Realistic Drawing of a Catfish Looks Like It’s Swimming Off the Page

Realistic Catfish Drawing by Aria

It's easy to mistake the drawings of 25-year-old Aria for reality. The self-taught Japanese artist is famous on social media for creating head-turning illustrations of animals and objects that look like they're about to pop off the page. Her latest piece captures the whiskery form of a catfish whose tail magically escapes the boundary of the paper.

Despite its three-dimensional appearance, Aria's artwork is, in fact, two dimensional. It's just masterfully drawn to look as much like the subject as possible. She does this by carefully sketching the object, and then filling it with layers of colored pencils. This technique lets her recreate light and shadow, which in turn makes it seem as though each drawing is solid and three-dimensional.

Aria also employs another trick to enhance the illusion of her artwork. After completing the drawing, she cuts out an upper section of the silhouette from the paper. This small touch is what fools the eyes of viewers, making it seem like her illustrations are real objects and creatures merely sitting atop or leaping off the flat paper.

Keep up to date with Aria's latest drawings by following her on Instagram and Twitter.

Realistic catfish drawing looks like it's swimming off the page.

Realistic Catfish Drawing by Aria

Japanese artist Aria creates this illusion by rendering the fish with colored pencils and then cutting out the silhouette from the sheet of paper:

You can see Aria's full process in this video:

Here are more of her incredibly realistic drawings.

Realistic Drawing of a Squid by Aria

Realistic Drawing of a Soda Can by Aria

Realistic Drawing of a Soda Bottle by Aria

Realistic Drawing of a Glass by Aria

Aria: Twitter | Instagram

All images via Aria.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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