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Brazilian Bestiary - Iara

This is the first final image for a project I’ve started depicting creatures from brazilian folklore.

The Iara is a river mermaid, said to lure people with its beautiful song to later drown and , in my version, eat them. The myth has roots in Europe, when the portuguese came to this land in the sixteenth century.

I tried to show a beautiful and terrifying monster, balancing the repulsive with attractive. I gave it a pink rubbery skin, like the Amazon river dolphin, as well as big eyes, since sometimes it is located in dark waters like those from Amazon’s Rio Negro.

The nostrils and color scheme also came as an inspiration from the Amazon river dolphin, the “boto cor-de-rosa”.

Mikael quites bb iara

The final image

Mikael quites iara02
Mikael quites iara01
Mikael quites folclore

The big mouth in this sketch came from gulper eels and snakes

Mikael quites iara sketch
Mikael quites iara