Almost every artist at some point or another has dabbled in traditional pencil drawings—sketchings of nature, wildlife, portraits, still life. Among the infinite variety of subjects found in nature, aquatic and marine life has always been a remarkable theme to test one’s skill at detail and graceful line art.
Perhaps you are such an artist with a touch of the sea’s magic in you. Perhaps you are an art-lover, an art-collector, and know the aesthetic value a simple fish drawing lends to your home or collection. Anyone can find something here to be inspired by or to simply marvel at.
Using hardly any color and absolutely no background, much of the line art shown here still manage to seem graceful and fluid. If you’ve ever framed a trout on your dining room wall, you likely understand that the secret is in the multiplicity and intricacy of detail within the fish’s body itself.
All manners of fish come with their own distinct silhouette. It is possible to become an expert at identifying species by their outline. Whether it’s the cleftbelly trevally in the Vintage Fish Drawing, the iconic needlepoint in the Swordfish Photo Drawing, or the unmistakable lionfish in the Color Drawing, a simple drawing turns out not to be a simple drawing at all but a study in shape and line.
With color or without, stark black ink strokes or nuanced touches of a watercolor brush, a drawing is instantly made all the more interesting by its subject. Artists routinely push themselves to convey more accurately the fins and the scales, the texture and the color, because to bring the fish to life is to bring the whole canvas to life.
No surprise that fish leak into the realm of cartoon drawings as well, and feature family films as Shark Tale and Finding Nemo take this a step further and bring them to life with 3D animation.
You don’t have to be a deep-sea enthusiast, a fisherman, or a marine biologist in order to appreciate this collection of fish drawings. You may be a hobbyist sketcher or an all-around lover of realistic art or simply a beach buff. A marine motif for wallpaper or a framed watercolor has always been enough to infuse the place with a touch of tranquility, mystery, emotion, and tradition.
As you can see from this collection…
whether they are done in traditional inks and colors or their counterpart pixels in digital art;
whether they faithfully capture their real-life subjects or are playfully superimposed with human features for a cartoon;
whether they are made so realistic you feel you can reach out and touch them; or
whether their symbolic meaning is made all the more profound in aquatic abstract drawings;
these denizens of the deep are fascinating art subjects and will always continue to be.