This is one of two images I created for an Illustrators Ireland group exhibition called Mythical Beasts. This is Triton.
Triton is a mythological Greek god, the messenger of the sea. He is the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, god, and goddess of the sea respectively, and is a herald for his father. He is usually represented as a merman where he has the upper body of a human and the tail of a fish, “sea-hued”, according to Ovid “his shoulders barnacled with sea-shells”. Like his father, Poseidon, he carried a trident. However, Triton’s special attribute was a twisted conch shell, on which he blew like a trumpet to calm or raise the waves. Its sound was such a cacophony, that when loudly blown, it put the giants to flight, who imagined it to be the roar of a dark wild beast.
The background is from a painting in the Rijksmuseum which is freely available in the public domain and actively encouraged by the museum to be used in other artwork. It’s called Rough Sea with a Dutch Yacht under Sail, Ludolf Bakhuysen, 1694