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To create a mermaid, first you need to find good stock images. There are plenty of online resources available for doing this. Browse stock sites, such as DeviantArt and Pixabay, to find fish scales, hair and brushes. Start by using the Pen tool to precisely create a selection around each image and then create a layer mask. Use the layer mask to hide the legs and place the fish scales. Open the Free Transform and switch to Warp mode to start shaping the fish scales and the hair. You can also use the Puppet Warp to create a curved shape and distort the image even more. Add adjustment layers, such as Hue/Saturation and Levels, to change the colours and improve the contrast respectively.
It is very important to apply the adjustments in each image to make the tonal corrections, and add a blueish or greenish colour over the composition. Use and abuse the layer masks; apply them whenever you need to hide specific areas or even on the adjustment layers to determine the area the adjustment will affect. Load the bubble brushes, create light rays, add fishes, reflections and coral reef to complete the underwater scene.