I never plan anything out when I make an art journal page. I might have a vague idea of what I think I might do, but, generally, I just like my artistic sense take over and see where it leads me. For this spread, I started by making a background using homemade watercolor spray paints. I used a paper doily as a mask, which left me with a cool background texture and a pretty doily... bonus! Next, I made a gel medium transfer of a woman's head (from a glossy mag, but can't remember which one).
When I looked at the page, I imagined a mermaid in the space. This is something new for me: seeing something that's not there and then creating it there. It's such a cool sensation! Like being able to see the future, just for an instant. After I drew and outline the mermaid, I thought for sure I had ruined everything. The proportions are off, particularly on the neck, which usually bugs the heck out of me, but I decided to push through it and keep going. Artist Teesha Moore said in one of her video that she feels you should push past the point of feeling like a page is done twice: one to get over any mental blocks, the second to let magic happen. (Okay, she didn't word it quite like that, but you get the gist.) I thought about that idea as I worked on this mermaid.
I used Stewart Gill Alchemy paints for the tail and mermaid body, plus some SG glitter flakes. I outlined everything using my trusty Sharpie poster-paint marker. I added shadows at the bottom with black pan pastel, then highlights above with yellow.
I thought the mermaid was looking pretty strange and kind of beautiful at this point, and I tried to find a "strange beauty" quote without success. Instead, I did my own thing: "There is beauty in all things strange." For the text, I used a regular pink Sharpie, outlined it with the poster-paint marker, added shadow with a ShinHan Touch Twin marker (Cool Gray#5), then added highlights with a white gel pen (uniball signo).
I added doodles at the top, washi tape + doodles at the bottom, and then, because I remembered that this week's bonus challenge for the Summer of Color is to use wax so I added lots of color to her hair using NeoColor II crayons. Even though I didn't like this page at first, now I like it a lot. What do you think?