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How to Colour a Fish

There are fish in many of Johanna Basford’s books and I thought it might be useful to show you how I colour one so that you can get some ideas. The fish I have chosen are from Worlds of Wonder.

I have decided to colour the fish in purples and pinks and to use my Staedtler Ergosoft pencils. I start with the darkest purple which is number 6 and colour around the edge of the body of the fish. I apply more layers on the very edge and less as I take the colour towards the centre.

Next, I take the darkest pink number 16 and partly colour over the lighter purple and then put more pink towards the centre. Sorry, I forgot to take a photo, so this one shows this stage when I coloured the other two fish.

You may find that the two colours have not blended that well. If this is the case for you then take the dark purple again and put a light layer just over the edge where the colours meet. Then take the light pink, no 20 and colour over the edge of the dark pink and right towards the centre, fading as you go by applying lighter and lighter pressure. I also use light pink to put a layer over the purple and dark pink to blend it together.

For the fins I take the light pink number 20 and gently colour them all.

Then I use the darker pink no 16 to add some details, I use a medium pressure to add some extra colour to the right hand ends of the fins and the end of the tail as well as where it meets the body.

Last of all I use some white gel pen to create the impression of shine on the fish.

Tip: If you want all fish to look the same, colour them alongside each other so that you do not forget how you coloured the first one!

I finished off the picture using 77 & 73 for the rocks, 5 & 50 for the plants, 52 for the seagrass and 57, 56 & 35 for the water.

If you would like to buy the materials for this tutorial here is a list of resources:

Worlds of Wonder by Johanna Basford
Staedtler Ergosoft pencils – tin of 36
Sakura Gellyroll white pen