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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: 2 times
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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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how to draw mermaids

How to Draw Mermaids

how to draw mermaids step 1

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.
 
how to draw mermaids step 2

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.
 
how to draw mermaids step 3

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.
 
how to draw mermaids step 4

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.
 
how to draw mermaids step 5

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!