Nine of Swords
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Thread: Nine of Swords

  1. #1
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    Nine of Swords

    This is an illustration for the tarot card Nine of Swords.
    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    If this card is shown in an upright position, it can mean deception, premonitions and bad dreams, suffering and depression, cruelty, disappointment, violence, loss and scandal. However, all of these may be overcome through faith and calculated inaction. This is the card of the martyr and with it comes new life out of suffering.

    If the card is shown in an ill-dignified or reversed manner then it has a different meaning. When turned this way it means distrust, suspicion, despair, misery or malice. Total isolation away from comfort and help: institutionalization, suicide, imprisonment and isolation.
    My idea was to create an image that illustrated both of the cardís meanings - the woman hangs in the balance between life and death, waiting to find out how the card falls. If the card is laid right-side up, she hangs over dry land, feet first, and the four swords are harmlessly hilt-up beneath her. If the card is laid upside down, she hangs head-first over deep water with five swords blade-up below.

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    Thanks for stopping by, even if itís just to look

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  2. #2
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    I really like this piece on the whole and I think it's working quite well. There are a few minor quibbles, though.

    1) Her left arm seems too small/short. It looks like you've definitely used reference, so maybe it's a camera distortion? I'm not sure, but something just seems weird about it.
    2) Not enough color variation. It's too much yellow-blue-yellow-blue-yellow-blue ad nauseum. The blues in the foreground are the same in the background. The flesh tones at the top of the figure are the same at the bottom, etc. Variety is the spice of life. It's also 50/50 warm and cool and I think having one dominate would help the mood.
    3) Did you use ref for the swords? They don't seem to have the same light sources to me. That may be intentional, though, and fitting with the ethereal/metaphysical nature of the piece. I dunno.

    I hope that helps!

    "Contrary to the belief of the layman, the essential of art is not to imitate nature, but under the guise of imitation to stir up excitement with pure plastic elements: measurements, directions, ornaments, lights, values, colors, substances, divided and organized according to the injunctions of natural laws. While so occupied, the artist never ceases to be subservient to nature, but instead of imitating the incidents in a paltry way, he imitates the laws."-Andre Lhote

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  4. #3
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    The folds on the underside of the dress don't look very believable. Part of it is the lighting.

    The fingers and toes look a little sausagey. This is because the lines and creases that outline them are overstated.

    The part in the hair makes the head look misshapen. Either take more care to have to wrap around the form of the head, or move it to the other side where it will be easier to read.

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    Imho the swords need more study about the reflection of light, the metal reflects in his own way...

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  8. #5
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    dont get too caught up on the details so early. i think your composition is decent but you should have some broader painting strokes. i think its scary for younger artists to do. to pick up a colour and a brush and put down colours you want. it gives it a nice rich look.

    i do feel like this piece needs some more atmospheric elements. some dust in the air would be nice, maybe wind. i think the lighting on the swords is a bit harsh. and the swords dont really look too interesting to me. they look like placed 3d models, so i would try to give them some sharpness.

    also the main thing i noticed which throws me off is the lack of shadows on the ground. the swords and girl would both be casting sharp or diffuse shadows, depending on the light source. thats probably why they stand out funny.

    one last idea. i think you should add something into the background between the girl and the far mountains. this area is too dull and bank and could be used to give this painting some more life.

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    sorry i do see the sword shadows now but i think they are wrong for this lighting. you need soft shadows right under the swords as if shadow was falling down from the swords to the ground like this http://graphics.cs.yale.edu/hongzhi/...dow%20rays.png

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