Summer Drawing Challenge Day 13
I’m narrowing down the look of my merfolk for my in-progress graphic novel/webcomic The Mermaid, with the help of a lot of suggestions here and on my Facebook page! I also had a revelation yesterday morning as I was drifting up from those languid morning dreams, and suddenly I knew what to do for the whole origin-of-the-merfolk scenario, which figures into the plot quite a bit. I knew if I just let my subconscious stew on it a bit, it would come up with the answer!
I’m going to stick with the sleek dolphin-tail look; not only is it attractive (though maybe not as much fun to draw as various fish tails), I think it’s the most functional for an underwater mammal. I also decided that since people are pretty hairless, the dolphin look would fit in much easier than trying to make them grow otter or seal hair all over. Also it’s easier overall to draw, and I’m going to have to draw a LOT of these people, after all! Someday I’ll do a story about selkies, and can use all the ideas about other sea people!
The hair was a big issue; but one person suggested that dreadlocks would look cool, having done a portrait of someone who had them as a merman, and I thought this sounded not only cool visually, but it would be easier to take care of underwater. So the merfolk take great pride in their hair, as it is what sets them apart from other underwater creatures. They style it with braids, ribbons made from fish leather, and seashell beads from a young age, and as it grows, it becomes underwater dreadlocks, or if they are tired of it, they do decorative braids close to the scalp.
So as you can see, I’m thinking a lot about what this culture would be like. One thing that they spend a lot of time doing is gathering food. They don’t farm as such, but they do tend and guard the beds of plants and sessile animals that they eat, and make sure that things don’t get out of balance. So I thought it would be fun to draw some different characters on their way to a feast.