How To Draw A Fish

You may have been trying to figure out how to draw a fish and feel a little puzzled. Generally, fish really looks very simple, yet many people experience some difficulties while drawing a fish.

It also depends what kind of fish you want to draw. It is totally different to draw a shark or common carp than drawing a tropical fish.

If you are still unsure, I would recommend to play first with simple cartoon fish drawing because there you are free to create any shape or even new species.

Yet almost every fish as we all perceive it has a long spindle-shaped body (fuselage), usually covered by scales and, has a couple of fins.

The first example, is a very simple and easy fish drawing, almost cartoonish, which you can accomplish in less 2 minutes.

If you learn and memorize this simple example you can make a quick sketches or illustrations into your memos or draw such fish on the postcard. In any case this is a good exercise to learn how to draw a fish from a scratch.

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Draw two slightly curved lines intersecting near the end, as you see on the picture. Follow the arrows and the drawing will be easier. Now, body of the fish is almost ready.

Connect the first two lines on the tail and draw a half circle, which will be the gill opening.

Add the fins as you see on the picture. You can play with the shape and size as you wish. Make some on a separate paper also, because such exercise will greatly contribute to your fish drawings. Do not forget to draw the mouth and the eye!

Hold your pencil tilted and shade the body gently and gradually. Notice that the fish is always darker on the top and the belly is of very light color.

Make some pencil strokes on every fin so that the fins will look more like fins. Please keep the direction of the strokes as seen on the picture.

You can slightly mark the scales on the body of the fish by gentle crossing pencil strokes.

Good, now you know the basic technique of how to draw a fish - a simple one.

click the image to enlarge

The second example is a little more realistic and may take a little more time to finish than the previous one, but it is definitely worth of trying.

To learn and memorize this way of drawing may come handy when you would like to draw a fish from a photo or maybe a real one.

First, enlarge the above image (print out if necessary) and observe it for a while.

click the image to enlarge

This initial sketch resembles to a kind of deformed banana. If you observed well enough the previous drawing, you’ll notice that it is the outline of the fish, the contours of the fish.

In order to capture the outline as exact as possible I would recommend holding the pencil tilted and, as close as possible to the graphite.

You will feel more confidence and your first pencil strokes will be very accurate. Notice that the top back of the fish is rather flat and the belly is round.

click the image to enlarge

Draw the fins, the mouth and the gill opening. Do it still with tilted pencil if possible.

click the image to enlarge

Now, you can gradually start erasing the excess pencil lines. Since the initial lines were drawn wider it is easier and less painful to match the real shape and body proportion of the fish.

Draw the eye, only a weak single circle. Do it by very weak pencil line. Remember; when you draw a fish it is important where do you position the eye(s).

Draw a line on the upper third of the fish’s body. This line is a part of the pattern of this fish’s back.

click the image to enlarge

You can now complete the eye. Mark out the slits in lower part of the gills and specify shape of the mouth with short teeth.

click the image to enlarge

It is time to shade the body. Use tilted hold of the pencil so that the shading lines will be wider and seamless, at least in the beginning. You can make additional pencil strokes later.

When you draw a fish the point is to shade the body properly and make it more 3-dimensional.

Draw straight pencil strokes across the length of every fin. Before doing so, observe the ready picture again. Every detail counts!

click the image to enlarge

Blackish dots in upper part are the most important in the pattern on fish’s back. Notice that these dots literally determine the outlook of the fish. Line up the dots in about 3 rows.

By weak and quick pencil cross strokes mark out the scales on the body.

click the image to enlarge

Put some final touch on the fins and erase excess lines. Finish the shading, add more where you feel necessary and your fish drawing is ready.

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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it was easy to draw

I tried to draw the second one and it turned out amazing. I love the website and want it to make more of these incredible drawings. Good luck Well …

make it more like a brown trout 

good :) 
i think this was very useful,the animal i drew came out very nicely as i followed the steps and ithink its good. thank you

Fish Artwork 

Thank You 
The second drawing of the fish was very helpful and was drawn extremely well - thank you for the steps. It will be very helpful for my art GCSE!

it took me ages to do and i think its verys helpful

my art tacher said i was better then him

Helpful-Want more Drawings 
Everything on this website is very helpful. I Love Love Love art I can't thank you enough for making it. Now I'm able to draw what inwant without wasting …

This fish was a reference I had used for my Art class. My teacher was extremely surpirsed after a glimpse of it.

the fish  
i think its good can you do one that is continous line?

