Playing around with gifs tonight, hope this works! This shows the progression of the 5 of Swords from rough sketch through finished painting. There’s some things I can see there from my notes around the edges that I forgot about! I had the whole thing sectioned into elements, the top quarter being Air, dominated by the owls and the womans face. The second section being Fire dominated by the heart (more about this later). The third section is Water with the baby, and the last section is earth which is just layers upon layers of feathers and some baby wrapping which overall I think resembles a uterus like structure.
I don’t remember why I arranged the elements like this in this card. I can tell you that the way I see them is very 3 dimensional and we can move through them and around them and in between them, so where you are standing, which way you are looking, what the situation is, etc, affects the arrangement I would see them in. I have a formal arrangement I like best, that’s the one that matches the human body so I think it is the most important to us as humans, but I like to explore different ways of looking at it. **I know that might be disturbing to some people but I call it like I see it!**
Having a Vav in the heart is not part of Fire, it was more a separate commentary on who I saw her to be which was HVH or Eve. I also saw her as Athena. The most important elements of the image I wanted to focus on were her face which I really wanted to have a certain quality, her eyes which had to be intense yellow like the owls, the owls themselves who are a part of Athena’s iconography as well as being really relevant to this card as a 5 and as a card of Swords and Air. I also wanted to show another of Athena’s symbols which is her Aegis or shield, and I did that by suggesting the shape with the owls wings which come together on either side of the Vav and the protectiveness of them in general. The hand she is holding is supposed to be the man’s in the 5 of Disks and that is their baby. Anyway it’s nice to go back and look at these. I had a great time going through all of my stuff to find all of the old sketches for this new deck. I had big stacks of physical sketches and then I had tons of them I had scanned in from various stages in the process. I know a lot are missing, At first I wasn’t very good at documenting them but by the end I was really good at it! I am going to try to go through and post some of those progressions in the near future here.