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Extract from 50 Things to Draw • By Ed Tadem • Published by Quarto

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$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
15 mins

50 Things to Draw
Mermaids may be glamorous, but beware! In some folklore, they were thought to be unlucky omens.

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© 2019 Ed Tadem / Quarto · Reproduced with permission.
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  • How to draw & paint a piece of character art. Mermaid - Step 1
    Step 1

    A mermaid should look flowy, so I start this drawing with arcs and swoopy lines. You can already tell what some of the lines will become, like her hair and tail.

  • How to draw & paint a piece of character art. Mermaid - Step 2
    Step 2

    I start filling in the figure, finishing the tail with a crescent shape. Then I add the arms, torso and features.

  • How to draw & paint a piece of character art. Mermaid - Step 3
    Step 3

    I develop the face, tail and flowing hair; then I add the seashell bra and build up the arms.

  • How to draw & paint a piece of character art. Mermaid - Step 4
    Step 4

    I continue softening the forms and adding details, such as the gills around her hips.

  • How to draw & paint a piece of character art. Mermaid - Step 5
    Step 5

    I let my pencil wander around to create the hair, making it look organic and wild. Then I indicate more scales and clean up all my lines.

  • How to draw & paint a piece of character art. Mermaid - Step 6
    Step 6

    I draw bubbles around her gills and tailfin for interest. Then I thicken certain lines and start shading the few areas that need it, such as the scales and seashells.

  • How to draw & paint a piece of character art. Mermaid - Step 7
    Step 7

    With a B pencil, I complete the final shading, being careful to keep the contrast between her soft, smooth human half and her thick, textured fish half.

    Tip: With a B pencil, I complete the final shading, being careful to keep the contrast between her soft, smooth human half and her thick, textured fish half.

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