Skip to main content

How to Draw Tropical Fish

By June 21, 2021October 9th, 2021procreate
how to draw a tropical fish

How to Draw Tropical Fish – An Underwater Sea Adventure Step by Step Procreate Tutorial

Hi guys, I’m Kris, welcome to this week’s tutorial, Let’s Draw Together!

In this week’s tutorial, we’ll be drawing two fish in Procreate, and I’m sure you can create this too if you follow along all the way to the end. If you feel rushed, be sure to hit that pause button, rewind to catch up, and just save this video to your library so you can rewatch it for extra practice. Today we’ll be using all free brushes found in Procreate, and don’t forget, once you finish this entire video, to share it on Instagram and tag me in the image as well as the description, so I can find your artwork and feature you here on the next Draw Together video.


Free Color Palette

For this video, I’ve made you a free color palette, just in case you wanna use the exact same color as me during this tutorial, and you can just tap on the link in the video description below where you can download and install it. Also below, you’ll find a link to the goodie bag, where you can grab some free goodies and support me by visiting my shop. So let’s get started, and I’ll set up my canvas as the usual 4000 x 4000, 300 DPI and SRGB. So let’s start with our sketch, and I’m just gonna grab black here and get our 6B pencil just for our sketch. Let’s see, I have it at… What is it now? About 40, 50, just so you can see. So I’m gonna just start with our first fish. He’s gonna be a bit boxy. So I’m gonna draw a box, and then his little nose and whatnot are gonna come here, and it’s pretty thin. And just sort of curve like that. And this is actually gonna curve, just a little bit more rounded. Here, and come up… Sort of around like that.


Okay, so that’s basically the shape of his body. And then he’s gonna have this little… Just a little fin that comes here. Here he is. Okay, and then he’s got a little tail at the back. Of course, it’s kinda like… That, I’m gonna make it kinda wiggly a little… Fancier. Alright. His eye’s gonna go about here, and we’re gonna have a pattern on him, so he’s gonna be stripy, and this one will go over his eye, or behind his eye. This one, sort of like that, and it will go along the top here, sort of like that. So this one is gonna kinda be inset, so it’s not gonna touch, something like that. And then this guy is also gonna be inset, and then it’ll have this other eye-type-looking thing, something like that. We’ll put a little white spot in there too. Okay, so that’s our first guy.


Nemo Fish

Our second guy is a little Nemo fish. So he’s gonna be more of a rectangle. To start with. Or he can be an oval if you want to. And he’s gonna have his little face here. And then he’s got a fin that starts here, sort of like that, like a camel, a camel back,  two lumps. Goes like this. So this is sort of a section here. Sort of a section there, that’s where his fin’s going to be. I’ll bring it in for you. His fin’s gonna be there. Another fin from behind, it’s gonna be over there. And then he has a little bit of a longer tail in proportion, compared to our other guy there. Okay, so they have… Oops, it’s a little close, and sort of like a… Some stripes here. I’ll give him an eye, would be nice. Something like that. And then, yeah, you have a pattern that kinda goes like this, these edges are trimmed, and this one, you’ll kind of have an inset design here, and set sort of design there. Okay, so that’s our basic sketch, so let’s start with that, and I’m going to just go to my layers palette, click on the N and bring back that opacity to about… Oh, I don’t know, 15, 20%, something in there. And then I’m going to create a new layer to do my line-work on. So I’m just gonna hit that plus sign, and I’m gonna go in and do some nicer work on this.


So I’m gonna go to my favorite brush, inking, dry ink. Let’s see what line thickness we want on here. Maybe about seven? Seven percent, 100% opacity. Alright, let’s get these lines going. So it’s a fish, so again it doesn’t have to be perfect. Well, certainly not perfectly straight. I just want to scoop out the nose a little bit more there. Give him a little mouth. Bring that in. Yeah, so just trace over your work, making it look a little nicer.  Like that. And for this, I’m gonna make it like a fabric fold. It’s not really realistic to what the fish is, but, I don’t know, I kinda like it. So I’m just gonna do some really squiggly lines like this. Maybe not quite at the end like that, I don’t like how I overlapped that.


Oops. There. Okay, so this part… You see these ones… Actually, I’m gonna shut off my background layer for you while we do this, just so we can see that better. So what I’m gonna do is bring these where the… Not the edges of the curves, but, you see the outer part of the curves? You kinda push and then bring it down. It kinda makes a fold, and then this, you’d see the back side of it. That’s how you kinda make these little folds here. I don’t know, I think that’s kinda fun for our fish. While we’re here, this guy has some stripes. I’m just gonna make irregular lines. Here, as they would go. Kinda follow the lines of how this wiggles here. There. Okay, sounds good. We’ll turn back on our sketch layer, so we can see what we’re doing. Color in this eye. I just gonna color it in myself. Okay. And let’s do some stripes.



