I’ve had this urge the last few days to actually do something with my museum experience. I want to paint the human form – but I’m not very good at it, so I’m taking small timid steps while I learn. I’m also making these posts continue after the jump to keep people who’d prefer not to see my attempts at nudes from stumbling across it unwittingly.

Today I used some of the things that I learned from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain to my painting. I decided to paint the negative space first, and then fill in the details with as little naming as possible to make it a mostly-right-brain painting. It was. At least, it felt like it with the headache afterwards. If I had done it the way I usually paint and draw I’m not entirely sure how it would end up, so here is me, timidly showing my first attempt as a mermaid. Working my way from the top down.

I took a lot of care and time on the details – making her face and skin tones, the shells she’s drying, the scales on her fins, the water and shadows of the rock and the reflection in the water. After I went back and made the town with the mountains in the backdrop. As I was painting I was sort of writing a narrative in my head – Right and Left working together I guess – using some of the things I internalized from the Everyday work of Art, which is basically, that we think narratively and notice things.

In my narrative she’s a shy mermaid who needed to dry out her shells, she loves the feeling of the sun and often wonders what transpires on the shore. This is her favorite perch. Her hair is in-between wet and dry, she likes the shade of red that her hair tuns when it’s warm and dry in the sunlight.


  1. Charity Avatar

    Her eyes are so expressive. She does look shy but happy as she focuses on her shells.

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