I start with sketches--in this case I just wanted to figure out the character of the tarot Hermit, so didn't worry about a composition rough. At this point I don't want to draw a perfect rendering because I want to keep my options for the painting open and flexible.
Often I use a terra cotta gesso as primer--a wood panel from the craft store is the surface here. I freehand the initial drawing using a brush and black acrylic, fixing and altering stuff with the gesso when necessary (it's very opaque). The benefits to not tracing or projecting my sketch: I don't get bored with re-drawing; good surprises happen at this stage; and the final drawing is looser--resulting in a more lively finished painting.
For this work, the next step was to put in the cool colors and establish rough shadows. Putting in the brightest light helped me gauge the other values as well.
Adding lighter values and more color comes next. I pre-mixed a limited palette of colors, greyed them down, then created value strings for each color. It makes the painting process go quickly as there's no guesswork or wasted paint. For this work: Greyed down orange, blue, green, and yellow.
There you have it--an oval (for no real reason), one-of-a-kind, tarot card on thick birchwood.
And you can own it! Here's the link:
Thanks for checking it out, and for your support of the arts!