Monday, October 18, 2010

Mermaid at Home, mixed media collage... how to...

A friend of mine, Marla, asked me to do a commission for her.  She makes beautiful dolls and other kinds of art, a truly creative soul.  She sent me a box of things I might put into it, but I only ended up using some of the background papers.  I knew she likes mermaids, so I thought I couldn't go wrong with that!  :)  So I made a how to post with this project.

This collage is smaller than the usual sizes I work with, about 9x8" so the design got a bit more challenging since the elements have to fit the format.  I tore pieces of decorative papers and glued them on good with medium. Make sure the edges are glued down. The shells are from wallpaper border remnants, the butterfly from wrapping paper, and the others are decorative papers from the craft store.  I have gazillion in every color you can imagine...

When it's really dry, I like to smear on acrylic paints with a paper towel.  I like soft blended edges.  If you want bolder lines, use an old credit card.  Torn paper edges lend themselves well to smeared paint. 

When the paint was dry, I added on elements and blended them into the background with more layers of paint.
I added on more elements and some stamped images with permanent ink, and I outlined the mermaid and painted her tail with paint pens, also permanent.

More detail, and I worked on her hair.  Wasn't all that thrilled, but I kept on going.

I ended up adding more details with some inspirational words and two women who are friends at the bottom, symbolizing our friendship that has lasted for many years.   I fiddled a lot with her hair and face, and painted some fish, plus added some fish pictures I found, which were tiny!  Then I let it all dry before I varnished it.  The acrylic varnish really deepens the colors and the details. 

I took the last picture outside, and also captured a picture of my "rioting" mum on the front step.


Kelly said...

I love your mermaid art! You would be the bestest friend (I mean, in real life you know... :)

T said...

hey thanks for the collage lesson, have always wondered how its created.

Your mermaid is gorgeous.


Walk in the Woods said...

She's beautiful … cheerful … inspiring!

Lynn said...

I loved watching this mermaid come to life!!!!
Thanks so much for coming by my arttquilts blog today. So nice to meet you and look forward to seeing more of your wonderful art.
My daily blog is if interested. ;-)

Charlotte said...

I'm so glad I found your blog! I've been wanting to experiment with mixed media for a long time so I really appreciate this tutorial. And of course, I love mermaids!