This is the third major arcana of the tarot deck. It is called the Empress card. Venus is the planet, and lots of water and plants symbolizing nurture and life. I used Isis, the Egyption goddess worshipped as the ideal mother and wife. Because she was also worshipped as the goddess of children and the matron of nature and magic, I decided to show her pregnant with her son Horus. All around her you see life, the essence of her being. The plants, the Nile River behind her, the sky above. On the top and bottom, you see the moon phases establishing the mother relationship with the moon itself, a somewhat feminity characteristic of the mother. Her astrological sign is cancer, the crab. Enjoy.
Oh, jeez, I thought I could not get more wowed after Nightcrawler, but this is stunning, and gee, another of my favorite things - pagan deities! Odin as the Emperor is just awe inspiring too, they all are, and yes, I can see where the borders were murder, but you pulled them off so well. If I may optimistically but tentatively say, I really, really hope you continue the series someday, at least for the major arcana... I can only imagine what you would do with The Tower O_o... Just a thought, but Prof X would make a good subject for The Hanging Man, just saying... anyways, incredible work.
This one is gorgeous. Isis is one of my favourite goddess of all mythologies, because she is both feminine and caring but also loyal, relentless, cunning and great magician. So I am very glad you chose her. She's so beautiful and exotic.
I was trying to grasp what's so beautiful about your faces. They have the detail of American pictures, but they also have some of manga, the lines are clean, the eyes are big, though natural, which makes them more expressive. The noses are small and beautiful, so eyes and lips get all the attention. I was trying to understand why I particularly like your faces, why I think they stand out. They are just not the typical American-comic book face, they have something different to them. I think it's a lot about the eyes, they are so expressive, and well shaded, so beautiful too. You have all the detail of Western illustration, but there's a hint of the simplicity and cleanliness of manga in your stuff, and a lot of the expressivity of manga, too.
The background is very well-made, I noticed you nailed the lotus flower and leaves and did research for the hairstyle and ornaments: the snake bracelet, the ankh and crabs in her bracelet, the scarab and snakes in her diadem. Still, her face and expression is what catches the eye. Sometimes people add details to such an amount that the face or characters are drowned in the pile of little details, but in your images, first the face catches attention and then you start to look at how very detailed and well-researched everything else is.
Funny how I got here for the ASOIAF fanart and found a great picture of another of my favourite fiction characters. As far as goddesses go, Isis is one of the coolest among them, and this picture does honor to her. If you add I love the kind of detailed art-nouveau picture, I am having an eye-feast of candy with your tarot cards. Are you going to get them published? I know some people who use tarots and pay for them, and many times their stuff isn't half as pretty.
You really nailed it. I started out doing manga (actually got a foot in the door with Tokyo Pop) then migrated towards western comic in the era after the silver age. I really enjoyed Bernie Wrightson to start, hence my ASOIAF...a poor attempt I feel but did learn much from the experience. There are others, Franklin Booth to name another. Manga does have big eyes for better expression which they adopted from Disney and made to better use.
Background. Every piece I've done, more than a sketch, has had research. Even though I may feel I know the topic, the theme, whatever it is, I will research because I want to know more and what new things can I include to draw. There are some repetition but try not to. In some things I can't help it though I just like it. I'm so glad you recognized the research I do. Not many do. That honors me because you understand the depth of the art. Many times, I put in more hours than actually drawing it and that includes the thumbnails and preliminary compo layout.
The tarot series published would be nice. Have not been approached about it yet although so many have asked if this was available to purchase. There's actually a tarot group here on DA, don't know the name though. You may want to check into it.
I thank you so much for your fantastic review and insight. I hope to continue these dialogues.