Oops. I don’t like how this is pointed here, so I’m gonna just smooth that out. Make it a little bit more rounded. Okay, let’s get this pattern in here. Alright. Oops, I’m gonna do this too. Okay, so he looks pretty good. Let’s just go and do this little guy right over here. Our Nemo, or clown-fish. Give him a little mouth. Slight underbite, maybe. And these, I’m gonna make kind of a little lacy too. Just irregular wiggly lines going back forth. This is a little smoother there. I go up to his tail, the same thing. Making it a little wiggly, and bringing in these lines. Oops, I don’t like the way that went. Alright, and then the same here. Kinda bringing them in like that. And get his other little fin. Okay. So these guys, we can go and put some lines here too. Alright. That’s good. Let’s fill in his little eye. So these guys have a double layer here, ’cause we’re gonna put black in there, and then white and orange, so we’re gonna do double lines here. Same with this. All of these little details. Oops. This one’s kind of inside of it, it doesn’t go to the edges.


Oops. And just follow these. And… Next we can get to coloring this in. Let’s see what we’ve got here, so we’ll turn off our sketch layer. And there we go, there’s our two little fishies, so let’s color them in. So I’m gonna go on my sketch there, click on that, just to get below the line layer, add a new layer, and let’s fill them in. So I’m just gonna go and grab… Actually, I’m gonna grab the white, but I’m gonna turn off my background color, so you can see, so we’ll grab the white. I’m going to grab my… What am I looking for, my studio pen, I’m just gonna fill this in.




Okay, and then I’m gonna drag the color in and fill it up. Do the same to this guy, although I’m just gonna do the white parts, so… Just gonna… I’m gonna bring this down, I have that at 100%, I really don’t need it. I need it at about 40%, maybe. It’s spilling over a little too much. Alright, let’s see. So… Just this part, and then all the little edges. Okay. Oops. Oops, alright. Get that in there, okay. So we have our white done, and then I’m going to go and create a new layer on top. I guess I didn’t have to do that to the other fish, but that’s okay. Let’s get our orange, and we’ll fill in this guy. Oops. I’m going over the wrong area. It doesn’t really matter, but… I’ll just do the gray on top, anyway. Bring my brush down a little bit more to about 20%.


Okay. And then I’m going to get… Why don’t we just finish this guy off a little bit with the solid colors while we’re here. Add another layer, and just gotta grab the gray, and just fill in these stripes. And I’ll do solid black, ’cause I think it looks a little bit more interesting when we have the lines black to have the inside a little bit gray. There we go, a little Nemo fish. Looking good. Okay, let’s just add another layer, grab the yellow, and let’s color this guy in.



Okay, and then… Actually, I’m gonna erase this part, it’s gonna be white. And this part’s gonna be white. Let’s go back to our orange layer and grab the orange again, and just make it on top of the yellow so we can see it, and color that in. Okay, and then this part’s gonna be orange. And I’m gonna grab this brownier color, and color this stripe in here. Right. Okay, so we can turn back on our background layer if we want. Our little fishies. Alright, so they’re looking okay, this is pretty good if we wanna leave them like this, but I’m gonna do a few extra things. So I’m gonna just go at the very top of my sketch layer, and just grab white, and go back to my dry ink, and give them a little dot here. Gives them a little life, I think.


Alright, so I’m gonna go to my white layer, select that, and I’m gonna select clipping mask. And I actually need a blue, I’ll have to add this for you here, just for a shadow. I’m gonna grab my… Painting, I’m gonna grab the gouache. And let’s see, what is it at? That’s way too big. Okay. So let’s say around 15. And actually, I want this a little bit more aqua. Let’s see, that’s better. Okay. I’m gonna delete this, add that. Okay. So I’m gonna just give ’em a little shadow below, and just lightly shade that. Okay. Then I’m going to go to the yellow layer, the same thing, add a new layer, clipping mask. I’m gonna grab that orange, still with my gouache.


I’m just gonna give it a little, let’s see, just a little orange, just to give it more interest. And then in here I’m gonna just define the folds a bit, so I’m gonna bring my brush way down to about maybe 2%. Get some in there, okay. That looks good. And I’m gonna go to the orange layer, add a new layer, clipping mask. I’m gonna use this brown color, the same thing. Bring this back up to, I don’t know, 10. And then I’m gonna just bring it down to two again. Put a little detail in the grooves there. Gonna have to do the white separately in a minute. I could combine all the layers too, that would be totally fine, I just usually like to work on separate layers, just…


And in case I’d like to change the colors or something like that. I don’t think this one we need to, but… Yeah, just sort of how I normally do it, just in case I need to make any changes. So I’m gonna go to my white layer, and just add another layers underneath that, and grab the, actually, the orange. This will be a little bit lighter… Oh, and bring us back up to about 10% again. Just give that a shade there. And down again, back and forth, to two. And we can just give ’em a few shadows in here. Great. Alright. Well, I think that’s it for today. These are our two little fishies. You can add, of course, some bubbles, and some seaweed, and some coral, and all that kind of fun stuff.


Actually these are part of a package I just finished. There’s a mermaid package, and there’s tons of under the sea stuff. So I’ll put that in a link in the description below as well, if you’re interested to have a look. So I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial, and if you did, please hit that like button, subscribe, and don’t forget to hit the bell icon so you can be notified of new tutorials just like this one in the future. I love you guys, thank you so much for watching, and I’ll see you in the next one.