Her Human Lover

A quick ad before proceeding to Day 9 of the 365 Women Project. I’m one of the speakers on DLSU Manila’s upcoming 5th Young Multimedia and Graphic Designers Summit (YMGDS). Organized by Moomedia, YMGDS is a series of multimedia seminars that will be held within the DLSU Manila campus. It’s not only open for the whole university, but also to other students from different universities, colleges, and schools. I’ll be giving a talk on illustration and graphic design. I might include a bit on painting and photography, but we’ll see. Details will be posted soon.

Moving on, today’s drawing was supposed to be for next week but I decided to execute it today because it’s Friday the 13th. Nothing could be more apt for this unluckiest day of the year than a mermaid (Sirena in Filipino).

Her Human Lover. He was a pirate. Too bad he couldn't live for so long.

Beautiful mythical creatures that they are, they are regarded in traditional Filipino lore as bringers of bad luck. This applies especially in coastal towns where they are believed to hypnotize fishermen with their enchanting voices, then abduct them. Some believe they carry their victims to the depths of the sea to offer them to water deities. But then almost all Philippine mythical creatures are malevolent in nature.

Mermaids were my favorite subjects to draw ever since I was a child. I had a beautifully illustrated “The Little Mermaid” book and one of the images that struck me was an illustration that depicted the little mermaid’s garden in detail.

Each little princess had her own small garden plot, where she could dig and plant whatever she liked. One of them made her little flower bed in the shape of a whale, another thought it neater to shape hers like a little mermaid, but the youngest of them made hers as round as the sun, and there she grew only flowers which were as red as the sun itself. She was an unusual child, quiet and wistful, and when her sisters decorated their gardens with all kinds of odd things they had found in sunken ships, she would allow nothing in hers except flowers as red as the sun, and a pretty marble statue. This figure of a handsome boy, carved in pure white marble, had sunk down to the bottom of the sea from some ship that was wrecked. Beside the statue she planted a rose-colored weeping willow tree, which thrived so well that its graceful branches shaded the statue and hung down to the blue sand, where their shadows took on a violet tint, and swayed as the branches swayed. It looked as if the roots and the tips of the branches were kissing each other in play.

So I tried to incorporate that rose-colored tree in my quick drawing above, only I turned it to a coral because of lack of space. I’d love to paint that scene on canvas someday. I’ve been meaning to draw a mermaid since the day I first started on this project so I’m really happy I was finally able to do it today. And this is a requested drawing by Cons Canapi.

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