Fairytale Mermaid – This piece has been featured as a reader submission on The Graphics Fairy’s website! See it here. This mixed media piece was created from a wooden bead display tray. It was just begging me to do something interesting with it! It’s a fabulous opportunity to use lots of little separate pictures in the individual tray compartments.
Firstly I painted the whole thing in a distressed style using sea green colour chalk paints. I then happily trawled (get the sea pun? 😉) for hours through the Graphics Fairy’s excellent vintage images. There were so many to choose from it wasn’t easy narrowing it down! The main mermaid image is an enlarged detail of the original so I could concentrate on her alone. She’s such a beauty and I adore the gentle fairytale illustration style and soft colours. The other images are a mixture of mythological and botanical shell and sealife drawings which are all connected in some way to the sea.
Using the excellent free design programme, GIMP, I resized the pictures I’d downloaded from The Graphics Fairy to fit the tray squares. I then printed them out, cut or tore to size, then carefully finished each paper with dark wax to give it an aged appearance, protect it and make it more durable.
After playing around with various positioning options, I glued these into place using PVA glue. Some sit in the tray base, some are glued on top to give more depth. There’s also a quote I found online and absolutely love – this sits as a small torn piece on the mermaid picture, and also features around the edges of the tray to give interest when viewing it from a different angle. Again I designed and sized this using the GIMP programme. I found the font on the dafont website and I think it’s so perfect for this romantic seafaring quote & artwork! It’s called “The Fabulous Orchestra”. The torn paper edges were brushed with gilt cream to suggest decadence and treasure.
She dreams of the ocean late at night, and longs for the wild salt air
All that was left to do was to glue in shells and bits of old coral I’d collected from favourite beaches over the years. I usually use Evo-Stik wood adhesive as it’s pretty strong and pleasant to use!
Click through to The Graphics Fairy to view some fabulous vintage images which I’m sure will inspire you to create something wonderful!
You can see my Instagram post about this piece – please follow me, Dear Reader, if you feel the urge to keep up to date with my various creations and inspirations! ✨