Mixed-Media Friday: The Making of a Mermaid

Happy Friday! Sad Friday. I started the day off reading about the events in Dallas and was horrified by the tone and words in the comments all over Facebook. I’m sad about both. I worry for all of us. We live in dangerous times filled with anger, fueled by bullets and self-righteous rhetoric that masks hatred and violence.

So I shall paint. This is the first product from a 16-week workshop about fairy tales (as opposed to faerie tales) and developing a personal style. First, we produce a work in the style of the teacher, in this first week British artist Tamara Laporte. It starts with a drawing in graphite, then layer and layer and layer of collage, watercolor, gesso, and acrylic. Then we analyze the parts we do and don’t like, and in weeks 4, 8, 12, and 16, do our own version blending the things from each week that we like to develop our own style. So we shall see. This is the progression of “The Little Mermaid.” Next up: “Beauty and the Beast” with German artist Andrea Gomoll. Stay tuned.

Have a great weekend, and stay safe.

Graphite for sketch; watercolor and acrylic and colored pencil for face.

1 sketch and face

Add collage.

2 collage1

Add first layers of color.

3 color1

Mute first layer of color.

4 grunge

Work on octopus and seahorse and hair, collage and paint dress, and add some color back in.

5 color2

Add finishing details–VOILA!


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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

12 thoughts on “Mixed-Media Friday: The Making of a Mermaid

    • Thanks, Lil! Much like a book, every painting goes through a really ugly stage right in the middle when you’re tempted to throw it out, so I like to photograph the stages to remind myself “it can get better.” (Well, okay, sometimes it doesn’t–LOL.)

  1. Oh, I really like your colors! I hope you had fun creating the Mermaid. Thanks for sharing.

  2. When you at the collage pieces, are they special slips that are dear to you? I noticed music notes on a few. Thanks for sharing! Wonderful art!