MerMay, 2019 In Progress Shots!

May 18, 2019
A pale pinkish fishman lying on his side on a fisherman's boat deck during an overcast day. He is tangled in the fisherman's net and is attempting to remove it by lifting it over his head.

Another year, another MerMay!

This year I decided to do more than one piece. Sometime last year I saw this reference photo online and thought “hmm, that would make a really good mermaid piece!” so I saved it and filed it away. Eager to start a new picture after the last one, I started near the end of April and toiled away at all the details of “Catch of the Day.”

A pale pinkish fishman lying on his side on a fisherman's boat deck during an overcast day. He is tangled in the fisherman's net and is attempting to remove it by lifting it over his head.

But let’s not stop there! Of course you can’t just draw a picture of your original character as a mermaid. Generally you sort of… Come up with a backstory along the way, and since the backstory to this pale creature has been “deep sea fish, comes out at night and during overcast days to pretend to be a helpless fish, luring sailors and fishermen in close so he can feed”, which is present in last year’s drawing as well:

A pale pinkish wet slick-looking male fish creature sits half in and half out of dark, murky water. The fish-man is looking up to the viewer with all black eyes as if he is helpless or needs help. He appears to be loosely covered in seaweed, but looks to have a long body and tail though much of it is hidden under the dark water, attempting to lure the viewer to assist him.

But it also gets you thinking about your other characters! If crossed with other fish, what would they look like? What fish is most like that character? So, in thinking of original character Falco, I thought… Probably a day dwelling fish, has to be big and friendly… How about a beluga whale? Yes, perfect! Since one is a creepy fish and the other is a friendly fish, this makes sense. I drew the two of them interacting:

I personally think I keep making the siren a bit too… Pinkish, especially for a leucistic fish, but being pink in that sense really helps highlight the difference, so I’m okay with it I suppose! From there I wanted to draw my slick beluga whale merman solo, being a happy whaleman out in the daylight, which is very different from the usual dark things I draw.

And then finally, I came up with this idea of a slightly simpler (basically just not as many minute details) picture, titled “The Murky Depths.”

A pale serpent-like man creature slithering in and out of murky dark green water. There are lily pads and lilies dotting along the surface of the water. The sky is reflected on the surface of the water.

Happy MerMay!

Aimee Cozza is a freelance illustrator out of Southern New Hampshire. She graduated from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in illustration. Since then, she has been working in a variety of ways completing various illustrations for clients, friends, and for herself.

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