Wolves have gotten a bad rap over the years, especially in children’ literature. When I first thought of doing a wolf portrait, the first wolves that came to mind were from The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood, both of which were rather mean and intimidating. It got me thinking of how some people who are gruff on the outside are often actually masking their own vulnerability and insecurity with their behavior. They just need someone to listen to them and offer some understanding and friendship. So I reasoned that if people could be that complex, wouldn’t it be possible that wolves could also have a softer side? Now I know that in reality wolves are nothing to take lightly but since the animals in my portraits are usually wearing clothing, I thought I could stretch that a bit with artistic license. So here is my portrait of a woodland wolf, gathering red berry branches to liven up his little den: wise and perhaps a little stern but also kind-hearted with a gentle, sensitive side.