Learn how to draw a great looking Koi Fish with easy, step-by-step drawing instructions, and video tutorial. You can now easily create a beautiful Koi Fish drawing.
Koi are a large, colorful variety of the fish known as the carp. In fact, the Japanese word koi means "carp."
Most carp are brown or grey in color, but in Japan, the brightly colored fish are designated with the name nishikigoi, or "brocaded carp."
A brocade is a woven fabric with a colorful design which the fish are said to resemble.
Since ancient times, at least since the fifth century B.C., carp were domesticated and raised as a source of food.
Over 1,000 years ago in China, breeders began to select for natural color variations, enhancing these as time went by. The result? Beautifully colored ornamental fish as we see them today.
Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.
Around the world, many people enjoy the hobby of keeping koi as well as their distant cousin, the goldfish.
Another Japanese word, also pronounced koi, means "love," and serious collectors certainly love their koi fish.
Some keepers join koi enthusiast clubs, and the fish themselves at times cost hundreds of dollars each.
Images of koi fish have long been featured in Japanese art. Today, they remain a popular subject of photography, paintings, clothing designs, and adult coloring books.
Would you like to draw your very own koi fish?
Doing so is easy with the help of this simple, step-by-step drawing tutorial. All you will need is a pencil, a good eraser, and a sheet of paper.
You may also wish to use crayons, colored pencils, paints, or markers to shade your finished fish.
Did you know the colorful pattern in our koi drawing can also make a great lure design? Follow these lure painting instructions and you too can start creating your own fishing lures.
Click HERE to save the tutorial to Pinterest!
Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Koi Fish
Koi Fish Drawing - Step 1
1. Begin by drawing a circle. This will form the fish's head.
Koi Fish Drawing - Step 2
2. Extend two long, curved lines from the top and side of the circle. These outline the fish's curving body.
Koi Fish Drawing - Step 3
3. Use a long, loosely "M" shaped line to enclose the fish's tail.
Koi Fish Drawing - Step 4
4. Add fins to the fish's body. Do so by enclosing irregular shapes along the fish's sides. There should be a pectoral fin on each side of the fish's head, and two more fins near its tail.
Koi Fish Drawing - Step 5
5. Detail and shape the fish's face. Use a long, curved line, extended from one side of the head to the other. Notice the flatness of the mouth.
Koi Fish Drawing - Step 6
6. Erase guide lines from the fish's head.
Koi Fish Drawing - Step 7
7. Detail your koi fish. Along the bottom of each fin and the tips of the tail, draw short, straight lines, indicating the ribs of the fins. Then, draw a curved line down the center of the face, providing depth. Draw a curved, loosely "V" shaped line at the side of the face, further detailing the outline. Finally, draw the dorsal fin on the fish's back. Do so by enclosing an elongated, curved triangle that follows the curvature of the fish's body.
Koi Fish Drawing - Step 8
8. Erase guide lines from the fish's face and dorsal fin.
Koi Fish Drawing - Step 9
9. Complete your fish with additional details. Draw short, ribbed lines across the dorsal fin. Draw a small oval within a larger oval to indicate the eye; shade the smaller oval. Draw a small, nearly complete circle at the tip of the fish's nose. Beside this, draw the barbel, or whisker, using two short, curved lines that meet in a point. Draw a second barbel on the other side of the face. Finally, draw scales all over the fish's body. Do so using short, connected, "U" shaped lines.
Complete Koi Fish Drawing
10. Color your koi fish. This type of fish is often seen in shades of white, brown, orange, red, green, and gold.
For more great Animal drawing tutorials, see the 100 Fun Animal Art Tutorials for Kids post.
Printable Drawing Tutorial
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