Saturday, January 2, 2010

I've started thinking about how i might simplify a feather into a symbol for a card suit, my other card suits were going to be 'scales', 'talons' and i came up with the idea of 'eyes' when i was drawing some lizards as part of my research into how i want to illustrate the jormungandr and quetzalcoatl. I am going to have the four top suits in my card suit related to the four elements (see previous post) and was thinking that it might be quite interesting to illustrate the back of my cards with some symbology related to this. Apparently, the cross is the earliest symbol which depicts the four elements, a line representing each of earth, air, fire and water.

I researched a bit more, to find some images related to the other card suits i was thinking of having..

1. Scales
This is a close up of some snake scales. I thought the general  pattern which appears was quite interesting, also the way the light plays along the scales on the snakes body. To develop this further i would like to experiment with how i might make a symbol based on scales which would incorporate the shape of the scale with how light captures it.

It might also be useful to consider the pattern created by the way the scales fit together and see if i could make this into a card suit symbol.

here's another image, this time i think the scales are present on the body of some sort of lizard.

If you notice, the scales here appear to lift off the body of the animal much more than the snake (it is almost as if they look more 3D than the scales in the other image) this could be because there is no pattern on these scales. the general shape of the scales is the same, but they are much less closely packed, less jigsaw looking.

2. Talons
I have done a quick study of some parrot talons in my sketchbook and found that they are very detailed - the skin around them is really folded and scaly looking. I did a quick search on the internet to see if i could find some images of birds claws / talons, which didn't really yield that much, although i found a good book in the libray.

This is an image of some owl talons. It is possible to appreciate just how detailed thearea around the talons is when you look at this. I thought this image would be particularly useful as it shows the general shape of the talons and the incredible angle at which they can curve at.

Here's another image, this one showing the different sized talons of various birds of prey. There is something quite sinister about this image, the talons almost remind me of teeth. However, it led me on to think that when considering this card suit symbol i could attempt to simplify the talon into one block shape, and then feature another shape below which shows the 'root' of the talon. Or i might want to consider making some kind of pattern which simplifies the entire bird's claw area into a symbol.

I came up with this idea when i was sketching a lizards eye. Although i thought about using a birds eye as the starting point for creating a symbol for my card suit, i am quite intrigued by reptile syes which are incredibly detailed and mostly slit like.

Here's an image of a lizard eye i found on the web. It is possible to see lots of tiny lines within the eye - which i presume are blood vessels. I thought the most interesting thing though was the shape of the pupil which is a long vertical line, (punctuated with smaller, thicker horizontal lines) down the centre of the eye. This holds the potential to make a very interesting symbol and hopefully can be simplified easily.

Here's another eye.....

This is quite similar to the last image but the pupil of the eye is less elongated. I was thinking of maybe having a card suit symbol which is a ring that contains a simplified version of a lizards pupil within it. It would also be a possibility to somehow incorporate the pattern of scales which surrounds the lizards eye within this symbol.

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