how to draw a fish

How to Draw a Fish – Drawing Turorials and Coloring Tips

Learning how to draw a fish can be a captivating artistic journey, whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist. From capturing the intricate details of scales and fins to adding vibrant colors that bring your fish drawings to life, there is so much to explore and learn.

But where do you start? How can you achieve realism in your fish drawings? And what are the best techniques for adding depth and dimension to your artwork?

In this comprehensive article, we will guide you through the process of drawing fish, step by step. We will provide you with easy-to-follow tutorials, tips for coloring and shading, and ideas for adding a personal touch to your fish illustrations. Whether you’re looking to create realistic depictions or let your imagination run wild with colorful designs, we’ve got you covered.

Ready to unleash your creativity and master the art of drawing fish? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to draw a fish with our step-by-step tutorials and easy techniques.
  • Discover expert tips for coloring and shading fish drawings to create realistic and vibrant illustrations.
  • Add a personal touch to your fish drawings with unique patterns, backgrounds, and additional elements.
  • Explore different fish species and unlock the secrets to capturing their distinct characteristics in your artwork.
  • Enhance your fish drawings by adding additional details and elements to create visually appealing compositions.

Step-by-Step Fish Drawing Tutorial

Are you ready to dive into the wonderful world of fish drawing? In this step-by-step tutorial, we will guide you through the process of drawing a fish from start to finish. Whether you’re an aspiring artist or just looking for a fun activity, this tutorial will provide you with easy fish drawing techniques and detailed instructions.

To begin, let’s start with the basic shape of the fish. Start by drawing a simple oval shape for the body. This will serve as the foundation for the fish’s form.

Once you have the body shape, it’s time to add the fins. Draw a triangular shape on one side of the body for the dorsal fin, and add a smaller triangle on the other side for the pectoral fin. These fins will give your fish a more realistic look.

Next, draw a small circle close to the front of the body for the eye. Add a smaller oval within the eye to represent the iris. Don’t forget to add a tiny dot inside the iris to bring the eye to life.

Now let’s focus on the tail. Draw a slightly curved line that starts at the back of the body and extends outward. Add a series of smaller lines within the tail to create the appearance of scales.

To complete your fish drawing, add additional details such as the mouth, gills, and additional fins. The mouth can be as simple as a small curve near the front of the body, while the gills can be represented by a series of lines on the side of the fish.

For a more realistic touch, you can experiment with shading to add depth to your drawing. Try adding darker areas to the body and fins to create a sense of volume and dimension.

Remember, practice makes perfect! Don’t be afraid to try different techniques and explore your own artistic style. With these detailed fish drawing instructions, you’ll be creating beautiful fish drawings in no time.

Tips for Coloring Fish Drawings

When it comes to bringing your fish drawings to life, coloring plays a crucial role in creating realistic and visually captivating artwork. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to take your coloring skills to the next level, these tips will help you add depth, dimension, and vibrancy to your fish drawings.

1. Start with a Solid Base

An important step in coloring fish drawings is to establish a solid base color. This provides a foundation for layering and blending additional colors. Begin by selecting a color that closely matches the hue of your chosen fish species.

2. Create Realistic Color Variations

To achieve a realistic finish, consider adding color variations to your fish drawings. Fish scales often exhibit subtle shifts in color, especially under different lighting conditions. Gradually layering shades of the base color, blending them softly, can help mimic this effect.

3. Capture the Iridescent Quality of Fish Scales

Fish scales often display iridescent reflections, giving them a mesmerizing appearance. To capture this effect, experiment with adding hints of metallic or pearlescent colors to areas of your fish drawing where light would naturally hit the scales.

4. Let Your Creativity Shine with Colorful Fish Drawing Ideas

While realism is essential, don’t be afraid to inject your own creativity into your fish drawings. Explore colorful fish drawing ideas by experimenting with unique color combinations and patterns. Let your imagination guide you as you play with vibrant hues and unconventional color choices.

colorful fish drawing

5. Don’t Forget About the Background

A well-thought-out background can enhance the overall impact of your fish drawing. Consider incorporating elements like water ripples, seaweed, or coral reefs to create a complete and immersive composition. Pay attention to color harmony, ensuring that the background complements the colors and tones used in the fish.

