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.

Halloween Costume Series Day 4 / Mermaid Monday #6: Pearl Blue Mermaid Costume with Pearl and Lapis Lazuil Strands and Pink Shells

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

You thought I forgot about Mermaid Monday! I never forget about things, I just don’t do them and then become consumed by guilt.

The good thing about my October project is that it’s quite freeing not to worry in the least about what time period something is from or if it’s accurate or realistic. I started sketching for my ghost, ending up with something that looked like a ghostly Juliet (hence the reference in the text) and thought, well, is this OK? Is it like something from that time period? Maybe I’d better look it up… Then I realized it was a costume and I had perfect license not to care. Since with my historical dresses I attempt to stay in the style of the times right down to the year without just copying another dress, it can be difficult to do them properly. This month, I’m winging it! and it’s great!

The bad side is that most of my outfits are costumes in some way anyways, so the energy I don’t devote to thinking “is it accurate?” instead goes to “is it a costume?” There can be no mermaid costume in our world better than the costumes Iris and Sylvia already have access to, since our world does require feet. With imagination, most everything I’ve drawn is a costume already and my October project is redundant. (But fun!)

There are plenty of masquerades in the mermaid world, both among the mermaids and on land with the humans and elves, but the mermaids certainly don’t dress up like mermaids and for any of the others to do so would be in bad taste. No, this costume (really just a hobble skirt with ruffles sewn on the bottom) is most certainly from our world, and since here there are no real mermaids to compare it to it does its job well enough. What do mermaids dress up as for their Halloween, you might wonder? Unsurprisingly, they dress as things that scare them or things they aspire to, although mermaid takes on human culture are becoming popular as well. There are three more Mondays in the month, so we’ll see.

New poll on the 8th! So don’t neglect to take this one…