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Tasty Watercolor Fish in a few easy steps!

January 2, 2018

We’re sure you’ll love this recipe for fast and tasty watercolor fish!

They’re easy to whip up at home with whatever colors you have around the studio.

1: Prepare your fish with a simple but zesty line drawing, capturing only the silhouette, and maybe a few details around the eyes, mouth and gills. I like a 0.3mm HB mechanical pencil for easy clean up.

2: Wash your fish shape with clear water. Dampen the entire body of the fish, but I like to leave out the fins. If they stay dry, they’ll cook up to be crispy and full of flavor.

3: Now – dash in spicy colors to taste! Just toss whatever you like onto your damp fish, and the body will flood with succulent color.

4: At the very end, brush the fins, starting away from the body, connecting dry-brush strokes to the damp center, making a pleasing decorative pattern that fuses to the body.

Your fish won’t be fully done, but you’re almost there!

5: Now repeat for the background: For this step, be sure to air dry your fish. Pat the paper to test – if it’s cool to the touch, it’s still wet.

Once fully dry, just repeat in reverse – wash around the outside of your fish with clear water, not dripping onto the body, and again, spice with color to taste. If it’s properly dry your fish won’t melt. To be honest, you can rush the drying step, if you don’t mind some blended flavors here and there.

6: Let rest for a few minutes and garnish your fish with a another pass of rich dark touches that bring out the fullest flavor – especially in the fins and gills. And always the most careful touches around the eyes – they should brown into tasty sharp edges. Sometimes the crackly skin can be the best part.

Your friends and family will love your juicy watercolor fish!

42 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary Beth permalink
    January 2, 2018 4:40 PM

    The best fish recipe ever!! I’ll be whipping this up in no time.

  2. Heide permalink
    January 2, 2018 4:40 PM

    What a clever “recipe”! Thank you for the smile (and the lesson too).

  3. Dana Richards permalink
    January 2, 2018 4:43 PM

    What a delicious post! I plan to snack on it before dinner!

  4. Dena permalink
    January 2, 2018 4:44 PM

    Mr Creative! Thanks – I was running low on fish recipes and have to say i have none in the watercolor section :)

    Can’t wait to give these a try. Your process is beautiful

  5. Malinda Anderson permalink
    January 2, 2018 4:48 PM

    Thank you for your generosity. I cannot wait to paint my fish.

  6. Charles Marling permalink
    January 2, 2018 4:48 PM

    How brilliantly simple, and what a lovely winter home studio idea. I am inspired to try it!

  7. Susan Grover permalink
    January 2, 2018 4:58 PM

    Love it Xo

  8. Linda sumner permalink
    January 2, 2018 5:09 PM

    What beautiful fish!

  9. Susan Edmondson permalink
    January 2, 2018 5:25 PM

    😄. Lovely watercolour, a smile, and great inspiration – thank you Marc!

  10. January 2, 2018 6:06 PM

    Reminds me of eating grilled sardines at a tiny place on Crete! Crispy tails, yum!

  11. January 2, 2018 6:52 PM

    This is an absolutely delicious recipe by a Master Chef!
    Thanks Marc!
    It was thoughly enjoyable…I can’t wait to see what you whip up for desert!

  12. January 2, 2018 6:58 PM

    Marc I love, love your recipe. Will cook some up. Thanks
    and BTW your watercolors are looking great!

  13. January 2, 2018 7:32 PM

    haha! something fishy going on …

  14. -N- permalink
    January 2, 2018 8:44 PM

    But . . . I’m a vegan! 8-)

  15. ybromfield permalink
    January 2, 2018 9:06 PM

    Definitely trying this tomorrow!

  16. joantav permalink
    January 2, 2018 9:23 PM

    Great idea for doing fish!

  17. January 2, 2018 10:07 PM

    My mouth is watering… must try this ASAP

  18. January 2, 2018 11:18 PM

    Best and clever recipe !!! Thank you for sharing – Wishes for a very Happy New Year :)

  19. January 3, 2018 2:50 AM

    You are a great watercolour chef 😉!!!!

  20. Real Campeau permalink
    January 3, 2018 9:12 AM

    You should described how to do a lemon now to go with the fish! Best

  21. Carmen Cruz permalink
    January 3, 2018 10:48 AM

    Your recipe looks so delish, can wait to get my hands dirty… I’m going to try this. Thank you, for the tip!

  22. Bernadette permalink
    January 3, 2018 11:15 AM

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderfully delightful post on the ease of painting. Your examples are exquisite.

  23. Judy Sopher permalink
    January 3, 2018 11:23 AM

    I could never recreate fish as you do. Not with all the lessons in the world. Just wonderful painting. Thank you for the recipe.

  24. January 3, 2018 12:34 PM

    Hello Marc ! Thank you for the recipe. I did try it but even though I had all the ingredients, I lacked the ‘chef’s’ expertise… ;-) I am more successful with food. Could you tell me if you worked with watercolor fresh out of the tube? My colors seem faded. Happy New Year and I wish you lots of fun sketching, drawing, painting. Diane

    • January 3, 2018 9:11 PM

      Yes it helps to have wet juicy color to pick up lots of pigment. It should be like honey in your palette. Also I mist the paints with a little atomizer to make them even more moist.

  25. Estelle DeRidder permalink
    January 3, 2018 1:06 PM

    You are a hoot ! Hugs, laughs, and the best of the best for 2018 for you and Laurel. Thank you for being a part of my life.

  26. Bonnie Olpin permalink
    January 3, 2018 7:50 PM

    Thanks, I had fun with this. Love your Craftsy classes.

  27. January 3, 2018 9:22 PM

    The most entertaining post of the whole year!
    Really, I love your descriptive recipe for making fish!

  28. Carol P permalink
    January 4, 2018 6:03 PM

    Delicious-more recipes please!

  29. January 4, 2018 6:09 PM

    Love them, looks like gyotaku done with watercolors!

  30. January 6, 2018 2:56 PM


  31. Katie Waller permalink
    January 6, 2018 6:18 PM

    The best vegan recipe for beautiful fish I’ve seen! :) Thank you so much for sharing your talents again!

  32. January 14, 2018 3:35 PM


    Many thanks for the fish recipe, can’t wait to give it a try. Also, wanted to tell you how much I’m enjoying ‘The Urban Sketcher’ and your two Craftsy courses. I rally appreciate your teaching style as well as your art. Peace.

  33. Kathy permalink
    June 13, 2019 11:29 PM

    Love it!!!

  34. ina permalink
    October 12, 2019 9:07 PM

    I’m just beginning my water colour journey and this is somethng definitely i will try. Thank you!

  35. Classic_Dude permalink
    April 13, 2022 3:25 PM

    Very generous of you to share your “recipe”. Thank you !

  36. Estelle DeRidder permalink
    April 20, 2022 1:50 PM

    Beautiful and inspirational. Thank you for sharing !


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