Now, for those who aren't familiar with selkies...selkies/silkies/sylkies/selchies are born from Scottish mythology. There are also a few folk tales from Ireland regarding these creatures, but the 'selkie folk' seems to have originated in the northern Scottish isles of Orkney & Shetland. They are creatures capable of changing from seal to human form by shedding their seal skins. The human form may be female or male. I found this website quite interesting: Orkneyjar-The Heritage of the Orkney Islands. It gives the origins of the selkie folk.
|Seal cabochon by Jenny Davies-Reazor|
As soon as I pulled Jenny's seal cabochon out from it's hiding place I remembered I still had a small scrap of fish leather in the perfect gray color. (Sorry I failed to take a pic of the cabochon prior to glueing down to the leather.) The leather scrap was an odd shape so I had to figure out what/how to proceed. Eventually I glued the cabochon to the fish leather to create an asymmetrical pendant for a necklace. I chose freshwater pearls to serve as the rocky shore and some shimmery white and pale blue/gray beads for splashes of water around the seal who has not shed her skin just yet. She has just begun her journey to land by flopping amongst the rocky shores of Scotland. She will begin to peel her skin away once she's through the rocks.
|Selkie splashing up across the rocky shore before shedding her skin.|
I chose a small stick/driftwood to hand the pendant on. The bottom fringe was created to mimic the foamy waves rolling up against shore. I haven't created the necklace portion to hang it from just yet. Still contemplating the direction I want to tackle for that part. It will definitely be a statement piece!
|Rough draft of selkie sketch per Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's book. I had to go back and fix her jutting chin and her ridiculour right hand!|
Next selkie piece is a result of wanting to learn more about watercolor. I have taken a few online workshops and watched some YouTube videos. I also just happened to have Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's book Dreamscapes:Myth & Magic. It's a wonderful how-to book for painting mythical creatures with watercolor. She even has a selkie painting in the book with specific instructions on painting this marvelous creature. I opted for a slightly different sketch to paint than her painting, albeit it was still a sketch from her book on how-to sketch selkies. I loosely followed her guidelines for painting. Her color suggestions were mostly colors I did not have in my collection of watercolor paints so I improvised. I learned quite a bit about moving paint around and about layering watercolors to get these effects. All in all, I am pleased with my Stephanie Pui-Mun Law selkie. I highly recommend this book. I really want to purchase more of her books. She does fabulous work!
|After first layers of watercolor washes on the background.|
|I finally had to stop myself from adding more layers. I was having so much fun building up color.|
I had originally thought I might do an embroidery piece as well & I even wanted to do a faux scrimshaw piece using a broken seashell to sketch a selkie with black ink. Well, none of those things happened. We had a family beach vacation earlier in the month and I have been in the midst of mentally & physically preparing for surgery this week. By the time this blog post goes live my surgery will be over and hopefully I will be able to blog hop to see everyone's creations.
|Definitely a learning experience. I see some areas where I could've done a better job of extending color. Funny how you don't see that until you zoom in. But I had to stop myself before I totally screwed it up.|
Please go check out all the wondrous selkie creations by team members & guests!