Animals

How to Draw a Koi Fish

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Hello and welcome to another awesome 10-step drawing tutorial on our site! Today, we are going to draw a beautiful, colorful koi fish.

Have you ever seen a koi fish in person? They are very unique and bright fish that have gained popularity over the years. Originally from Japan, they became very well known in 1914 when someone gave them as a gift to the Emperor of Japan. Many people in Japan believe that koi fish symbolize love, success, and good fortune.

Before we get started on the drawing tutorial, here’s a fun fact: did you know that the koi fish and the common goldfish are actually common cousins? The koi fish came along much later, but they both descend from the same fish!

Alright, let’s get into this 10-step tutorial now. Are you ready? Gather some drawing materials and let’s get started! Keep reading for Step 1.

How to Draw a Koi Fish — Let’s get started!

Preview of Koi Fish drawing

Materials:

  • a piece of paper
  • a pencil for the guiding lines and sketching
  • an eraser
  • a black sharpie or a pen for the outlines
  • markers or colored pencils for coloring
  • our printable drawing guide (Join my Email List below to get this Tutorial)

Get the FREE Printable Drawing Guide

Here are my RECOMMENDED Art Supplies!

  • Crayola Coloring Set (140 Pieces – Mega Value!)
  • 24 Colored Crayon Set
  • A4 Printer Paper
  • Crayola Coloring Pencils
  • HP Home Printer with Instant Ink!

Time needed:

15 minutes.

Step 1 – Draw the fish’s outline.

How to Draw a Koi Fish - Step 1 – Draw the fish’s outline.

This step is going to take up nearly the whole page. Draw a long curved line that forms the shape of a basic fish. You’ll start at the top, near the middle of the page, and draw a big loop, crossing over itself. Refer to the photo! Good job.

Step 2  – Finish drawing the tail.

How to Draw a Koi Fish - Step 2  – Finish drawing the tail.

Let’s continue the outline to finish the koi fish tail. Near the top left, draw two curved lines that come together in the middle. This forms an indent in the tail.

Let’s add more detail now!

Step 3 – Draw the mouth of the koi fish.

How to Draw a Koi Fish - Step 3 – Draw the mouth of the koi fish.

We are drawing our koi fish from above, as if we are looking at it in a pond.

Let’s draw the mouth of the koi fish now. On the bottom right of the outline (this is where the head of the fish is), draw a very small curved line to represent the mouth.

Step 4  – Add detail to the fish body.

How to Draw a Koi Fish - Step 4  – Add detail to the fish body.

Now, let’s fill in the body of the fish. About two inches from the head draw two curved lines that come together in a point. This shows where the fish’s head is. Check out the photo!

Step 5 – Draw the eyes of the fish!

How to Draw a Koi Fish - Step 5 – Draw the eyes of the fish!

Interestingly, koi fish actually have fantastic eyesight. They can see in color and have great range of vision. So, of course, our koi fish needs to have eyes!

This is an easy step. Near the top of the fish’s head, just draw two dots about an inch away from each other.

Step 6 – Add its dorsal fin.

How to Draw a Koi Fish - Step 6 – Add its dorsal fin.

All fish have fins! We need to add one to our koi fish now. Draw a long skinny triangle down the middle of the body. This top middle fin is called a dorsal fin, and it is very important for the overall stability of the fish.

Check out the photo for help!

Step 7 – Draw more fins!

How to Draw a Koi Fish - Step 7 – Draw more fins!

On both sides of the fish’s body, draw two more fins. They should be vaguely in the shape of a triangle, but with curvier lines.

Good job!

Step 8 – Draw two more fins!

How to Draw a Koi Fish - Step 8 – Draw two more fins!

Fins are so important for fish. They help with swimming, balance, and steering. Let’s draw the last two fins for this step.

At the end of the body, just by the tail, draw two more triangles for fins. They should look like the fins from the last step but just a little bit smaller.

Step 9 – Fill in the koi fish’s pattern.

How to Draw a Koi Fish - Step 9 – Fill in the koi fish’s pattern.

Some koi fish have absolutely beautiful patterns—they appear almost as if they are painted. We want to make our koi fish have this stunning design too.

Throughout the body, add several curvy lines to indicate large splotches. It doesn’t have to be perfect!

Awesome. Keep reading for the very last step!

Step 10 – Color in your beautiful koi fish!

How to Draw a Koi Fish - Step 10 – Color in your beautiful koi fish!

Koi fish are most well-known for being orange and white. However, they can be other colors too—so have fun with this step! Grab some colors and go for it. Make sure to color in the water around it, too.

Pin it now, Draw later!

FREE download the Printable drawing guide and coloring page for Koi Fish

All done! How do you feel about your drawing? We hope you love it!

Thanks for following along with our ten-step tutorial. If you want to do more marine animal drawings, we’ve got lots to pick from, such as a dolphin, whale, and octopus. If you want a tutorial that’s not anywhere on our site, let us know!

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