24 hours into the piece, this is what I have.
The mermaid is much further along. Everything but her fins and hair is colored in. I’ve also gotten a start on the beach.
A long time ago when I was still making content for Poser (a 3D computer rendering application), I did a picture of a mermaid on a black sand beach. I always liked the look of that one. This is a completely different image, but I decided to make the beach sand dark.
At this point I’ve gone over the beach area with some goldenrod to provide some warmth. On top of that I’ve layered some sepia. I’ll continue to layer in color until it’s filled in solid.
Black sand isn’t really black, of course. The color can vary in photos, but it usually appears dark brown or dark gray. Sometimes when I’m not sure of a color I’ll bring a reference photo into Photoshop and use the eyedropper tool to sample a spot on the image. That can really help when I’m deciding which pencils to use.
The wet sand where the beach meets the water has gotten a blue undercoat. This will help give the illusion that the wet sand is reflecting the sky.
By this time my original outlines had become hard to see. I have yet to find a way to keep the uncolored parts of the paper from getting smudged when using colored pencils. The paper is actually uglier than it appears in the scan. I do try to be neat. I use a clean brush to dust the drawing now and again while I’m working. Still, pencil wax has a way of getting everywhere.
I went over the background elements again so I’ll be able to see what I’m doing when I get there. I outlined the crystals in green to match the predominant color in the mermaid’s tail. I went over the rock arch in a darker color. I did the same for some of the smaller rock formations.
I suppose this is taking a long time, but so far I like it.