By Natalie Smillie, Nov 12 2014 04:59PM

For my first post, I thought I would show some images captured during the painting of my Little Mermaid piece.

I first painted this piece with the central figure considerably older. I still love this version but after some feedback from my agent I aged her down lots. I don't mind sharing these amendments - it's interesting to me to see how other people work so I hope it's interesting to others to see how I develop a piece.

I start off the majority of the time with a hand drawn sketch that I've scanned in and darkened slightly. I make this the top layer and set the layer mode to Multiply.

I like to start blocking in the colours to give an idea of how they work with each other.

I start to paint things in more detail. I don't have a particular order for this - sometimes I like to do the foreground first and sometimes I quite like to do the main characters.

Here you can see the progres from block colour to fully shaded in the mermaids tail.

Here you can see me starting to layer the colour for some of the coral.

Sometimes I get a bit bored with one thing and sort of bounce around and do something else - here you can see I got bored with the coral and decided to do some of the rear rocks!

Starting to add in some more of the coral and seaweed now;

Here you can see I've added in all the coral and seaweeds. The good thing about working digitally is that you can change the layer order of things if you're not happy with something - so I ended up putting some things to the rear and bringing other things a bit further forward.

You'll notice that my sketch wasn't that detailed in comparison to the image below - I like to add things in as I go along rather than sketch them out. I think that the colours in a piece sometimes help inform how it should go.

Here's the piece almost finished - you can see I've added lotsof things in that weren't in the original sketch!

As it so happens after some feedback I decided to change the strength of the ombré in her hair, and after yet more feedback from my agent, I decided to age the mermaid down a lot and also change her hair colour. I'm flexible and try not to take constructive criticism to heart! In fact I really appreciate it!

Thanks for reading! I'll pop some more work up soon!

Nat x