This is a portion of a post I created for my patrons on my Patreon page at www.patreon.com/elisabethalba. It shows the process of the painting, “Listening,” for the Everyday Witch Oracle deck I am working on with Deborah (who is also on Patreon at www.patreon.com/deborahblake), published by Llewellyn Worldwide.
If you're interested in seeing in-depth step-by-steps behind my artwork, please check out my Patreon and consider becoming a patron! I plan on sharing in-depth posts about the creative process behind many of the oraclecards as well as other artwork I create, timelapse videos of painting, videos around my studio, and other goodies like holiday cards, desktop wallpapers, and monthly coloring pages. I'm really excited to have this opportunity to share my art life with you all!
Note from Deborah: I'm following her there and I LOVE watching the process as the paintings come alive! Plus, I can't wait to get the coloring pages.
Here is Deborah's initial description for “Listening”: Close-up on a witch with one hand behind her ear, eyes closed and smiling, listening to a magical wind blowing by. A bird is hovering, perhaps whispering in her other ear. The feeling is thoughtful and attentive.
The deck is divided into elemental suits – Earth, Wind, Fire, and Air. “Listening” is an Air card. My first rough sketch had a generic witch thrown in, white with long black hair and black hat, but after working on the sketches for all 40 cards, she evolved. The biggest fault with the Everyday Witch Tarot was its lack of diversity, and Deborah and I knew we wanted this deck to be the opposite, and represent the many people who use and appreciate tarot and oracle decks. In “Listening,” I painted an Apsáalooke woman. Many Native American legends of crow birds are about how they are the wisest of birds and that they have the power to talk. The Apsáalooke were given their name by a neighboring Siouan-speaking tribe and it means "children of the large-beaked bird," so it definitely seemed fitting to have this card represent a woman of the Crow Nation, as they came to be called in the English language.
Here are the two rough sketches of Listening, side by side:
After the sketch was approved I gathered reference material and also took photo reference of myself wearing a robe. The outfit she is wearing is based on traditional Crow clothing for women - the white objects sewn on are elk teeth! I didn't want her to be completely traditional though, since the deck is for modern witches, so gave it a bit of an update with hair half braided and half down, and a black skirt.
And finally... the big reveal! Here is the completed painting, ready to be an oracle card!
|I just love these!|