MerMay: How to colour a mermaid

It is time to celebrate one of our favourite months of the year. That’s right, it is now MerMay! A month cherished by the colouring community to celebrate mermaid colouring. Here at Colouring Heaven, we love the magical underwater world of mermaids and the beautiful colouring that can come from them. There couldn’t be a better time to bring you our ultimate guide on how to colour mermaids!

Ask yourself some questions

Take a moment before you start colouring, to assess what you want your mermaid colouring to look like. What characteristics do you want your mermaid to have? What colour schemes do you want to try? Are you going to stick with your usual materials or try out something different, perhaps some metallics? This sounds simple but taking a second to plan before you start to colour often leads to well thought out and beautiful works of art!

Mermaid tails

The most exciting and potentially daunting part of colouring a mermaid is of course, the tail. You want to make the scales shimmer and look like a realistic fish in water, catching the light! This all comes down to using different tones and colours within your scales. You can use whatever colours you like but if you use similar colours with one contrasting dark and one contrasting light, this will be sure to make it pop. If you have a silver pencil, now is the time to use it to pick up on all the highlights! We love this mermaid tail tutorial from Michelle Kahler.

Mermaid hair

With their long flowing locks, mermaid hair can also be a little tricky. Once again, you want to avoid having one flat colour and be sure to pull in multiple tones. With hair, what is important is the movement of your markings. Take time on your mermaid’s hair and work strand by strand, to make it look like it is moving.

Skin tone

You could go for a natural skin colour of any shade, or you can use this as an opportunity to push the boat out (pun intended!). Why not try a shade with blueish undertones, as though your mermaid is part of the water? Whatever colour you go for, again it’s important to vary the tones and blend!


Before you start colouring, decided whether you want the background of your piece to be lighter and have your mermaid bolder, or if you want the whole image to be vibrant. It’s up to you! It’s likely that you’ll have an under the sea background, so be sure to focus on the water and the waves. Again, it’s another chance to get creative, play with the light, colour and texture through your colouring and explore an underwater world.

Other creatures 

There may be other creatures in your underwater mermaid world. From fish, to crabs, to tendrils of seaweed, it might be a good idea to make these creatures and plants pop! Try using a bolder shade on these small areas to contrast with your background and your mermaid. Give these creatures characteristics too and play with what works for you!

Have fun! 

With colouring in general and especially with magical and fantastical creatures, there are no rules! Be sure to have fun with your colouring and allow yourself room to explore and get creative with it. We love seeing all of your amazing colouring and can’t wait to see what you make!

If you like our how to colour guides, be sure to check out our guide on how to colour dragons here.

Plus, check out our top moments from Mermay 2021 here!

Be sure to share your beautiful colouring with us over on our Friends of Colouring Heaven Facebook group and join our friendly, lovely community!

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