Draw Koi Fish with Iris Scott’s Art Painting Technique – Learn the Finger Painting Art Form

  • By: Michael Smith
  • Date: September 26, 2023
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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Hello, my dear followers!

Today’s art lesson is devoted to the finger-painting. I`d like to call this kind of painting (the paints used do not matter) the real «art-therapy». As for me the finger-painting is the best way to relax, take mind off things, get carried away and recover from stress, fuss and problems. This is the perfect means of self-expression and expression of feelings. And it does not require the knowledge of using artistic tools from you. That is why the finger-painting allows you not to worry about how accurate your brush stroke is or whether you`ve chosen the right brush and so on – you fully soak yourself in the creative process and you have much less technical questions.

So let`s start our free painting lesson and paint our fishes – Japanese carps which are also called the koi fish. We will need the canvas (it can also be the cardboard) and the oil paints of all colors that you have:

  • red,
  • orange,
  • brown hues,
  • blue,
  • dark blue,
  • turquoise
  • and certainly the white

Let`s get started

Also we will need ordinary thin disposable rubber gloves.

  1.  Place the fishes on the canvas using the graphite pencil. You should better place our characters on the cross, thus the dynamics of the painting will be felt. At first sketch out the moving direction, the fish shapes, the fins; you can also outline the shade, the blooming branch and the flowers scattered on the water.
  2. Twist off the skins of all paints we have prepared and put on the gloves. Today the palette will be almost unnecessary. Press the paints out of the tubes on your finger and then use your finger as a brush. Let`s start painting with the fingers. Begin with the basic color of our fish (the orange or the white with the mars brown). At once try to pay attention to the shade and the light in order to make the fishes volumetric. Use the brush strokes of the Raw Sienna and the Mars Brown for the orange fish and add a little Mars Brown and Ochre (or Sienna) for the white fish. The following color should be added on the light side: yellow, orange, lemon and white. It is important to emphasize the spine – it will be a kind of orienting point for us – the fracture of light and shadow. Although the painting is quite simple, you should be careful during our drawing art lesson.
  3. Once the fish body got the volume, you can sketch out the red, white and black spots over the basic color of the fish. Take the appropriate paint with the finger and outline the big and small spots with due account for the light and the shade (the red spot in the shade can be painted with the Alizarin Crimson or the Mars Brown).    Paint the fins with the «flapping» movements starting from the fish body; you need two kinds of paints (orange and white, orange and brown…).
  4. Draw the shades under the fish bodies. Use the dark blue paint (the Prussian Blue or the Phthalocyanine Blue). The shade will fall down. The bigger the shadow of the fish is and the more distant it is from her body – the higher the fish is towards the bottom or it can mean that we are looking at this wonderful creature at high level. I am sure these art painting ideas will be useful to you.
  5. The next stage is painting the water. Draw the whirls and the small waves round the carps and the flowers. Generally speaking you can let your imagination run free, but you still should consider the fact that even the small waves have the shades, the light and the overtone. The basis for the water is better to be painted with the Turquoise Blue and the Sky Blue, the shades – the Prussian Blue or the Phthalocyanine Blue, the overtone – the White. You can also add some yellow transparent spots of the sun light.
  6. At once sketch out the white flower spots and the shade on and under the petals.
  7. Fill in all the rest canvas space with the waves of the water color. In the place where you are going to outline the branch, try to apply the paints as little as possible – do not apply the paints very pastously. Then very carefully outline the thin fragile branch with the fingertip – this time you can do it without the gloves – using the following paints: the – Madder Lake Rose strong and the Mars Brown. Also try not to overdo it, apply a little amount of paints slightly touching the canvas. Then paint the flowers with the White and the White + the Madder Lake. Try to consider the fact that these flowers also have the shade and the light.

Paint the piths with the slight touches of the Madder Lake Red and the Brown paints.

Koi fishes
Koi fishes

The important thing is that these canvas painting techniques are pretty simple:you can paint only with one index finger or you can use all the fingers during the working process. You can use some fingers for the yellow shades and other – for the blue shades. If you have trouble doing it, wipe the fingers with the napkin or the wiper.

You can finish your work the next time if you get dirty colors when trying to finalize something.
I wish you good luck and new success in your creative work!

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