It must be Love

The Heart inside our Caves4WeeksMermay 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).

  • Digitalzeichnung, Comicstil, dunkles Blau auf beigem Grund: Mermay 2020, Tag 17, Encounter + Swamp - Ein Sumpf, links und rechts festerer Grund mit je einem Baum, rechts sitzt eine Meerjungfrau mit nass, wie Wasserpflanzen, herabhängenden Haaren und einem aalähnlichen Fischschwanz, sie hält eine Seerosenblute in der Hand und schaut nach links zu einem weiblichen Wesen, das eine Mischung zwischen Mensch und Fisch ist, Kiemenbögen an Kopf und Hals sowie an den Ellenbogen angedeutete Schwimmflossen und eine Rückflosse besitzt, die Fischfrau hat große, schwarze, ovale Augen und auf ihrer Hand einen weißen Schmetterling, den sie gerade in Richtung der Meerjungfrau losfliegen lässt
  • Mermay1, "Bottle", digital painting, comic style: A mermaid with the tail of an electric eel sitting on a little isle in a swamp, putting a paper slip in a bottle with the left hand, in the right hand she is holding a reed stalk with ink on its tip, ob her tail there is a letter signed with a heart and a tiny blue octopus. Her hair is dark green and she wears water lily's leaves as bikini top, title: "Love Letters"
  • Digitalzeichnung, Comicstil, Ausschnitt aus einem Bild: A kleiner, blauer Oktopus auf einem braunen Meerjungfrauenschwanz, Sumpf und Schilf im Hintergrund, man kann ebenfalls einen Brief sehen, der mit einem Herz unterzeichnet ist.
  • Mermay 16, "Shiny", digital painting, comic style: A green skinned fish or amphibian like woman sitting on a little isle in a swamp, the left knee rised, the other leg bent. On her right knee is a tiny blue octopus, holding an empty bottle. The woman is holding a rolled up letter, hold by a shiny ring, text: "More Tales from the Swamp"

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.

Bridge Work

A Bridge between Worlds4WeeksMermay Week 3

Because I didn’t was at home this weekend, this week’s PaintLog is online little bit later than usual. It was a rough week anyways and I am behind my time schedule of preparing for week 3. Luckily, week 3 only has 6 prompts and the first one already has been prepared. So, it hopefully won’t be that stressful after all.

However, I actually managed week 2, see the progres You will find the progress in my Instagram gallery, on Ko-fi, Twitter and on this website’s 4WeeksMermay page. Plus, again there were some amazing entries from other artists. Check out their work under the respective Hashtag on Instagram.

A Bridge between Worlds

The past week’s painting took some efforts. It was an exercise likewise in perspective as well in background and water details. Especially getting the water right with all the movement and the reflections was hard.

We again followed one of my very first Mermay mermaids, Engineeriel. You already saw her in week 1, as tiny dot in the background, though. She escaped the Kraken succesfully and unscarred, although her friend an assistant Founder as usual got the damage. Now, safe and sound back again in less dangerous waters, they turned to a new project.

The idea of a bridge connecting the mermaid and the human world came to my mind as I looked over the prompts Potato and I so thoughtfully collected to create our 4WeeksMermay. „Steampunk“ and „Bridge“ connected immediately, likewise the fact that I a) already had an engineering mermaid OC and b) I even before the start of creating the prompt board I planned draw my Steampunk mechanic Crissy in a mermaid version.

Some more remarks about Engineeriel and Founder. They both first appeared in Mermay 2019. Quite soon Founder got injured in an accidant with a merdroid, so Engineeriel made him a cyborg fish to save his life.

Bot are references to „The Little Mermaid“, obviously, with a twist. Therefore I originally named them after the names of the German synchro of the movie. Only one and a half year ago I learned the there is a difference to the English ones. I easily could switch Engineeriels name towards the English form but Flounder is called „Fabius“ in the German version („Fabricius“ in my own one). I learned about that only some months ago. To keep the spirit of the name and also keep him recognizable for English readers, I from then on went with „Founder“.

Btw: I hate it when German syncs do those things, why can’t they just keep the names? Nobody would have thought of the washing soap „Ariel“ which is popular in Germany, and „Flounder“ quite obviously is NOT a flounder. We are not THAT dumb and the majority know how flounders look like.

Sorry for my wandering thoughts but it had to be said and hopefully gave you an insight not only into my drawing process but also into the thought accompanying the development of my OCs.

Still, there also were some design changes since Enginneeriel’s humble beginnings. In 2021 I gave her a full engineer’s overall built by her hip fins to emphasize her occupation. I did similar with Crissea, my OC Crissy turned into a mermaid but this time the strings are opened to put a glimpse of variation into the composition.

