A few months ago, I was sketching some forest ideas for the design of the window shutters on Through the Wardrobe Books ; as I’m sure you can tell from the name, the shop has a Narnia theme to it, so the idea was to incorporate the forest into the design, especially as so many books and stories are inspired by the woods. Anyway, I wandered off the path a little and ended up with this Little Red Riding Hood illustration. Following a good reaction on social media, I decided to draw a few more from various other fairy tales set in the woods.
I’ve always enjoyed looking at fairy tale illustrations, especially those of Arthur Rackham and Kay Nielsen. It’s always interesting to see the detail that went into these drawings and how the way the trees are depicted adds an unsettling feel to the stories. I wonder if it was our primal fear of the forest that first inspired the stories, or if the tales have given the woods their creepy reputation?
I now have a collection of 5 illustrations based on the stories of Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Grethel, The Pied Piper of Hamelin and Rapunzel. You can see them in full here.
All five illustrations are available to buy as signed prints.