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The Little Mermaid Costumes - Undine
By RobynRose   |   Watch
73 23 7K (1 Today)
Published: September 16, 2013
© 2013 - 2019 RobynRose
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
Image size
999x771px 258.64 KB
IMAGE DETAILS
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows
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Comments (22)
DrinkTeaOrDie's avatar
DrinkTeaOrDie|Hobbyist Digital Artist
These are very lovely! :D Did the production work out well? Did you make a journal about it I could read? I would love to learn the results of your hard work and see how the concept art translated to real life. :aww:
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The-Lost-Hope's avatar
The-Lost-Hope|Student General Artist
Nice job on the designs they hint at a merperson without being overly done.
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EstrangeloEdessa's avatar
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. :)
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BlueNephelim's avatar
BlueNephelim|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very nice! I love the tentacles/sea-frond look of the one on the right...
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TheDM1's avatar
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  :)  .. 
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AlfredoJDeLeon's avatar
Would you be able to post a picture of the finished product?
I cant wait to see it!
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81Scorp's avatar
Neat! :)
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LorienInksong's avatar
LorienInksong|Professional General Artist
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!
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GwynConawayArt's avatar
Nice~!

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! 
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RobynRose's avatar
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.
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Hrodwulf123's avatar
Hrodwulf123|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Just like the original version of the  Victor Hugo's "Hunchback of Notre dame" has a much darker ending than in the Disney's adaptation.
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RobynRose's avatar
Oh, many of them do. The Grimm's fairy tales are especially... grim.

Cinderella originally had the two stepsisters cut off their toes and heels to fit into the glass slipper. The prince knew they were fakes because of the trails of blood coming from their feet. And their punishment was to have their eyes pecked out by ravens.

Rapunzel was originally impregnated by the prince and gave birth to twins, after which she was banished from the tower.

Sleeping beauty's prince actually fell off the tower into a patch of thorns and became blind.

It's all really greusome when you read about it.
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Hrodwulf123's avatar
Hrodwulf123|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmmm...that thing with Cinderella's feet reminds me of the foot binding tradition in China (it was banned in 1912).

Did you know that Snow White was a real person? Her real name was Maria Sophia Margaretha Catherina von Erthal. Maria was born in Lohr am Main in 1725. She was a noble girl, but whereas Snow White's father was a king, Maria's father Philipp Christoph von Erthal was a superior magistrate, representing the Prince Elector of Mainz in Lohr. After the death of her birth mother in 1741, Maria's father remarried in 1743 to Claudia Elisabeth von Reichenstein who was domineering and employed her new position to the advantage of her children from her first marriage. This is how she looked like: eslamoda.com/sites/default/fil…

A mirror which is now called “The Talking Mirror” is located the Spessart Museum in the Lohr Castle, where Maria Sophia was born. It was a product of the famous Lohr Mirror Manufacture (Kurmainzische Spiegelmanufaktur). These mirrors were a favorite gift on the European crown and aristocratic courts.
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PlaidTidings's avatar
PlaidTidings|Professional Digital Artist
While that definitely is a genuinely cool story, I'd like to know where you got the information (and the portrait) from?  The woman in the portrait is dressed in Regency-style, which happened 50 years after the dates you have listed, and she only looks to be in her late teens/early 20's.
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CarlosAE's avatar
CarlosAE|Hobbyist General Artist
Hmm...very interesting. I hope your class loves your design. :D
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missZoid's avatar
wow this costume is going to look amazing 
I like your ideas for mermaid skirts that hide the legs but has emphasis on  movement 
keep up the drawing you have so beautiful designs and some great ideas 
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RobynRose's avatar
Yeah, movement was really the goal. The director has a long dance background, and wanted to incorporate dancing into the show, which be difficult if not impossible with body-hugging pencil skirts, or trailing tails that could either be tripped over or needed to be carried.
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missZoid's avatar
yea the skirt is the best thing to go with then
loots really nice. Cant wait to see the finished product
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omnomphenomenonArt's avatar
omnomphenomenonArt|Hobbyist General Artist
These will look magnificent! I can't wait to see the finished product. It's always amazing to see the works you come up with. c':
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RobynRose's avatar
Thank you! Originally I was only signed up to design the costumes, (as in do the drawings) but today we heard that one of our seamstresses broke her foot, so I may be in the shop building them as well. If I do, at least I'll get paid for it. :)
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omnomphenomenonArt's avatar
omnomphenomenonArt|Hobbyist General Artist
Unfortunate luck.. I hope she recovers well. And I hope you have a good time making the costumes, if you do end up getting to. I really like the approach you took on her design!
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