This painting was inspired by the love I bear my sister. To acknowledge her efforts in reading the German books my mother asks her to (and make it more fun!), I began making small illustrations for each book she read.
The drawing began as a pencil sketch; after numerous thumbnails, I settled on a composition I liked for the following reasons:
- Dynamic behaviour of characters
- Movement of the eye goes in a diagonal from the focal point (cauldron/high contrast to background) to the What really encouraged me to complete this image was the success I had with creating a satisfying aesthetic after making the background a green to black gradient. It instantly set the tone for a witchy painting, and made illustrating the work extremely enjoyable.
Sensing that I wanted to spend more time on this drawing than I typically do on a digital piece, I approached it in a modular fashion, adding detail from region to region and exploring how I could bring contrast and character into my painting one step at a time. The fact that with every added detail the mood of the painting changed made this immensely exciting, and I really enjoyed unearthing what I came to see as its spirit.
My sister’s knowledge of the story also shaped the piece, something I found profoundly interesting. I must admit: I was not familiar with the source book of the illustration. I love the author, but for synopsis and a general idea of what was going on in the plot I relied heavily on online summaries and looked quite carefully at existing illustrations, especially those in the book itself. Nevertheless, I was drawing on shaky foundations, and it was my sister who filled in the gaps for me. For example, as I believed that a witch’s cat should be black, the cat was initially black. My sister corrected me, however, as well as insisting on small details such as the ruby ring worn by the male wizard, and through this collaboration I believe we created a piece that truly represents the story it is based on.