Create a composition that includes at least 5 fish. Use any format, any style, as long as there are a minimum of 5 fish in the image, anything goes! The fish do not have to be ones that exists in real life, they can be imaginary if you like.
Consider the mood you want for your image, do you want the image to be humorous, scary, playful, calm, or stormy?
Use at least 3 reference photos, and aim to dramatically transform and visually manipulate your reference photos. This album has fish photos on our free reference photo collection. Our crab photos and lobster photos may be useful too.
Step outside of where you expect fish to be; the cliche is that fish are in water, but that’s not always the case.
Draw a minimum of six thumbnail sketches to figure out your composition. Aim for having as much variety in your thumbnails as possible. Tweak and re-crop the thumbnails until you’re satisfied. Choose one thumbnail sketch to use for the final drawing.
Arworks for inspiration
Drawing Fish in Adobe Fresco
See how to use digital painting techniques in Adobe Fresco to draw fish! This video starts with basics of drawing with Adobe Fresco covering layers, tools, and various effects that are possible with the program. More techniques such as how to navigate layers and create textures as also shown. Demo led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Guest Teaching Artist Mia Rozear.
How to Sketch Thumbnails
This video explains and demonstrates the process of how thumbnail sketches work within the artistic process. Thumbnails can save you time when working on a final piece of artwork and allow you to explore more options for composition. The demonstration shows simple strategies on how to crop or expand your thumbnail sketches and how to diversify your options. Discussion and demo by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Cat Huang.
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