“Coloring fish drawings is a wonderful opportunity to explore your artistic skills and unleash your imagination. By implementing these tips, you can create dynamic and visually stunning fish artwork that truly stands out.” – Christine Anderson, Art Guide

With the right coloring techniques and a touch of creativity, you can transform your fish drawings into captivating pieces of art. So, grab your colored pencils or brushes and dive into the world of colorful fish illustrations!

Techniques for Shading Fish Drawings

Adding proper shading to your fish drawings can bring them to life by adding dimension and depth. It is a crucial step in creating realistic and visually appealing artwork. Here are some essential tips and techniques to help you master the art of shading fish drawings.

Understand Light and Shadow

Before diving into shading techniques, it’s important to understand how light interacts with objects. Study the way light hits a fish from different angles and how it creates various shadows and highlights. This knowledge will guide your shading decisions and make your drawings more realistic.

Start with Light Pencil Strokes

To achieve a smooth shading effect, start with light pencil strokes. Gradually build up the layers of shading, using a softer pencil or varying your pressure to create darker areas. This technique allows you to control the overall tone and prevent the shading from looking too harsh or patchy.

Blend and Smudge

Blending and smudging pencil strokes can help create a seamless transition between different shades. Use a blending stump, cotton swab, or even your finger to gently blend the pencil strokes together. This technique softens the transitions, adding a more realistic touch to your shading.

Use Cross-Hatching

Cross-hatching involves drawing parallel lines or intersecting lines to create shading. It is a versatile technique that can be used to achieve different textures and values. Vary the spacing and direction of the lines to create depth and form in your fish drawings.

Consider the Texture of Fish Scales

When shading fish scales, take into account their unique texture. Use light, curved pencil strokes that follow the shape of the scales to add highlights and shadows. Pay attention to the direction and pattern of the scales and mimic them in your shading.

Don’t Forget About Reflected Light

Reflected light plays an important role in shading fish drawings. It refers to the light that bounces off surrounding objects and illuminates the shaded areas. Add subtle highlights and lighter tones in the shadowed areas to capture the effect of reflected light and make your fish drawings more realistic.

Experiment with Different Shading Tools

There are various shading tools you can use to enhance your fish drawings. Aside from pencils, try using charcoal, graphite powder, or even colored pencils to achieve different shading effects. Each tool has its own unique characteristics that can bring out different aspects of your artwork.

tips for shading fish drawings

Shading Techniques Description
Cross-Hatching Using intersecting or parallel lines to create shading and texture.
Smooth Blending Blending pencil strokes together to create a seamless transition.
Layering Building up multiple layers of shading to create depth and form.
Hatch Marking Using closely spaced parallel lines to create a shaded area.
Stippling Creating shading by using dots or small dashes.

Experiment with these techniques and find the ones that work best for your desired effect. Remember to practice regularly and observe real fish for reference. With time and technique refinement, your fish drawings will become more realistic and visually captivating.

Drawing Fish Tutorial for Kids

Introducing your little artists to the wonderful world of drawing can be an enjoyable and enriching experience. To make it even more exciting, we have created a simplified fish drawing tutorial specifically designed for kids. With easy fish drawing techniques and step-by-step instructions, your children can create their own fish masterpiece in no time!

Materials Needed

  • White paper or sketchbook
  • Pencils
  • Eraser
  • Coloring materials (crayons, colored pencils, or markers)


  1. Start by drawing a simple oval shape for the fish’s body.
  2. Add a small triangle at one end of the oval for the fish’s tail.
  3. Draw a curved line across the body to create the fish’s back.
  4. Next, sketch a small triangle at the opposite end of the body for the fish’s mouth.
  5. Draw a large circle for the fish’s eye and add a smaller circle inside for the pupil.
  6. Now, it’s time to add the fins. Draw two small triangles on each side of the fish’s body.
  7. Complete your fish drawing by adding scales all over the body. Use curved lines to create the scales, starting from the back and working your way down to the tail.
  8. Erase any unnecessary lines and add color to bring your fish to life! Feel free to use vibrant colors or experiment with different patterns.

Encourage your kids to let their imagination run wild and personalize their fish drawings with unique details and backgrounds. With this easy fish drawing tutorial for kids, they’ll not only have fun, but also develop their fine motor skills and unleash their creativity!

fish drawing tutorial for kids

Benefits of Fish Drawing for Kids
Develops fine motor skills
Enhances creativity and imagination
Improves hand-eye coordination
Boosts confidence and self-expression

Exploring Different Fish Species

In this section, we will dive into the world of fish drawing tutorials and explore the step-by-step process of capturing the unique characteristics of different fish species. Whether you’re interested in drawing a vibrant goldfish, a playful clownfish, an elegant koi fish, or a stunning tropical fish, we’ve got you covered!

