L is for Fish


This is a legacy post from October, 2008, rescued from the archives of MobileMe!

I was thinking about fish.

So I sketched these two.

Can you find the letter “L” in the sketch? It’s there.

Do you think you could easily make this sketch? You could.

Just for kicks, grab a piece of paper and let’s go fishing . . .

Use a pencil or pen or even a ballpoint and write a lower case “L”.

Chances are, your L may be small and kind of cramped – depending on how much your handwriting has evolved since grade school.


Write a few more of them and concentrate on making them looser and rounder and more relaxed – like this one.


Write a great big one and then turn your paper sideways and think about how you just drew a fish.


Get another sheet of paper and fill it with fish going both directions. Space them out as if they are all swimming in a tank or something. Vary their sizes.


Now, close the tails by adding a curved line, and put in a few more curved lines to add detail to the tails. Give each fish an eye by adding a small circle to each. Add a pupil (black dot) in each eye and place the pupils in different parts of the, eyes so the fish are looking in different directions.


Add an upper case, printed “L” to the underside of each fish. Curve the lines a bit. Then add backwards L’s to the top of each fish. Now they all have fins.


Set the mood of each fish by adding tiny lines for their mouths. They can be happy or sad or mad or completely without emotion – depending on the curve of those tiny lines.


From this point on, it’s all about your imagination. Your fish might be swimming in a pond or an aquarium. They might be flying in the sky. Add color and designs to your fish. I think mine may actually be a fish-mobile when I’m finished. Hang an upside down question mark from a line and someone will be fishing. Make sure none of your happy fish go after that hook!

Scroll back to the top of this post and look at the original design again. Doesn’t look so complicated now, does it?

I used some of these fish at the bottom of a color chart I made for my journaling pencils . . .






  1. Just to say, I am really enjoying your magazine. Always love your sketches because no matter the subject matter, they give me a happy feeling, probably due to the simplistic look and the wonderful colour.

  2. Great sketches & wonderful colors! I wish I could think of things to sketch in my own journals. I just go blank. I’m a beginner at sketching, painting and journaling. No matter how hard I try I just go blank when it comes to filling out my journals.

  3. Žanas Žmogus ir taip ištikrÅ«jų tikrai neblogÄ… pelÄ™ dovanoja UŽ TOKIUS PAPRASTUS KLAUSIMUS o jÅ«s dar priekaištaujat? Nu atsiprašau, bet išmokit truputÄ—lį kultÅ«ros…

  4. I recently came across your blog and have been scaning along. I thought I could leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed scaning what you all have to say…

  5. Denise: That’s a great ceiling and stage. I’d love to see it! Even so…I hate to nit pick but if you take the hanging shapes away the interior is pretty conventional. A building should have interesting interior structural elements.

  6. certain foods you feel to be health-compromising,  if you are unable to maintain a minimally healthy body weight or a healthy relationship with food and eating because of your food restrictions, then it may be

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *