While trying to decide what to feature on Mermaid Mania week, I serendipitously came across a stunning piece of artwork by illustrator, Thea Baker through children's author, Sam Hay, on Twitter. Sam was highlighting some of the gorgeous illustrations created for #colourcollective ( which Thea will tell you more about below) and I caught sight of her gorgeous illustration. Luckily for me, Thea Baker agreed to come on the blog and talk about her illustrations.
I created this illustration for #_collective, a weekly Twitter based challenge I take part in to help build my portfolio. It’s also a great way to be in touch with peers. The theme is set by @ every Saturday, in this instance the theme was cerulean blue.
The sea easily springs to mind with this . I try not to go for the obvious but have always wanted an excuse to do a mermaid illustration. Then it popped into my head, a mermaid feeling blue! Perfect! A little humor with the but it would also give my mermaid more of a story.
I always start with a pencil sketch. Normally I would then draw this out several times using layout paper but more recently, and with this picture, I have been scanning the first rough sketch to the computer and working straight onto that in an effort to loosen up my style. I like the energy in the first sketch and found I was losing it the more I reworked it.
I have created a whole library of textures that I use as a resource to work with. I chose several for this piece. I then draw on top again and add more texture using my Wacom drawing tablet and a selection of Photoshop brushes.
After posting the original illustration in , I saw some beautiful illustrations using and . I wanted to tweak the picture a little more anyway so after I had finalized it I experimented by starting in and adding back in a way that supported the narrative. The final result was interesting!
About Thea Baker
I graduated from Falmouth College of Arts with a BA (Hons) Illustration. I illustrated the Kids Astrology series published by The Five Mile press in 2013. My working week is a mix of graphic design and children’s illustration. I am currently seeking agent representation as a children’s illustrator.
After being inspired by #_collective, I started my own theme based art challenge on social media, #, posting on the first of each month.
Twitter @theaillustrator and @pinchpunchpost