The A – Z Of How To Draw A Koi Fish

Visiting a koi pond and watching the beautiful fish swim in the water is one of the most relaxing recreational activities out there. These aquatic beauties are called Nishikigoi, or “brocade carp” in Japanese, and they come in a wide variety of different colors and patterns. The architecture of its elaborate water gardens is designed to improve the health and growth of the fish, as well as to give them a decorative function. If you can’t have your koi pond, why not put your dreams on paper and draw your fish?

These tips will walk you through the basic steps of drawing a single how to draw a koi fish, as well as teaching you how to make your pond. Ready to give it a try? So grab your drawing supplies and get ready how to draw a koi fish!

If you interested to read here : Best time to go fishing

How to draw a koi fish drawing


Before you start drawing, it is important to take a moment to research koi fish and decide which one you want to illustrate. There are several types of koi fish, so it can be very helpful to choose an image that you can call on if you get stuck. This is to help you with the anatomy; then you will have the opportunity to personalize your koi through its patterns.

These tips will focus on how to draw a butterfly koi — this variety is characterized by its slender bodies and long, flowing fins.


Fish are fluid animals, so it’s a good idea to start drawing your koi fish with a curved line. Think about how they move in the water and draw a line based on that. Next, draw a long oval shape around the starting line, making sure it tapers significantly until you reach the end of the line

Once you’ve drawn the body, it’s time to focus on the head, which should be the most bulbous part of the koi fish. Outline this section with a line that joins in a V-shape in the center. Then draw a pair of round eyes that protrude slightly from the koi’s head. Take some time to check that your drawing matches your reference photo, and if necessary, extend the fish’s nose as we did in the next image. 


Now it was time to add your koi fish fins. If you are drawing a butterfly koi, these appendages will be long and flowing. Start drawing the fins where you drew the headline. Make them spread across the body to form a peak and come back to form a wavy V. Next, trace the dorsal fin down the center of the body and create a slim, wavy, rectangular shape that ends near the tail. Check your reference photo if you have trouble distinguishing the appendages.

Finally, draw the tail fin where your fish’s body ends in a point, creating a large shape that ripples in the water.


This is a lot easier than it sounds, and you just need to have a little patience. For example, you can complete your koi fish’s fins by drawing long, wavy lines that are roughly parallel to each other. It’s okay if they are not the same — the pattern will continue to provide the desired effect once it is filled in.

You can complete the body in several different ways, but here we have chosen to layer it with scales. This is similar to the process used to draw a dragon, where rows of half circles are carefully drawn one above the other until the tail is finally reached. The scales are quite large in this case, but feel free to experiment with yours. Many koi also have patterns on the skin, which you can fill in now with black, or later with colored pencils or markers.


Once you are satisfied with your sketch, it is time to go for your favorite pen and highlight the drawing in ink. Different types of pens will produce different effects, so keep this in mind when making your selection. A brush pen, for example, will give the koi fish a more expressive effect, while a fine-tipped pen will produce a more uniform look. However, if you have a collection of fine point pens in different sizes, you can switch to a smaller one to draw more precise textures.

After going over all the lines on the pen, leave the drawing for a while for the ink to dry. Then use an eraser to gently remove any remaining pencil marks. Congratulations! You have drawn your koi fish.

Do you want to make a koi pond?


 Draw and think about how to draw a koi fish move together in the water and mark spots for them to swim with more loose S-lines. Then follow steps 1-5 to complete them. This is also a good opportunity to include other types of koi fish in your illustration.

Don’t worry too much about your koi fish being “perfect.” Fish come in all sorts of colors and variations, so don’t be afraid to take some creative liberties. Even if you are not satisfied with how one of your koi fish turns out, drawing them as a group will divert attention to the composition rather than detail.


Once you have drawn your fish there are several ways to complete the illustration. Adding water lilies and floating lilies will give your pond a bucolic atmosphere. To create a water lily, draw a circle and surround it with pointed petals, which should spread out in several layers. You can make water lilies “perfectly” round using a protractor or draw them freehand for a looser feel.


Since this tutorial focuses on drawing a koi pond in black and white, the water will act as complementary black spaces that will contrast with our predominantly white fish and flora. Ponds come in all shapes and sizes, so you can use a ruler to draw a rectangular or square border and fill it in with ink.


It’s a good idea to complete the inking process in stages and take time to go through the illustration and see what is or is not needed. Once you’ve gone over the rest of the pencil lines with a ballpoint pen and filled in the water patches with black ink, consider whether you need to add any finishing touches.

