To get some of my initial thoughts flowing, I began by creating some quick watercolour and ink thumbnails of potential playing card designs.
Above: Original designs manipulated in Photoshop.
Left: This design for the 9 of Spades was inspired by a deeper meaning than the others. It is based on one of the final scenes in 'Drowning by Numbers' where Smut, a boy who plays the role of game maker throughout the film, commits suicide by hanging himself from a tree.
In the illustration I have included the tree as a more literal connotation of the boy's death, whilst the spades act as leaves. I chose 9 spades as, through research, I found that this specific number has symbolism relating to loss which is ideal for the portrayal of the tragic scene.
Below: As I thought my original design was too brightly coloured for the subject matter, I altered the tones and contrast in Photoshop to create these more subtle images.
Overall, I think that my designs are a good starting point for further development of my work. However, whilst I like how they come across quite playful, I would like to create designs which reflect upon the film's theme of tragedy so I need to create imagery more suitable whilst still keeping the association with numbers.