Process: Red Riding Hood's Valentine

Happy Valentines Day!

Most fairytales I know have themes that lend themselves very well to crossovers. I've combined Robin Hood and Snow White before, as well as Peter Pan and the Sandman story. This time, I'm combining Little Red Riding Hood with, well, the dreaded Queen of Hearts.

The next time you're prancing through the forest all by yourself, keep in mind that it's not the wolves you need to watch out for...

Messy thumbnails are messy.

Messy thumbnails are messy.

Most work indeed starts out like this scribbly mass of brushstrokes. While it wouldn't be the thumbnail I show to my client, it works for personal projects. All it takes is lightening this layer to prepare for step #2:

Sketch

Sketch

This sketch was a lot of fun to draw. It's on top of a grainy background in order to make it feel more like drawing on paper.

Just where did she get that heart?

Value

Value

This is where it starts getting eerie. I wanted to keep the foreground wolf dark, and the background wolf light, to play off a kind of "yin yang" theme. I'm also obsessed with the shadows that are cast by a hood over a face.

Beginnings of color.

Beginnings of color.

I was looking for something subdued, and a tad foggy. Hints of purple seem to do the trick. This is no sunny forest you dally through on your way to Grandma's! It was also important to keep the heart the rosiest point in the piece, even though her entire cloak is also red.

Refining the piece.

Refining the piece.

Bare trees don't have to be lifeless. There are plenty of animals still in the forest. Plus, they make nifty framing devices. Also can't forget the wolves' footprints in the snow.

Done!

Done!

You stick to your boxes of chocolate. Red has other plans. Thanks for reading!

Red Riding Hood Process

Process: Lady Frost

I snuck in another illustration for winter. This piece is titled "Lady Frost," and it's from an idea that has been floating around in my head for awhile. I thought that instead of running my poor sketchbook ragged, it would be better to just get it down on digital paper.

1. Light sketch

1. Light sketch

1. I went for a quiet and subdued mood in this piece, opting for colors that weren't as bold. This was the time to gather references. Using some wonderful stock from faestock for the portrait, and pulling some snippets of trees from Google Images, a composition was laid out for step #2...

2. Drawing

2. Drawing

2. The most freeing part of any illustration is the drawing! I really enjoy the look of a dark drawing over a colored thumbnail, so going with that was a no-brainer. Notice the purple peeking through?

3. Value

3. Value

3. Blocks of value are added in to differentiate forms. It made more sense to open her eyes at this point; walking through a winter wonderland with her eyes closed could have eventually made her trip headfirst into a snowbank.

4. Color

4. Color

4. Basic colors are laid down over the value next. Initially, I had very clear idea of a red outfit trimmed in grey fur, to go for a Mrs. Claus type character. But with some feedback, it was easy to see that there were more interesting options that lay ahead.

5. Refining

5. Refining

5. Knocking the red back and adding in some frost brought this character out. When working digitally, it's so much easier to make composition changes. After some reflection, it looked like more could be added to the foreground in order to push the depth of the piece. So, cue the snowy branches!

6. Pattern

6. Pattern

6. One final dash of glam. Snowflakes!

7. Final

7. Final

Follow, share, and leave a comment to let me know what you think. Thanks for reading. Happy holidays to you and yours!

Process

Process