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Reeves Gouache Fish

26 November 2020

Level: Medium

Duration: 45 mins

Learn to paint a colour fish with this step-by-step instructions using only 5 colours of Reeves Gouache Paints. Create a variety of colours by mixing your 5 basic colours.

To get an outline of the fish, click here.


  • Reeves Gouache Paints (Ultramarine, Cerulean Blue, Scarlet, Yellow Medium & White)
  • Black Paper
  • Pencil
  • Paint Brushes (Medium and Fine Size)
  • Paint knives for mixing

How to do it

Note: This artwork requires mixing multiple colours to create tones and various colours. Keep your mixed colours seperate as you may use them multiple times in the artwork.

  1. Colours: Ultramarine, Scarlet, White. Start by creating a base for the fins and tail.
    - Create a red purple by mixing scarlet with a bit of ultramarine. Add to where the tail meets the body and to the fins are underneath the fish face.
    - Create a dark blue by mixing ultramarine with a bit of white. Add to the tail and fin.
    - Create a mid-blue by adding more white to your dark blue and add again to parts of the tail and fins as well as the fish body closest to the tail.
    - Create a mauve by mixing some of the mid-tone blue with a bit of scarlet. Add to parts of the fin below the red-purple area.
  2. Colours: Ultramarine, Scarlet, White. Add the base colour to the body. 
    - Mix scarlet and white to create a mid-tone pink that graduates to lighter by adding more white for the body of the fish and face.
    - Use a little mauve also for the front of the face closest to the mouth.
    - Use ultramarine for the mouth.
  3. Colours: Scarlet. Add scarlet to the two fins on either side of the body. Use a finer brush to add scales to the back part of the body in scarlet.
  4. Colours: Yellow Medium, White, Scarlet. Create an orange using yellow medium and scarlet and add a touch of white. Add this colour to the side fins where they are closest to the body.
    - Mix variants of more red or more yellow to create different oranges to get variety of the fins. Add a touch more white to the orange and use on the end of the fins.
    - Create a soft peach using yellow medium, scarlet and white and use this to add scale marking to the body/face of the fish.
    - Create a light yellow with white and yellow medium and add scales to the body of the fish.
  5. Colours: Ultramarine, Cerulean Blue, White.Build up the blue fins.
    - Add cerulean blue with a bit of white to the fish tail and fins that are blue based.
    - Mix some cerulean blue with more white to add another dimension of lighter coloured details.
    - Use ultramarine with some white to do the same to the tail and fins
  6. Colours: White, Scarlet, Yellow Medium. Create a pastel peach with all three colours and add lighter details to the fish fins that are orange.
  7. Colours: White and Yellow Medium. Create a pastel yellow and add some detail to the 2 orange fins.
  8. Colours: Cerulean Blue and White: Create a light blue with white and a touch of cerulean blue and add detail to around the eye.
  9. Colours: Scarlet, White and Yellow Medium. Fine tune the orange fins with a few thinner lines of striking reds and mid-tone oranges.
  10. Colours: Ultramarine, Scarlet, White. Use ultramarine with a touch of scarlet and white to create a mauve. Use to finish off some details on the fins and tail that are blue.


    Gouache Fish Steps
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