Ready for another tutorial in our growing treasure trove of easy, cute drawing ideas? It’s mermaid tail drawing time! Today, we will use a simple cartoon line drawing style, and explore three different methods of making it beautiful.
As background, my name is Lillie and I am an artist and teacher who loves to bring the benefits of drawing far and wide! Remember that your sketch doesn’t need to be perfect — you just have to enjoy the process and flow with the lines. Now let’s dive into…
Mermaid Tail Drawing
The key with drawing mermaids is to make the tail’s shape a pleasing curve. Think of a “V” shape, but with more outwardly-arched lines, almost as if someone inflated the “V” with air. This graceful curve is similar to the head of our easy octopus drawing. At the bottom of the tail, put an outward-facing “V” shape for the “feet” fins.
Next we get to the texture — a central element in making the tail look “fishy.” Along the main part of the tail, sketch a series of connected “U” shapes (like the edges of our cloud drawing) in rows to form scales. On the “feet” fins, stroke a series of straight-ish pen lines outward. Ta da! Now let’s discuss three different methods of spicing your mermaid up with color.
Method 1: Natural Coloring
Just as with our sea urchin drawing, there are several options for adding color to your mermaid that change the whole feel of the cartoon. The first method is shown above: a more “realistic” blue-green fish hue for the tail. In this version, you can use a slightly darker teal for the lines of the scales.
Method 2: Rainbow
Want a little more color in your life? (Who wouldn’t?!) Let’s make a rainbow version of the mermaid tail! As shown above, you can do this by adding stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple (what red and blue make), and magenta.
Next, ink in the scales with thin black curves. Notice how I added a cute “lip” at the joining place where the tail meets the torso, as a sort of belt or accent. Mermaid fashion in our creative drawings!
Method 3: Blue Skin
Our third method of coloring the mermaid and her tail needs a little context or background information: Did you know that the mermaid legend was possibly inspired by the real animal called a manatee? Well, manatees are gray or brown colored, but in the light of the watery depths of the ocean, they look blue-ish.
Given this, I chose to color the mermaid, above, with blue skin! For the tail accents, this time I drew in the texture with a lighter color instead of the black or dark green. It’s now up to you to pick the style of mermaid you most want to draw — or even change major elements, as we did with our cute snail drawing.
VIDEO: Drawing a Mermaid’s Tail
Mermaid Tail Drawing, in Sum
I hope this discussion of sweet, easy mermaid tail drawing in a colorful cartoon style has been useful and enjoyable! If you want more cute drawings, check out my tutorials on drawing the wind, the “and symbol” (not exactly “cute,” but very cool), and cute frog drawing. Have a request for what else you’d like me illustrate and explain? Do share!
The author and artist, Lillie Marshall, is a National Board Certified Teacher of English who has been a public school educator since 2003, and an experienced Reiki practitioner since 2018. All art on this site is original and hand-drawn by Lillie. She launched DrawingsOf.com Educational Cartoons in 2020, building upon the success of her other two sites, AroundTheWorldL.com (established 2009) and TeachingTraveling.com (founded 2010). Subscribe to Lillie’s monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media to stay connected!