Everyday Witch Tarot Kit + Book Design!

I am so excited to share the design of the Everyday Witch Tarot kit and book. They are even better than I could have dreamed! I absolutely love the fonts selected, and the stars and paw print motif is adorable. Deborah and I are very, very pleased. Now I eagerly await seeing the cards themselves and the interior of the book. Eight more months!

Here is the box kit design. The deck and book is packaged inside this box. The card used for this is Judgment.

Everyday Witch Tarot Kit-sAnd here is the cover for the companion book that goes along with the deck! The card used for this is the High Priestess.

Everyday Witch Book-sAGH I LOVE IT!

I also want to share the back design of the card. I painted this with the rest of the deck last year, but haven’t shared it yet.

back-designI will be sure to update when it’s time for pre-ordering! The deck will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in January 2017. Why must January be so far away??

Thank you, Deborah, for writing such a fun deck! I also want to thank Barbara Moore, acquisitions editor at Llewellyn, and Lynne Menturweck, art director at Llewellyn, for getting me involved in such an epic and amazing project! (:

I will start selling prints of all of the images in a few months. Meanwhile, the original paintings are available for purchase. If you are interested, please email me at mail@albaillustration.com to see the list of available paintings! (:

By the way, you should also check out Deborah’s books at https://deborahblakeauthor.com/, including her fiction! I just started reading Wickedly Dangerous and am really enjoying it so far!

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Nine months till Everyday Witch Tarot publication!

Hi All! Well Deborah and I don’t know the exact publication date yet, nor can we share the packaging design, but at least we have less than a year until publication! We’re so excited! We thought it was time to share another image.

The 5 of Wands… when I first read the description that Deborah wrote, I was dreading working on this image. The description: “Five witches in black hats (some tilted crookedly in the heat of the moment) and various color capes are standing around a cauldron. Each holds a parchment scroll (or a toad dangling by one leg, or some herb) in one hand and a wand in another, and they are clearly arguing about who has the best recipe for whatever spell they’re working on. To the right, five cats of different colors are hissing at each other. Unnoticed by the witches, the potion in the cauldron is beginning to seep over the edge and onto the ground and small flames are springing up. The mood is of unnecessary and unproductive argument among people who truly agree.”

The Wands had a few multi-character cards, AND this one included five cats to boot! A daunting composition to figure out.

Here is my rough sketch. You can see I made a few adjustments from the description:

fivewands-rough

Then I took reference for the witches, using myself as the model for all five of them because I was in Europe at the time and had no one else I could use. The reference is pretty hilarious…

fivewands-sketch-funref

In the end though, it became one of my favorite cards and I love the colors. Here’s the final image (followed by the full text)!

5-of-wands
“I know best! No, I do!”

Sometimes it is hard to work with other people. Other times, it’s impossible.
“These witches are the best of friends and all of them are skillful and knowledgeable. Just think what they could achieve if they could actually cooperate. Unfortunately, each one is sure that she has the best recipe, or knows the most powerful ingredients, or which direction to stir the pot in. Now they’re so busy arguing, nobody is stirring the pot, and you can almost see the explosion that is sure to come. Let’s hope they come to their senses in time and remember that they can achieve much more working together if they can all just stop trying to be the one who is right.

Things to consider: If the Five of Wands shows up in your reading, it probably means that you are dealing with some kind of chaotic situation involving other people. Family, co-workers, friends—whoever it is, they clearly aren’t playing nice together. Are you? Maybe you can be the peacemaker, the one who helps everyone to come together in a more productive way. Maybe this is a situation that can’t be resolved, and you would be better off walking away. Sadly, you can’t make other people behave reasonably, but you can make sure that you aren’t making things worse by letting your ego or pride get in the way of cooperation. You wouldn’t do that, would you?”

The deck will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in January 2017.
Meanwhile, you should consider pre-ordering the Modern Spellcaster’s Tarot, written by Melanie Marquis and illustrated by my husband, Scott Murphy! :D

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New Book Project

Hi All! I’m very excited to share some progress from a book I am working on for an author who is self-publishing. He contacted me last summer while I was traveling and in the midst of my tarot work, but he was willing to wait for my schedule to open up, and I’m so glad he did! I’ve been having a lot of fun with the project.

