Rachel modelled for this painting. After completing Wonderland I was keen to try another storybook themed composition. I thought Rachel's red hair and punky style would work well for my Little Red Riding Hood with attitude idea.
So, I borrowed an axe from a gardener friend who looked at me as if I was insane, bought a wicker basket and scouted the house for alcohol bottles.
After a few sketches and scribbled ideas, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted the painting to achieve. I called Rachel over, asking her to bring a variety of her quirky clothes and jewellery. Then after digging out my old Halloween costume, put together the outfit which you see in the painting.
We walked over to Cherry Hinton Hall with Rachel in full Red Riding Hood dress (much to the delight of passing van drivers) and spent the day looking at locations, climbing trees, ripping tights and taking photos.
I wanted 'Hoodie' to be humorous and ever so slightly sinister. I didn't want my Red Riding Hood to be a victim, but instead someone who wouldn't be messed with. In the basket you will see the colourful cakes she's taking to Grandma, but she's slipped in a couple of bottles of whisky too. She clutches the axe which belongs to the Woodsman in the story. My girl has her own. Her expression is wicked, yet beautiful and she stares out of the canvas at us as the wolf hides in the undergrowth. I think she knows he's there.