How To Draw a Fish In 11 Easy Steps

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Do you want to learn how to draw a fish better? Or maybe just for fun? This post is a simple tutorial, and it will teach you how to draw a fish quickly and easily.

To help you with the tutorial, we have produced a step-by-step set of templates. You can download and print them all for free!

Preparing to Draw

Many tutorials make things sound very complicated, so I have tried to keep things simple. You can begin with a few simple lines, so you create the basic outline of the fish. Then fill in the details to create the character in your drawing.

It is a perfect way to discover how to draw fish and can be adapted for any fish. It’s a great fun way to introduce children to drawing too.

You can draw anything from a cheeky cartoon fish to a fierce and realistic shark easily.

You will be amazed how quickly the fish looks ready to swim away. We guide you step by step through the whole process of how to draw a fish. Making everything as easy as possible.

Step 1:

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The first task in step 1 is to draw a cross to guide you. It will help you align all the shapes that will become the fish.

Draw an oval with its center in the middle of the cross. Keep it fairly symmetrical to start, but as you learn, you can extend the arch of the back, the head, or the bottom of the fish to achieve the final shape you want.

Step 2:

start how to draw a fish

For the tail, add a triangle that joins one end of the oval you have drawn for the fish’s body. At the other end, add another triangle to give you the outline of the face of the fish.

You can see that step 2 reveals the basic shape your fish will be.

Step 3:

how to draw a fish framework

Draw curved lines to connect the two shapes to the body of the fish. This gives you the outline of the body of the fish quickly and easily.

Next, draw a line curving inwards to join the tips of the rear triangle to give you the final shape of the tail.

You see? It’s simple. It’s only step 3 of the tutorial, and you have already learned how to draw a fish in its basic form from mouth to tail.

Step 4:

In step 4, draw a short horizontal line from the point of the front triangle towards the center of the cross to form the opening of the mouth. You can then add 2 small curves to round off the lips to finish the mouth. The pattern will look a little like a backward number 3.

Step 5:

Draw a curved line where the triangle that forms the head joins the body. This gives you the position of the gill slit. Then, towards the center of the head, draw a circle for the eye above the centerline.

how to draw a fish basic shape

Step 6:

If you search for some images of different fish species, you will see that usually, the tail has a slightly wavy edge. Following the curve you have drawn at the rear, draw the edge of the fin with a wavy line.

Step 7:

Erase the original guidelines, so we can start to add some finer details.

how to draw a fish lateral lines

Step 8:

Draw a smaller circle in the eye of the fish for the fish’s pupil.

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Step 9:

Draw the fins next, but remember that the edges of the fins have wavy lines.

First, draw the dorsal fin on the top of the body. Different species of fish have very different shaped dorsal fins but keep it simple for now.

The smaller Adipose fin sits behind the dorsal fin, but on some fish, this almost becomes part of an extended dorsal fin.

The other fins fit along the bottom of the fish’s body.

At the front, the pectoral fins have a fairly oval shape with one end open where the fin is attached to the fish’s body near the bottom of the gill slit.

The Pelvic fin is also joined to the side of the fish near the deepest point of the belly.

Finally, the cloacal fin joins the fish’s body behind the Pelvic fin. It becomes narrower towards the rear of the fish.

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Step 10:

Now you can have some real fun drawing the detail in the fish by drawing scales and fin filaments. Lightly draw a curve from the center of the gill slit to the tail. This is the Lateral line, and all fish have them.

I start with a few lines of scales along this center line and then fill the rest from the front and upper and lower edges. Draw small backward C shapes to create the scales.

Some fish have bigger scales than others, but they can all be drawn similarly. Then fill in the fins with slightly wavy lines for the filaments.

how to draw a fish

Step 11:

Now you have learned how to draw a fish you can Colour it in. Follow the natural shape of each section to make it look more realistic.

Search online to get some ideas. Shade the gill flaps with sweeping curves following the outline of the gill slit.

Shade in much straighter lines to emphasize the filaments of the fins. Remember how the light catches each scale and shade them like this in your drawing. Shade each scale with a similar pattern, and you will reveal the beauty of the fish in no time at all.

The scales around the face are less distinct. With the eye, you can use lighter colors to emphasize the pupil or darker colors to make the whole eye stand out. This is where you make the drawing your own. You can draw the details that are exciting for you.

Using this method, you can easily draw a fish in any position at all. It’s easy to create any species of fish you want. Learn how to draw a fish with a long serpentine shape, Then try to draw a flatfish or even a shark. You will be amazed at how easy it is to draw any fish you want to.

how to draw a fish

Final Thoughts

Always remember, drawing should be fun. Tutorials can make you forget that too easily. If you find a particular stage difficult, don’t struggle; take a break. Walking away can help. When you start again, you often find it easier.

Sometimes the best way to finish a drawing is to stop and rest. You might have an idea that helps you to complete the drawing. It is better to step away than to continue struggling when you are finding something difficult.

Don’t forget to check out our website for other posts with more hints and tips to help you draw more easily.

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