Gilly & the Snowcats, by R.S. Bovard, is a fantastical middle grade novel about a young girl, Gilly, who races the Iditarod in Alaska with a team of cats! It’s full of adventure, magic, and girl-power. I’ll be sure to post more about it when the book’s website is set up. The author wanted a book cover, a map, a chapter header illustration (repeated for all chapters), and seventeen interior full page drawings.

The work is due mid-May and I am about to start on final illustrations. I wanted to show a bit of the process going into them. Below are a selection of ‘thumbnail’ sketches. These are the first things I draw – rough images working out the composition.

gats-thumb-set

The author and I went over the thumbnails and discussed if anything was missing or needed revised. I then hired a local girl to model as Gilly and I photographed her posing for various scenes. This was the first time I’ve hired a model!

I just finished all of the sketches, which I will also go over with the author to make sure everything is correct before moving on to finals. Below is a selection of four interiors, including three which you may recognize from the thumbnails above.

chapter6-sketch  chapter8-sketch chapter17-sketch  chapter21-sketch

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Month of Love

I was very happy to be able to participate in this year’s Month of Love. You can see all of the fantastic art at www.monthofloveart.com. Every year, the art gets better and better. The participating artists have been discovering new things about their work, experimenting, getting more ambitious, and have been getting a lot of recognition from the work they produce for the challenges!

The first challenge was “Heroes.” I immediately thought of the character Alanna, from Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness Quartet. I first read that series when I was around 12 or 13, and I thought Alanna was this incredible, strong female character, which I hadn’t seen much of in the books I was reading. Also, these books, as well as Ms. Pierce’s other books, inspired my career, since they were exactly the kind of books I wanted to make illustrations for.

"The Lioness," 7? x 8?, watercolor and acryla gouache on Arches watercolor paper

“The Lioness,” 7? x 8?, watercolor and acryla gouache on Arches watercolor paper

The next challenge I participated in was “Weapons.” The Evil Queen loves herself so much she would kill Snow White in order to maintain her status as fairest in all the land. I used gold watercolor for the first time with this piece (the scan doesn’t quite capture the shine). I am also painting a companion piece for this of Snow White.

"Poison Apple," 8? x 9?, ink, watercolor, and gold paint on Arches watercolor paper

“Poison Apple,” 8? x 9?, ink, watercolor, and gold paint on Arches watercolor paper

The third challenge I participated in was the surprise Leap Day challenge – “Seasons.” Last fall I saw a beautiful albino squirrel in Northampton, MA, and decided to make a fantastical portrait of the squirrel as an “Autumn Spirit.”

"Autumn Spirit," 8" x 10", watercolor and acryla gouache on Arches watercolor paper

“Autumn Spirit,” 8″ x 10″, watercolor and acryla gouache on Arches watercolor paper

I’m really happy with my paintings. It was a bit tiring to have to work on them in the midst of client projects, but also refreshing! I burned out a bit working on the tarot deck, and it was great to get back to working on personal pieces.

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Interiors for Llewellyn’s 2017 Magical Almanac

I recently completed some black and white spots for Llewellyn’s 2017 Magical Almanac, which can be pre-ordered now. It will be published in July 2016! It was a fun little job for them post-tarot. I had four articles to illustrate with 2-3 images each. Here is a selection!

animal1 animal2 cityprotect1 karma2 travel1 travel3

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Tarot Deck Update and Announcements!

Cross-posted by Deborah and Elisabeth:

As many of you know, we (author Deborah Blake and illustrator Elisabeth Alba) have been working all year on a tarot deck for Llewellyn Worldwide. There was an important meeting at Llewellyn this week and we have a few exciting things to announce. First off, we finally have A TITLE!

Introducing…EVERYDAY WITCH TAROT (and its accompanying book, The Guide to the Everyday Witch Tarot). Ta da!

The book cover will feature the High Priestess card:

highpriestess-book

And the kit cover will be the Judgment card:

judgment-cover

This is what Elisabeth looked like after finally finishing the last painting!

me-done-yay

The deck will be out in January 2017, a little over a year from now. We can’t wait!

For those of you who are impatient to get this deck (and who could blame you), we will be posting an occasional “sneak peek” until it is released.

So, anyone else excited too?

P.S. — For the tarot lovers among you, Llewellyn has a big tarot sale on right now. You might want to go take a look, even though you won’t be able to get this one for a year. Llewellyn Tarot Sale

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