I’m proud of this illustration. Drawing hair has been the bane of my existence for a long time. While there is definitely room to grow, this is probably one of my best works thus far. The prompt of the day was Underwater. I didn’t have to dig deep or find a lot of reference material for this illustration. 

During the 5th grade, The Little Mermaid was the talk of the town. Everyone that was anyone had seen the movie, colored the coloring books, and had the dolls. When Beauty and the Beast came out, no one cared, we still wanted to be mermaids and talk to the fishes.

I spent many years drawing Disney’s mermaids to perfection. Most of that reference material is directly embedded into my brain. The rock my mermaid sits upon is a little less so, but I’ve been watching a lot of Bubble Guppies and Splash and Bubbles to get an idea.

As I mentioned, hair is not my strong suit. The linework is a bit excessive, but it provided me with a better perspective during the painting process.

Again, I checked my painting by removing the linework. There is room for improvement there, too. The skin tone needs some work. Also, textures could have been added to the tail, rock, water, and bed of weeds. Transitions between form and linework could also be smoother. There is more effort put into the background image than in previous works.

Linework and Frame Removed vs. Final Image

Now, I could have cropped the image to focus solely on the character. However, I wanted to show where she came from and where she may be headed. To emphasize the hair, a border was added and the hair is above the frame. Looking back, the frame is a wonderful decision, but leaving the linework limits forward movement of the character. It’s almost as if she’s anchored to one spot.

Either way, I’m satisfied with this illustration’s final outcome.