Sea Skirmish

Since we’re nearing the end of MerMay now, I have another mermaid (/mermen) digital illustration to share. Titled “Sea Skirmish” because the writer in me loves alliteration. It shows two battling mermen garbed in protective gear cobbled together from what random castoffs they could find drifting about in the ocean (some sports gear, bits of tires, netting, etc.) They have different colouring so I imagine they might be from separate pods/ clans of merpeople, but the one-on-one nature of this conflict, and the fact that one is unarmed suggests that this was a personal, surprise attack.  I’d love to know what the initial offense was, if only my drawings could talk! Now I have some illustrations without stories, and stories without illustrations, so I guess I have a lot of work to do!

But I must admit, I don’t love this image as much as the previous one, “MerMama”. I tweaked the style and technique slightly in attempt to make it darker/ grungier/ grittier but even so, I feel like it’s just not intense enough to do the scene justice. My work has an overall softness and almost cuteness that just doesn’t match the violence. I might have to start from scratch with a whole new technique to make it work, OR just accept my fate and focus on the cute and beautiful scenes that I’m best at for now. We shall see…

MerMama by Alissandra Sweeney; digital painting of a mermaid mother and child.

This was the first full digital painting I’ve completed with my new drawing tablet. And since this is apparently “MerMay” according to the internet, I decided to join in on the fun.  of course I couldn’t help but imagine a MerMama and her cuddly little Merkid, just doing what I do every day as a SAHM, but underwater.

I imagined that they would probably utilize a lot of the human castoffs that wind up in the ocean. Shirts would be a novelty, while shoes would of course lay abandoned. I almost put the kiddo in an orange shirt, since it looked so nice on him, but then the thought struck me that no MerMama would dare dress their baby in a bright warm colour like that and make him more visible to predators and humans. If anything, she would want to camouflage him a bit! And as for other adornment, I figured a tasseled belt, adorned in various odds and ends, ribbons and treasures found on their travels, would be sensible. It would look pretty when she swims, but wouldn’t float up into her face and distract her like a necklace might, and it’s not so long to get tangled up in coral or something by accident either.

I also, enjoyed trying to figure out the weird underwater lighting effects. That’s another first for me! 🙂 Let me know what you think!


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