  • Digital painting, comic style: Engineeriel in sideview, a mermaid with brown skin and brown hair, sitting on a swing holding Founder, a blue and yellow cyborg fish; Engineeriel's fish tail is building an overall-like fin, below she is wearing a bellyfree beige top and on her head goggles with a light rod; Founders one red eye slit is sending a laser beam towards a brown metallic contraption, trees in the background; text: "Mending wounds - New week, new scars".
  • Mermay 27, "Nautilus", digital painting, comic style: A wrecked submarine (the Nautilus) seen from far, Engineeriel and Fabricius diving towards it, a dark shadow in the foreground, title: "Engineeriel - Her Greatest Discovery"

So, as with Engineeriel, Crissea’s overall is actually a combination of parts of her body, of her fins. You also will find that her fish tail loosely has a sea dragon as reference, this giving there the stability to float almost unaffected by the moving waters of the river.

The stripes on her tail are of course the same ones she has on her working trousers and then there is the watch. If her creator doesn’t forget ist *cough*, she always has the watch with her. But what kind of watch does a mermaid carry around? I simply thought of a Water Watch, a watch driven by water and telling the time by water (you may spot it if you zoom in).

Plus ther is a water bear around, the kind of water bears my compromised fantasy came up with and which doesn’t have to do much with real water bears. To put the fork in Crissea’s pocket was some kind of makeshift to check another prompt from the prompt checklist.

Digital painting, comic style: My OC Crissy Faith (here: Crissea) in a mermaid version; young woman, short purple hair, big, round glasses, yellow top, black and yellow striped mermaid tail, the fins around the waist are building an overall with open strings; her butt is out of the water of a river, she is working on a contraption which stays on the river's bottom, beside her you can spot a small bear under water; text: "Co-Workers - Crissea joins the team".

As with Paula … one of the prompts was „The Guardian“. What Guardian did I want for these two workers? Then, Paula came into my mind. It would’ve been a nice thought to mermaid her too. It also would be her full character trait to guard her girlfriend … or rather to do the watcher’s job. So, she is guardian and if you look where she is you will see, she is glancing at Crissea’s butt.

To meet her personality I also gave her the tail of a pike, a hunter, a predator, fast and agile, preying on other fishes (mermaids). Ther also it the proverb in German that literally translates to „stunning pike“, referring to a person (usually a man but I won’t mind using it for any sex and gender) who is attractive and sexual active to a large extent.

Btw, while thinking about mermaid Paula’s fishtail I also thought about her name and finally, she got a suname: Luce – from „Lucius“, the Latin name of the Northern Pike. I first thought of calling her „Paula Pike“ but, well, that would’ve been a name for a Disney cartoon character, so „Luce“ it is!

Week 3: Lake

Where the waters started running.

For the third week we again prepared a cutout. This time we changed the style to a blur with clear parts, so it hopefully will look better.

We also are plannning to give again an introduction to the prompts but it isn’t ready, yet. I will share them here as soon as this is the case.

Le Mere Weeks

The Return of the Merindiana Jane4WeeksMermay Week 2

The first week of Mermay is over. While the first week’s painting came together part by part on social media, I already was working on the second week’s one and I still am. Tbh, I’m not sure if it will be finished before the start of the second week but every day’s prompt I manage to add to the painting will buy me time.

In the past week there were some lovely entries from other artists who joined the 4WeeksMermay. You will find their work under the respective Hashtag on Instagram.

Please feel invited to join any time!

The Return of the Merindiana Jane

The first painting of this year’s Mermay features my OC Merindiana Jane on her way back to the surface, dragging Ceratia behind. You will find the progress in my Instagram gallery, on Ko-fi, Twitter and on this website’s 4WeeksMermay page.

According to the prompts, I added another detail every day: Deep Sea, Coral, Seal, Star Wars, Octopus/Kraken, Beach, Island. Within these details there were several references and Easter eggs to discover, if you know my paintings of the last years or browse through them again.

Both characters and their stories are quite obvious to spot. But did you spot the two shadows in the right bottom corner, too? The corals are from last year and it seems, a certain („We are not!“) couple isn’t this far away yet.

Then, there is the Death Starfish. It showed up in Mermay 2019 but also the mermaid light swords were established back then. Please have mercy, it was right at the beginning of my renewed art journey.

From the very beginning you also could spot the sunken submarine and if you looked closer, two figures diving towards it. On day 5, the Kraken emerged. You already saw this scene, last year, from another perspective:

Last but not least, I took the opportunity to honor Nick Burgoyne (again), whose stories and novels („The Deepest Shore“ and „The Hearts beyond our Roots“) took me on a fantastic journey which still sticks in my head.

I had the idea of this kind of island some time before I read the books. After reading the first book, I noticed the similarity and took the opportunity to honor the turtle Gaw with this specific lighthouse.

If you don’t know what I mean, just read the novels. The physical copies of them are really well made and you cann appreciate the drawings to the fullest. Of course, you also can give the e-booke a try first to see if you like them.

Week 2: River

Back to the hatching place.

Second week again comes with a cutout and an introduction of the oncoming prompts. As usual, you will find them on the 4WeeksMermay subpage but they will be on my Instagram account soon, too.

This means, starting tomorrow I will build up a new painting, featuring another mermaid. And, to tease things, add two more. I’d ly, if I’d say they are familiar mermaids, but the won’t be new either …