These cards all have the colors of Taurus, or the Hierophant. All earthy tones Red Orange; Deep Indigo; Deep Warm Olive; and Rich Brown. Plus the colors of the sephira in Assiah and the colors of the decan’s planetary ruler. In the Five of Disks the ruler is Mercury which has the more ethereal colors of Yellow, Purple, Grey, and Indigo rayed Violet; plus the sephira color Red, flecked Black.
These are not very harmonious colors, but why should they be? Mercurial Mercury isn’t exactly thrilled to be in fixed earth Taurus, and to top it off it is a Five so there is the disruption of Geburah to deal with. Some cards are more fun to paint than others, and it isn’t always the happy ones. But in this case, this card was a Worry to paint. I spent a lot of time not happy with the progress and wondering if it would be ok in the end. All of those colors are in there too – the only one not really obvious is the Deep Warm Olive, but it is there as the underpainting and deeper shadows on the grey columns and elephant, and it is in fourth tree of lights on the turntable. I guess there isn’t much need for green in the card anyway – Geburah burned it away. The scene is a locked up and smoking turntable. No soothing woods of earth here.
I always start with yellow if there is any in a card so here is a picture of some yellow layers of Mercury accented with some red orange layers of Taurus, This is the very first stage; more to follow…
Here are some ugly layers, getting some violet grey to build on.
That violet needs more layer and some grey for the look of solidity and texture. Stay tuned for more in progress pictures.
Ok back with more. I did experience Worry with this one; worry that it would not come out good. Cards with a lot of grey and violet but also lots of detail are difficult, as it takes lots of time to get it not to be blotchy, and every layer obscures more of the ink lines. Painting around lots of tiny stuff like the table controls is a pain. Here it is again after lots more layers…
and some more layers and colors:
Still pretty fugly. But with these inharmonious colors, it would be. Mercury is not too happy in Taurus.
At some point, once about ten layers were on the red background, I had to add the flecking, because the color of the Five in Assiah is Red, flecked Black. The smoking table is going to throw up a cloud of ash. So I had to block off anything I didn’t want flecked. I cut out a paper mask for this by printing a black and white copy on cheap copy paper and carefully cutting out the flecked area with an Xacto knife.
This covers everything but where the cloud of ash will be, the red, flecked black.
Then the fun (and a little worrisome) part: flinging black ink at it. It looks like it was supposed to, I guess.
After this just had to fix up the painting and then redraw a lot of the ink lines that got messed up by the opaque areas.
Behold, the end of Worry! I think the “Red, flecked Black” gave the right vibe for the electronics burning up.
Makes me think of the Soundgarden song “Rusty Cage”:
“You wired me awake
And hit me with a hand of broken nails
You tied my lead and pulled my chain
To watch my blood begin to boil
But I’m gonna break, I’m gonna break my
I’m gonna break my rusty cage and run
Yeah, I’m gonna break, I’m gonna break my
I’m gonna break my rusty cage and run”