To add white details to the water, you can use white Chinese ink and a fountain pen. Making sure the black ink is already dry, carefully draw concentric white lines on the circle to mimic the ripples of water. This will relieve heavy stains and give you a more elegant effect.

After you’re done, you can add color to the composition or leave it as is for a beautiful black and white illustration.


Another way to  more step here for If you interested in how to easy draw fishing 

Fish are relatively easy to draw, making them the perfect choice for beginners. I will show you a simple way to design a typical fish; you can always add new features or change the proportions of your fish.

Have more great Article here below:

  1. How To Keep Fish Fresh While Fishing For Longer
  2. How to fish for bass
  3. Do You Need A Best Water Shoes For Fishing?
  4. Make Your Best Fishing Apps A Reality

What you will need

To complete this project, you will need the following equipment:

  • an HB graphite pencil
  • a 3B graphite pencil
  • an eraser
  • a sheet of drawing paper

How to draw the body of a fish

Step 1

With the HB pencil, I draw the horizontal line from the center of the fish and mark the edges of its body.

There is no need to use a ruler, the line does not have to be perfectly smooth.

Step 2

I add an elongated shape for the body of the fish. Only a quarter of the centerline remains intact, we will draw the tail there.

Step 3

I draw a trapezoidal shape for the tail fin.

Step 4

Join the body and the tail fin, forming the contours of the tail.

Step 5

Let’s tune the head of the fish. I mark the border between the head and the main body and then add a curved line for the gill cover.

All species of fish have different proportions; Let’s agree that the length of our fish’s head is approximately equal to the length of its tail.

Step 6

I draw the eye with the pupil.

Step 7

I add the mouth; it is slightly open.

How to draw the fins and details of the head

Step 1

In this part of the tutorial, we will add the details to the drawing. I recommend working on your sketch gradually; it’s very easy to stay focused on just one part of it and lose control over the overall image.

Let’s start with the front dorsal fin; it is located in the upper part of the body.

The front dorsal fins can vary in size and shape; a rainbow trout has a relatively small dorsal fin.

Step 2

It would be logical to assume that there should be a rear dorsal fin in addition to the front one. But some fish, including our trout, do not have rear dorsal fins.

A rainbow trout has a fat fin in its place, it is a small formation without spines or rays.

Step 3

I draw a pair of ventral fins; They are located under the body, in its middle part.

Step 4

I add the shape of the anal fin. Its structure is similar to a triangle with rounded edges.

Step 5

I draw the pectoral fin, which is located behind the head of the fish.

Step 6

Let’s add the details of the head to our sketch. I draw the gill covers and then add a set of smaller membranous support rays to the bottom of the head.

The details can seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to make a perfect copy of a fish or overload your drawing. Usually, less is more, just get creative and have fun!

Step 7

Step 7 shape of mouth you can also draw it like this 

Step 8

I draw the nostril at the front of the head and a couple of folds near the eye.

The head of a fish usually has many individual details; you can get creative when adding them.

Step 9

I perfect the shape of the fish’s body, narrowing the tail. I also change the outline of the tail fin, creating a small notch.

Step 10

The fins have spines and rays. I fill the fin shapes with a paired line pattern.

Make sure you leave enough space between each pair of lines.

I also draw the radii of the tail fin, starting at the sides of the shape. The rays split towards the end of the fin.

Try to keep a visual rhythm, the spaces between the spokes should be narrower.

How to shade your drawing with graphite pencils

Step 1

With the HB pencil, I darken the pupil, leaving highlights. I also apply graphite wefts to the top of the head and emphasize the details.

Step 2

I draw spots on the body of the fish, including the fins.

The spots vary in size and intensity, so the best option is to use HB and 3B pencils to draw them. The pattern created in this way will look natural and realistic.

I don’t draw spots on the fish’s belly; the thin line running through the center of the body is also intact.

Step 3

Using the 3B graphite pencil, I apply to hatch to the upper part of the fish, which is usually much darker than the middle and lower parts.

You can use both long horizontal lines that follow the direction of the fish’s body and curved contour lines. A combination of shading techniques works very well to create a realistic effect.

Step 4

Drawing with the HB pencil easily,

Make sure to emphasize details like gill covers and fins; the drawing must be sufficiently contrasting.

Your artwork is complete

Congratulations! You have created a beautiful drawing of a rainbow trout and have learned more about the design process of a typical fish.

I wish you a lot of inspiration; Just draw, experiment, and have fun!