How to create cool fish drawings

Learn how to draw cool fish drawings using this tutorial available in both written and video format. If you are looking for a fun character to illustrate, then sketching a fish is definitely a good choice! This animal can be drawn using various shapes and be filled with original textures and colors.

How to create cool fish drawings

For this tutorial, let's concentrate on a simple cartoon fish filled with orange and blue colors. You will learn how to apply color gradients and textures inside the character. Here are a few things to look for before proceeding with this lesson ...

  1. Lips of the fish are large and slightly exaggerated.
  2. Eyes a huge and made from perfect circular shapes.
  3. The top fin is complex and loaded with textures.
  4. The back one is also loaded with cool digital effects.
  5. On the body, an original texture made from circles can be seen.
  6. Both fins on the bottom are long and colored in orange.
  7. The head is brighter than the body.

Great! Now that you know a little bit more what to expect, you can either watch the video below to enjoy this simple lesson or read the written version located below the video. Both versions are filled with useful details that are complementary. :)

step 1 - creating a simple sketch

Before opening your vector application, you can sketch a simple version of this fish using a pencil and a piece of paper. Remember to draw all proportions as accurately as possible. You can also draw some texture to give you a small idea how they should be placed.

How to create cool fish drawings

step 2 - lines that are made from pointed ends

Fish drawings made from regular strokes are fine, but why not select lines with sharp ends to create something visually more exciting? 

Below you can see how the character should look like when lines are added. Don't draw textures now! They will be created later when colors are added.

How to create cool fish drawings

step 3 - adding solid shapes and colors

I like to draw shapes and lines individually, so that's why this step is dedicated to drawing new shapes filled with solid colors. You can easily see in the video found on top of this page why drawing lines and shapes individually can be a good idea! :)

How to create cool fish drawings

step 4 - color gradients to create volume

The gradient fill tool is your best alternative to add depth and volume to an illustration quickly and effectively. In the case of the top fin, the face and the body, the bottom of these elements must be darker. For the bottom fins, it's the top of these shapes that should be darker.

How to create cool fish drawings

step 5 - adding some textures

Another good thing to do when working on fish drawings is to create basic textures inside the illustration. For this character, the top fin and the back one are loaded with simple curved lines. Don't draw tons of lines ... just a few is enough.

How to create cool fish drawings

step 6 - Shadows are needed to create more depth!

Drawing more shadows manually is also a good solution to create even more depth inside this cartoon fish. You can see these new shapes (with a green outline) below. Once all shadows are drawn, play with the opacity of these elements to end up with a very subtle result (better seen in step 7 and beyond).

How to create cool fish drawings

step 7 - highlights are important too!

We also need to create brighter areas to add more realism to this image. A large texture made from several small circular shapes can also be added on the body of the fish. You can see how the fish should look like once all steps are completed in the next step.

How to create cool fish drawings

This is the final version of the fish

Here you go! Once everything like lines, shapes, shadows, highlights and textures are added, you should end up with something like this. Don't hesitate to experiment while creating more fish drawings by using different colors, textures and shapes.

How to create cool fish drawings

Time to draw more fish drawings!

Below you can see all steps needed to create this character. Don't forget to look at the video found on top of this page to learn more (like how to create that simple texture on the body of the animal. Have fun drawing more animals and characters like this one! :)

How to create cool fish drawings

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