How to Draw a Mermaid
For the third year running, character animator Tom Bancroft has issued a challenge—#MerMay—inviting creatives to post a new mermaid drawing every day in May. Even if you’re not up for a daily illustration, you can try your hand at creating a fishy friend. Our simple tutorial will get you started.
To help you bring your ideas to life in Adobe Photoshop CC or Photoshop Sketch on your mobile tablet, you can download (for free!) our specially curated, mermaid-inspired brush pack from Kyle Webster.
HOW DO I DRAW A MERMAID?
Art is subjective. There’s no wrong or right method, workflow, or technique. And techniques may change depending on your style—from realism to hyper-cute anime. In this short tutorial, I’ll show you how to make the basic shapes of a mer-creature, which you can pose and finish in any style you like.
The teardrop shape will be her upper torso. Imagine if you twisted the teardrop like a piece of clay to follow the lazy body line. Start from the head, with the teardrop’s pinched end at the top and the round bottom of the teardrop touching the waist line.
What’s next? That’s up to you. We want to see your mermaid. But here are a few more tips to make things easier:
If you erase edges of your lineart, it can begin to look lumpy. Instead of erasing, use Undo and try the whole line again. And again. And again! Keep trying until you get a smooth, solid stroke.
#MERMAY DESIGN CHALLENGE
When we originally published this article, it included a contest element. However, that challenge ended on May 15, 2018. The grand-prize winner, Vashti Harrison, will receive an iPad Pro and a subscription to the Creative Cloud. Other winners also receiving CC subscriptions are Jeanie Mao, Daniel Flores, Isabella Walsh, and Jorge Acevedo Perez.