Beautiful Briny Biro Mermaid

The theme for the tenth week of the Colour Me Positive art journal challenge was “beauty”.  The quotation provided was “Every piece of you is a burst of something beautiful”.  There were lots of directions I could have gone in based on that starting point.  However, a chat with my 8 year old led to the idea of a mermaid.

I have a checkered history when it comes to creating mermaid art works.  My most recent effort was a success but I suspect that was because she had no visible mermaid features.  I decided, therefore, to keep things simple with a monochrome illustration.  I did introduce an element of challenge, however, by deciding to use biro as my medium, drawing straight onto the page with no pencil guidelines with the exception of the exterior blob shape so as to keep the wave shapes in line.  With no ability to rectify mistakes (excluding Tipex) I was forced to slow down and draw more thoughtfully than I often do.  It was, therefore, pretty relaxing.

The drawing evolved on the page so that it eventually depicted a mermaid in the foreground, sunning herself flirtatiously on the rocks, a shipwrecked sailor looking cheerful as he believes the beautiful mermaid will rescue him, and a lighthouse because I like lighthouses and it suggests perilous waters.  Of course, we all know that mermaids like to drown sailors.  It’s dolphins that do the rescuing.  For that reason, I titled my illustration “Dangerous Beauty”.

10 - Dangerous Beauty - Mermaid - Biro - Art Journal Page

10 thoughts on “Beautiful Briny Biro Mermaid

  1. I like this a lot. For some reason it reminds me of Greek art from way long time ago (I can’t remember, I learned it in college, and that was a way long time ago, too) from the Archaic times? I remember one characteristic was the “archaic smile” on the statues’ faces and I think it looked like these. Somehow that added a whole other layer to my enjoyment. Because the mermaid story is also very old. And I liked what you said about drawing in pen and it forcing you to move deliberately through the piece.

    • Thank you very much, Claudia. It is interesting you think of Greek art and maybe their pottery because my ten year old thought it looked like a design for a serving platter. Yes, the pen was a great way to get me to slow down and think more clearly before I made a mark. I usually dash off my art journal pages in under 15 minutes so it was actually a nice change of pace to take more time over something.

  2. Silly Sailor! 🙂 It is a very good biro drawing! Maybe we should all practise this way – slowing down is obviously a very good thing to do! I think your son has a point too, this could be the start of a whole mermaid platter series, like the willow plates that tell the story……… 🙂

    • Thank you. Yes, I suspect he was thinking of Willow Pattern crockery. I have actually never done the whole pottery painting thing. I have overseen my kids doing it but have never had a crack myself. Maybe I will some time.

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