Mermaid Markers by Jane Davenport

As I was meandering around Michael's for the hundredth time, I noticed a bright display of Jane Davenport's (JD) collection, and was immediately attracted to the fun bright colors and a multitude of fun supplies. Since I am still learning to work with various products, I thought I would investigate the infamous Mermaid Markers. I found a project that could give me an opportunity to test them out. For a newbie, Michael's instructions for the projects are terrible, so if you are just starting out - got to the source - the artist herself. I watched some of Jane Davenport's free workshop videos to learn how to use the tools, and decided to give it a go. Mostly, I just wanted to make something I would fall in love with, so I started with my color.

Green is my absolute and most favorite color - there is something magical, mysterious, mischievous yet calming about it. Maybe it is because my eyes have a tint of green in them, maybe it is because fairies (especially Tinkerbell) are my spirit creatures, or maybe it is because it is a color of Malachite - a stone from my homeland's famous fairy tale "Mistress of the Copper Mountain." Either way, I am attracted to green, and that was the main color I chose to go with.

The markers themselves are fun, but it did take me awhile to figure out how to work them. If you move them on a page too fast, the line comes out chopped and lacking color. If you move them too slow, the page gets too saturated and the color is much darker than you first suspect it would be. So it is a process of getting used to how the color flows from the marker on to the page, and how you will work with the watered brush to make the color run, to weaken it, or to clean it up (in the case of a chopped lines created by a marker moving too fast).

Another thing that frustrated me a bit was that some of the markers had "fly away" bristles that I did not notice at first. It almost looks like when the caps were put on them in the factory, they were not placed carefully and 1 or 2 bristles on a couple of my markers got bent. Not a problem though - I just grabbed a nail clipper and clipped the run away off - there are still plenty of bristles to go around, and the brush still worked like a charm.

I had to teach myself how to work with the stencil that came with another JD product, and how to color the face making it pop off the page, yet stay vibrant and not too cartoonish. After she was done, I still felt like she needed some love, so I added a few jewels in her hair, and stenciled on some vines. In the end, I would say that if you love vibrant colors and want to play with some really cool ones, Mermaid Markers are pretty awesome. Our local Michael's is getting new shipments and additional colors of these markers every week, so I plan on spending some of my Christmas gift cards there.

Here is my girl. What do you think?