One day in the spring of 2018, I received a letter from ArkPlayingCard asking me to draw a set of playing cards for them. This is how this work began. The drawing process took me quite a long time - I sent the last files on the eve of 2019, at the end of December! And here's how it was, described below)
I really like old manuscripts and ornaments, and I wanted to do something similar. It was the thought of “The double portrait of the Dukes of Urbino” that inspired me. This is the pair profile of the Renaissance by Piero della Francesca, depicting the Urban Duke Federico da Montefeltro and his wife Battista Sforza. It is one of the most famous works of the Italian Renaissance, which is stored in the collection of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Therefore, on the cards I portrayed men and women in profile so that they always look at each other. And if you put the cards side by side - they add up to one picture. In life, as in the game, relationships are very important. It can be rivalry or union, friendship or intrigue, but the attention of the ladies is always important for men)) These cards are the world of kings, queens, warriors and legends.
Also I really like the renaissance architecture. Shortly before drawing cards I was in Florence and this served as an additional source of inspiration. I depicted the heroes of the cards framed by arches, as if on a balcony, and in the depths there was a dark background in the form of a floral pattern - maybe it is a carpet or tapestry.
The clothes of kings, ladies and jacks are made in the style of the Renaissance. And the background, and the ornament on the clothes, and the ornament on the arches, and the arches themselves for each suit are four different. That is, these are four houses, or palaces, in which the action of the game takes place.
For each suit family, its own coat of arms was created with an heraldic animal, also depicted in profile. And the aces-coat of arms, and the ornament for the card shirt, and the box are architectural elements using the sgraffito painting technique. And for cards with numbers, ornaments in the style of filigree were drawn.
Before starting work, I thought what would be color solutions. There are standard colors for cards - black and red, and this must have been taken into account. I wanted the images not to be colorful, but to convey a sense of nobility and sophistication. Therefore, at first I thought to make them black and white, like engravings. But in the process, I changed my mind and performed them with light sepia, adding red and blue elements of clothing and jewelry for emphasis.
The Joker cards deserve special mention. There were several options before the keys appeared. One who has a key has power. The key is a symbol of might, control and knowledge, the ability to open and close everything, release and captivate. This is a decision, promotion, freedom of action and choice. So in this deck appeared two jokers - the key, decorated with filigree and precious stones.
Drawings of the main characters
Suits, letters and numbers
Special patterns for each suit
And finally I put everything together on the computer
The keys of power