The little mermaid in the lair of the sea witch, from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale. I had fun doing this illustration, especially coming up with designs for the mermaid and the sea witch. I'd like to do something with all the ideas that didn't make it into the final picture.
Since mermaids in stories are rarely seen by humans, I thought, “Maybe they’re deep-sea dwellers.” That’s why the mermaid here is albino; dark environment, pale animals. Due to time restrictions, I had to scrap my initial plans to make her bioluminescent, but I’ll try it out another time.
The tail is dolphin-based. Since she has some human anatomy, a tail that works with the abs makes more sense than a side-to-side fish tail. I included fishy elements in her upper half, though. More accurately, I didn't include some mammalian elements like a belly button or nipples. The breasts are just vestigial fat deposits on the pectoral muscle.
I had coral in mind when I designed the sea witch. She looks more plant-like, although it still gives her the “part of the cave” look that I wanted. It was fun to paint.
Done in Photoshop CS5.