Drawing the Winning Hand: SVA’s Yuqing Liu’s “Poker Game”

In the high-stakes art world, some moments capture the intensity of a final poker showdown, and School of Visual Arts Yuqing Liu‘s “Poker Game” does precisely that. A New Talent 2023 Gold award-winner, this intricate 30 by 30-inch oil painting melds the traditional realm of poker cards with imaginative design. With every detail painting a picture of a brewing storm, Lui deftly raises the stakes before the final hand.

By: Yuqing Liu

“Poker Game” is a 30 by 30-inch oil painting inspired by my self-initiated poker card design project. I explored patterns and designs of poker cards and transformed them into different forms in my painting, such as jewelry, weapons, clothing, etc. The lurking tension and danger amongst the characters, as well as in the space surrounding them is the theme of this painting. 

The focus is on the fleeting moment before checkmate. The bullets as well as other sharp weapons on the table are designed to present the “gathering storm” on the game table. Thus all the details in this painting are connective points between the serenity and the outburst, as well as the real and the imaginary.

To achieve reality and integrity on canvas, I created a 3D reference model using Blender. With a 3D model, I could adjust different parameters to find the most ideal composition, light, and perspective. Then, building up the painting with multiple thinned and translucent oil paint layers would successfully create a dreamy and enigmatic atmosphere instead of a loose and dim image.

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Author: Graphis