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how to draw a fish step by step

How To Draw A Fish That Looks Real In A Few Steps

When I was younger, I used to love drawing fish. It wasn’t anything close to a real fish but it was more of a symbol of a fish.

The one where you draw a sideways V and then draw a curve for the rest of the body and then fins.

It was pretty cute but I’m way older now and I think it’s time to challenge myself to draw a fish that actually resembles it closer to the reference.

I also thought it would be a good idea to share my process of drawing a fish with you guys so that you can also recreate a drawing of a real fish.

This fish drawing is actually really simple but we won’t over complicate it with all the details. As long as we can draw the basic structure of this fish, we’re good.

If you’d like to learn how to draw a fish step by step, let’s begin.


Fish Drawing Reference

Here’s the reference of a fish that we will be drawing in this article.

As you can see, this fish is in an upwards direction but I’ve changed it to be horizontally so that we can focus on capturing the way this fish looks rather than worry if everything is in alignment.

This is why this fish drawing is perfect for beginners.

We’ll start by drawing the shape of the fish, moving onto the mouth, and then the fins on the lower end and the tail.

Steps For Drawing A Fish

Step 1

The first thing you need to do to begin your fish drawing is to draw a curved line like this.

Step 2

You’ll then want to match the line you had drawn but flipping it the other way so that it turns inwards instead. The body of your fish should look like this.

Step 3

To draw the mouth, head over to front part of the fish with the space you had left in the previous step and draw a line in the middle.

Then add another line at the top of that line and then another line that has a curved shape towards the front.

Head over to the bottom of the fish towards the middle and draw two lines that join with another line to close it off. This is the first fin you will be drawing. Add a few lines for extra details.

Step 4

Leave a bit of space between the first fin and draw another fin that goes in the right direction. Make it angled and more curved that the previous fin.

Step 5

Now directly opposite the fin you had just drawn, at the top of the fish, draw another curved shape like this. Make it look like it’s leaning towards the right. Add the lines for details.

Step 6

Now it’s time to draw the tail. You can do this by drawing two lines in an angle that look like a sideways V shape.

Step 7

how to draw a fish step 7

Join those two lines together to create the shape by drawing a wavy line and adding a few more lines within that shape to create dimension.

Step 8

how to draw a fish step 8

Now we can finally draw the eye of the fish. Towards the front and just above the mouth, draw a small circle. Add another circle within the circle just drawn and you should have an eye.

Step 9

how to draw a fish step 9

If you noticed on the reference, there are a few lines that indicate the gills of the fish. Let’s include that by draw a variety of lines like shown above. This makes our fish drawing more interesting.

Step 10

how to draw a fish step 10

The last thing to do to complete this fish drawing is to add the other fin in the center of the body of the fish.

To do this, draw two lines and then join those two by drawing a line that creates a pointed shape. Fill that shape in with a few more thinner lines.

This fish drawing is now completed.

fish drawing tutorial


There’s so much to learn from drawing this fish. You get to experiement with using different lines and shapes to create a beautiful drawing and there’s a verity of things to do.

Drawing a fish like this is also incredibly fun and you can use this basic drawing to learn how to draw fish with different shapes and designs as well.

If you understand and know where to start your drawing, it just becomes way easier to draw almost anything.

If you liked this step by step tutorial, here are a few other’s that you will love:

How To Draw A Clownfish 

How To Draw A Turtle

How To Draw A Seahorse

How To Draw A Starfish

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