Lavender-Tailed Mermaid with White and Gold Top and Starfish Brooch

A bluish-lavender mermaid tail with lighter, warmer fins along the top, sides and base of the tail. The top is a one-shoulder Greek inspired white top that shows the midriff and is bordered with gold scroll patterns. At the shoulder is a golden starfish brooch with an opal in the middle, and there are strands of pearls looped over the shoulder and upper arm.Here’s my first digitally colored mermaid tail! I’m not entirely satisfied with it, because without a little scale pattern I think it looks too flat, but I’m only just getting started with digital coloring so for today it will work.

I’ve had mermaids on the brain, because I read a book called Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee, which was all about how to construct a compelling, well-paced and satisfying story. It’s aimed at screenwriters, but it dealt with universal principles, so I got a lot out of it even though I’m not planning on writing a movie anytime soon. It’s a great book, but also pretty dense and something like 400 pages long, so I’ll also recommend Hilari Bell’s writing tips, which present much of the same information in a way that may be more understandable.

I always enjoyed writing my mini-stories about my mermaid world for this site, and I’ve often thought of making it into an actual story. I have a rather large amount of information already written about aspects of mermaid society, actually. Where I trip up is my lack of understanding about oceanography, general scientific principles and experience underwater, which has a direct bearing on a story set somewhere besides dry land. What does it feel like to hear things underwater, and what sounds are easiest to hear underwater? What might materials mermaids could possibly use to build cities look like after years spent in the sea? How far down can mermaids dive before they start to have problems with the pressure? Can they breathe underwater, like fish, or do they have to come up for air, like dolphins? If I want the geography to look a certain way, how did that come about? If you can’t store paper books underwater or too close to water, is there a good way of distributing and storing reading material?

For many of these questions, I don’t even know where to start looking because I have only a vague recollection of my science classes. I suppose if it’s my fantasy world I can answer all these things however I like, or simply not care, but to me it’s more fun if the world is plausible and the fantastic elements are placed elsewhere. I love worldbuilding, especially stuff like this geological history of A Game of Thrones where the setting is taken quite seriously. Still, it slows me down because I’m imagining a lot of things from scratch and learning a lot of things for the first time. If I actually want to write something, I’d probably do better with a setting that is easier to nail down, but I keep returning to my mermaids. And I do like it when I have the time to learn new things that I can apply to the world – I keep reading books about science or marine animals and coming up with mermaid world applications for little details.

In any case, it looks like an elf dress won my poll, with 51% of the vote, so I will sketch some out and be back next week with a black and white dress and a new contest, plus a 1930s outfit. Until then, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for site updates, previews and mermaid jewelry. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.

6 thoughts on “Lavender-Tailed Mermaid with White and Gold Top and Starfish Brooch

  1. I have an interest in world building too. And, I always get hung up with real-world science or possibilities. Anyway, I look in on the Seventh Sanctum website for inspiration occasionally and at the tail end of last year they started having a world building column which is an interesting and helpful read. Here’s the site: (It’s the second of two pages, but the first entry is the last post on the page if you wanted to read from the beginning.)

    Scales or no scales, the digital coloring gave you the option to make the fins look really translucent–which I have never had an easy time with when using traditional media.

  2. I have a mermaid mutant type character that I use in role plays. Role plays, for those that don’t know, are basically like round robin stories. Everyone writes a part but they can only write for their on character. Anyway in the RP she has both lungs and gills like a fish. Whichever one is activated depends on what sort of environment she’s in. For example if she’s on land the gills and barely noticeable. They are closed and blend in perfectly with her skin. If she is completely emerged in water, however, her lungs begin to shrink and the gills activate!

    Also even without the scales I’m actually quite fond of this design. The top is especially gorgeous! I love how it looks almost Grecian. With the elegant pearls as somewhat of a sleeve and the jeweled starfish gives it a somewhat elegant finish! I absolutely love it!
    Is there any chance that you’d let me use the design for my own mermaid character? I’ll credit you of course!

  3. When I imagine the underwater voices of mermaids I think of them as a type of singing…like whale singing.I kind or remember legends of mermaids singing that enchanted sailors.

    I think underwater books would be made of of melded fish scales. They would be written on with the light producing materiel from deep underwater fish. That way the books could be read in the cave where the mermaids lived.

    Have you ever read the book series West of Eden by Harry Harrison. It is an alternate world view in which reptiles are the dominant species rather than humans. The reptiles breed animals and plants to make their boats, weapons, and even houses. Interestingly, the females are the dominant gender. Males are kept for breeding purposes. It is a fun read and can give you ideas about creating an underwater world.

    I see both the Grecian and Indian influence in the top.

  4. Yay, mermaids. I always have loved your mermaids.

    Why do they need books? They could be a strictly oral history culture or they could carve into stone or wood their stories.

  5. Hi. First of all, your designs are absolutely amazing. Second, this comment is completely misplaced here, but never mind that. I noticed from your Pinterest board that you are interested in Asian clothing and patterns. I wanted to suggest an incredible website: It’s an online shop based in Osaka that sells kimono, obi, fabric bolts, accessories, etc. They have a huge inventory and many, many photos. Some (okay, most) of the designs are gorgeous. I thought you might find it fun to poke around for pattern ideas.

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