ArtyStART Monday: Mermaid in Progress

07/14/2013 - 4 minutes read

It’s been a wild rumpus of a summer so far full of deadlines, new product releases, family fun and HO– USE CONSTRUCTION. Yep, the sound of banging hammers and debris almost daily has been part of the summer rumpus around here. Whoosh!

So, I’ve had this big honkin’ 36×36 canvas staring at me for awhile and very little time to actually create.


And… I’ve had this project I’ve needed to GET STARTED that is long overdue.  So, this week, I thought I would share my latest art in progress. It’s a doozy, so it’s going to take a couple of blog posts to share the progress. And… as of this morning…it’s still in progress. If you follow me on FACEBOOK, you may have seen its early beginnings over the weekend.

Quick background... I was asked to create a piece of “art” for a beach loving, golden brown haired, surfer girl named Lauren. Her room at her parent’s beach house has a blank wall that absolutely needs to be filled up. She is most at home at the beach. Always in the water and I adore Lauren as if she was my own so this project has a whole lotta love in it.

I call her and her girly friends, Mermies. So, of course, I had to paint a Mermaid and fill up that big blank wall of hers.

This canvas was inspired by this original illustration I created.

Here’s some of the early progress. Click through the pics to see her come to life. 

I sketched her on the canvas using a COL-ERASE pencil in black. I love this pencil because it’s not graphite and won’t smudge AND, it erases. I planned the space on the left for the quote.  On the first layer of her hair, I used Sepia India Ink  to embed into the canvas. The india ink found its way into the flaws of the canvas giving me some added texture.

The next layer for her hair was a layer of acrylic color that I mixed up using three shades of brown. It was a gloomy day when I started creating this piece. So, I worked on the floor in front of a door and used my feet to hold the canvas in.
I painted for a few hours with the entire canvas on my lap. I just rotated it and painted in small sections. I really got lost in painting and finding the rhythm of how she’s coming to life.

Moving on to her body, I built the color with NEOCOLOR II watersoluble crayons. Building the body and fins with color and shading was a blast. I layered four colors together, added water and painted. The color is vibrant and luscious.

You can see the original illustration I did in my 9×12 book and the scale of the new illustration on the canvas. I needed to adjust the body type a bit for a more “teen” like look. 🙂

Tomorrow, I’ll share MORE of her progress. There have been some colossal flubs along the way, but nothing a little gesso can’t fix and do overs are a part of the process. 🙂

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