Deviant Login Shop  Join deviantART for FREE Take the Tour

:iconkxhara: More from Kxhara


Submitted on
September 16, 2013
Image Size
259 KB


5,648 (1 today)
70 (who?)
The Little Mermaid Costumes - Undine by Kxhara The Little Mermaid Costumes - Undine by Kxhara
This year I've been asked by my school to do the costumes for our first play of the season, The Little Mermaid.

There will be no Disney's Ariel here. This story follows the original Hans Christian Andersen version, which, like many non-Disney fairy tailes is slightly darker and more mature. (Spoiler alert, the play doesn't exactly have a happy ending like the Disney version)

The main character's name is Undine instead of Ariel, though the mechanics of the story remain roughly the same. (A young girl who sees a land dweller and falls in love, goes to the sea witch to trade her tongue for legs, and transforms into a human to walk on land)

For my designs, I especially wanted to stay away from constricting pencil-skirt mermaid tails, or roller skates. My mermaids would have legs, but they would be de-emphasised with flowing sheer skirts that imply tails, but don't restrict movement. When I imagined these mermaids, My thoughts were less "traditional mermaid" which is a human top half and a fish bottom, and something more along the lines of sea monkeys or frog-creatures that have legs and fins but aren't half-fish.

Undine's colours are turquoise, brown and chartreuse with a few pink accessories which link her to her ocean family. While on land, she keeps her seafoam colours and her pink as a reminder of her family. I also chose seafoam as a colour because that is what she is said to turn into during the play. It's unknown how literal we will be with the show, but I wanted something soft and flowing and airy since she has left the sea and dwells on land now.

Thank you to: :iconrobhas1left: for the background.

My designs are not stock
Please do not use my designs in any way
Add a Comment:
The-Lost-Hope Nov 19, 2013  Student General Artist
Nice job on the designs they hint at a merperson without being overly done.
EstrangeloEdessa Oct 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I love how you're going with "implied" more than anything else with these costumes--it's so much more original. I love that it's not a traditional mermaid, but something odder and less pretty, which fits since people didn't actually think mermaids were cool back then, and I love the elements of the original story that you're incorporating, like the sea foam.

I would love to see what the finished result looks like. :)
Blue-Disciple Sep 17, 2013
BlueNephelim Sep 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very nice! I love the tentacles/sea-frond look of the one on the right...
Cool   :)  .. glad to see you posting again on here  :) .. though it's more than understandable why you haven't you've had a lot on  your plate  and that's putting it mildly !  :(  ... looking forward to pic's of the finished products too if you get a chance  :)  .. 
Would you be able to post a picture of the finished product?
I cant wait to see it!
81Scorp Sep 17, 2013  Hobbyist
Neat! :)
Very cool.  I can only agree that avoiding the constricting pencil skirt look for a stage play seems like a good idea.  Please post pictures of the final product if you can!
TheGoldenGizmet Sep 16, 2013  Professional

I love the ocean skirts. I think you should have more than four gores - the construction will become an issue if you want fullness (your fabric will need to be stiffer and stiffer with fewer gores). I was also under the impression that these were two different characters because of the difference in skin tone. 

I'm excited to see more of your renderings! They're lively, body-aware, informative for sure. I bet this will be a great show to build! 
More gores - probably. The skirt may not even look like this. between budget, what we can pull from already made skirts and the director's whim, I'm not too worried about the costume looking exactly like the picture. As she says "It's all about "implied" with this show". Things can and will be changed as long as the general idea stays the same.

As for skintone, I tried using a new, much faster method of colouring, using gradient mapping in photoshop. It works like a dream. previously, I was manually applying different highlights and shades on different layers. (I actually did the right-hand drawing first, and the left second) Then after that, I did all the skin and large flats with gradient mapping.
Add a Comment: