Draw a fish in Photoshop

In this lesson you will learn how to create a beautiful ornamental carp and flower. This lesson will cover the basics of creating shapes and how to apply chiaroscuro using tools and gradients.

Final result

Source materials:

STEP 1. Create a new document.
Create a new document in Photoshop File – New (File> New). The size of my document is 500px x 500px, but you can create a document of any size that best suits you.

STEP 2. Flower
First we create one of the colors. Let’s start with the application Gradient Overlays (Gradient Overlay) to the first layer (let’s call this layer the background).

STEP 3. Forms of Petals
Create a new layer and name it “Petal 1”, draw the outline of the petal, as in the screenshot below using the tool Pen (Pen Tool).

STEP 4. Fill Petal
Right-click on the contour and select the option. To form a selected area (Make Selection). Fill the petal pink shade.

STEP 5. Adding Contrast
Choose a tool Dimmer (burn tool) by setting preferences (soft brush size 61 px, Range: Shadows (shadows), Exposure 100%) and on the same layer darken the petal, as in the screenshot below. I used a combination Range (Range): Shadows, Light. Mid tones (Shadows, Highlights and Midtones) to get such a result.

STEP 6. Light Flare on the Petal
Create a new layer on top of the layer with a petal, name it “Petal 1 Light Glare”. Choose soft brush 42px, tint color # E5BA2A, Pressure (Flow): 73%. Remove excess areas that fall outside the petal.

STEP 7. The third thing we add to the petal is the shadow. First, create a new layer on top of the “Petal 1 Light Glare” layer, then load the selection of the “Petal 1” layer. Once you have loaded the selection, you need to compress the selection. Let’s go Selection – Modification – Compress (Select> Modify> Contract) at 5px, as in the screenshot below.

Paint with a soft brush using # 2c0024 shade. Note: Name this layer “Petal 1 Shadow”.

STEP 8. Play the Petals
Repeat the previous steps to create the remaining petals. In the screenshots you can see the whole process of creating petals.

STEP 9. At this moment I have only 15 petals.

STEP 10. For the core, select the # fed51c color brush, and draw as in the screenshot below. I also used the tool Dimmer (burn tool) to darken a little lower part (shadows, exposure 100%).

STEP 11. Light highlights on the flower
On top of all layers with petals, create a new layer. Call it “Light highlights on the Flower.” Choose a tool Brush (brush tool), by setting the settings (soft brush, brush size 24px, color shade #ffffff) and move the brush along the light areas of the flower.

Decrease Opacity (opacity) layer to 53%

STEP 12. Create a new layer and basically repeat the previous steps, only use # c419b6 instead of the color #ffffff.

Change the blending mode to Lightening (Screen).

STEP 13. Contour
Before we create the contour. Merge all the layers with the petals, including the layers “Light highlights and shadows on the petals” (but not including the layers Light highlights 1 and 2 on the Flower.

STEP 14. Stroke
Next we go Editing – perform a stroke (Edit> Stroke) and apply these settings.

STEP 15. Move the stroke a couple of pixels to the right. Change the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay) with Opacity (Opacity) 77%

STEP 16. As a supplement, I chose a soft brush # e6d9b0 and painted additional light highlights. For this layer, I changed the blending mode to Glow (luminosity).

STEP 17. Part 2 – Second Flower
We finished creating the first flower, it’s time to start creating the second. Create a new document (the same size as our document). Apply the same gradient to create the background, the same as when creating the first flower. This is what we will do.

STEP 18. Create a new group by clicking on the icon in the bottom toolbar, name this group “Pink Flower”. Inside this new group, create a new layer and name it “Petals”. Choose a tool Brush (brush tool) and select the brush flower that you downloaded before starting the lesson. Paint the flower with a color # af37a5.

STEP 19. Tool Dimmer and clarifier (Burn and Dodge Tool)
Choose a tool Dimmer and Brightener (burn and dodge tool), soft brush and darken and lighten the areas, as in the screenshot below. Dim and lighten all over the flower.

STEP 20. Load a selection of the Petals layer and drag. Selection – Modification – Compress (Select> Modify> Contract) at 19px. Create a new layer, select a soft brush and paint it with a #FFFFFF color shade, as I did.

Change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft Light).

STEP 21. Create a new layer and on this layer load the selection by holding the Ctrl + key by clicking on the thumbnail of the “Petals” layer and compress the selection again with 34 px.

STEP 22. Select the brush again and paint the core as in the screenshot below, using the color shade # e9d44b.

Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (Screen).

STEP 23. Create a new layer and draw a circle in the center of the flower using a soft round brush (71px, # e9d54b).

STEP 24. Create a new layer and with a soft round brush of white color paint over the ends of the petals, remove the extra areas that are outside the petals.

Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay).

STEP 25. Repeat the previous step using the #FFFFFF soft brush, but this time change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft Light).

STEP 26. Next, duplicate this group 4 times and scale the groups in the same way as in the screenshot below.

STEP 27. Next, we apply the layer styles. Shadows (drop shadow) to the “Petals” layer of each group except the last group. Apply the settings as in the screenshot.

STEP 28. Here is how it should look.

STEP 29. Part 3 – Ornamental Carp
Create a new document. My sizes are 1000px x 1000px.

STEP 30 – Add a gradient to the Background layer.

STEP 31. Next, we will create a fish body. I used the Adobe Illustrator program to create my fish, because in this program, it is easier for me to control the instrument Pen (pen tool). Run Illustrator with the same document size 1000px x 1000px.

Note: You can continue to create the fish in Photoshop in the document we created in Step 30.

STEP 32. Start by creating different parts of the fish, as I did in the following screenshots.

STEP 33. Next, drag the parts of the fish that you created on our document in photoshop. Note: I selected the parts to show how I placed them on the document (you do not need to do this).

Note: If you drew parts of the fish in Photoshop, then skip this step.

STEP 34. Upper Fin
Now that all your layers are in Photoshop, for sure, name each layer according to the parts of the fish (i.e., head, body, upper fin, etc.). First we start with the “upper fin”. Also, all the layers that I don’t work with, I’ll make them invisible by clicking on the eye icon. On the upper fin layer, select the tool Dimmer (Burn Tool) with settings: soft round brush, size 61 px, Range (Range): Sveta (Highlights) Exposition (Exposure: 73%) and darken the area as shown in the screenshot below.

STEP 35. Create a new layer and select the brush tool. Draw wavy lines on the fin. I used a hard round brush size of 5px, color shade # d43911.

STEP 36. Next, we will spread these wavy lines. Choose a tool Finger (smudge tool) (22px, intensity (strength): 36%) and smooth out the lines.

Change the layer blending mode to Line Dimmer (Linear Burn).

STEP 37. Create a new layer and select the tool. brush (soft round brush 59px, # 9b733f) Paint over the area where the fin connects to the body.

Change the blending mode for this layer to Darkening basics (Color burn) with Opacity (Opacity) 68%.

STEP 38. Light highlights on Fin
Next, we will add light highlights to the fin. Create a new layer and name it “Light highlights 1”. Use the brush tool (#FFFFFF, soft round brush 46px) to create some light highlights at the end of the tail fin. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay) and Opacity (Opacity) 63%.

STEP 39. Repeat the last step, but this time leave the overlay mode. Normal (Normal) with Opacity (Opacity) 100%. Take all the layers related to the “hind fin” and place them in one group (you can create a group by clicking the button in the bottom toolbar).

STEP 40. Repeat the previous steps that you used to create the “hind fin” for all other fins.

STEP 41. Scale
Now we will create scales for the body of the fish. Create a new layer and fill it with any color, then apply layer styles, pattern overlap. As soon as you applied pattern overlap (pattern overlay), convert the layer to a smart object, and then rasterize it.

STEP 42. In this step we will change colors. The first color is # cd200a, # ffd03f, #FFFFFF

STEP 43. Apply deformation to the scale layer and apply on one side of the fish. Remove excess areas that are outside the torso.

STEP 44. With the second layer with scales, do exactly the same thing, only for the other side. Remove excess areas that go beyond the torso.

STEP 45. Combine both layers with scales.

STEP 46. Add shadows to the body, using a soft round brush # a16e28, paint over the body.

STEP 47. Change the blending mode to Multiplication (Multiply).

STEP 48. Create a new layer and use the soft brush # 734e18 to paint along the base of the dorsal fin, as shown in the screenshot below.

STEP 49. Change the blending mode to Darkening basics (Color burn) with Opacity (Opacity) 73%.

STEP 50. Create a new layer and with the help of a soft round brush # edc480, once again paint along the back of the fish.

STEP 51. Change the blending mode to Lightening Basics (Color dodge) with Opacity (Opacity) 69%.

STEP 52. Create a new layer and paint the specks on the red scales with a soft round brush (14px # 734e18).

STEP 53. Change the blending mode for this layer to Blackout Basics (Color Burn), then apply the filter Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur).

STEP 54. Do the same for the yellow scales. (soft round brush 7px, # edc480).

STEP 55. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light).

STEP 56. Here is what it should look like at the moment.

STEP 57. Change the color of the Head according to the settings on the screenshot, then convert it into a smart object, and then rasterize the image.

STEP 58. Next, use a brush of different diameters to achieve this effect on the head of the fish. Note: You may need to use multiple layers with different levels of opacity.

STEP 59. Eye
Now we will create an eye. Create a new layer and select the tool. Oval area (Elliptical tool) and draw an oval, as shown in the screenshot below. Fill it with any color.

STEP 60. Layer Style Settings
Apply these settings to the created eye.

STEP 61. Create a new layer and draw a circle, as shown in the screenshot below, fill it with a color tint. # 950903

STEP 62. Apply layer styles to this layer.

STEP 63. Choose soft brush and brush over the pupil (# b81512) on a new layer.

STEP 64. Decrease Opacity (Opacity) of this layer to 65%.

STEP 65. Create a new layer and paint a white speck over the pupil (use a soft round brush).

STEP 66. Next we add the antennae. Choose a tool Pen (pen tool) and draw the lines as in the screenshot below. Once you have finished drawing the antennae, right-click the outline and select the option Outline the contour (Stroke Path). Note: Do not forget to set the brush size to 4px, a hard round brush.

STEP 67. Apply these settings to each of the antennae.

STEP 68. Almost done!

STEP 69. Now we will add our flowers that we created at the beginning of the lesson. Just drag and drop onto our document with cap and place on top of all layers. Note: A good idea is to put the whole flower in a group, so that the flower can be easily moved.

STEP 70
Place the second flower below the carp layer and change the blending mode for the group layer to Lightening (Screen) with Opacity (Opacity) 71%.

STEP 71. Finally, select the brush with floral curls and below the carp layer, draw curls #FFFFFF, set the layer opacity to 53%.

Translator’s Note: below the carp layer, create a new layer and on this layer with a white brush, draw patterns as you like.

Final result

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