This year I teamed up with Potato Beta to provide an own prompt board. We came up with one which hopefully will help you all coming smoothily through this year’s Mermay challenge without burning out due to feeling obligated to provide a painting every day.
On this page you will not only find our prompt board and the corresponding guide I will share my own entries too, of course. To see my entries of previous Mermays, check out the Mermay subpage (2019 and 2020 are in German, but feel free to use the Google translate button).
Prompt Board + Guide
There are a few guidelines and they reallly are only guidelines but while hopefully being quite clear at the same time allowing the maximum of flexibility and healthy time pacing:
This year I’m going to create for Mermay paintings, one for each week. At the same time I will share one part or detail of it every day to keep the daily pace. You will find them below.
Week 1: Ocean
We are starting in the ocean, the place where every life emerged from once upon a time.
Deap Sea: Nobody knows what dangers lurks in the dephts of the ocean. Scary creatures, pitch-black darkness, eerie lights and unknown treasures. What will you come up with on the bottom of the sea?
Coral: Colours everywhere, fish and even more fishes, a reef full of life. But beware, dangers lurk here too. Sharp teeth and hungry mouthes, what will be friend and what will be fiend?
Seal: Clumsy ashore, skilled hunters in the sea. They can be friends, companions, pets, jesters in the circus ring and at the same time worst nightmares of the fishes‘ world.
Star Wars: May the 4th, you know? Rebels, Vader, Jedi, The Emperor, The Force! Which side do you choose? See you in an ocean far far away!
Octopus/Kraken: They come in many forms and sizes – and arms, a lot of arms. They can be tiny and cute or big and dangerous, crashing ships or cuddling fingers. Release them or hug them!
Island: They can be the perfect holiday location or the farest desert spot on the seven seas, you can meet other people or be alone for the rest of your life. Some art artificial, some may be even drifting, travelling around the world. Where will your voyage lead us to?
Beach: Sun, sea, beaches, coconuts, warm nights under palm trees. Or do you prefer vaste coasts? Stone beaches and cliffs, mighty storms at the coast. Cliffs and storms, even the icy shores of the North and South may be your favorite seaside. Let us know!
The Return of the Merindiana Jane
Week 1 features my Mermay OCs Merindiana Jane and Ceratia. Some time ago I shared a redraw and a character sheet of Meri, the one for Ceratia still is pending. In Mermay 2020 Merindiana Jane got thrown into a deep sea trench by Captain Tigra „Sushi“ Selachii. In Mermay 2021 it was revealed that she fell into the arms of Ceratia, my anglerfish mermaid who always had trouble making friends because of her grand appetite and the abyssal instinct to catch everything in front of her mouth that’s small enough. After freeing Meri from her sushi wrapping, Ceratia accompanies her new found friend back to the surface in trace of her arch rival.
If you can’t wait to see the finished painting (pending minor changes), you will find it on Ko-fi for a small tip in my coffee jar.
Week 2: River
Tomorrow we will leave the ocean and swim our way up the river, following the path back to the place where we hatched from egg… err … got carried away, so, let’s jump in!
Fork: You can eat with it, you can clean the barn with it, you can chase the monster up the old water mill with it but rivers fork too, animals are named after it, what’s YOUR approach to the fork?
Steampunk City: Victorian age, old fashion, zeppelins, machines and engines, steam, the full force of a vivid city. Or do you like the abandones ruins of an industrial complex? A tiny village with some augments? Show us your vision!
Bridge: Crossing waters, rivers, streams. Links between worlds, links between people, beautiful places to hang out or looming over troubled waters. Is it physical? Is it metaphorical? It’s up to you!
Salmon: Big, red delicious salmons, symbol of the cirle of life, of returning back to their roots, determinated, making their way despite endless dangers. What will they face in your Mermay?
Waterfall: Mighty powers or gently splashing ripples in the creek, salmons jump up their lengths and barrels are floating down. Can you have a shower under them? Is there hidden treasure behind? Let us find it!
Swing: Movement, back, forwards, back forwards, children playing with it but adult’s won’t say „no“ too. A working platform? Oh wait, a whole decade was called swinging! So, swing your pen and join the dance!
Guardian: A keeper of treasures, a keeper of lives, either the one standing betweeen you and certain death or the one getting in your way when you set out to save the world? Are they awake? Are they asleep? Do they only watch or do they take action? Did evil already sneak behind their back? How will you face the guardian?
A Bridge between Worlds
After escaping the Kraken (see week 1), Engineeriel and her assistant Founder turned to new projects. They now are accompanied by Crissea, my Arcryla City OC Crissy Faith and her girlfriend Paula who I turned into a mermaids.
