Coven I, 1998
Coven: Sisterhood of the Dark is ‘A Gallery Girls Collection’ published by SQP Inc. in 1998. SQP specialises in collections of “female eye-candy” (aka pin-up art) by up-and-coming fantasy artists. Each Gallery Girls title gives some indication of the contents of the collection (Devil Dolls, Fairy Tails, Crimson Embrace, Angel Lust etc).
Despite its title, however, Coven: Sisterhood of the Dark contains more female demons, devils, fairies and vampires than witches. Even if we include enchantresses, sorceresses and other practitioners of the Dark Arts, only half of the 62 illustrations are of witches, historical or modern. Some of these pictures are great; many of them are not. SQP did far better job with its second and third collections (Coven 2 in 2002, Coven 3 in 2005). I will discuss these another time.
Mitch Byrd’s picture is probably the best in this volume; and it is no surprise to discover that Mitch went on to become a respected fantasy artist. Therion has a gallery of 80 of his works online here (including the image below from Coven, here, and below) and a book of his art has been published: The Art of Mitch Byrd.
The picture by Anibal Maraschi is also good, but some of his other works are sensational. A gallery of 40 of his works is online at Therion here (including the image below from Coven, here, and below). Maraschi has a very busy site (here).
This picture by Arantza Sestayo stands out, though the theme (sexy witch being burnt at the stake) leaves me cold, so to speak. A gallery of 40 of her works is online at Therion here (including the image below from Coven, here, and below). Arantza has a nice site (here) and a book: The Art of Arantza.
As for the badly drawn, tacky or tasteless, they are probably best left unidentified. I will give only one example: Jose Marin offers us a witch standing between two very tall candlesticks: her arms and legs are spread and power radiates from her hands. I presume this power stops her wrists being burnt by the candles, which are immediately above the candle flames. Jose’s model also seems to have been a porn actress with silicone breast implants, if we can judge by the clearly defined ribs and even more clearly defined (and perfectly circular) breasts.