Making the tarot de Blain

Mixing the symbols from the ancient tarots with a modern geometric-design, the Tarot de Blain is based on a chromatic circle allowing a new interpretation of each arcana. Here is the story of how this tarot has been made.

Note : This page presents how the tarot of Blain has been made. Its little brother, the oracle of Blain has followed the same process.

roue chromatique du tarot de Blain

I wanted to create pictures that would be both modern and conceived from symbols of the first tarots, particullary the Nicolas Conver's. So I started to draw many Bateleurs before bringing up the one that could allow me to design an entire deck. Then I decided to follow few simple rules : the card and the frame will be in rectangle of 1/2 proportions, the drawing will be made from a regular grid and the lines won't have no hatching (in opposite of the drawing on the right or the original Nicolas Conver tarot).
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Few designs of Le Bateleur, made on a grid

From these rules, I draw twenty-two major arcana, with a geometric structure that gives an interesting harmony between the cards, but in another hand that may make them look cold ans static. To avoid these last effects, and to humanise the drawings, I tried different lines with irregular tools : fat-ink, roller-pen, pencil and china ink. The one who gave me the best line was the pencil with its large and thin effects.
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 Fat-ink, large and thin, pencil and pen

Pencil inking
The pictures have been redrawned by tranparency by six cards on thick paper sheet (24 x 32 cm). The drawings have then been inked in black with a pencil with the so-wished effects : soft irregular line, thin and large effects. The result is twenty-two pictures that comes from the same geometric pattern.

The twenty-two arcanas, inked on six sheets 

Some preliminary colorimetric researches lead me to use a chromatic circle for the twenty-two cards.  Then I applied a specific palette for each picture, by starting from the main color coming from the chromatic circle and finding the other ones by computing them with a camaieu, just like a Pantone chart. So each card has its identity reinforced by its own color palette.

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Each card has its own palette

As the ancient decks were made, the black is printed separately from the other colours. This technique garantees two major qualities : the black will be very deep and without any artifacts ; and the colours, obtained only with the three primarly components are much brighter than ever because there is absolutely no dark in them. After printing, the card are coated to offer a soft-touch and long-life.

Tthe tarot de Blain
Tthe oracle de Blain
Tarot and de l'oracle of Blain together
Detail of the chromatic circle
Theroy of the chromatic circle

Tarot de Blain classique