Now, mermaids love color; it’s a precious thing because their environment itself makes the bright shades they prefer transient. Get even a little ways down, without the benefit of the magic lights many mystics make a living out of producing, and everything is just blue and purple. But because of the intermittent nature of underwater color, the ensembles worn to well-lit mermaid gatherings are wonders to behold, and even just knowing you have shining auburn hair or that the emerald and opal bracelet on your wrist is absolutely fabulous in the sunlight is enough to be happy, most of the time. This is also part of why mermaids value their tail color so highly: feeling like a brilliant blue or gold is an intrinsic part of you gives you a pleasant warm sensation when you’re feeling grumpy or plain.
This means that grey-tailed mermaids, like the one we see today, have an unfortunate tendency to be maladjusted or insecure, more than those with other tail colors do. Even colors like white, black and brown are thought of as preferable. After all, white has a sort of unearthly cachet, while black has a rakish, cool image, and both of them are easy to match with other, brighter colors. Even brown can look good, assuming you can afford the right shades of red, gold and so on. Grey doesn’t seem to match with anything, really: blue and green, maybe, but the combination just seems glum. This mermaid, I wouldn’t precisely say she’s come to peace with her grey tail, but she’s scared of mystics (some of whom might be able to change it for her… for a price), so she overcompensates with long skirts and vivid colors, and she has a habit of tucking her tail close to her body while she works, so only the pale edge of the fin sticks out from under her skirt.
This would, certainly, be hard to swim in, but she works as a scholar in a big city, and so she doesn’t generally have to get around very quickly; in any case, she thinks it would be better to meet her end courtesy of a shark than to live a long life with her tail in full view. It’s a shame to feel that way, but that’s what happens when you feel hideous all your life. Honestly, I think it draws more attention to her than a skirt with a more normal cut, or a sheer skirt, would: no one wears skirts like this underwater, and even the mermaids with big old scars on their tails are often proud enough of them to not much care whether they show or not. So even though this is a mermaid equivalent of wearing a sandwich board that says “I’M INSECURE ABOUT MY TAIL,” it makes her happy. And heck, if I had a rainbow-colored skirt with a coral and fish pattern that cute, I’d probably be happy too.
I was asked to list the colors I use for each drawing, and I’m going to see how it works out to list them…
Colors used: Colorless Blender, French Grey family, Cool Grey family, Black, Sky Blue Light, Greyed Lavender, Violet, Ultramarine, Violet Blue, Spring Green, Dark Green, Yellow Chartreuse, Grass Green, Sunburst Yellow, Crimson Red, Poppy Red, Yellowed Orange, Tuscan Red