This is the third illustration of The Eight of Hearts Trilogy, a project commissioned by Martin Halfhide to convey his thoughts on the symbolism of the eight hearts poker card.
You can see below a collage of the trilogy, I included three photos to show the scale of the final prints which have the same height: 95.5 cm. The trilogy is now mounted on aluminium and displayed on the same space.
Once I finished the second artwork of The Eight of Hearts, Martin told me that he would like a tree in the third illustration and that the Eight of Hearts (the actual character) didn't actually have to be in the new illustration. I liked the idea and drew the sketches below to design an evocative landscape for this third commission. H.G. Wells' "Time Machine" landscape came to my mind: London covered by mountains of grass, and I immediatly imagined the ruins of the second illustration covered by nature that have grown over years after the fire.
Ruins and some elements of the previous artwork should be present on this new illustration. Also, there was a new request: actual poker cards should be visible and lying around over the floor. This was not easy as too many recognisable elements could make the artwork oversaturated and difficult to handle so... I decided to focus on thumbnail work!
I started working on greyscale, focusing on the main shapes to achieve an interesting composition able to include all the elements needed: ruins, the city landmarks, poker cards, trees, skeletons, crow skulls, mushrooms, leaves, sea, mountains and loads of nature!
I drew and painted the whole ilustration in Adobe Photoshop. The final print is 95.5 cm square and I designed the cards in the front of the artwork to look as big as real cards. Each of this card has an unique design, I spent a bit of time designing the different Kings, Queens and Jacks that would appear in the artwork. I also design the back of the cards.
In the detail below there are some skulls that belong to the skeletons of the second illustration. There's a crow skull and ruins of the Colosseum.
This is a detail of the ruins of Cologne Cathedral taken over by nature.
The rests of The Eight of Hearts character, protagonist of the trilogy, are now inside of the tree that has grown around it:
Poker cards are between the branches too:
As the previous illustrations, the artwork was printed on Fine Art paper and mounted on aluminium at Bayeux lab in London, images below:
This is the end of the trilogy but... not the end of The Eight of Hearths.
There's something else coming soon :)