The Artist on ‘Witchiness’ (in preparation for Hansel & Gretel)

Witches have very poor eyesight…

… so they sometimes ‘borrow’ eyes from elsewhere, to improve their vision.

They have voracious appetites, and are partial to crabs and small children.

Witches can fly, which is an advantage when hunting down prey.

Though her eyes may be weak, a Witch has finely tuned olfactory sensors to help her track down victims.

Some have open cavities in the middles of their faces, to better scent food. They disguise these with prosthetic noses (attached with elastic bands) that they remove when hunting.

A Witch doesn’t use a toothbrush or dental-floss, and instead employs maggots to clean any meat stuck between her teeth. She keeps the maggots in ointment-pots in her capacious pockets. But the maggots are not regarded by her as pets. After they have done their work, the Witch eats them!

Witches are are very bad news indeed, and are best avoided.

18 thoughts on “The Artist on ‘Witchiness’ (in preparation for Hansel & Gretel)

  1. I know it’s corny but that’s my mother-in-law to a T 😦

    I find those witchy hands absolutely captivating…does she ever wear nail polish? (made from children’s blood, obviously….). I love the colours…are you working on black card or have you blacked the card yourself?

    • She is a second cousin to Nosferatu, so those curved and pointy fingers are a family trait. She does not, to my knowledge, wear nail-varnish. In fact she has no nails, just hard and rattling fingers that have the texture of rhino horn. (If you can hear them rattling, then you’re too damned close for safety!) They smell awful, due to the fact that she never washes her hands!

      Black card. It’s all I brought with me.

    • I’m glad you approve. She’s been fun to conceptualise, though she’s given me a few nightmares!

      Big secret: she’s based on a real person. Some who know me well may put two and two together, but suffice to say that she once gave Peter a lot of trouble, and she’s got off lightly in my depiction!

  2. I was preparing myself to mount a defence for your witch, given that you are setting “Hansel & Gretel” in Puritan times, when “witchy” hysteria was widespread. However, having seen your wonderfully wicked witch, in glorious technicolour, I am now thinking that Matthew Hopkins, the self-styled Witchfinder General, might have had a point!!

    • Strikes me she’d be entirely capable of looking out for herself, and she’d need to be with Mathew Hopkins on her tail! I think in the scary stakes, the real Witchfinder General would easily outstrip my fictional Witch!

      For anyone interested in the terrible outcomes when so-called witches were hounded by those who set themselves up as ‘Witch–finders’, I’d recommend Damian Walford Davies’ haunting drama in verse, ‘Witch’, published by Seren. (With a cover by me!)

      • “Witch” is a fascinating book and I am a big fan of Zekiel the Marmoset, who graces the amazing front cover.

        I am really looking forward to what Gretel is going to be like as a Puritan. I have a sneaking suspicion that, when it comes to witches, she could knock Matthew Hopkins into the proverbial cocked hat any day of the week!!

        • I have a theory that in many cases when we are up against terrible odds, we must become the foe, in order to vanquish it. It’s one of the horrors of war, as history demonstrates with depressing regularity. So I fear that when all is said and done, Gretel may well grow to be quite as bad as the Witch who tried to eat Hansel!

          • Poor Gretel, a victim of circumstance it seems!!

            Can I add that I am rather smitten by the witch’s smock and I love that she is paying homage to the Wicked Witch of the West in her choice of hosiery?! I could definitely see her being adopted as a fashion muse!!

  3. Wow! I love this witch! The textural qualities and the shading make her seem somewhat ethereal. I particularly love the eyes on her gown. Those are very cool. She’s certainly a fascinating in her own frightening way!

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