I looked at this drawing an I though, ugh! This is so hard, but I decided to give it a shot. I drew it and it look amazing! I even won an artshow!

Fish Drawings 
Great, really helped with drawing the fish!

thanks for your website! the fish was a big sucess!i have a geography fair coming up, and i need to draw a fish for the seas of israel. thanks alot …

Cool fish  
I love these fish you did an exclent job on them .

:) Just needed to draw a simple fish. The top drawing helped me.

brilliant really helped my art homework need to do more types of fish

Great, helped a lot

fishy wishy 
i think this is awsome

Omg this is such a help im going to 7th grade and taking adv. art and for the summer i have to make 12 drawings and this is a huge help thank you so much …

fish art 
I really liked the explaination of line and shadow; it helps me add dimension to what i am drawing

This helped me draw a great-looking fish for the "Draw Something" app I play with my 4-year old daughter! I'm not quite an artist so it assisted me greatly, …

I think that this drawing is amazing. I am very good at my art work and I am deeply inspired by yours thank you for your help. Kessia

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M. Bogangle 

its very good to get u to learn how to draw i do art in school and im doing it for my junior and i have to say your website has been great help:)

These were great! Do you think you could do some that beginners would be able to follow a bit better?

DO MORE REALISTIC FISHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i think it was very good to draw and u do have some steps to get an idea what to do or u can easily copy that


it was good

yes got A in art test thanks to these fish

Good article 
I thought that this was a VERY good article....I got the first fish right away on my first try. I didn't do the shading though. And I also didn't do the …

drawing fish 
i like the drawing's of the fish. and the picture's help me how to draw the fish. and i was thinking i wanted to draw this fish and i did.

realistic fish 
i think this was very helpful and i drew it for my dad for fishing, though i would prefer to be able to wright what kind of fish it is. Do you know?

I like fish 
i like to go fishing

fish needs 
it was hard to draw but fine to understand i will like you to draw any more

how to draw a flower 
that was a very good drawing and just keep doing it you will get better me i foget how to draw before i knew how to draw it but now it so hard for me to …

It help me draw fish but you could add types.

wow me girl 
i think thies pitchers are good

i loved these tutorials there so vivid and not to lengthy but not like dragoart where there super short!! I love this site and the wonderful drawings placed …

fish drawings 
they are too hard i could not draw them nor any of my friends

This drawing was VERY helpful, but the fin on the fishes back looks square, shouldnt it by more rectangular?

confused... :$ 
ummm.... well that is very confusing why dont you have tropical fish? Im doing a science project and I need some tropical fish!!!!!!!!!!!! :$

not what i was looking for 
very nice and should be very helpful to a lot of people. I , however am doing a sculpture and was looking for a detail,yet simple way to sculpt cales....thank …

thanks!!!! (:

Art hw 
OMG!!! Thanks soo much!!! The 1st 1 came out better then the 2nd 1 though.... But my fish looks soo awesome!!!!!!! :)

how to draw a fish 
i loved the examples and i thought the second on was not as quite helpful as the first one.

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animal girl 
Wasn`t what i was looking for but great instructions!

this is so great for my kids. they have to draw a fish for school!

This site is amazing. My drawing of the fish turned out like the one they show us!

Awesome! (maybe too awesome) 
these were really detailed and awesome drawings. Great work. I guess they weren't really that helpful because I myself am not that good of an artist, and …

i dont think its detailed enough

this was awesome! thankssssss.

More ......"Thats so cool!" 
well the drawings were really good i just need more, well informal information. I want more like things that make people go "thats really cool!" Thanks, …

cool guy 

can u please make it more realistic . it does not look like realistic!

This drawing was very helpful towards my artwork and my knowledge of what a fish looks like.

very nice 
its very good to help the people thank u very much

that is cold

it was very helpful but i think its to hard for a beginner drawer like me thank you ;)

I liked the 1st drawing. It helped me a lot. I like the step by step procedure you have.

the fish 
those pictures were amazing, i needed that same fish for my project and now i got it.

very helpful 
this is the only realistic, easy drawing of a fish i have come across. thank you very much :)

how to sketch a real fish 
It does not look like a real one

OMG that is soo cool that soo help me with my art homework thankz a million for helping me out BYE!

good drawing 
i think it looks great u can make it for a picture in ur home

helpful really no jokes

all the pics/drawings are cool you should do more animals

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