Digital painting/illustration of the evil queen/witch from the Brother's Grimm fairy tale Snow White. Art by Kiri Østergaard Leonard, 2015. See more at

Month of Fear Art Challenge

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The Month of Fear weekly art challenge is in full swing. I’ve been thoroughly impressed by all the beautiful artwork already created for the challenge by the many artists involved. Kristina Carroll, the founder of Month of Fear, put together a wonderful set of challenges:

  1.  Villians (Oct 1-4) We’re going to start off celebrating our favorite villains (or antiheros)!
  2.   Mirrors (Oct 5-11)Reflection, deception, spirits and secrets. Mirrors see and keep them all.
  3.   Sabbath (Oct 12-18)Witches and devils.
  4.  What Lies Beneath (Oct 19-25)Beneath the skin, beneath the ground, beneath the ______
  5.   Danse Macabre (Oct 26-31) The Dance of Death unites us all.

I’m on a fairy tale roll for this challenge and have done two illustrations so far. I was hoping my schedule would allow me to do one every week, but my husband and I are in the process of relocating to Austin, Texas, which takes up quite a bit of time.

For this week’s Sabbath: Witches and Devils challenge I painted the Evil Queen from Snow White (pictured above). As a child I always thought she was one of the scariest witches, being a wicked stepmother trying to hurt her own stepdaughter.

For last week’s Mirror challenge I illustrated the Troll Mirror from H. C. Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen. Reflected in the mirror is Kai after his heart has begun to freeze to ice.

Illustration of the Troll Mirror from H. C. Andersen's fairy tale The Snow Queen

The ‘Snow Queen’ story begins:
“There was a terribly bad troll, a troll of the very wickedest sort and, in fact, he was the devil himself. One day the devil was in a very good humor because he had just finished a mirror which had this peculiar power: everything good and beautiful that was reflected in it seemed to dwindle to almost nothing at all, while everything that was worthless and ugly became most conspicuous and even uglier than ever. In this mirror the loveliest landscapes looked like boiled spinach, and the very best people became hideous, or stood on their heads and had no stomachs. Their faces were distorted beyond any recognition, and if a person had a freckle it was sure to spread until it covered both nose and mouth.” – H. C. Andersen

Kiri Østergaard Leonard

Award winning Illustrator, Artist and Creator Kiri Østergaard Leonard happily shares her experiences making a living as an artist and pursuing a creative life. She grew up in a tiny village in Denmark, left her country behind to pursue art in the bustle of New York City and now resides in the delightful weirdness of Austin, Texas surrounded by sunshine and felines.


  • Alexandra Rena

    16.10.2015 at 14:21 Reply

    These are two most beautiful pieces of art. And an out-of-state move is quite an undertaking! I’m surprised you were able to get these pretties done at least! I live in Houston, Texas, so if you have any questions on arts events and such, let me know! The artist Alicia Vogel has an arts event calendar going on for Texas, if you’ve interest in conventions and shows. (though I am sure many other things take priority before that 😉 )

    • Kiri

      16.10.2015 at 16:55 Reply

      Thank you for the kind words Alexandra, I’m glad you like the pieces. I’ve talked to Alicia a bit on Facebook, she’s living near the town I’ll be in so we’re going to be meeting up when I’ve moved. It’s such a useful resource she’s made, I look forward to getting to explore Texas’ art scene further.

      • Alexandra Rena

        18.10.2015 at 00:01 Reply

        Excellent! The Austin/San Antonio and surrounding areas are quite arts-centered. I am often attending shows near those cities, despite the distance from my home!

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