How to Draw Mermaids

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Mermaids are fantasy characters, and there are no limitations or rules for creativity when drawing the magical creatures, the only limit is your imagination. You can draw and color your mermaid with colored pencils, and create any whimsical characteristics you can dream of. Have your mermaid sunbathing on the beach or swimming in an underwater fantasy. Make your mermaid fanciful and silly, or add more drama and elegance. Frame your drawing and hang it, or make a book with a collection of several characters.

Things You'll Need

  • Photo of a young girl or woman
  • Drawing pencil
  • Drawing paper
  • Rubber eraser
  • Locate a reference photo of a young girl or woman sitting or swimming in the pose you desire. You can draw a mermaid sitting on a beach, or swimming underwater, for example.

  • Sketch your mermaid using basic shapes with a drawing pencil on drawing paper. Study her position and proportions in the reference photo when sketching. Sketch a round circle for the head and one for the torso. Draw a wavy line to represent the rest of her long fish tail body, sketching the lower fins as two pointed oval shapes. Sketch her arms, using lines for the arms and circles for the jointed areas such as the elbow, shoulder and wrists.

  • Define the details of the mermaid body. Now that you have the figure sketched on paper in shapes, define the details. Draw the shape of the body the way you see it. Define the shape of the head and the point of the chin. Define the torso and bust area. Then define the shape of the rest of her body with a fish structure, leading to an outline shape of lower fins. Draw the arms and then add the shapes of the hands and fingers. Add a webbed fin to her back, right below the waist.

  • Draw the mermaid hair. For an underwater mermaid, make her hair flow. Draw long, flowing tresses that have a curl at the end so the hair appears to be floating in the air. For a surface mermaid, make her hair look matted down and wet. Draw the hair so it is flat on top of the head, with long tresses flowing down and clinging over the body.

  • Draw the facial features. Be creative and exaggerate the facial features to give the fantasy mermaid a whimsical expression. Draw very large oval-shaped eyes, either as black ovals with a small white oval, or with detail to create a large colored pupil. Add two small vertical half-moon shapes to define the nose, centered under the eyes. Add a small, simple line mouth or give as much detail to the mouth as you desire. Draw simple eyebrows above the eyes.

  • Erase marks from the original sketch with a rubber eraser.

  • Trace over the drawing using an ink pen. The ink pen will give definition to the drawing and outline the features.

  • Color the mermaid using colored pencils. Use your creativity to color the hair and eyes. Color a small, shell-shaped bikini top over the chest area. Color the fins in a sea color, such as blue or green. Use a darker color, such as dark green, blue or black to add scale details to the fins. Color the body with skin-toned pencils.

Tips & Warnings

  • To paint your mermaid use watercolor paints and hot press watercolor block paper instead of drawing paper. Watercolor paints have a translucent effect that work well with a mermaid theme.

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