We covered a canvas with a mix of blue and green water based paint (ready mix and poster paint). I’m teaching my girls to use a mix of colours to create backgrounds at the moment and they’ve grasped it really well. Ra blended painted stripes of colour using the wide and thin side of the brush making sure she went down the sides of the canvas as well. It was then left to dry whilst we collected together some other materials to make the collage with.
Next we mixed up some ready made papier mache pulp and with a little guidance from me she carefully applied blobs of it on top of the canvas using a knife. Then it was left to dry. The pulp will leave white marks if you drop it n the wrong place and remove it and depending on the size of the blob it can take a way the paint if you use water based like we did. Because of this I get my girls to always work out from the middle. So we started with the tummy went down to the tail then up to the head and finally did the arms. I love how she gave her a nice full body.
Papier mache pulp is fine paper dust ready mixed with a dry adhesive. You make it up a bit like you do plaster of paris by adding a little water at a time until you get a nice stodgy sticky pule. It’s great for making models with.
When she was happy with the shape she pressed tiny little shells into the tail and then we had to leave it to dry over night. This needs to be somewhere warm and flat so we put it on the floor near a radiator.
When it was dry we then measured out lengths of home made t-shirt yarn for the hair, before painting the body, and put them to one side.
Mix up a skin colour and paint the body first followed by a bikini top and then the tail shells. We used a combination of green and yellow pearlised acrylic paint for the tail, The darker green was put on first followed by some splashes of yellow which worked beautifully.
While the paint was drying Ra drew a collection of little sea creatures and the mermaids face on paper and then cut them out. It was too difficult for her to paint the face because of the texture so we settles on the paper images which looked brilliant once they were glued on.
When the paint had dried we glued the hair in place. Ra did think about letting it hang loose but when she held the picture up it fell all over her face so we decided to curl and twist it around the sea so it looked like it was floating in the water but you do need to glue it down to make sure it stays there.
Then it was down to the detail. A mixture of little shells, some jewels and of course the little sea creatures she’d drawn were carefully glued around the mermaid. I loved Ra’s idea to put them in her hair.
And finally he seaweed that we’d collected off the beach especially for this. When we found it it was hard lumps of noted seaweed that had been thrown up by the storm but wehn we soaked it in water wen it softened again we discovered that there were a few different varieties so we straightened them and let them dry hard again before carefully drying them at the bottom of the canvas.