Meet my newest acrylic painting:
The Last Mermaid
original acrylic painting on canvas
by Chelsea Rose
Its my first painting that features an obvious reference to death. While I was not aiming to create a melancholy piece, I was exploring "tender aches" that present themselves during times of loss. The loss represented here could be a metaphor for a loved one passing, or a loss of belief or even a loss or dyeing out of tradition, tale, dream or magic.
If you look closely, the pink figure holds the mermaid close, her head bent to the side, the corner of her lip turning up in a subtle smile. I was hoping to capture a calm warmth in her features that spoke of the sweetness of love, honor and remembrance. I placed the mermaid and her mourner amidst a cityscape, hinting at the possibility the mermaid could no longer survive within the modern day Babylonian way of life. Perhaps her death can be attribuated to pollution by the city, or perhaps the city's simple lack of belief in her existence.
Anyhoo, those are some of my personal intentions, or perceptions of the painting. I invite the viewer to read the image in any way they wish, eyes unclouded by my own musings!
Now, on to the creative process! I did a fairly good job at documenting the creation of this painting so I thought it would be interesting to share with you.
It all began with a drawing in my sketchbook:
I drew this concept sketch over 4 months ago! I used a mix of india ink pens and paint pens as well as some watered down acrylic paint.
I finally made up my mind to paint the concept, thus I started the painting in early April.
By April 15th I had everything roughed out in a the first layer of color.
Now I started to add another layer of color for skin, refining the design by adding highlights in the forms while using black to explore the details of eyes, hair, face and costume.
By May I had begun more work on the background cityscape, adding details like streetlights and a bridge.
Here is a compare and contrast comp I made. The top is before, the bottom is after. I added another layer of color, highlight and shadow to the skin of both figures. I also made some changes to the corset and skirt design of the pink one. I changed up the hair colors of the mermaid as well. In the background you can see before, and after the addition of the bridge and a second closer layering of buildings.
Here is a studio snapshot of the painting in its "work in progress" state.
And this photo was taken this past weekend, June 21st. You can see I added some drastic changes to the sky, with many pulsating orbs, somewhat akin to "Starry Night", as well as the final layer of color, highlight and shadow on the main figures. And that was that!
I am excited to debut her during my solo show at Future shock in September! I will be offering prints in my etsy shop as well, so keep an eye out for them!
I hope you enjoy the finished piece, and found it interesting to see it's process of creation.
Thanks for the support!