For some reason, there is a common misconception that sirens are like mermaids… They’re NOT.
Sirens are, to various degrees ,a fusion of birds and women. Sirens were said to have voices so beautiful that men lost their senses, often crashing their ships because they wanted to be closer to the beauty of their song.
You might wonder, how did they get confused with mermaids?
Well, there are a few different stories..
One is that they were friends of Persephone, and when she was taken by Hades, Demeter, her mother, gave the sirens wings to search for her. Being that she in the underworld they were un able to find her. As punishment for their failure, she stripped them of there feathers and cast them into the sea, with the curse that they would live only until a man could pass them by after hearings their song.
Another, is that Hera called for a singing competition between the sirens and the Muses. The Muses were the clear winners and they plucked out the sirens feathers one by one til they were left with the whitest of skin. They then went into the sea with the same curse to live only until a man could pass them by after hearings their song.
And still another, much simpler, tales is that they stay among the waves and seafoam because it was a wave that made Aphrodite.
The most famous the scene with the Sirens, is Odysseus, who ordered his men to tie him to the mast and not let him go until after they’ve passed the sirens. All the other ship men have beeswaxs in their ears to guard from the sirens song. Which is what I depicted above.
I chose to give them the torso and head of women and the rest of the body a bird. There are, however, many different ways that they combine the two creatures. The only constant is that the head is always human.
I did this one in pen and ink and a waterbrush, using Dr.Ph Martin Bombay inda ink.