If you can’t wait to see the finished painting (pending minor changes), you will find the finished painting in advance on Ko-fi for a small tip in my coffee jar.
Week 3: Lake
We now are in the second half of #4WeeksMermay.
Swimming up the river, we finding the lake this stream emerged. It’s up to us how we will find it, big, small, calm, angry, hidden, open, full of danger or a beautiful relaxing sight.
Cenote: Great caves full of secrets and wonders hiding gorgeous underground lakes full of life and colors. But beware as beautiful as it seems these waters are colder than ice and can get deep enough for you to disappear. What would YOU find in there? A treasure? A hiding city?
Night Sky: We are all seeing the same night sky. But do we? It depends on your view on life. A full moon can be enlightening but also daring, beasts and monsters are dedicated to it. Clouds, a friendly reminder of time passing or an angry sea in a midnight storm. The stars, never changing, yet they change, millenia after millenia looking down and we looking up to them. To eternity and beyond.
Nessie: The monster of Loch Ness – but any other lake monster of their kind will fit. Many spotted them but nobody had proof. How do they look like? A sea dragon? A serpent? A prehistoric reptile? Are they peaceful or would they tear you apart? Which kind of Nessie did YOU see?
Boat: A human device. Do mermaids need it? You cross their waters, or you just stay on the surface. They can be big or small, showy or shabby, not far from sinking. Does the wind drive them? Muscle, engine power? Just floating with the waves? It can be romantic, time to cuddle, time to kiss? Where will your boat take us?
Love: The thing that makes our heart feel at ease, that makes us smile for no reason, laugh when we’re crying. It can be love between family, love between friends or love between a significant other… What would it be? Is it a sweet love? A passionate one? Or is it a sad one? Which one is it?
Axolotl: A cute tiny animal that has stolen the world’s heart, there’s a pokemon inspired on them, they’re even on a bill from its country of origin. They swim on Lake Xochimilco; full of colorful boats. They also come in various colors, blue, white, pink; in what color do you picture them? Do they get along with their visitors? What’s an axolotl for you?.
The Heart inside our Caves
Axola, the axolotl mermaid, cudddling with her best friend, one of the many members of the Nessie family while in the background a ceremony is taking place.
If you can’t wait to see the finished painting (pending minor changes), you will find it in advance on Ko-fi for a small tip in my coffee jar as soon as it is finished.
Week 4: Swamp
Everything comes to an end. We surfed on the waves of the ocean, we travelled up the river and we crossed the surface of the lake. On its very edge it transforms into a swamp. Wet marshes, bubbling moors, sticky surfaces dragging you into oblivion. It’s dangerous in there, treat and decay in front of your eyes. But it’s lively, too, some swear of their healing powers. An eternal balance of life and death.
Snake: Standing for deception and for cleverness, they are the smart ones but also can stand for wisdom. They are worshipped as symbols of immortality or healing powers. They can be big, small, venomous or harmless, mythological or real. And sometimes … a snake simply is a snake, isn’t it?
Frog: And toads, of course. Seeming harmless and small but they can be BIG, destroyers of ecosystems or bearing the poison on your arrow’s heads. They seem clumsy and slow but they are skilled swimmers and some of them even are gliding through the air. They come in every colour, dull grey and green or lively blue, yellow, pink. We want to see YOUR frog!
Water Plants: Where is swamp there are plants. They can hide the way, they can be misleading, where you thought is ground, you will fall into oblivion. But they can be beautiful, too, think of giant water lily pads, of a sea of white blossoms, swaying on the waves. Will you jump from pad to pad or will you sink into the ground?
Spa: A place to relax and forget all the worries of your day. With your eyes closed, covered with cucumber and a mud mask; you can feel your body restoring and healing. What is your dream spa?
Witch: Wielder of magic or just some wise herb experts? Old crones or alluring young women dancing in the moonshine? Just some poor folks on the fiery stake? Are they apprentices or are they masters of witchtcraft? The one you ask when you’re at a loss? If so, to what cost? Will they help for free? Show us their magic!
(Un)Dead: Are they alive? Are they dead? Nobody knows. These being are in the Limbo and can’t be considered dead or alive. They roam the world in different forms, such as ghosts, zombies or skeletons. What do they look like to you? How dead or alive are they?
Wytch on Vakation
The Little Sea Witch having some relaxing times in the spa. She is accompanyied by a ghost starfish she summoned during a failed conjuring in Mermay 2021 and Raven and Sam in their amphibious forms. As usual her magic doings have unintentioned side effects.
If you can’t wait to see the finished painting (pending minor changes), you will find it in advance on Ko-fi for a small tip in my coffee jar.