How To Easily Draw a Remora Fish (Any Fish)

What Are Remora Fish?

Remora are a type of sucker fish that attach themselves to larger fish like sharks, cobia, whales, whale sharks, and other large fish in the sea. They grow to around 30–110 cm (12–43 in) long. They eat their host’s feces, so they may not be a good fish to eat if you catch one holding on to a big fish!

They have a large suction cup organ on the top of their dorsal side between the dorsal fin and over the head.

This isn’t a simple suction device, it has evolved over many thousands of years to be very efficient at attaching to fish.

In this post, we’ll go through the steps necessary to draw a remora and how you can draw a remora fish right now on paper and pencil or on your tablet with a drawing app like Procreate or something similar.

Steps to Drawing a Remora or Any Fish on iPad with Procreate

Step 1 – Reference Image. Find a high-definition image of a remora fish that you can use as a reference to draw.

Step 2 – Choose your Medium. Choose Procreate or Pencil/Pen and Paper to draw on. We used the iPad Pro and Procreate for the ease of erasing lines, and for being able to color and shade the fish with infinitely more variety. Using a digital tool is a good idea because everything is digital these days. If you want to make a painting of a remora, that’s great too!

Step 3 – Planning. Create a new project. Create a new layer on Procreate and this one will be for guidance on how to arrange your remora fish. You’ll put lines across the page to indicate where the head and tail should end. Mark off where the eyeball is. Where the tail starts and ends. Where each fin will start and end. You can erase this layer later, so go crazy with it.

Step 4 – Draft. Sketch a draft using one of the ‘Inking’ pens. I use Baskerville. I also change the pen’s settings so it has a consistent width line that doesn’t fade off with the beginning and end of each stroke. Here’s how >. Use light grey to sketch out the fish and where all the parts go. Draw the outline of the eye, the fins, the tail, and the suction organ. Re-draw over and over until it’s right enough for you. It will never be exact!

Drawing a remora fish with ProCreate on the iPad pro. Early steps, outline, sketch, and notes.
When you’re happy with the drawing of the outside outline of your fish, on a new layer, add all the notes that will help you draw your fish to proportion. You can easily hide this layer when you do the final outline and add color in the steps below. This image shows after I used all the notes to help me place the fins, tail, sucker, and mouth. ©ArtDayJob

Step 5 – Final Outline. Once you are satisfied with the look of the fish and where all the fins and other detailed parts will go, you can outline everything in the thickness you want to use for all of it. The outside body of the fish can be thicker than the details of the fins.

Step 6 – Details. Draw in the details of the eye, fins, suction organ, and tail. Add scales if you’re going to attempt it! It isn’t necessary for most basic drawings. It’s a very difficult and advanced move.

Step 7 – Color. Color in and shade the fish how you think it should be. You may try to match the reference image but it isn’t too crucial to copy that exactly. Learn to choose your own colors. Check out other images that show the fish colored differently and choose your style.

Remora fish created on ProCreate, iPad Pro 11 M1 by Vern Lovic, 6 May 2023.
Remora finally finished. The original is about 350KB in JPG and 3.5MB in PSD. If you really want this image (without the © mark), let me know. I’ll put my fish at Dreamstime.com for anyone to purchase.

That’s It! You’re done!

Here’s my finished fish. I’ve dumbed down the resolution. At full resolution, it’s 2388 x 1668 pixels as a jpg.

It took me about 4.5 hours to finish this. I’m still learning on Procreate and I’d be much faster if I did it again. I think it’s good to learn both pen/paper sketching and iPad drawing apps. Procreate has a lot of advantages. Thousands of better reasons to use it over paper/pen really!

If you want to learn more about DRAWING FISH, I just wrote a 20 Tips for Drawing Fish on Procreate you can find here >

If you’re wondering which one is EASIER – Procreate on the iPad or Pen/pencil on Paper >

Sharpen your skills by learning how to draw with 10 Easy Exercises >

If you want to send your fish drawings in so I can have a look, do it! Find our contact info here >