I just scanned this in so I can get started on the painting this girl.
This is the tight pencil on Crescent illustration board.
Right now I am planning on painting her as an Aboriginal Mermaid.
Dark skin and hair and white markings on her skin.
Her hair will be a dark reddish brown with some strong highlights.
I want her and the turtle to be the focal point so I believe everything else will get lighter as it gets farther away from them.
I had been planning on doing it the complete opposite way by painting the girl pale skinned with flowing red hair, but I like the aboriginal aspect for it's uniqueness.
If I was working smart I would print this out small on paper and do some color studies.
But, the original intention of this image was to experiment and have some fun, so I'm just going to "dive in"" and start painting.
I will search out some paintings by other artists of mermaids and give them a look for inspiration.