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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Guest Post: Elisabeth Alba, Illustrator

Hey, peeps! Most of you know Elisabeth Alba from her illustrations of our Everyday Witch Tarot deck, as well as the upcoming Everyday Witch Oracle deck we're working on now. She's sharing some advanced images and details of the work over on her brand new Patreon page, and I thought that some of you might be interested in what she's up to, so I suggested she guest post here. Take it away, Elisabeth!

Hi Everyone!
Thanks to Deborah for allowing me to be a guest blogger here.

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.

I then did a more refined sketch, figured out what colors I wanted to use, printed my sketch onto watercolor paper, inked it, and then it was finally ready for watercolor!
Here are stages in the painting process:

And finally... the big reveal! Here is the completed painting, ready to be an oracle card!

Thanks for following along on the process for this painting! I will share little bits here and there on social media, but I plan on devoting more time to these behind-the-scenes posts over on Patreon.  Please consider joining me there!
Thank you for the interest in our oracle deck. We are having so much fun working on it!

Thanks from me too! Just for fun, Elisabeth sent me a couple of packs of her new book plates, and we're going to give them away here.

I just love these!
 All you have to do is enter this simple Rafflecopter form, just like always. We'd love it if you'd check out our Patreon pages, but of course, only follow if you want to!



  1. Thanks for sharing your progress! I love the Everyday Witch Tarot, looking forward to this, too!

  2. Love the sneak peek of the art work!

  3. I support CE Murphy,Laura Ann Gilman and you on Patreon. It is a nice way to have smaller mutually supportive interactions with three of my long-term fav authors. Bonus that two of you are Cat Ladies too. The updates are especially fun rays of hope in these challenging times. A quote from WIP, cat photos, ritual snippets. Insight into the creative process.

    1. I love those other ladies! You have very good taste!

  4. I support Mike in Latvia.

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  6. I don't currently support anyone at this time. Love all this artwork!

  7. Yes, beautiful artwork, especially the kitty bookplates! Meow!

  8. I am so grateful for the everyday witch tarot deck, it goes so deep, and just one look at a card brings out an entire channeled message. They are my go-to-deck for all my readings, and are my seconds hands, they have become so much a part of me.

    I cannot wait until this deck comes out !