SKT 3.0, Second Septenary Walk-Through

Are you getting SKT fatigue from all my obsessive posts about this deck? =)

I apologize for being so single-track in all my postings at the moment, but that’s just where my mind is at.

I’m amused at how with each edition, I seem to change the same cards over and over. Like here in the second set of Major sevens, once again it’s the Hermit card I revise and the background of the Wheel of Fortune. However, this time around, I did change up my Temperance.

If you watch the above video on YouTube’s platform, timestamp links are in the video description box, so you can skip around from section to section.

This previous post is where you can find the video on the First Septenary of cards. This post is a pictorial walk-through of Keys 1 – 11.

Here’s 12, 13, and 14, The Hanged Man, Death, and Temperance respectively. I’ve renamed them in the SKT to The Outlaw, The Reaper, and The Angel.

Since I changed up The Empress card (numerologically related to Key 12) and The Hierophant (parallel positioning in the First Septenary, therefore linked to The Hanged Man), I also changed up the two pillars here.

The top block of both pillars features something from The Hierophant card; then below it the lotus from The Empress. The left pillar features 3 roses, which came from the Empress’s dress. The right pillar features 5 lilies, which came from the bodhisattva’s vajra.

I cleaned up some of the lines, but other than that, illustration-wise, minimal change.

I love how my imperfect coloring above actually ends up making those beams look like real paint!

Have you seen Islamic fine art? It’s insanity. Like the level of detailing is crazy.

So I’m inspired. Instead of coloring in with blocks of color, I “color in” with patterns. One of my first steps in this endeavor is to actually design and create seamless tiles. I’ve now got bunches of them. Then, once you’ve got your set of seamless tiles, you “color” with those rather than, well, colors. Instead of using the paint can function to color the shirt blue, use the paint can function to color the shirt blue damask. =)

It’s not as simple as that, however. You have to tweak angle, sizing, I mean, there are still a lot of considerations, but worlds easier than anything you could do by hand. (Whereas the fine art you see above were all painted by hand… that’s why I say insanity!!)

Onto my Death card.

Admittedly the ground was a bit busy, with too many skeleton bones going on. Also, my skull was ratchety so I changed it out and opted for different symbolism. In the full-color edition, I went with Charlemagne’s crown.

I had spent a ton of time drawing and coloring in Charlemagne’s crown for a previous (rejected) draft of The Emperor, and then since I went with what I did, I ended up not using that crown, which I had spent a ton of time creating. SO… I jumped on the opportunity to refurbish that drawing and add it to my Death card.

For the color scale correspondence of “blue-green” or “green-blue,” I didn’t quite know what that color was exactly.

So I went with the checkered pattern of blues and greens. But what you see above is magnified way, way in. On an actual tarot card, you’re just going to see, well, “blue-green.”

I changed up the angel’s head, hands, and positioning of the goblets, with that double-headed thing inspired by cards from the Tarot Mantegna 1465.

Instead of depicted as physically holding the chalices, here I’ve depicted that through hand mudras. I want to emphasize the power of your mind.

Here’s how I did the wings. I drew one feather. Colored it in. Then I had recreated it in 5 different sizes. And then, one by one, each feather was applied to that area to create the wing.

I’m pleased with my progress. I didn’t get my drawing tablet and didn’t learn how to use digital painting programs until 5 months ago. Key 1: The Magus is the card I learned how to select spaces and digitally color with the airbrush function. In Key 2: The Priestess, I learned how to apply layers and work with different percentages of transparency.

And then by the Second Septenary, I was having all sorts of fun with my tinkering! Just from one set of seven keys to the next, there’s observable improvement in my technique. After I finish coloring the last Minor, I’m going to have to revisit the First Septenary again and tinker more. =P

12 thoughts on “SKT 3.0, Second Septenary Walk-Through

  1. Starlight

    I’m enjoying seeing the process in these SKTIII walk-through posts – no fatigue at all!! So much effort is going into this project and your excitement and enthusiasm are infectious. 🙂 I’m loving everything I see so far.


  2. Lynn P

    It occurs to me… this could be a sensational tarot app. Zooming into all that beautiful detail you’re layering…. As always, love the way you document and share your process. SKT3! 😍


  3. Jacquelyn Martyniuk

    Wow, I don’t think I can find the right words to describe how stunning SKT 3.0 is. Compared with the elder two it fits in seamlessly. It’s absolutely perfect. I luckily have the Vitruvian Edition in the cards set as well as the ingenious tile set. I can hardly wait for the third edition to be released, Im anticipating it to be one of my (if not THE ONE) deck that will be my “go-to” deck of the year and possibly of all time. You did an amazing job with the detailing of the cards and I can see that it took you hours upon hours and even more hours to accomplish such fine and intricate detailing. It’s amazing what you can do with digital art however, you yourself have to imagine what you want to draw the pen and tablet are just the tool. So for all of those who think that digital art as opposed to hand drawn art is not sufficient or is lacking in creativity and talent is unfortunately very mistaken and in some cases it is actually the digital artwork that can cause an artist to get lost in needing to perfect even the most minute details that in hand drawing are not possible because you can’t zoom in with a regular pencil or pen and an ordinary piece of paper. So that being said, I can tell that you took that much care and focus into the finite detailing of each and every card and I commend you for not getting too carried away but also not lacking either. It’s a very balanced display and one that is very pleasing to the eye. I am literally waiting on pins and needles for this deck to be released!!!! I must have this deck in my collection, no doubt about it. Good luck on the rest of the deck I’m sure they will look just as mesmerizing and captivating as the other septenaries as it is very clear that you know exactly what you are doing and if you don’t well don’t think that because you very much do have a God given talent that I know many would love to have but simply just don’t have the knack for it. Honestly, I don’t even need to wish you luck because your art far supersedes beyond the far reaches of Luck…It is your destiny to share with the world how you envision the tarot and I think it’s beautiful that you want to share your wonderful creations with the rest of the world. I am truly blessed to own your work. Lastly, I appreciate all of the extra hours you have put into your website and all the goodies it has to offer and a lot even for free. I also am a big fan of your book Holistic Tarot as I have adopted a number of its teachings into my practice and I agree with you on many of your points of view on the tarot. It’s my tarot bible. I own four copies of it, hahaha. I just really appreciate all of your hard work and admire your passion and love for all things esoteric, magickal, and philosophical. If I was to ever have a mentor I would love for you to be my mentor. That would be an absolute honor.
    Thank you and Blessed Be!


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