I'm currently in a community theatre production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard- it's basically like an alternate story based off of Shakespeare's Hamlet, where two small characters tell their backstory. (that's one helluva run-on sentence, ain't it?)
Anywhos, the play toys around with the theme of polarized opposites, which got me to thinking about the style of playing cards. So I drew up what Hamlet would look like as a playing card, as he cradles the skull of his former servant Yorrick and contemplates life and death (he's so emo, right?). A little while later while having fun with the old light box, I crafted a decent and symmetrical Hamlet. I used a felt tip marker and watercolor paper.
It was interesting, I thought, that the eyes of the playing cards (at least the ones I have) are tired and dilated, which kind of makes the people look like coffee fiends.
Back to the drawlering- I drew on a "R" for Rosencrantz and a "G" for Guildenstern, making sure to put little serifs on the letters (the little "feet"). In lieu of using hearts, diamonds, spades or clubs, I opted to include a coin in the heads position and another in the tails position (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hate making their own decisions, and usually flip a coin instead of giving an opinion). I used water soluble graphite for the grays and colored pencil for the reds, blues and yellows.
In the play, Rosencrantz and Guildemsterm happen across a "professional actor" who basically says that audiences only want to see violence onstage ("...the blood is compulsory, you see."). I have a small vial of red ink that I bought (for another play, where I wanted to learn how to use a feather quill). I popped that bad boy open, painted my hand red and pressed it against the paper; a little went a long way.
Finally, I cut out some magazine letters and glued them across the picture, to give it a ransom note-like feel.