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Step-by-Step: How to Draw a Fish Jumping Out of Water

Updated April 17, 2017

Drawing a fish jumping out of water is an action shot that requires some elements of movement or splashing. This is not as difficult as it sounds and can be created with a few simple steps. Using a reference photo of the type of fish you want to draw will be helpful.

Decide first what the fish is jumping out of, i.e. the ocean, an aquarium or a fish bowl. If the fish is jumping out of the fish bowl or aquarium, it could be drawn at a slight angle to make it interesting. If jumping out of the ocean or a lake, have the fish jumping upward, since it is a larger body of water. Using your reference photo, lightly draw the general shape in the direction you want. This can be as simple as an oval.

Draw the source of the water. If it is a water bowl, lightly draw a circle shape under the fish shape from the previous step. If you are drawing an aquarium, draw a rectangle shape as big or small as you'd like. If you chose a lake or an ocean, you may want to just suggest it by drawing wavy lines or a splash as the source of the fish's jumping.

Draw in the fish details. Look at your reference photo. Draw it as long or as short as the photo. The head should be at the top and tail at the bottom. Fish eyes are generally round circles with another dark circle inside. Sketch a line for the mouth. You can colour your fish if desired.

Add a few action lines showing the direction in which the fish is jumping. This can be only two or three thin lines from just below the tail to just above the body of water. Add splashes as well. These should be upside-down teardrop shapes. Add five or more of these for the splash effect.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Reference photo of a fish
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About the Author

Naomi Valdivia is an illustrator, designer and crafter who began writing professionally in 2008. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in communication arts from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.