This is the first wood bangle I painted back in 2013 which was a bit of an experiment. I call her Blue Mermaid. It was the first time in a while that I’d painted with acrylics and the first time painting on a wood surface.
Inspired by miniature Russian lacquer painting I painted the inside black and the outside a lovely rich blue as the base colour. I didn’t have a pencil sketch and just freehanded the drawing straight onto the blue background. Since doing this piece I now spend more time on the planning phase and sketch up a drawing to work from, rather than making it up as I go along. The more you can plan out your painting and have an excellent design, the better the overall finished piece will look.
I used black paint to bring out the details and shadows, which gives the piece more contrast, and gold to pick up some of the highlights in her mass of curly hair.
I had the most fun painting the scales on her blue mermaid tail, with little highlights of gold paint along the bottom edge of each scale. It was a really cool process once I began varnishing the bracelet, this was the first time I got a chance to use high gloss lacquer and it brought an amazing depth and stunning shine to the piece. It looked completely different to the initial matte finish of the acrylic paint. Acrylic paint is interesting as when it is wet it is quite shiny but it dries into quite a flat matte texture. The colours also tend to dry a different shade from when they are wet, so it can be difficult to accurately match the same colour when you are mixing colours and painting over the top of dry acrylic paint.
Here is the finished bracelet, modeled by my sister-in-law. The colours looked quite gorgeous under the light, with the gold highlights flashing and the deep blue had a glow to it.
This piece was sold at the Art for Oceans exhibition held at the Glenelg Art Gallery in South Australia in July 2013. This exhibition was held to raise funds for Sea Shepherd Australia, dedicated to the protection of the Southern Ocean.
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