Art Classes: Level II

Level II-Art Lesson 3: The Japanese Goldfish

Learn to draw a fish based on a Japanese yard lantern

The lesson is suitable for students in grade 3 through adult.


Art Lesson Description:

We found this cast iron fish on a number of places in the western United States—on the front steps of a Washington home and decorating the awning of a cafe in Oahu, to name a few.

The simple design of the fish with its repeated pattern of scales makes it easy to introduce the idea of a motif in art, and the uniform rusty brown finish almost begs for color.  Put motif and color together, and you have a wonderful art lesson!

After the warm-up, the guided drawing lesson invites a number of opportunities for individual interpretation and for experimentation with motifs.  At the end of the lesson, you will color the fish with magic markers as you invent more motifs—this time in color.

Click here for a Lesson Preview

This lesson includes both POWERPOINT and VIDEO versions of the lesson plus 2 downloadable printouts: a warmup and a drawing of the fish.


List of Supplies for Each Student:

  • 1 goldfish warm-up (this comes with the lesson)
  • 1 sheet of glossy printer paper 
  • Fine tipped permanent black marker
  • Washable colored markers


Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections:

Social Studies:


Writing: Study haiku poetry and write a haiku poem.


Art: Look at Escher's painting, Fish and Boat to enjoy a different view of a fish like the one you painted.


Approximate Time to Complete the Art Class:

  • Introduction through guided drawing: 25 minutes
  • Finishing the drawing: 35 minutes
  • Total time: 60 minutes


Original Image
Original Image
How to Draw
How to Draw
A Finished Art Lesson
A Finished Art Lesson

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1-Year License*: $6.00

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Bundle This Lesson

Bundle II-A (Online Art Lessons for Kids | ArtAchieve)
ENTIRE Level II (Online Art Lessons for Kids | ArtAchieve)

*Purchased Items will be made available for viewing on the website for 1 year past the purchase date.

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