Monday, February 27, 2012

Pages of Cuteness

So the Pages are totally adorable. I predict these ones will be traded quick as!

The Page of Waves is a Fur Seal. He is kind and sweet, but a bit of a daydreamer and it is hard to get him to focus.

The Page of Peaks is a Takahe. He is smart and curious, eager to know about the world and how everything works. It can be hard to shut him up.
(Takahes are maybe not the best bird to represent this - but look how cute he is!)

The Page of Coins is a Border Collie. He is industrious and hard-working - sometimes too serious for his own good. He is generous and good hearted, but prefers to work for some sort of reward.

The Page of Trees is a Tomtit - and if you think he's cute, check out the reference image. He is full of energy, to the point of being manic. He never stays still, never makes it easy for his parents to find him but his natural cuteness and charm mean that he is easily forgiven.

Now I have finished the court cards, it is time to start on the other cards. I shall make the Aces next, which will likely all feature flowers and then work my way up through the numbers. Suggestions are welcome.

If you wish to own one of these cards; these cards, excluding the cetaceans (King, Queen and Knight of Waves) are intended for trade at the AFA 2012 event in Portland, Oregon.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Reviving the past

We interupt the tarot to bring to you the return of turn of my old time characters - Lunarix, the star fox and Makilumi, the lunar lemur. Both started life as original pokemon and have been dug up of the woodwork every few years and drawn again. So, here are the latest:





Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Zealand Knights

The Knight of Wands is a Hector's Dolphin. He is a thoughtful and sensitive fellow, often so lost in his dreams and thoughts that he fails to notice the world around him.

The Knight of Peaks is a kea. He is intelligent and good at problem solving, but inclined to use these in a mischiveious manner.

The Knight of Trees is a Kereru. He is a noisy and flamboyant fellow, always endeavouring to attract the ladies and to show off.

The Knight of Coins is a Merino sheep. He is practical and a hard worker, always attempting to achieve more. He feels uncomfortable at standing out and likes to follow the herd, so to speak.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

We Four Queens...

I have created more art in the last two days than I have in the rest of the year! It's good to be inspired again.

So without further ado, here are the Queens for the New Zealand Naturally Tarot.

The Queen of Trees is a kaka. Creative, charasmatic and filled with boundless energy. She likes the spotlight and can be somewhat bossy and overbearing.

The Queen of Coins is a honeybee. Her greatest desire is for her family to flourish and be strong. She believes in giving her all in order to attain her goals, and expects her children to strive similarly. She can be a harsh mother, with high expectations but her children will never want for anything.

The Queen of Peaks is a karearea, the native falcon. She is far-seeing and well meaning, but can be considered cold and unfeeling. She is an efficient teacher and follows the more intellectual pursuits.

The Queen of Waves is an Orca. She is affectionate and loving, a caring mother. She is very protective of her youngsters and if you manage to anger here... well, let's just say you'd better be wary!

Friday, February 17, 2012

These Four Kings...

For my NZ Naturally Tarot I have chosen to start with the Kings. Why? I'm not sure - partly because I needed lineart of a tui for my book and it kinda just spiralled from there.

Anyhow, these are the kings - you will notice also that I have changed the suit names to match their habitats.

The King of Waves is a Sperm Whale - the largest predator in the world. The suit of Waves replace Cups, which symbolise the element: water. He is powerful and protective of his family and friends - and liable to turn fierce if they are threatened.
I have no idea if these are traits found in male Sperm Whales, however.

The King of Trees is a tui. He is charasmatic and fun - a bit of a showman. Anyone who has visited Russell in Northland will agree that this personality matches the tui who is also a mimic and combines cell phones and car noises into his reportraire. Trees replace wands, which represent the suit of Fire. I know forests and fire do not exactly go together, but it is also the suit of artistic creativity.

The King of Peaks is a Tahr - a maned antelope-goat that lives in the high alpine regions. He is proud master of what he surveys, but keeps himself distant and approaches matters with a cool, clear head. Peaks replace Swords which represent the element of Air.
This is my second attempt at a tahr and I am still not really happy with it.

The King of Coins is a Hereford Bull. As you can see, he has a blue ribbon. He has worked hard to stay in charge of his herd, and in charge he shall stay. He is sensible and proud and stolid. Coins replace pentacles already in some tarots and represent the Element of Earth.

Next - the Queens. And maybe a playful knight.

These cards are being designed for trade at the AFA event 2012 in Portland, Oregon.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


So, Reading Group had "Oryx and Crake" as one of the books. I've read it once, listened to it on audio book once and skimmed it several times for details and themes. It's a really good book.

I'd already illustrated Oryx a couple of years back for another Reading Group:

But I kind of liked the idea so I decided to stick with it. The first effort was okay, except that I coloured her hair with my inktense pencils first and they smudged everywhere, making her ppear rather dirty:

Plus I inked the rakunk and not not her so it kinda looks wrong.

On to attempt two:

Which I am quite pleased with, although maybe I need to add a bit more shading. I have the most difficulty with colouring humans. It's hard to get skintone at least vaguely accurate.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I'm not great at drawing people - my abilities with them are very hit and miss. Therefore, I have decided that the only way to improve is to practise...

... and practise....

Starting with my Reading Group cards.

Here's the ones I have done already:

Kvothe from "Name of the Wind"
Captain Hook from "Peter Pan"

I shall continue to draw one or two humans a week for the rest of the year and we shall see if my abilities have improved any by the end of it. I'm going to start with portrait style pieces such as these (in ATC size), but once I'm caught up on trades, I might just work on random doodles in one of my new small sketchbooks.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Better watch out, little froggie....

.. that chameleon has his eye on you!

Female Jackson's chameleon and painted mantilla frog. A 6x6 inch illustration for my mother's birthday.

Conceptualising the Tarot

I have achieved very little that is worthy of note and even less that is worthy of sharing artistically in the last week. However, i am currently conceptualising my next project - making the minor arcana for my New Zealand Naturally tarot card deck.

Therefore, this entry shall be used for brainstorming and likely updated as the need arises.

I have decided to use each suit to match a certain environment/habitat:

Wands = forest
Cups = waterways and oceans
Swords = alpine and high country
Pentacles = urban

The raw or initial passion, feelings, thoughts and needs that can be directed into something more. They represent hope, a possibility, an action to take, a future that you can create. *

Wands - possibility, hope, adventure, excitement
Cups - deep feelings, intimacy, compassion, love
Swords - intelligence, reason, justice
Pentacles - abundance, prosperity - a flower growing out of concrete

Indicate duality, a pause between two choices or an attempt do two thing at once. Most importantly, they indicate instinctual knowledge. Aces are undirected energy; the twos are that point where you find out more about the energy so that you can know which direction to go with it. *

Wands - individual courage and greatness
Cups - power and beauty of unity
Swords - barriers put between
Pentacles - juggling the demands of life