how to draw mermaids

How to Draw Mermaids

Step 1.

First you should sketch out proportions using loose lines. This will help you get a good idea of how your poses will work before you invest a lot of time in them. I use circles to mark joints, which helps later when I flesh out limbs. It's also a good idea to incorporate any parts of the environment the mermaids are interacting with, such as the large rock.

Step 2.

Now is when I begin to add details such as faces and flesh out the arms over my guides. Using circles to mark joints before was a huge help, as I was able to use that to round out the shoulders nicely. I begin to add hair details over their heads, keeping in mind how it would drape and rest in the water.

Step 3.

Now I flesh out the tails, using long, loose strokes to keep them looking smooth and fluid. I add more details to their hair as well as give them some ornaments. Anemones and starfish are pretty typical findings where they live.

Step 4.

Last come all the little details that give them real character. I added some scales to their tails, but be careful not to add too many or it won't look sleek and shiny. I played up their faces a little more with little details, fixed their hands and added some interest to their environment with a crab.

Step 5.

If you want to color it in, play around with underwater effects and ways to make their scales glisten. Use yellow like I did to reflect the sun or add in some white, pinks and blues as well to make them look opalescent. Have fun!

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Uploaded: October 26, 2009
Artist: SwinS
Difficulty: Intermediate  Intermediate Skill Level
Steps: 5
Updated: October 27, 2009
P.O.V: Multiple
Favourited: 4 times
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Artist comments

There are many versions of mermaids in the world of fantasy, from Disney's Ariel to the frightening sea hags of ancient lore. I chose to use the style of a classic children's book, taking some inspiration from my favorite Hans Christian Andersen illustrations.

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