Mermaids, ahoy!

Those of you on instagram may have noticed an onslaught of mermaid art this past month – @tombancroft1 came up with the idea of “mermay”, a challenge to draw/paint one mermaid for every day of May.

Now, I didn’t QUITE manage 31 of them, but I’m pretty happy with the five I did finish!


For some reason I decided to do this project in an old sketchbook that I pulled off my shelf … and then I remembered why I had abandoned it in the first place! Even though it claims to be watercolour paper, it doesn’t handle water well at all. The colours bled terribly and got a bit muddy, though I think I save it by sticking to block colouring for the most part.


This one was smaller than the first, and so the colours ran in her face more. I tried to salvage it with gouache over the watercolour. I’m still not sure about the face, but I do love how her tail came out! I wanted to do an extremely limited palette on this one, which I think worked out pretty well.


This is the one that made me give up on watercolour on this paper, lol! Everything was bleeding way too much for my liking. Still, I’m happy with the composition of this one.


For this one I switched entirely to gouache – and it turned out so much better! This was actually my first time using gouache for more than accents – I’m a blender by nature, so I’m still getting used to them (this is why I don’t use acrylics), but I’m really happy with how this turned out! I especially love her gills.

And the final #mermay of the month, which is also my favourite:


I love everything about this one. I think the colours work really well, and I love how her expression turned out. And even better: this one has already sold!

And if you don’t already follow me on instagram, I’m @jordan.kistler. I post loads of in-progress work there.


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