The painters, writers and illustrators of the past had a thing for mermaids. The Pre - Raphaelities, the symbolists and illustrators like Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac all touched on the subject, as well as writers such as Alfred Lord Tennyson and William Butler Yeats.
And of course, T S Elliot in his ‘Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
‘I have heard the mermaids calling each to each.’
I want to try to vary the kinds of thing that can be found at Impspace, my Zazzle shop front, and I’ve designed a few images based on classical relief sculptures (which I’ll probably talk about in a later blog) but mermaids seem to me to fit the fantasy base of most of my other design work fairly well. Again, I take the mirrored approach to the design and a fairly linear style. These images are digital and the software layers the work, so that the line can float above the colour.
|The first mermaid design I made, very linear very Beardsley inspired.|
These designs were drawn using a drawing tablet, which facilitates a more natural approach to a digital image, and allows control at every stage of the procedure. You still lose a tiny amount of the spontaneity of a drawing on paper but it's worth it after you've experienced the problems of trying to 'clean up' a scanned drawing.
Quite difficult to get the sweep of the body and tail properly drawn to my satifaction, and again its cramped up there. I had to carefully scale the figures so they appeared a pleasing size, but not too small. Nor did I want a 'my little pony' feel to them, where characters have pink, green and blue hair and big googly eyes. (even if that would make them more successful). I was thinking again about those illustrators I mentioned at the beginning for inspiration, often artists from the Art Nouveau period used a highly decorative style, a step between painting and illustration that I've always liked.
|An elongated approach to the figure.|
|Beardsley's Rhine maidens, I like their billowing hair.|
|A Klimt like mermaid - via 'Goldfish' - with maybe a little Art Deco thrown into the mix.|
My image tries (in less time) to give something of the style of the Klimt piece, while also keeping a little of Beardsley's decorative line approach. I like a good mix.
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