Illustration of St. Mary Magdelene

A friend of mine who recently converted to Catholicism commissioned me to create a portrait of her chosen patron saint, St. Mary Magdalene. I created this image using Prismacolor pencils. I was inspired by traditional paintings of Magdelene, which often depict her wearing red and green (red to symbolize agape love, green to symbolize eternal life), such as in this portrait created by Piero di Cosimo. She looks upward, towards heaven, with a courageous expression, and she is accompanied by a human skull (a reminder of death, or memento mori) and a red rose (a symbol of both passion and purity).