Real Witches

An illustration of three witches from history with short background info on each of the women. This was done as a final project for my Illustrative Typography class in conjunction with another project of my own typeface. The drop cap you see here is the typeface I created, which has a magical element to it and led me to doing research on witches.



In the imagery I wasn’t looking to portray realism but wanted people to get an understanding of the different types of magic across different cultures. The text merely serves as supplementary facts. I generally work digitally in a flatter style, and since I was planning to risoprint my project I decided on a limited color palette. I thought that red and purple suited the “magical” vibe of my project.


The illustration began with research on these historical witches, looking online for accounts of what sort of magic these people did and for references of how these women looked. I wanted to have three witches that were as different as possible – coming from different cultures, time periods, and with different practices. After the preparation stage I created pencil sketches of both the text and image, which I transferred into Procreate. I then drew over my sketches with more refined lines and made sure to separate each layer by color. I played extra attention to the overlaps of each color because the beauty of a risoprint is the different effects you can get from different opacity in colors.

People responded positively, as it was both informative and the illustration turned out nicely. I learned that I enjoy doing illustration paired with research as it gives me something to draw inspiration from instead of working entirely from imagination.

Thanks for reading! I hope my work is able to give some inspiration to others.

Stephanie Huang

RISD ’19 graduate and illustrator based in Northern California.