How to Draw a Mermaid

Easy, step by step Mermaid drawing tutorial
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Mermaids are legendary beings with the upper body of a human and the tail of a fish or other sea creature. Males of the species were called mermen.

In the earliest myths, merpeople such as Poseidon were sea gods or semi divine beings. European folklore gave mermaids or sirens magical or prophetic abilities.

The mermaids of old were not always regarded as friendly. The sirens were said to live on an island, where they sang with beautiful voices in order to lure sailors to their deaths.

Sights of or gifts from merfolk were through to bring floods, disasters, and shipwreck.

Did you know? Some researchers believe that sightings of the manatee and dugong, ocean-dwelling mammals, could be the source of some of these myths. Perhaps sailors mistook these large animals for beautiful mermaids!

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Perhaps the most famous mermaid of all is Ariel from Disney's The Little Mermaid. This film, in turn, was based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, in which a mermaid wishes to become human.

Would you like to draw a cartoon mermaid? This easy, step-by-step cartoon character drawing tutorial is here to show you how.

All you will need is a pen or pencil and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to color your finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Poseidon, Mermaid Ariel, and Underwater Scene.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Mermaid

Mermaid drawing - step 1
How to Draw Mermaid: Step 1

1. Begin by sketching the mermaid's facial features. Use curved lines to outline the top and bottom of each eye, gently pointed at the corners. Shade a large circular pupil within each eye. Then, use curved lines to contour the nose, mouth, and chin.

Mermaid drawing - step 2
How to Draw Mermaid: Step 2

2. Next, outline the face and hair. Use overlapping curved lines for the hair falling near the face, the ear, and the chin. Then, use short curved lines to form the eyebrows.

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Mermaid drawing - step 3
How to Draw Mermaid: Step 3

3. Outline the mermaid's long, flowing hair. Use overlapping curved lines, allowing some to meet at points. Texture the hair with additional curved lines. Notice that the hair does not connect at the bottom, leaving room for you to draw the body.

Mermaid drawing - step 4
How to Draw Mermaid: Step 4

4. Texture the hair with more curved lines. Then, begin sketching the neck and shoulders. Use two curved lines to outline the neck, and another for the shoulder and upper arm. Detail the tendons of the neck and the collarbone using curved lines.

Mermaid drawing - step 5
How to Draw Mermaid: Step 5

5. Draw the mermaid's arm. Outline the top and bottom using a pair of curved lines, noting the bend of the elbow. Then, use pairs of curved lines to sketch the palm and fingers. Texture the palm with short lines.

Mermaid drawing - step 6
How to Draw Mermaid: Step 6

6. Use long curved lines to sketch the remaining arm and shoulder. Draw the hand and fingers using overlapping curved lines.

Mermaid drawing - step 7
How to Draw Mermaid: Step 7

7. Draw the mermaid's bikini made of shells. For each shell, draw a "U" shaped line, and connect the arms of the "U" with a series of smaller "U" shaped lines. Contour the surface of the shell with several curved lines, and use additional lines to connect the shells and form the band around the mermaid's back.

Mermaid drawing - step 8
How to Draw Mermaid: Step 8

8. Extend a pair of long curved lines from below the arms to outline the mermaid's torso and the top of her tail. Draw a curved line around her middle to mark the top of her tail, and shade a small oval to indicate the belly button. Use curved lines to complete the outline of the hair.

Mermaid drawing - step 9
How to Draw Mermaid: Step 9

9. Continue the lines of the tail, and bring them together at a sharp point. Draw the two tail fins, using a pair of curved lines that meet at a point to form each one.

Complete Mermaid drawing
How to Draw Mermaid: Step 10

Color your cartoon mermaid, then place her in this underwater scene.

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The Complete Mermaid Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to draw: Mermaid - all drawing steps
How to Draw Mermaid

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