I happened upon this image while browsing fantasy art, and just found it to be simply beautiful. The curvilinear lines of the central figure are exquisitely playful and lead one’s eye throughout the whole image. I really like how the mermaid is actually outlined in black, gives the image a “stained glass” kind of feel. The color palette suites the illustration perfectly. The highly saturated orange of the mermaid is just lovely contrasted against the green lily pads. The neutral brown/gray background makes the colors pop, but also fits the theme. I also liked the visual balance of the elements in the piece. All four corners are filled with some kind of detail, and I like how that frames the central figure. Jill Johansen has a great eye for detail as well. Each koi fish a delicately illustrated and each koi is uniquely posed. The lily pads are well placed, and although there are many of them, they don’t make the piece feel cluttered. Jill’s execution of the translucency of the water is subtle, but beautifully done. You can tell the water is rippling without losing clarity in the details.
I look forward to finding more of Jill Johansen’s illustrations.