How To Make Your Original Cartoon Fish Drawing


Let’s make your original cartoon fish drawing. You've probably seen some cartoon movies where the fish would be a hero, like Finding Nemo…or maybe the Japanese movie Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea. (in Japanese: “Iwa No Ue No Ponyo”)

The cartoon fish I drew here is a made up fantasy. I Googled a couple of images on the Internet and find some inspirations.

Yes, you’re right the colors are similar to Nemo. This fish is a girl.

I don’t know why I just made this fish a girl.



Feminine features on the fish’s face are the lips and the eyes.

Also the fins, but I shall explain about the fins during the process of drawing.

Any type of fish is suitable to make it a cartoon. But I think that one of the best themes to choose for cartoon fish drawing is a tropical fish.

You can play more with the shapes and colors. Your own fantasy is the limit.

Imaginary Cartoon Fish Drawing

click the image to enlarge

We are going to draw together this fish. It may look a bit complicated at first.

But you should know me well enough by now that every - even seemingly complicated drawing - turns out to be very simple and easy - as always.

click the image to enlarge

The original tropical fish body contours were like this. Prolonged head and mouth is maybe the most distinct feature.

click the image to enlarge

Outline the fins and correct the tail a little, because it was a bit unbalanced on previous sketch. The eye is originally this small.

click the image to enlarge

Real cartoon fish drawing transformation from a tropical fish body contour into a cartoon-like look starts maybe here. Notice that almost every cartoon character has big eyes.

Especially females and it applies also for animal cartoon characters.

So draw larger eye(s). Since this fish is a female fish, one of the best ways to express the gender is through the eye(s).

Draw the mouth. The mouth should be a little opened and smiling because that is a very friendly look.

click the image to enlarge

Tropical fishes have such fantastic body colors and designs. I love these because you can play with it as you wish and you virtually cannot make a mistake.

click the image to enlarge

Mark out the fins so they look like real fins. You can make the edges a little jagged if you want.

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By sharper pencil lines outline the final body contours including all fins.

Don’t you think that these jagged fins look a too rough? Or maybe even a bit aggressive for this little fish girl?

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Well, in my opinion these rounded edges of the fins look much softer and peaceful. More feminine-like. What do you think?

So choose which type of fins you like and let’s continue your cartoon fish drawing.





click the image to enlarge

Erase all excess pencil lines. Now, with a simple pencil line draw the final outline contour of the fish.

Prepare your color pencils and we are going to draw the rest of this picture in color.

Begin with the black pencil and draw the borders of the pattern on the fish’s body. Leave a narrow border-space on the outer part of the fins.

click the image to enlarge

Draw the eye. Remember to leave a small shiny dot on the eye white. That is a reflection of light and it will make your eye drawing look more realistic.

If you encounter some difficulty with drawing of the fish’s eye, maybe you need a small memory refresher on how to draw manga eyes.

click the image to enlarge

We are going to make this cartoon fish drawing in two colors. Red and White.

Begin to draw the red part first. I draw it by orange-toned-red pencil as the basic color. This red color tone includes some yellow too.

click the image to enlarge

When you are ready, it should look something like this. As you see, this red is not so suitable and not so nice as the final top cover color.

Erase - clean the white parts on the body in order to get rid of the rest of graphite dust.

click the image to enlarge

With more deep and darker red pencil, fill the red part over the previous layer.

Paint the eyelid stronger and mark out the lips. This is a girl-fish. Another distinctive feature for cartoon girls is eyelashes. So draw a couple of longer curled eyelashes.

click the image to enlarge

Fish like this swims in a sea, in a clean blue seawater. It means that the white part on the fish’s body will be slightly blue. That is a reflection of seawater.

Take a light blue pencil and very gently color the white part blue. By darker blue pencil, draw markings of scales. The scales are better visible on the white part.

With blue pencil, fill out the space around the fish so it will look like a water.

Use your fantasy. If you are not sure, make some test drawings and coloring on a separate paper so that you won’t destroy your original cartoon fish drawing.


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