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