How To Draw A Fish – Kawaii Style

Today, let’s learn how to draw a fish in our kawaii art style. Choosing a fish was a little hard, we almost went with a shark but thought it would be more unique to try something a little different this time. So, let’s try to learn how to draw a koi fish for this project!

Kawaii art originated in Japan and the word koi is Japanese and can be considered a symbol of “love and friendship”.

The tricky area of this drawing will be the tail fin coming down in the back. Our step by step guide will show you how to draw the tail of the fish without too much trouble, so take your time and enjoy.

The colors are traditional for a koi fish and are the colors most well-known for them. That being said, you can look up other colors or change them to suit what you like.

Did You Know?
The word "Koi" means "love and friendship" in Japanese
There are over 100 varieties of Koi fish.


Art Supplies

Here’s a list of coloring supplies we recommend to use, however, feel free to use whatever you can find around the house!

If you are already a fan of a particular marker/coloring brand you may want to check out a few of our other guides such for popular brands such as Ohuhu markers, Artzea and Prismacolor markers.

Otherwise, just pick whatever coloring tools you have around the house (crayons, markers, pencil crayons etc.) and just have some fun!

A Few Tips Before You Start Drawing

  • Take your time with the tail fin. Follow our steps and don’t be afraid to re-try the tail if you feel like the curves are not enough.
  • Experiment with the colors! There are over 100 different types of Koi fish. We chose the most well-known color for this project.

Let’s Draw A Fish – Step By Step

Step 1: Let’s start our kawaii fish by drawing a small C-like stroke.
Step 2: On the top tip, connect a wide stroke that is curved downward for the fish’s body.
Step 3: At the bottom tip, draw a wide U-curve but leave a gap so it doesn’t touch the curve from the upper body.
Step 4: Next is to draw a nice little fin by following the guide above. Make sure it touches the tip from the previous step but leave a space for the tail in a bit.
Step 5: From the fin, draw a tiny line downwards to prepare for the long tail later.
Step 6: Next is the outline of the top fins. Draw two curves – one is longer than the other.
Step 7: Add line details inside the top fins. Make short parallel strokes.
Step 8: Next step is to draw two round eyes with a wide gap. For the left eye, leave a very small margin from the small curve we did on step 1. Add a small circle in each eye. You may shade the bigger portion black at this point.

Add a smiley stroke in between the eyes.
Step 9: Just below each eye, make one wavy stroke. This will be the our fish’s barbels (or whiskers).
Step 10: Let’s start doing the beautiful tail. From the body’s tip, draw a long, flowy S-like wave downwards.
Step 11: Draw a nice curve on the tip portion to slowly add volume.
Step 12: From the body’s tip, add another long, flowy stroke ending on the curve you did from the previous step.
Step 13: From the body’s tip again, draw another nice wavy stroke downwards while allotting some space from the outline of the first tail. Connect it to the curve towards the bottom of the tail. See guide above.
Step 14: Draw another nice wavy stroke in the inner portion to add details on the tail.
Step 15: Make the last wavy stroke in the tail to complete it.
Step 16: Coloring time! Now look at that kawaii fish! It’s actually a koi that’s why we colored it with shades of orange and yellow.

Koi fishes actually come in different colors, too. Shade it with what makes you happy. Have fun!

Want More?

We are constantly adding more tutorials on how to draw kawaii characters and objects. Great for beginners and more advanced artists. We also have printable step by step instruction guides that will help, even brand new artists, re-create and improve on our drawings!

How about coloring instead? We have printable cute coloring pages so you can practice color techniques or just to have fun. Head on over to our coloring page section of our website to search and download them all!

Just want to download a coloring page of this specific character? Click the print button below to print off this lesson’s coloring & tracing pages.

Printable Kawaii Fish Coloring Page

Here’s where you can download the kawaii fish coloring page & step by step instructions. You can use the coloring page to practice coloring the character and the step by step instructions are great if you are not near a computer or phone and want to try this lesson out!

Click the print icon to open print options for these pages. You can also click the image and save it directly to your device.

Download Printable Kawaii Fish Coloring Page


Download Printable Instructions: How To Draw A Kawaii Fish

Click To Print Instructions

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Are you interested in coloring more?

Coloring characters such as this fish can be A LOT of fun. Especially when they look so cute : )

If you had fun coloring this character, you may want to check out our kawaii coloring book which is available at Amazon. We also have some information on our site for more complex coloring for older kids and adults. You can check out our favorite adult coloring books and some of our top choices for color by number books for adults (which tend to be easier to start with).

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