Two months ago my mother recommended a book to me. A book about "witches" and a strong heroine that we wouldn't come to expect in the newest wave of occult themed high school dramas where if a girl isn't throwing her life away over a brooding blood sucker she's certainly wishing she was.
I started reading the book not too long ago and about 2/3 of the way through I noticed the contest here and thought, there are far too many things that just keep shoving me in the direction of this novel. This was an opportunity to challenge myself to do an illustration in a short amount of time and I decided to push myself further by drawing in a perspective I am verrryyy uncomfortable with, attempt two light sources, and return to a medium I truly enjoy and have not worked in in years.
What I hope to convey is the Lena that the novel spoke with as well as the character my mother had such fondness of. I actually have not finished the book and I am glad that I didn't when making this. This allowed me the same kind of ignorance and mystery that the claiming ritual so haunts Lena's every thoughts. I depict Lena being claimed by the light as rays literally begin to climb her limbs and surge through her body; however, the anxiety is still in her eyes as the claiming is envisaged. I'm sure that Lena is uncertain whether she goes light or dark until the very end. The surrounding also has a quality of eeriness that is lent so well by the south with it's twisting ever greens and wispy Spanish moss. I wanted it to be a character that helps show that there is still part of Lena shrouded in darkness even as it reaches toward the light.
I was sad that putting her birthmark under her eye didn't really turn out (I always imagined it toward the side of her right eye). Whenever I tried it looked like a fly away piece of hair or a black eye, but I did get the necklace of junk (bottle tab and all!). I had a lot of fun working on this and somehow it feels like a fairly personal piece. Fingers crossed that judges will get it and I'll just hope for the best.