It is time for another fairy painting! To me, fairies represent the feminine spirit in Nature: ethereal, transcendent, beautiful and inspiring.
I love the work of Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha ; his illustrative style is highly decorative yet maintains a wonderful evocative realism that captures the feminine essence within the natural world exquisitely. I also have a fascination for the exotic luna moth and want to combine those two inspirations with the magical ambiance of a crescent moonlit night… ~ You can see more of my original fairy and fantasy paintings here. ~
Here is the quick sketch, and the beginnings of the painting. I am using Fredrix watercolor canvas which is so interesting to paint on. It has a smooth and very watercolour- paper like canvas surface, but one can achieve beautiful blending and painterly techniques.
I have been looking through my beautiful Art Nouveau books that I have been collecting over the years, and have been inspired particularly by the amazing artist and designer Alphonse Mucha.
His imagery is so beautifully and sensually executed, whilst still being functional – as so many designs of this era were. He drew on Celtic motifs and from the immense source of designs that we find in Nature- sinuous vines, flowers half closed, insects, women, leaves, stars and trees…can’t help but feel inspired !
-I have been wanting to do an unusual fairy design for a woman’s fitted T-shirt for a while and the gorgeous Art Nouveau style suited the image I had in mind perfectly – flowing, subtle ( which can be hard to find on clothing these days) and with a vintage feel :
This is my new mermaid painting “Aqualina” – I have been experimenting with wax and gouache and this is what came of it !
It is a very illustrative and stylised painting, very reminiscent of Art Nouveau Era graphic art- especially that of Alphonse Mucha.
The wax was interesting to use; I just laid it down spontaneously in different areas (picture 1) to capture a watery feel, then started to paint over some more with watered down gouache. I love the opacity of gouache paint – it is really good for more graphic kind of work.
I thought it would be lovely to have a mermaid in an underwater realm surrounded by sea creatures – seals, jellyfish and even 2 Blue ringed octopus (on the finished painting).
She is listening to the sound of the waves above in a shell while the little fish whisper in her hair….
You can view the finished painting and my other mermaid designs/jewellery on my website: