How to Draw an Aquarium Scene: Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Do you love aquatic life and want to learn how to draw an aquarium scene? Look no further! Creating an aquarium scene is a relaxing and fun way to showcase all the mesmerizing creatures you love. Whether you’re an aspiring artist or simply love to doodle, this tutorial will teach you all the basics to draw a lively and colorful aquarium scene. You’ll learn about the different types of fish species and plants you can use, as well as how to create a realistic underwater effect, all in just a few easy steps.

So, let your creativity flow and get ready to dive into the world of aquatic art!

Gathering Materials

One of the first steps in creating an aquarium scene is gathering the necessary materials. First off, you’ll need art supplies, such as drawing pencils, erasers, and paper, or digital drawing tools if you prefer that method. Next, think about the type of aquarium you want to draw and gather references.

Look up photos or videos of real aquariums or search for inspiration on social media or art websites. Pay attention to the details, such as the variety of fish, plants, and decorations. You may even want to visit an actual aquarium to observe the movement of the fish and the unique atmosphere.

Finally, decide on the composition of your drawing. Will it be a panoramic view or a close-up of a particular fish? Gathering these materials and references will ensure you have all the necessary information and inspiration to create an aquarium scene that is both realistic and visually stunning.


When it comes to starting a new art project, one of the first things you need to do is gather your materials, and finding the perfect pencil is essential. There are many types of pencils, each with their unique features and uses, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for before you start. For example, if you’re creating detailed line drawings, you may want to opt for a hard lead pencil, while a softer lead pencil would be better for shading and blending.

It’s a good idea to have a range of pencils on hand, from HB to 9B, so you can experiment and find which ones work best for your style. When it comes to brand, there are many high-quality options available, such as Faber-Castell, Prismacolor, and Derwent. Taking the time to choose the right pencils will make a big difference in the quality of your work, so don’t rush this step.

how to draw an aquarium scene


If you’re looking to make your own eraser, the first thing you’ll need to do is gather your materials. For starters, you’ll need some rubber material. This can come in the form of old, worn-out erasers that you no longer use, or you can purchase rubber sheets online or at a craft store.

You’ll also need some type of mold or shape to give your eraser its form. This could be anything from a cookie cutter to a custom-made mold. Additionally, you’ll need a sharp knife or blade to cut your rubber material, as well as any other tools you may need for shaping or smoothing your eraser.

Overall, the process of gathering your materials may take some time, but it’s an essential step in creating your own personalized eraser.


When it comes to starting a new project, gathering materials is a crucial step. One of the most important materials needed for many projects is paper. There are many types of paper available, each with its own unique properties and uses.

For example, if you’re working on an art project, you may want to use a high-quality watercolor paper that can handle the paint without bleeding or warping. If you’re writing a novel, you may prefer a standard printer paper that’s easy to store and transport. When selecting paper, consider its weight, texture, and color.

The weight of the paper can affect how it folds and holds up over time. The texture can add a visual or tactile element to your project. And the color can either complement or contrast with the other materials you’re using.

By taking the time to carefully choose the right type of paper for your project, you’ll set yourself up for success and create a finished product that looks and feels just right.

Coloring Tools (Colored Pencils, Watercolors, etc.)

When it comes to coloring tools, there are many options to choose from such as colored pencils, watercolors, pastels, and markers. But before you start creating your masterpiece, it’s essential to gather the materials you’ll need. Firstly, you need to choose the type of coloring tool you want to use.

If you prefer colored pencils, you’ll need a set of high-quality pencils with a range of colors. Watercolors require watercolor paper, brushes, and a palette. You can also add a water brush to make it easier to blend colors and paint on the go.

If you prefer pastels, you’ll need pastel paper to avoid smudging, and a set of pastels with a range of colors. Lastly, if you choose markers, you’ll need marker paper, a range of colors, and a blending pen to create shading effects. By gathering the materials ahead of time, you can ensure that you have everything you need to create beautiful artwork.

So, gather your materials, and let’s get started!

Sketching the Basic Scene

Drawing an aquarium scene can seem daunting at first, but it can be broken down into simple steps. To start, sketch out the basic shape of the tank and any rocks, plants, or background decor you want to include. Be sure to pay attention to the placement of the tank’s edges, as they will affect the overall composition of the scene.

Next, focus on the fish and other sea creatures you want to add. It can be helpful to use reference images to get the proportions and details just right. Remember to vary the sizes and shapes of the fish to create a more dynamic composition.

Finally, add in any additional details and shading to bring the scene to life. With some practice and patience, you’ll be able to create a stunning aquarium scene that captures the beauty and charm of these underwater habitats. So grab your sketchbook and get ready to dive into the wonderful world of aquatic art!

Drawing the Tank

Sketching out the basic scene is an essential first step when it comes to drawing a tank. Start by determining the composition of your scene, including the position of the tank and any surrounding elements. Make sure to consider the perspective, as this will affect the size and shape of the tank.

When sketching the tank, begin with rough, loose lines to establish the basic shape. Pay close attention to the proportions and scale of the different elements, including the turret, gun barrel, and tracks. Take the time to add details such as hatches and markings to give the tank a sense of realism.

Remember to regularly step back and assess your work from a distance to ensure that the overall composition and proportions are working cohesively. With a solid foundation in place, you’ll be ready to add color and final details to bring your tank to life.

Adding Plants and Decorations

When it comes to adding plants and decorations to your aquarium, it’s important to start with a basic sketch of your ideal scene. This will give you a clear idea of the space you’ll be working with and help you visualize where different plants and decor pieces might fit best. Consider the type of fish you have and the environment they thrive in.

From there, you can start to add decorations like rocks or driftwood, which not only look great but can provide hiding places and structure for your fish. When choosing plants, look for those that are compatible with your fish and that will thrive in your specific aquarium conditions. With a clear idea of your basic scene in mind, you can start piecing together the perfect aquarium environment.

Sketching the Fish

When it comes to sketching a fish, there are many ways to approach it. One approach is to start with the basic scene and work your way up. To do this, you should begin by sketching the water.

Sketching water may seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite simple. Start by lightly drawing a line where the water meets the horizon. Then, draw a few lines to indicate the waves.

Next, you’ll want to sketch the fish. Start with the outline of the body and then add the fins and tail. Don’t worry about the details just yet, that will come later.

Once you have the basic shapes down, you can add texture and shading to give the fish dimension. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to sketch the perfect fish scene. So grab your paper and pencil and let’s get started!

Adding Details

If you want to create a beautiful aquarium scene, you need to add plenty of details to make it come to life. Start by sketching out the basic shape of the aquarium and the background scenery. Once you have a good base to work with, you can start adding in the details that will make the scene stand out.

Begin with the plants and rocks that will be in the aquarium. These can be drawn using intricate lines and shading to give them a more realistic feel. Don’t forget to add in the fish as well, each with their own unique color and pattern.

If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even add in small details like bubbles or reflections to really bring the scene to life. By taking the time to add in these smaller details, you’ll create an aquarium scene that is both realistic and visually stunning, making it a great addition to any sketchbook or art gallery display.

Defining Fish Features

Fish features are diverse and fascinating. They differ greatly from one another in terms of their shape, size, color, and behavior. Some of the most common fish features include scales, fins, gills, swim bladder, lateral line, and eyes.

Scales help fish to protect themselves from predators, while fins help them move through water. Gills are responsible for extracting oxygen from the water, and the swim bladder helps fish to maintain their buoyancy. The lateral line is a sensory organ that helps fish to detect movement and vibrations, while eyes allow them to see their surroundings and prey.

In addition to these basic features, many species of fish have specialized adaptations that enable them to survive in their specific environments or perform unique functions. For example, some fish have electric organs that allow them to sense their surroundings or stun their prey, and others have bioluminescent cells that glow in the dark. Overall, fish features are diverse and fascinating and help us to understand the incredible variety of life in our oceans, rivers, and lakes.

Adding Texture to Plants and Decor

When it comes to creating a visually appealing indoor garden, adding texture is key. Different textures can add instant interest to your plants and decor, transforming a plain space into a vibrant and inviting one. One easy way to add texture is by incorporating plants with varied foliage, such as a snake plant’s sturdy patterned leaves or the delicate fronds of a fern.

You can also experiment with different pots and containers, including ones made of natural materials like wicker or clay, to add depth and dimension to your space. Don’t forget to also consider fun accessories like plant stakes or trellises to add even more texture. Whether you’re looking to create a lush jungle or a more minimalist space, adding texture is a simple way to elevate any indoor garden.

Outlining and Shading the Scene

When it comes to adding details to your outlined and shaded scene, there are a few techniques you can use to make it really pop. One of the best ways to do this is by including smaller elements that help fill out the space, such as trees, rocks, or other natural features. Adding these details can bring your scene to life, even if it’s just a simple sketch.

Another important technique is to play with textures and patterns in your shading, giving different areas of the scene a unique look and feel. This can be achieved using a variety of techniques such as crosshatching and stippling. By incorporating these elements, you can turn a basic outline into a fully realized and detailed piece of artwork that is sure to impress.

So don’t be afraid to experiment and try out different approaches to bringing your scene to life!

Coloring Your Scene

Drawing an aquarium scene can be a fun and creative way to experiment with different colors. One way to add vibrancy to your scene is by using an array of bright and bold colors to create contrast. For instance, you can use shades of blue and green to represent the water, with hints of red and orange for the coral and other sea creatures.

Another approach is to use a softer, pastel color palette to give your scene a tranquil and peaceful feel. This technique involves using light blues, greens, and pinks to convey a calm atmosphere. Whatever approach you choose, using color can help bring your aquarium scene to life and make it visually appealing.

Remember, don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with colors to create a unique and captivating scene.

Choosing a Color Scheme

When it comes to coloring your scene, choosing the right color scheme is crucial. A color scheme is a combination of colors that work well together and can evoke a certain mood or emotion. It’s important to think about the overall message you want to convey and select colors that complement it.

For example, if you want to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, you might go for colors like red and orange. On the other hand, if you want to create a calm and peaceful scene, you might opt for blues and greens. It’s important to also consider the context of your scene, such as the setting, the lighting, and the objects within it.

By choosing a complementary color scheme, you can enhance the impact of your scene and create a powerful visual experience for your audience. So take your time, experiment with different color combinations, and find the perfect scheme that tells your story in the best way possible.

Coloring the Tank, Fish, and Decor

When it comes to coloring your tank, fish, and decor, the options are endless! Choosing the right colors for your aquatic scene can really make it pop and add a sense of vibrancy to your aquarium. One thing to keep in mind is to choose colors that complement each other rather than clash. This means selecting colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, such as blue and orange or green and red.

Another way to add interest to your tank is to use varying shades and tones of the same color. For example, using different shades of blue for your tank, decor, and even your fish can create a cohesive and visually appealing look. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different colors and patterns as well.

Just be sure to consider the natural colors and patterns of your fish as well to ensure they blend seamlessly into their surroundings. With a little creativity and color knowledge, your aquatic scene can be a true work of art!

Adding Depth with Shadows and Highlights

Adding depth to your scenes with shadows and highlights is an essential part of creating a realistic and captivating environment. By playing with the brightness and contrast of colors, you can create a 3-dimensional effect that makes your scene feel more immersive. Shadows are the areas where light does not hit directly, creating a darker tone that can add depth to objects and surfaces.

On the other hand, highlights are the areas that reflect the most light, creating a brighter tone that makes objects shine. By adding shadows to the corners and undersides of objects, you can create a sense of depth and realism in your scene. Similarly, by adding highlights to the edges and tops of objects, you can create a sense of shininess and glossiness.

To achieve a balanced effect, it’s important to play with both the shadows and highlights in your scene and find the perfect balance that creates a realistic and engaging environment.

Final Touches

Now that you have successfully added all the elements to your aquarium scene, it’s time to add some final touches. Start by shading the rocks or gravel with a light pencil to add some depth to the bottom of the aquarium. Then, add some shadows to the plants, fish, and other objects to make them appear more three-dimensional.

Take some time to add details to the fish, such as their scales and fins, to give them a more realistic look. Finally, use a white pen or marker to add highlights to the surfaces of the plants, fish, and bubbles to create a sense of texture and shine. With these final touches, your aquarium scene will come to life and you will have a beautiful piece of artwork to admire for years to come.

Remember to have fun and experiment with different techniques to create a truly unique and personalized aquarium scene.

Adding Bubbles or Sunrays

To truly bring a design to life, sometimes it’s the final touches that can make the biggest impact. Adding bubbles or sunrays to a design can add a playful, whimsical element that catches the eye and adds an extra level of detail. Bubbles can be created by using a round brush and adding circles of varying sizes, then adding a white layer with a semi-transparent brush for a realistic bubble effect.

Sunrays can be added by using a radial gradient and adjusting the opacity, giving a warm glow to the design. These final touches not only add visual interest, but also show attention to detail and a willingness to go the extra mile for a polished finished product. So, whether you’re designing for print or digital, don’t forget the impact that bubbles or sunrays can add to your final design.

Emphasizing the Center of Interest

As a photographer, the final touches you give to your images can make a significant difference in their visual impact. One way to enhance the center of interest in your pictures is to use the right amount of emphasis. You can do this by adjusting the exposure, contrast, or color in selective parts of your image.

For example, if you want to bring attention to a person’s face in a portrait photo, you can increase the exposure or brightness of their skin while slightly decreasing the effect in other parts of the image. Alternatively, you can create contrast by darkening the background or adding a vignette effect around the edges of your picture. By emphasizing the center of interest, you create a focal point that draws the viewer’s attention and creates a visual hierarchy in your composition.

Ultimately, your goal as a photographer is to tell a story or convey an emotion through your images, and the final touches are crucial in achieving that goal.

Signing Your Work

When it comes to sharing your creative work with the world, one final touch that can add a personalized element is signing your work. Whether you’re a writer, artist, or any other type of creator, adding your signature or initials to your work can give it a unique touch, and provide a way for others to easily identify it as yours. Not only is this a great way to showcase your style and brand, but it can also help protect your work from plagiarism.

While signing your work may seem like a small detail, it can have a big impact on how your work is perceived and appreciated by others. So, if you’re proud of something you’ve created, be sure to sign your name on it and let the world know that it’s one-of-a-kind.


In the end, drawing an aquarium scene is like creating a mini underwater world right on paper. With a few simple steps and a bit of creativity, you can bring to life the colorful fish, the swaying plants, and the tranquil ambiance of an aquarium. So grab your pencils, dive into your imagination, and let your artistic skills swim freely.

Who knows, you might even surprise yourself with a masterpiece fit for a real aquarium!”


What are the essential elements of an aquarium scene?
The essential elements of an aquarium scene include fish, plants, rocks, gravel, and other decorations.

What materials do I need to draw an aquarium scene?
You need paper, pencils, eraser, ruler, colors, and reference images of aquarium plants and fish to draw an aquarium scene.

How do I choose the right colors for an aquarium scene?
You can choose the right colors for an aquarium scene by observing the natural colors of plants and fish in the aquarium, and selecting colors that match or complement them.

Can I draw an aquarium scene without a reference image?
It is possible to draw an aquarium scene without a reference image, but having one can help you create a more realistic and accurate depiction of an aquarium.

What is the best way to draw fish in an aquarium scene?
The best way to draw fish in an aquarium scene is to study their body structure and movements, and then sketch and color them accordingly.

How do I create a sense of depth in an aquarium scene drawing?
You can create a sense of depth in an aquarium scene drawing by using perspective and shading techniques, and by adding details like bubbles and reflections.

How can I make my aquarium scene drawing stand out?
You can make your aquarium scene drawing stand out by adding unique details like hidden objects, different types of fish and plants, and creative lighting effects.