Mermaid Eye Design by Kristin Olsson

There are hundreds of myths about the beautiful mermaids that are half human, half fish. And there are some lovely face painting designs out there as well! For this I tutorial I wanted to create a fun eye design that could be doable on the job. 



Arty Brush Cake by Sillyfarm - Aussie Mermaid

Arty Brush Cake by Sillyfarm - Lotus

Arty Brush Cake by Sillyfarm - Mermaid

BAM Ass stencil - Gradient 1206

Galaxy Tap stencil - patterns

Diamond FX Black

Diamond FX White

Bad Ass Mini Stencil No. 1217

Blazin Brush by Marcela Bustamante Round #4


Loew Cornell American painter angled brush 1/4"


Step 1: the head and body

First, I do a little outline of where I want to place the mermaid. I specifically didnt want the head and the body to be too large, so that I would have room enough for the tail and the hair to curve nicely around the eye. If you feel that you need to outline the whole mermaid at this point, then thats fine as well of course.


Step 2: one stroke

I then load a 1/2" angled brush with the darkest colour on the long tip of the brush and paint the mermaids lower body and tail. I take care to curve it around the eye so that the brush strokes direct you towards the focal point between the eyes. I do the same with the hair and curve it slightly upwards towards the focal point as well. I then move on to painting the top as well. You can paint the hair and top with a flat colour if you like - I prefer to use one stroke as much as I can, as this gives the painting some depth very fast and easy.


Step 3: water outline 

I then add some blue around the mermaid to give the design a little more substance and so that the mermaid is not floating in free air - again this was done with a one stroke cake.

Step 5: stencilling

I do like to add a bit of stencilling to my designs! I added some mermaid scales to the tail and some dots to the water/background. Note that I didn´t fill out the entire tail with the scales. This gives the tail a bit more depth. Also, when I stencil I often drag the sponge or the finger dauber over a one stroke cake instead of a flat colour. This adds a bit of depth to the stencilling as well, as you can see in the blue dots here. 


Step 6: black outline 

I then add some black outline to the design and add the little details like her face, and strands of the hair. 


Step 6: optional details

You can leave the mermaid like in the previous step - or you can add some details to it like teardrops, dots and highlights. 

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial - can´t wait to see your version of this :-)


Kristin Olsson has her background from the art and design world and has been working as a professional face painter since 2016.

She has won numerous face painting competitions and has been published in various face and body painting magazines.

She is a certified instructor at the International Face Painting School.
You can see more of her work on her Instagram and Facebook pages.