This was my entry for the recent Tomie de Paola competition, which runs annually. This year’s task was to illustrate a passage from Philip Pullman’s retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, with a specific focus on how to visualise a very well-known main character in a new or unique way.
I wanted a confident Red Riding Hood, boldly stepping out towards the forest, reassuring her mother she’ll be fine. The dark shadow behind the door hints at some of the darkness she’ll encounter later. I aimed for a zig-zag feel to the composition overall, echoing the twists and turns of the path through the woods – and of the story itself. Finally, because red is such a strong and familiar colour in this story, I made my picture black and white, just to be contrary.
What’s really interesting is the wealth of interpretations that were submitted, all of which can be seen in the online competition gallery. So many different ways of presenting a familiar character and situation, it’s fascinating to see where these images cross-over and where they are diverge. The winning entries can be viewed here.