The idea behind the series was that the paintings would be different takes on a wolf / little red riding hood theme, with field poppies as a common visual element. Also, I wanted to submit them for Gallery Nucleus’ ‘Power in Number 8’ show.
When I started working on ‘The Huntress’, I had almost given up on that one because it was the day before the deadline 😅️. Maybe otherwise I would have stopped at some point and resumed the next day, like I did for the wolf. But somehow the day felt rather relaxed, and I did not have the impression to rush. I kept very focused and concentrated, and around 5:30 pm the painting was finished :) Then I still took time to make some more photos, scan the work, format the preview as requested by Nucleus, write and send the email! I actually could have done that on the next day, but I thought I would sleep better if it was all done – and thus I did not have to work on the week-end 😌️
As I took photos along the way, I can partly reconstruct the timeline 😊️
Around 10 am: As opposed to the wolf painting I did not have a strong idea, only I thought I’d like to do a Red Riding Hood as a beautiful woman. I had done a few sketches but was not convinced. I looked for inspiration in these art books, that I thought could channel some of the mood / style I had in mind:
I can’t say that I found what I was looking for 😅️. Maybe it did help setting up my mind though. In any case, I was pleasantly surprised that I did not spend too much time browsing 😁️.
I also had some sketches in mind that I had done quite some time ago, and after some foraging in sketchbooks I found them again:
On the second page I had wanted to take a look at the sketches on the top, but it’s the girl in the woolly hat / balaclava with bear ears that ended up sparking some inspiration :)
It was still not much of an idea but I felt it would not get any better, and I had to start the actual drawing and make things up along the way!
11:20 am: The sketch :) (not sure when I started; I guess it took about 15-20 min?) At some point I decided that she would hold a knife – inspired by the figure of the hunter cutting open the wolf’s belly to deliver little red, and sometimes her gran, in some versions of the tale; maybe there are also some where little red has the knife and opens the wolf from inside? 😬️ Anyway, I used one of our kitchen knives as reference 😁️.
1:10 pm: Dark ink lines (my favourite brown/grey/green ink :)).
1:30 pm: Ink washes, introducing the ‘Deep Dark Orange’ ink, whose colour could also be described as ‘coquelicot’ (the French name of field poppies) :)
1:50 pm: End of lunch break (I think, as I made another photo at that time showing no changes 😁️ – only another aspect ratio).
3:30 pm: Finished the character! Lots of patterns! With poppies! 😊️
3:45 pm: Twigs / branches in the background.
16:30 pm: Like for the wolf, the dark background achieves the final look, as I intended it :) …Or is it maybe not quite dark enough? 😬️
5 pm: Added some sparkly details, giving the original artwork a special touch that cannot be reproduced in print 😊️✨️ (handmade watercolours from Le Pigmentarium).
At that point I really, really wanted to be finished – especially, I was really not keen on filling in the intricate background areas once again… Maybe it was good enough? But no, leaving it at that felt like cheating / slacking, as I knew it needed more contrast 😌️. So I tightened my belt and got going again!
5:30 pm: Now that’s much better! (right 😁️? I do think so :))
As mentioned at the beginning, it was still quite some time until I could call it a day – but that was it for the painting process :)
Would you love to have this piece of traditional art hang on your wall? It is now available for sale in my shop :)
And if you have any questions about the process or the artwork, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d be happy to chat about it!