Goldfish Drawing Tutorial

Let’s start with a tutorial on drawing a beautiful goldfish. Follow these simple steps to bring this popular aquatic pet to life on your paper:

  1. Begin by sketching the basic shape of the goldfish’s body using curved lines.
  2. Add the tail fin and the side fins, paying attention to their unique shapes.
  3. Draw the eyes, mouth, and small details like scales to add realism.
  4. Finish off by carefully shading and coloring your goldfish to make it come alive on the page.

With practice, you’ll soon be able to create a stunning and vibrant goldfish drawing!

Clownfish Drawing Tutorial

If you’re a fan of Finding Nemo, you’ll love drawing a clownfish! Follow these steps to bring this adorable and colorful fish to life:

  1. Begin by sketching out the clownfish’s distinctive shape, including its long body and striped pattern.
  2. Add the fins, tail, and the unique coloring that makes the clownfish instantly recognizable.
  3. Don’t forget to draw the expressive eyes and the adorable mouth.
  4. Finish off your drawing by adding vibrant colors and shading to create dimension and depth.

By following these steps, soon you’ll have a captivating clownfish drawing that will make you smile!

Koi Fish Drawing Tutorial

The elegant and graceful koi fish is a popular subject for artists. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on capturing the beauty of this magnificent fish:

  1. Begin by drawing the elongated body and the distinctive shape of the koi fish.
  2. Add the flowing fins, paying attention to their unique patterns and shapes.
  3. Draw the mesmerizing eyes and the delicate mouth.
  4. Complete your drawing by adding intricate scales and vibrant colors to bring the koi fish to life.

With patience and attention to detail, you’ll create a stunning koi fish drawing that captures the essence of this beloved creature.

Tropical Fish Drawing Tutorial

Finally, let’s explore the vibrant world of tropical fish with this step-by-step drawing tutorial:

  1. Start by sketching the body shape and the unique structure of the tropical fish.
  2. Add the colorful fins, carefully paying attention to their shapes and sizes.
  3. Draw the intricate patterns and details that make each tropical fish species unique.
  4. Finish off your drawing by adding a burst of vibrant colors to bring these tropical beauties to life.

By following these steps, you’ll create a tropical fish drawing that showcases the captivating colors and patterns of these exotic creatures.

Fish Drawing Tutorial

Fish Species Difficulty Level Key Features
Goldfish Easy Vibrant colors, graceful fins
Clownfish Easy Bright colors, striped pattern
Koi Fish Intermediate Elongated body, flowing fins
Tropical Fish Intermediate Exotic colors, intricate patterns

Adding Personal Touches to Fish Drawings

Get ready to make your fish drawings truly unique and personalized! Adding personal touches is a wonderful way to showcase your creativity and make your artwork stand out. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

1. Explore Colorful Fish Drawing Ideas:

  • Experiment with vibrant and unexpected color combinations to bring your fish to life. Let your imagination guide you and don’t be afraid to mix and match hues.
  • Incorporate different textures and patterns into your fish’s scales. Think about using techniques like stippling, cross-hatching, or even creating intricate designs for a visually captivating effect.
  • Consider painting a background with underwater scenery or abstract patterns to enhance the overall composition and make your fish drawings more visually appealing.

2. Add Elements and Details:

  • Include additional elements such as shells, corals, or rocks to create a realistic underwater environment for your fish.
  • Try drawing bubbles surrounding your fish to add movement and a sense of depth.
  • Introduce other sea creatures like starfish or seahorses to make your drawing more dynamic and interesting.

3. Play with Media and Materials:

  • Experiment with different art supplies and media to bring variety and texture to your fish drawings. Consider using colored pencils, watercolors, markers, or even mixed media techniques.
  • Explore different paper textures and sizes to create diverse visual effects. You can try textured watercolor paper for a more organic feel or experiment with larger canvas surfaces to allow for more detail.

