Mermaid Monday #4: Bride Mermaid in Red Tattered Wedding Dress with Iridescent Blue and Purple Tail

Click for larger version; click for the list of dolls.

My poll was a success! Thanks, everyone who voted. While black had a strong showing near the end, iridescent won the day, rather to my chagrin as I haven’t really drawn anything iridescent before… I think it worked out reasonably well, though not perfectly. I based the iridescent part on one of the pearls in this picture.

Mermaids associate the colors pink and red most strongly with weddings and brides, possibly due to red seaweed being a traditional bridal decoration. Pink has a rather old-fashioned feel and deep reds display the family’s wealth, because the deeper the color is, the harder it is to waterproof successfully, and so dark or rich colors weren’t available until more recently and they’re more expensive. These days, mermaid brides tend to choose a shade between pale pink and blood red that they think best suits their tail. (This means that mermaid bridesmaids grumble more than human ones if the bride insists on their wearing the same color; the green-tailed mermaid does not like the poppy red that sets off the bride’s black tail so well, and the mermaid with the light yellow tail feels washed out in the pale pink favored by the silver-tailed bride.) Pearls are also traditional wedding decorations, and a moderately priced rope of white pearls serves much the same function at a mermaid wedding as a toaster does at a wedding for American humans. Different-colored pearls, particularly black and rose ones, are most valued. Red seaweed is, of course, very popular, although seaweed of every type might be used much as humans might use flowers. Depending on where a mermaid lives and on the fashions, other flowers are popular; water lilies are often used in some areas, and tropical flowers such as hibiscus might be more popular in others. Not all mermaid wedding dresses are tattered, but it’s as hard for mermaid designers to resist as lace is for human ones, because of the strong romantic overtones.

For the veil, you will want to cut a straight line between the bottom of the crown, underneath the seaweed, and the veil. This way the doll’s head can be poked through.

New poll for this week:

Mermaid Monday #3: Silver-Tailed Mermaid in Tattered Shirt with Silver Accents

Click for larger version; click for the list of dolls.

Before you go on, click here to vote in my new poll, or look underneath the ads on the left-hand side. Either way, VOTE!

Here we have the last of the shiny metal sisters — although I won’t rule out a platinum cousin just yet. (Here’s the copper-tailed sister, and here’s the sister with the golden tail. And don’t forget, you can just hit the “Mermaid Monday” category for all my mermaids.) This mermaid’s tail is silver, and she wears a top made with tattered fabric. You might expect to find more tattered fabric under the sea, but it is actually a design element these days, and not a consequence of water damage. The mermaids use the profits from pearls, coral, sharkskin and rayskin to buy most of their fabric from the elves, who specialize in the delicate, embroidered fabrics that the mermaids adore and have also mastered waterproofing techniques for cloth destined for the seas. The technique has evolved over the years, and now the best fabric treated in this way is still as light and delicate as untreated fabric. It is expensive, of course, but as far as mythological creatures go, mermaids are quite well off; with the exception of their natural predators, they rule the seas and command all the treasure underwater. They also have an amazing pearl-farming setup.

To the mermaid, intentionally tattered clothing such as the shirt the silver-tailed mermaid wears has a sort of romantic, yet melancholy feel. A mermaid waiting for her beloved so long her clothes disintegrate is a common motif, as are the tatters of the martial mermaid battling sharks, or the image of ancient generations of mermaids. This mermaid is part of her kingdom’s Anti-Shark Militia, and she loves to don her favorite frayed shirt for training, her silver tail glinting as she wields her trident.