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Tarot Justice sketches

12.9.04 Okay, sorry to keep editing this description, but I had to do it a third time because no one seems to see the edit I made at the bottom about no longer needing feedback as I've made a choice, and the final sketch is finished. Here: [link]

12.8.04 Here are two sketches for Justice. I can't decide which one to use. At first I thought the top one felt too static, but the more I look at it, the more I like it. A bit about the symbols -- butterflies are often used as symbols of the soul. In this card, the soul is sometimes being weighed against a feather (which is how the ancient Egyptians believed their souls and evil deeds were judged when they died). In the bottom one, she holds a sphere of butterflies in her left hand, and a feather in the right. I was debating taking the scales out of that completely, as she herself kind of IS the scale, or else putting it subtly in the background elsewhere, just as a reminder. In the top version, her wings would be like this [link] , one flipped upside down.

To sum it up, my main concerns are that the top one is too boring. And though I like the bottom one, I'm worried it might not speak of the meanings clearly enough.

Anyway...which one do you guys think I should use? I appreciate comments even from people who don't know anything about tarot even if it's just to say something about the compositional merit of one over the other. And for those who DO have some tarot knowlegde, anything would be helpful!

[Edit] Okay, THANKS everyone for the input! Though I don't have time to respond to each comment, I really appreciate the wonderful response from all of you. I don't need any more feedback on this. I've decided to go with the top one, with some modifications. You'll see the sketch posted right after I finish editing this. :)
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drainingraven's avatar
i believe the top one is on the sort of "boring" side...i definately like the bottom better, but you do make the point that the meaning isn't quite clear, and i agree. my suggestion would be to put more emphasis on the scale, possibly by using the bottom image, but have her raise the scale up (as you drew in the top image) rather than hold it down at her side. just a thought.:plug:
Katte's avatar
The symbolism is very clear and obvious in the top one. The second one has much more movement and appeals to me more from the artistic point of view. Either would make a wonderful Tarot card.
Lya's avatar
i votefor the 2nd one :D
Rhythm-Wily's avatar
Hmm......Both are very nice.....I kinda like the first one though.
Primus-Inter-Pares's avatar
The upper sketch is more reminiscent of the card's true meaning. The bottom one is too mushy and flowery. Compare the RWS Empress and Justice cards. What does the level of detail tell you?
Primus-Inter-Pares's avatar
heh I feel you have made two new cards! use the top sketch for Justice, the second one for Temperance! what do you think huh?
electric-ace's avatar
I pick the first one, but I love the pose of the second too...:steaming: Too hard to choose! Whichever one you pick, I'll love. PLeae let me know whenever you get a deck published, and I'll buy one!!
horai's avatar
The first one (top), no other reason than i find it more aesthetically pleasing and the more formal pose lends its self to the subject better. :)
Raeven-Quicksilver's avatar
I like the second one! It's nawesome.


HellDeamon69's avatar
I like them both.
jennadoggy's avatar
That is beautiful! I like the second one better than the first tho, because I think the second has move detail
Sinleigh-Rei's avatar
here is my two cents...

definantly the top sketch.. and i hear alot of people talking about tradition vs. originallity. well i dont think that has anything to do with it. you can have a traditional idea and still make it original.

Anyway.. the reason i like the top one would be for interpretation reasons. Everytime i look at your cards i dont look at them from and think about what beautiful pieces of art they are (though i do think they are beautiful peices of art) I look at their functionalloty as tarot cards and i think about the symbolizm and if i would be able to lay out these cards and do a reading. First of all the old sayign "justice is blind" justice is fair and balanced... that bottom picture i immediately think "what is she looking at?" she shouldnt be "looking" at anything, she whould be indeferent to he surroundings to make a fair judgement.

to me justice should be a very fair and balanced idea. in the bottom picture even though her scales are balanced.. she is holding something in her other hand and Justice herself as a scale is unbalanced..leads me to believe she is favoring one side over the other.

You mentioned that you thought the top picture felt to static.. but you have to remember that there are static things in life and that somethings need to be static and steady to balance out so much other stuff in life that is chaotic and unbalanced. Justice should be a steady figure that provides us a certin sence of balance and clarity.

Well i am a little late with posting my response to this and i see you have already chosen the top one.. and i think it is a wise choice.. so sorry for the long ramble when you dont need anymore input, but thanks for letting me add my two cents anyway.
Fanyare-'s avatar
The top one ^_^
carrozirro's avatar
kooshie's avatar
Da top one. =P
Idgarad's avatar
The first sketch all the way. The Justice card, the symbolism in the scales, the top one seems more balanced, dignified, reserved. The bottom doesn't seem to reflect a sense of balance, of course, that may be the point ;)
OkamiSM's avatar
Hmm...hard choice....ok heres my point of view....the top one you have the standard type of pose for justice, where as the bottom seems more original.. (not that the top one isnt x_x lol) But do you catch my drift? They're both very good and both would work i guess my vote goes to the bottom one ^_^
TheFunnyBunny's avatar
the first one looks balanced.. that lower looks more dramatic, I think it would fit best for the top, definately. :)
shadowwaker's avatar
The top one, because Justice needs to be balanced if it has to make a good decision. In the bottom one it's like she has a preference for the left and it makes her look unskilled. Like she's still looking around and learning, not sure of herself yet. Justice can't be like that. ^_^ That's what I think at least.
Arleen's avatar
The first one. :)
corduroy-magician's avatar
The top one most deffinately... She is the calm embodiment of the idea of Justice, there shouldn't be much movement in the card.
mysticsilverstar's avatar
they both look stunning...but personally, the first one shouts out more to's simple, elegant and i dunno the meaning just comes across clearer...wheras the second one looks abit complicated and too...crowded somewhat. so i'd go with the first one :)
peonyfantasy's avatar
ok the top one is beautiful and very creative but the bottom one is extra cool... um, personally I like the top cause the glow from the back is gonna be awesome ^,^ I can't wait for das paint
AlexIKaine's avatar
I like the top one if the figure was more centralised. Since it's a card about balance, the composition should be balanced and equal. If your not bothered by that the second one feels a little more liberated and is mre easily read.
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