Remember, there are no limits to your creativity! Let your imagination soar and have fun while adding your personal touches to your fish drawings. Each embellishment and choice you make will bring your artwork to life and showcase your unique style.

colorful fish drawing

Quoted Inspiration:

“Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton

Enhancing Fish Drawings with Additional Details

Once you have mastered the basics of drawing fish, you can take your artwork to the next level by adding additional details and elements. These tips and suggestions will help you enhance the overall appearance of your fish drawings and bring them to life.

1. Add More Fish

Why settle for just one fish when you can create an entire school of fish in your drawing? Adding more fish not only adds visual interest but also creates a sense of movement and activity in your artwork. Experiment with different shapes, sizes, and patterns to make each fish unique.

2. Explore Other Ocean Creatures

Drawing fish doesn’t have to be limited to just fish. Dive deeper into the underwater world by including other ocean creatures in your drawings. From seahorses and starfish to turtles and coral, there are endless possibilities to explore. Research different marine species for inspiration and incorporate them into your artwork to create a dynamic and diverse composition.

3. Create a Background

A well-executed background can significantly enhance the overall impact of your fish drawing. Consider adding elements such as rocks, plants, or even a coral reef to create depth and context. Using different shading techniques, you can create the illusion of underwater landscapes, adding a realistic touch to your artwork.

fish drawing tutorials

4. Pay Attention to Fine Details

Small details can make a big difference in your fish drawings. Pay attention to the finer aspects such as scales, textures, and patterns. Use cross-hatching or stippling techniques to create realistic textures, and experiment with different line weights to add depth and dimension. Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal with the tiny details that make fish so fascinating.

“The devil is in the details – and so is the beauty.”

– Leonardo da Vinci

By focusing on these tips and adding additional details, you can take your fish drawings to a whole new level of realism and artistry. Remember to practice, experiment, and let your creativity flow. Happy drawing!


Throughout this tutorial and guide on how to draw a fish, we have provided step-by-step instructions, coloring tips, and artistic techniques to help you create realistic and visually appealing fish drawings. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist, we hope that these resources have inspired you to explore your creativity and improve your drawing skills.

By following the tutorials, you have learned how to start with simple shapes and gradually add details to create lifelike fish drawings. Additionally, we have provided tips on coloring, shading, and adding personal touches to make your drawings unique and vibrant.

Remember, practice makes perfect! The key to mastering any art form is consistent practice and experimentation. So, keep practicing your fish drawing skills and don’t be afraid to try new techniques and ideas. With time and dedication, you will continue to improve and develop your own artistic style.

Thank you for joining us on this fish drawing journey. We hope that this article has served as a valuable resource and guide for your artistic endeavors. Happy drawing!


How can I learn how to draw a fish?

You can learn how to draw a fish by following step-by-step tutorials, which provide easy fish drawing techniques and detailed instructions.

Are there any tips for coloring fish drawings?

Yes, there are tips for coloring fish drawings, including suggestions for creating realistic color variations, capturing the iridescent quality of fish scales, and trying out unique color combinations and patterns.

What shading techniques can I use for fish drawings?

You can use shading techniques to add dimension and depth to fish drawings. Tips include creating realistic shadows and highlights and blending colors smoothly for a more realistic appearance.

Do you have a fish drawing tutorial for kids?

Yes, we provide a simplified fish drawing tutorial specifically designed for children. It includes easy-to-follow instructions and uses simpler shapes and techniques.

Are there tutorials for drawing different species of fish?

Yes, we offer tutorials for drawing different species of fish, such as goldfish, clownfish, koi fish, and tropical fish. Each tutorial provides step-by-step instructions specific to the characteristics and features of each species.

How can I add personal touches to my fish drawings?

You can add personal touches to your fish drawings by incorporating unique patterns, backgrounds, and additional elements like bubbles or other sea creatures to make your drawings more unique and personalized.

Can I enhance my fish drawings with additional details?

Yes, you can enhance your fish drawings with additional details. Consider adding more fish, other ocean creatures, or a background to create a more dynamic and visually appealing composition.

What should I keep in mind when adding details to fish drawings?

When adding details to fish drawings, it’s important to consider the overall appearance and composition. You can follow our tips for adding details and elements that enhance the overall appearance of your fish drawings.

What resources are available to help me learn how to draw a fish?

In this article, we provide valuable resources such as step-by-step tutorials, tips for coloring and shading, and ideas for adding personal touches. These resources will help you become more skilled and creative in drawing fish.

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