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Enlightenment23 
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What Programs Do You Use for Tarot Art?


Hey guys!

I'm a traditional pencil and paper, acrylic paint type of girl, so I'm a little out of the loop. But what programs do artists typically use to create beautiful tarot decks?

Do they use high-end tablets with styluses to create their designs on Illustrator or something of the sort?

I'm curious!
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Old 06-01-2017     Top   #1
Arthurdubya 
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It certainly depends on what your specific style is.

I believe Wild Unknown was done with colored pencil and ink/marker and then scanned and digitally enhanced/modified.

When I was a painter, I used oil paint, but commercially "digital painting" with a tablet and Photoshop is far more viable, so that's what I use for my deck.

There's another deck I've seen around that I swear uses pencil/pen and splashes of watercolor, which gives a very light, floaty feeling.

It most certainly depends on where you excel! Just be sure that you know how to digitally modify your end result to print in the best light, since all files will eventually need to be digital



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Old 06-01-2017     Top   #2
Enlightenment23 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthurdubya View Post
It certainly depends on what your specific style is.

I believe Wild Unknown was done with colored pencil and ink/marker and then scanned and digitally enhanced/modified.

When I was a painter, I used oil paint, but commercially "digital painting" with a tablet and Photoshop is far more viable, so that's what I use for my deck.

There's another deck I've seen around that I swear uses pencil/pen and splashes of watercolor, which gives a very light, floaty feeling.

It most certainly depends on where you excel! Just be sure that you know how to digitally modify your end result to print in the best light, since all files will eventually need to be digital
Yay. Thanks so much for your awesome, clarifying answer! If I wanted to be safe, I think I could definitely go the on-paper, scan, and digitally enhance route. But whew, could be twice the work now that I think about it. Might need to shake out of my pen and paper bubble and learn how to use all this state-of-the-art digital technology to create tarot art
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Old 06-01-2017     Top   #3
Eva4 
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How you go about drawing your images is entirely up to you as Arthurdubya suggested. I was more a computer and ergonomic mouse type. As for digital enhancement, the publisher I went with required a minimum resolution of 300 dpi to ensure good print quality (which I have yet to see).

Setting image resolution in most drawing programs is simple. In the version of Illustrator I have, I found it too difficult to find. However, in Paint.Net it was simple (under Images and then Resize feature). If you are going to print your work through a publisher, make sure to follow their guidelines about image size and resolution. If you're just doing this as a personal project, you might still like to have your resolution (dpi) set high for printing purposes. Good luck



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Old 06-01-2017     Top   #4
Ace 
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MY friend Ann wanted to learn Photoshop and a program called Poser. So, since she was an old time tarot fiend, she started designing a tarot deck. The result is the WorldTree Tarot; www.worldtreeproducts.com

But other decks work with other ways. So as others have suggested figure out what works for you.


barb



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Old 06-01-2017     Top   #5
Arthurdubya 
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Some quick info on the programs and approaches. Feel free to ask more in-depth questions whenever you need more clarification.

Illustrator is vector-based, which means your document size can be literally anything at any point in the creation process, and it won't matter. Vector is not made of pixels, but mathematical directional data. This is why Illustrator files have no resolution. It will always scale.

Photoshop is raster-based, which means your document does not scale. If you draw a single dot and try to make it 200% larger, your dot will look fuzzy as the program tries to approximate what you're doing. This means if you paint your image at 1x1" at 300dpi (dots per inch), it will look absolutely terrible if you tried to make it 3x3". There was still only 300 dots of data that you are now trying to make occupy 900 dots.

Vector-based artwork looks very graphic-designery, with clean, smooth lines and blocks of clearly defined color. Very "modern"

Raster-based artwork looks painterly, and is the closest approximation to real-life drawing/painting. Photographs and scans of artwork, anything in the real world brought into the digital, are always portrayed as raster-based artwork.

Don't force yourself to go digital! Certainly try it, as it is infinitely more forgiving, but there are many things that digital can't do, like the subtle gradations and transitions of watercolor paintings as the ink spreads across damp paper. Brush strokes of oil paint are also a little harder to duplicate, but those can be imitated.

Experiment, but know that digital is not the end-all (and this is coming from a digital painter). And have fun! That's what experimenting is all about!



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Old 06-01-2017     Top   #6
Enlightenment23 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eva4 View Post
How you go about drawing your images is entirely up to you as Arthurdubya suggested. I was more a computer and ergonomic mouse type. As for digital enhancement, the publisher I went with required a minimum resolution of 300 dpi to ensure good print quality (which I have yet to see).

Setting image resolution in most drawing programs is simple. In the version of Illustrator I have, I found it too difficult to find. However, in Paint.Net it was simple (under Images and then Resize feature). If you are going to print your work through a publisher, make sure to follow their guidelines about image size and resolution. If you're just doing this as a personal project, you might still like to have your resolution (dpi) set high for printing purposes. Good luck
This is really great, useful info Eva. Great, I'll definitely keep the resolution in mind when I am drawing on a program. And thanks for mentioning Paint.NET - might give that program a good go and see how I like it. I've got Illustrator, but it can be a bit frustrating for a newb like myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace View Post
MY friend Ann wanted to learn Photoshop and a program called Poser. So, since she was an old time tarot fiend, she started designing a tarot deck. The result is the WorldTree Tarot; www.worldtreeproducts.com

But other decks work with other ways. So as others have suggested figure out what works for you.


barb
Sweet deck! Yeah, I'll have to see what I feel most comfortable with. I guess no harm in dabbling into the digital art tech world to see if it works for me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthurdubya View Post
Some quick info on the programs and approaches. Feel free to ask more in-depth questions whenever you need more clarification.

