I got it into my head to do a drawing of a witch. But I wanted to push the idea a bit further than a sexy girl in a pointed hat. I also intended it as an image for my growing selection of religious candles. I enjoyed (perhaps not the right word, but close) depicting the final moment of this person, and attempted to convey everything that led up to this moment all on her face – an expression of pain, anguish, rage, and above all else, supreme disappointment in her fellow human beings. I also felt it appropriate for her to be a redhead, as that’s a group that has suffered a surprising amount of persecution in human history (and in some supremely silly ways to this day).

I did the requisite research into witch trials throughout the ages. It’s an interesting and horrifying aspect of history and represents some of the worst traits of humanity – irrational suspicion and a complete abandonment of justice and critical thinking.  And for that reason, it’s an ever-present danger, especially in those times when a grave threat to a society is forefront in the public mind (Communism, Islamic terrorism, etc.).

I spent a great deal of time on the execution of the fire and its lighting effects. Fire, like water, is one of those things I’ve always had a difficult time in drawing effectively. Because of its constant motion and inherent chaos, it’s maddening to depict accurately as a two-dimensional static image. But after doing enough research, I found some images of flames to base my drawing off of. Each flame has a definable structure, almost ironically enough, like an ice sculpture. Focusing on each one with that  in mind gave me the best results I’ve achieved thus far.


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