From studying The Fool in all his guises, we move on to sketches and underpainting.
The Fool will be painted on a 16x20" gessoed masonite panel. We love the gessoed masonite because the smooth, eggshell finish allows for painting very fine detail.
Imagine trying to walk a straight path on a really bumpy sidewalk. Or like our artist friend Max Dowdle once said "like painting a portrait on top of an english muffin." That is what painting on canvas is like when you're doing some really fine detail work.
It gets kind of extreme sometimes:
Our paintings are many layers of paint added one on top of the other to create subtle depths of color, like symphonies are made up of many layers of sound that capture your attention and emotions in a way that a single note cannot.
That also applies to tarot cards. There are many layers of symbols that create real depth of meaning. That's also the difference between a sign and a symbol. A sign is very one note, clear, telling you exactly what to think and do (stop, yield, one for sorrow, two for joy).
A symbol, according to Jung, is the best possible expression for something unknown and verbally inexpressible. Jung’s primary interest in symbols lay in their ability to transform and redirect instinctive energy. Our reaction to the layers of symbols is where the real power of tarot cards come from, making instinctive energy available for meaningful work and a productive life.