“The Siren” a Quilled Mermaid
I finally finished my quilled mermaid. I only wish I had a better camera because this photo doesn’t do her justice. “The Siren” was created using mixed media techniques that I will describe below.
Tail and Body
The first thing I did was sketch out a basic outline of the quilled mermaid’s shape. Once I was satisfied with that, I filled in her tail with regular teardrop shaped quills. Her tail was made using 1/4″ paper strips. I used a tan shade, 4-layers thick for her body outline and tried to get it as close as I could to the lines I had penciled in. Her body was made using 1/8″ paper strips.
The upper body was created using large loose coils that I tried to place representative of her musculature. For example, I used the round ends near where her shoulder blades and the small of her back would be as those areas appear “rounder” to the eye.
I painted in the rock using watercolors to give it some definition and to make sure that any spaces the quills didn’t cover would be rock colored.
Hair, Background, and Belt
I didn’t photograph the progression of the next few steps, so I’ll have to try to describe them more fully.
Background – The next thing I did was use watercolors to create a dark blue ocean and a light blue sky. Though you can’t see it in the image, the sky is a mottled blue.
Hair – After I had the background done, I painted in a darker area the same tones of her hair to provide a base for her flowing quilled locks. I tried placing the quills before I painted it in and I didn’t like the way the lighter background showed through. I used four layers of quills for her hair. Two layers of dark toned quilled on the bottom and two layers of the lighter, redder tones on top. I glued the eyes to each other and even lapped some of the over other levels so that they really look like styled hair. Or at least as close as you can come with paper!
Belt – I took a 1/4″ strips of lime green and fringe the edges then glued it to the inside of her tail so that the fringe overlapped the skin on her lower back. I did this because I quilled her body with 1/8″ and her tail with 1/4″ and needed a transitional item in between.
Closeups of the Belt and Hair
The next part that I created was the tail fringe. For this, I used a 1/4″ strip that I fringed and then cut in a wave pattern. I tousled it a bit then glued it to the bottom of the tail fin’s edge.
The last part was filling in the rock. I used three strips of 1/8″ paper (dark, light, dark) and then scrunched them to create irregular shapes. Then I glued them down on top of the watercolor rock.
My quilled mermaid is by far my most popular pinterest pin. I am shocked to see how far and wide the pin has spread, though I am truly flattered as well. As with all my quillings, she looks far better in person. The colors are more vibrant and you can see the depth in the detail that a camera doesn’t translate very well.
I hope you enjoyed my quilled mermaid and will check out my other unique quillings.