The Heart inside our Caves – 4WeeksMermay Week 4
I should keep writing „I’m not sure if I will be able to post a part of the week’s Mermay painting every day“. Actually, every time I do this, I finish it well before the end of the week *knocking on graphic tablet*.
So this week. I managed to finish Nessie before the start of my business trip and I was able to do Axola’s outline in the hotel and finalized her after returning home. Job was stressful in the middle of the week and in the end of the week I was somewhat under the weather.
I still am, writing this PaintLog. Caught a cold or something like that, but mainly suffering from lack of sleep.
Luckily I still was able to draw and planned my pacing according to my job’s work schedule. This way, week 3 went by faster than I thought.
As usual you will find the progress in my Instagram gallery, on Ko-fi, Twitter and on this website’s 4WeeksMermay page and other artist’s entries under the respective Hashtag on Instagram.
The Heart inside our Caves
Quite soon after starting this painting I gave it the (as it turned out) working title „Love Lake“. For comparison: I didn’t came up with the first week’s painting’s title until a few hours before posting the final version while the one of the second week’s painting jumped to my mind somewhere in the middle of the painting processe, at the time I drew the bridge. Originally the one in which the bridge showed up for the first time should be called this way, so I had to think of another title for that one.
Regarding the third week’s painting, „The Heart inside our Caves“ jumped to my mind as soon as I saw the finished version. I’d be lying if I’d say, I wasn’t inspired by Nick Burgoyne’s book title „The Hearts beyond our Roots“, again.
This time I built the painting starting from the center. This was somewhat forced by my though time plan (see above). I had not enough time to paint an elaborated background or foreground until the end of the week. But I could do the characters, and the lake afterwards – when it was weekend already.
So, now, meet Axola and Nessie. Quite frankly, she’s one Nessien, one of those lake monsters found around the world. I depicted her as some kind of Plesiosaurus. The old saurus expert in me knows: She’s painted prehistorically incorrect since Plesiosaurians weren’t be able to bend their necks that much. However, she is a Plesiosaurus comicus kritzelfazensis, she had 60 millions years time to evolve this way to meet drawing clichés.
My take one the Axolotl prompt then was an axolotl mermaid with the gills forming the hair. I first thought of drawing her without the legs (like other mermaids) but in this case she’d have looked like a big tadpole. So I gave her two legs. They appear a little bit short and thin but this meets nicely the axolotl theme (the don’t have long legs either) but avoidding a weird appeareance, making her rather cute (as axolotls are).
Speaking of Cuteness: In 2020 Introduced a couple that we met in 2021 again. Ironically, they still have no names. I still call them „Swampgirl“ and „Amphimaid“. After thei first encounter in 2020 they got engaged in 2021 (Tiny Inky being the love letter messenger, find out more about them here).
This year you can spot them in the background. A ceremony is going on. Yes, they finally got married, this time Inky holding the ceremony.
Coming to the lake itself, its form (you noticed, doesn’t you?) isn’t coincidentally related to both titles, working title and the final one alike. Yes, it’s heartshaped, matching the theme and showing the heart inside the caves very literally.
The rest of the background, the cenotes, turned out a little bit different to the picture I initially had in mind, the caverns‘ entries in particular. I’d love to create more a sensation of hovering above the scene and played around with the jungle tops in the background until it worked somehow.
Week 3 has 8 days but only 6 prompts. Therefore, I used one day to build up the foreground and I’m going to use tomorrow to share the final piece (if you are reading this far, you will be rewarded with being able to see it today already). For this purpose I did a last makeover. The glitter was a last minute decision to put some magic in the air.
Finally, there was the matter with the cenote. The whole scene takes place in one. Still, their waters can get icey cold. Therefore I wondered if an axolotl, being amphibian and stuff, could stand this cold. So, I investigated. Sure, I could’ve said Axola is half human woman and also have got human traits like warm blood, but that would’ve been too easy.
Luckily, the axolotl’s traits addressing this topic are fitting nicely into the theme of the painting. Not only the winter waters of their lakes can go down to 6-8 degree Celsius, they also regenerate faster in cold water.
Week 4: Swamp
The eternal balance of life an death
We are looking forward into the fourth and last week. Would you believe it, Mermay is almost over? Again we are providing an introduction to the prompts.
See the cutout picture below. As usual I will share the corresponding text here as soon as it is ready.