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How to Draw a Mermaid Tail in 15 Easy Steps

Mermaid Tail Drawing

By Dee | Last Updated on May 11, 2023

Mermaids have always captivated us with their ethereal beauty and enchanting allure. If you’ve ever desired to draw a mesmerizing mermaid tail, you’re in luck! In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll guide you through the process of creating your very own masterpiece. Whether you prefer traditional pencil and paper or digital drawing on an iPad, we’ve got you covered. So let’s dive right in!

Table of Contents

Materials You’ll Need:

To begin, gather your artistic tools. Pencils and paper are recommended for this tutorial, but if you’re more comfortable with digital drawing, an iPad works wonderfully too. If you’re interested in exploring digital drawing further, take a look at my article on selecting the best iPad for Procreate and discover some valuable digital drawing tips and tricks.

Art Supplies

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Drawing the Tail Curve

Start by sketching a curved “s” shape line in the middle of your page or digital canvas. This will form the base of the mermaid tail.

Step 2: Outlining the Tail

Proceed to draw the outline of the mermaid tail, paying attention to the slight variations in curves on each side. This will provide a more realistic effect in the final drawing.

Step 3: Adding the Tail End

Illustrate the two sides of the tail end, avoiding perfect triangles. Instead, create wavy and organic lines to achieve a captivating mermaid tail effect.

Step 4: Sketching the Mermaid’s Tummy

Lightly sketch the sides of the mermaid’s tummy and add a small curved line to represent her belly button.

Step 5: Drawing the First Set of Fins

Draw the first set of fins on the sides of the tail, following the natural flow of the tail’s curves.

Step 6: Drawing the Second Set of Fins

Next, add a second set of fins to enhance the mermaid’s mystical appearance. Pay attention to the positioning and shape of these fins.

Step 7: Adding a Single Mermaid Fin

Incorporate a rippling elongated fin alongside the tail. This additional fin adds to the magical allure of the mermaid.

Step 8: Applying Shading to the Tail

Using lines that follow the shape of the tail, create a textured effect on the fin’s end, giving it a shaded appearance.

Step 9: Adding Shading to the Side Fins

Shade the side fins using repetitive line work, emphasizing the contours and adding depth.

Step 10: Shading the Side Fins

Continuing with repetitive line work and shading, add depth to the second set of fins, ensuring a harmonious overall look.

Step 11: Enhancing the Long Side Fin

Add more line work and shadow to the long side fin, emphasizing the folds and creating a sense of dimension.

Step 12: Incorporating Mermaid Scales

For an extra touch of enchantment, add mermaid scales across the midsection of the tail and along the inside curves. This technique generates realistic shadows and depth.

Step 13: Adding Colors

Now it’s time to infuse your mermaid tail with colors. Explore various mediums such as colored pencils, watercolor pencils, watercolor paints, or watercolor brush pens. If you’re working digitally, experiment with coloring tools in Procreate. In this drawing, I’ve used watercolor brushes on Procreate and played around with purples and pinks.

Step 14: Coloring the Fins

To maintain a translucent appearance, apply a pink hue to the fins, adding to their ethereal quality.

Step 15: Highlighting and Shading

Create shadows by incorporating green tones into the mermaid tail. Apply darker shadows to the inside of the fins and lighter shadows to the outside. Additionally, add blue color to the receding areas of the tail, akin to painting clouds in a landscape. This step brings depth and dimension to your drawing.

And voila! You’ve successfully brought a beautiful mermaid tail to life through your artistic talent. Now it’s your turn to unleash your creativity and share your artwork with the world. If you’ve attempted other intriguing arts and crafts projects, don’t hesitate to share your experiences in the comments or on social media. I’m excited to hear from you!

Finished Mermaid Tail Drawing


If you or someone you know is enchanted by mermaids, this ocean-themed activity is perfect for you. Introduce your little one to the joy of creating their very own mermaid tail drawing using this easy-to-follow tutorial. Cultivate their artistic skills and foster their imagination from an early age. For more exciting drawing ideas and tutorials, browse through our other articles and let your creativity soar!

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Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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