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Two mermaids for the price of one!

When I had a chat with erotic author Lucy Felthouse the other week about her latest book “Seducing the myth” I was fascinated by the idea of the erotic stories featuring mythological creatures within it, and absolutely delighted to be asked to design the cover for it. Its definitely my sort of book!  She had let me read the mermaid story she had written which will be featured in the book, and that lead on to some ideas as a basis of ideas for the cover. I drew a very basic thumbnail sketch to show Lucy my idea and she agreed it would be a good concept for the book. Ok, then……. I was ready to start….

But it wasn’t until this week that I was able to begin it. And I knew that I would have to paint the picture in a slightly different way to normal, as the three basic tones would have to be slightly stronger than I would usually do to make the picture more dramatic.

I started by choosing the watercolours I wanted to use, a gorgeous turquoise, a slightly darker greeny blue, maroon, and green gold for the mermaids tail.  And knew before I had even started it that it would have paint poured on, and splatter within it, as that adds to the magical mystical feel of watercolour. The pale wet wash worked beautifully for the under water feel of the painting, and I made sure the masking fluid masked out any areas that I didn’t want paint to touch whilst I painted the  fluid background. And with the aid of salt and splattered paint the background worked really nicely. I painted the mermaid next as she reaches out to the man’s face she can see in the water, using lots of splattered white for the effect of her fishy tail swishing around as she edges towards him. The smiling man’s face was painted subtly with his features a little indistinct. A few twiddles here and there and the picture was finished. I stood back to contemplate it and looked again at what had weaved its way into the picture….. for I could quite clearly see the hint of a large skull within the paint. And I smiled to myself, because I knew that was when a picture of mine produces its own magic from something I don’t plan, but it happens anyway and it always enhances the picture when it does happen. It’s part of the flow from me to my artwork via the creative spirit. But, it also means that I am totally in tune with my painting as well, because even though I didn’t consciously plan it, the fact that there is a skull hinted at is so right for this story because ….(oh, well, I let you read Lucy’s story for yourself, and you’ll see what I mean…..!).

So, that was it, the picture painted.

Except, there was still more in me.

I had a strong desire to paint another one.

But with a bit more passion in this one, some more oomph….

So, I started afresh with another piece of watercolour paper, more or less the same colours (but without the maroon, and using burnt umber instead), and wet the paper and started with the windsor yellow of sunlight filtering down, the turquoise of the water, and adding more swirls of white and movement with this mermaid and man. They are totally in tune with each other, they are lost in their own world of lust and love, as they caress and swim energetically through the depths of water. I like this painting also, it’s more erotic and sensual….. but it hasn’t got the depth of magic in it that the other one has.
I’m pleased with them both though.
Oh, and the titles… the first one is called “Seducing the myth, gently” and the second one is called “Seducing the myth, with passion”.  The same concept, the same subjects, just both done in slightly different ways to get the point across.
Now I’m just wondering what the next mermaid picture will be, I do love doing em!
And as a post script – I’ve just had Lucy’s conformation that she loves the “Seducing the myth, gently” painting as well, and we are in totally agreement that it is that picture that is the right one for the book cover! She says its going to be fabulous! So, that’s great to hear, and we’re both happy!!! Result!!!