I need to practice painting faces, so that's one of the (many) challenges in this piece.
In February (2010), I finally started, by using a blue wash, once it was dry I blocked in the mermaid's basic shape and colour.
She was too fat, but at least it was a start.
(I was also working on this heron painting, while waiting for the paint to dry.)
By Feb 22, I had finished the basic details of the the mermaid's face, hair, and upper body. I used frisket to protect those parts, so I could continue painting without worrying about ruining her. (That's why she looks kind of blue & lumpy- frisket is amazing stuff... you can paint over it, and then peel it off to expose the painting underneath.)
I was thinking of her floating on a bed of waves, or bubbles, but wasn't happy with it.
So I worked on the fish end of her, with scales and her tail. (Sorry about the ceramic fish- I often use my paintings for backgrounds on items I'm listing in my Etsy shop.) Anyhow, I used frisket to protect the rest of my mermaid, so she'll be safe while I work out the rest of the painting.
Then life happened, we went on strike for over 2 months! My energy was diverted into picketing, painting picket signs, and writing a blog for us & to keep everyone up to date, on the events.
It's taken me a long time to get back into the right frame of mind, to continue this painting.
I've made a couple of little (mini) paintings, and LOTS of jewelry. Working with beads, and gemstones makes me happy, and the results are so much quicker than painting, which is even quicker than clay, (which I have yet to return to.)
Anyhow, mid-October I started a mountain scene LARGE painting, and yesterday I finally pulled out my mermaid, to tackle the problem I created with the "pillow of waves".
Since the mermaid was covered in frisket, I was free to do whatever I wanted to the background, without damaging her. So, I totally changed the background and foreground.
I used stronger colours and some gesso to create texture for the foreground (like I did with my 1st ACEO).
I love the way the background turned out, there's some pleasant surprises in it, and it's got way more energy now.
I started working on the mid & fore ground. Using gesso, I blocked in the coral, and added even more texture to the forground, then used cadmium red and yellow, mostly.
I painted and then removed a lot of the paint, so that the texture of the gesso would show through and look like plants.
I made a couple of rubber stamps so that I can quickly add lots of fish- that are identical.
I'm not quite done yet, I think I just need to add some highlights and details, but I am pleased with the results so far.
This is where I stopped (at midnight. )
I've spent a good part of the last 2 days working on this painting.
I'll try & get her done tomorrow and post a completed photo,
with decent lighting & the tripod.
November 1st - update...
Well... I couldn't consider this painting complete after all. For one thing... I wasn't happy with her face.
Being the focal point of the whole painting, I think it's important that she look the way I want her to. (BTW, that was one of the main reasons for doing this painting!) Sooo.....
Yesterday, I redid her face, but left her eyes alone, since that was the only part of her face that I was pleased with.
I'm so much happier with her face now, the seaweed with seahorses gives the foreground some interest, as do the crabs. I added some more fish tucked in between the coral to add a little more depth, and a pink jellyfish. There's so many more creatures I could add, but it'll have to wait 'til the weekend now.
(My weekends= Sun/Mon, usually.
To paint, I need to be in the right frame of mind, have lots of time & patience, so I don't paint after work.)
Tues. Aug 16/11
I've started and completed several small paintings, one large painting, and some jewelry, since I set my mermaid aside. It's too bad, as this has happened to her before, fortunately she's very patient, but I've kept her waiting long enough.