Illustrator is vector-based, which means your document size can be literally anything at any point in the creation process, and it won't matter. Vector is not made of pixels, but mathematical directional data. This is why Illustrator files have no resolution. It will always scale.

Photoshop is raster-based, which means your document does not scale. If you draw a single dot and try to make it 200% larger, your dot will look fuzzy as the program tries to approximate what you're doing. This means if you paint your image at 1x1" at 300dpi (dots per inch), it will look absolutely terrible if you tried to make it 3x3". There was still only 300 dots of data that you are now trying to make occupy 900 dots.

Vector-based artwork looks very graphic-designery, with clean, smooth lines and blocks of clearly defined color. Very "modern"

Raster-based artwork looks painterly, and is the closest approximation to real-life drawing/painting. Photographs and scans of artwork, anything in the real world brought into the digital, are always portrayed as raster-based artwork.

Don't force yourself to go digital! Certainly try it, as it is infinitely more forgiving, but there are many things that digital can't do, like the subtle gradations and transitions of watercolor paintings as the ink spreads across damp paper. Brush strokes of oil paint are also a little harder to duplicate, but those can be imitated.

Experiment, but know that digital is not the end-all (and this is coming from a digital painter). And have fun! That's what experimenting is all about!
This is perfect. Thanks for delving into the difference between Photoshop and Illustrator. Since I'd want to be able to scale my images to different sizes without distorting the image, I think Illustrator might be my best bet. Thanks for the encouragement Arthur . I appreciate it more than you know.

Last edited by Enlightenment23; 06-01-2017 at 18:25.
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Old 06-01-2017     Top   #7
reall 
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imo it all depends on what you feel most comfortable working with?!^^
if you like traditional no need to force yourself on digital!^^ )
imo you can easy convert any traditional image to digital with simple scanner or digital camera? and basic size/color tweaking can be done with basic digital edition program like Gimp!^^ my fav! I did all my digital decks with that and my old mouse!^^
check it here https://sites.google.com/site/chakralenormand/
and here is my portfolio to give you idea what it can do!^^
please note I'm hobby artist in practice with dislike for realism and clear lineart so it can go much better than that!XD )

I did try many other pro and free programs and mostly find it too complicated?x,x

other good program i started working with recently and recommend is SAI it have beautiful lineart and pressure sensitivity and watercolors that'll make you art look same as traditional!XD )

btw @Arthurdubya tnx for fantastic summary!^^ would like to hear your 2cents about Gimp and SAI?^^(after you stop laughing!^^
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Old 06-01-2017     Top   #8
HBPattskyn 
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Art Rage


Hi! I'm sure everyone has their own favorite medium/program, but since I'm wildly in love with the program (and support I've gotten from the company) I use, I thought I'd chime in with my 2 cents

A little over a year ago, I decided I wanted to splurge and spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 on an art program because my art supplies were in boxes after we'd moved. After test-driving a few programs, I settled on Art Rage 4 (5 is due out this month) and I *love* it. It's just the right combination of having enough features to really do some neat stuff while not being so over-loaded with *stuff* that I didn't know where to begin. I'm truly not technically savvy, so that last part was important ;-)

I do my work on a Surface 3. I'm not *completely* in love with it, but for the money I had to spend at the time and the list of things it needed to be able to do, it works pretty well (and when it doesn't, I'm very lucky to have a Microsoft store close enough to visit to have a tech sit down and hold my hand through whatever isn't working right, which a couple of times has been me ;-)

With Art Rage, I can flip between several different mediums in a single piece of art in ways I could never do with paper and paints. I can also enlarge a piece in ways you just can't do with pen and paper, which is a major benefit to doing a tarot deck.
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Old 08-01-2017     Top   #9
Arthurdubya 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reall View Post

btw @Arthurdubya tnx for fantastic summary!^^ would like to hear your 2cents about Gimp and SAI?^^(after you stop laughing!^^

I haven't tried either! I grew up very poor, so I learned the ways of piracy and jumped straight into the Adobe creative suite. Since then, that's been my goto, especially because my workplace now provides any and all software I want without the need for piracy. It seems that Gimp and SAI are used often by more hobbyists than professionals, and I assume this is because of their price points. (I think one or both might even be free?)


Quote:

This is perfect. Thanks for delving into the difference between Photoshop and Illustrator. Since I'd want to be able to scale my images to different sizes without distorting the image, I think Illustrator might be my best bet. Thanks for the encouragement Arthur . I appreciate it more than you know.
Don't forget that vector vs raster are used for totally different illustration styles! Just google "vector illustration" and you will see what I mean. They almost never look representative of real-life media.

If you want to create digitally but have it look like a "real" painting, Corel Painter has been known as the industry golden standard, as it attempts to mimic real-life media. But again, everything that attempts to look like real-life media is raster-based, so be sure to start your image at a large enough size that you won't regret later on.



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