 3s in it. (bases of flowers, circles around closed bulbs, petals on open flower)

    And please tell me she won't get her toe stuck in that pipe in the ground and trip and fall and hurt herself.

    I'm worried that the top half of your 5 will pull focus when its filled.

    I really like where these are going though.

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  32. #28
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    Actually, I'm very very glad you brought that up, as I DID intend to have a secret number of items for each card, I just forgot to do it on four because I was frustrated at the time.

    Part of it is also my lack of consistency, as I did keep that idea in three, but instead of doing leaves, I did three trees. The four was going to be four flowers, and the five will have five swords. I was thinking about mixing and matching, but I thought that would just cause too much confusion. Each number item will be related to the suit (i.e. plants, bladed weapons, etc.), and the grass won't be a number item, as it's WAY too common. I did it this way as I figured that trying to keep a limited number of leaves in a forested area would be nigh-impossible unless the forest in question was dead. Though, it seems my choice may have cause some confusion anyway.

    Thank you for your concern, and I'll make sure to fix up the four. Now, where to put that last flower...

    And no, she won't trip over the pipe.

    Last edited by SockHyren; April 28th, 2010 at 08:43 AM.
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  33. #29
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    Of course, three trees, I miss the obvious. I was thinking three openings to the building (windows/door), but that didn't seem to reference spades.

    It seems like your final sketches always leave a rather large section of the upper right with much less detail than the rest of the field. I'm wondering if this is intentional, and if this is part of the reason you skipped over the first two "4" designs?

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    It's actually an odd quirk that I've been running into with my drawings. I actually didn't notice how empty the upper areas were until you pointed them out. I'll likely paint the back areas in, as to makes sure the attention goes to the lined areas.

    Anyway, heres a model and a rough for Spade 10, a castle scene.





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