The Cryptic Cards Project

CRYPSIS: Noun - (biology) The ability of an organism to avoid observation.

In the last week in May this year I’ll start painting moths on cards like these, making at least one a week for 52 weeks. At the end I plan to get the cards printed as a limited edition pack (by crowdfunding/selling online). One a week allows for the fact my current residency is pretty full-on, plus gives me time to sort out the finer points of printing and get plenty of practice in.

The cards made so far I consider tests, since the final cards will be made on templates for the company doing the printing. I’ll post updates as I go here, and on twitter. :)


The Cryptic Cards Project - Week 1

(Background is in this post!)

The Cryptic Cards project is finally underway! This week I’ve been testing the template cards from the printer, and set up a small table in my studio to be home to these moths for the next 52 weeks!

A picture of my first card is above. I’ll be sharing various views of the cards as the weeks go by, and moth-related learning as I discover new things about the zoology of my cryptic furry flying friends!

Materials: I’ll be using Acryl Gouache and Open Acrylic, and printing template cards on Bristol card, cotton paper, or vellum, depending on how I feel. I’ll be using photoshop to scan and transfer the image of the moths onto a digital template to go for printing.The lines on the template in the picture relate to the printing process

Moths: To make things more interesting I’ll be painting moths in various poses, and using different families of moths for each suit. I haven’t picked which family of moths I will use for clubs yet. But for diamonds, I’ll be painting geometrid moths, and this weeks moth is the 6 of Spades - Spades will be hawk moths (Sphingidae). Each week I’ll try and share a little bit of my learning about these moths and their habits. Although these cards aren’t aiming to be photorealistic accurate portraits, I hope this will be a learning sciart experience, as well as making a beautiful deck of cards.

Crowdfunding: To produce the final deck, I plan to use crowdfunding to cover the print costs, and something for my time in making these cards. More about that as we go, I’m hoping to use the practice cards painted on real playing cards as rewards!