Step 15 (optional): For a cleaner look, erase as much as you can of the initial guide lines. Don't worry about erasing all of the guides. It's okay to leave some behind. Re-draw any final sketch lines that you may have accidentally erased.
Final Step (optional): Neon tetras are colorful, so instead of the usual pencil shading, try coloring your drawing. Using gray, add some shading to give the drawing more dimension and volume. Shadows are generally at the cool end of the color spectrum, so add some blue or purple in the shadows. The tops and bottoms of tetras are a kind of silver color, so add gray here too.
Add a few diagonal lines at the bottom for the scales. Don't draw every individual scale, just a few lines to represent them. Continue adding the gray until you get a dark value or as dark as you'd like. The back portion of tetras is red, so start adding this by lightly applying brown at first. Now add some red on top of the brown. Color lightly at first and build up to the hue you want to end with. Add some red orange on top too. Using multiple shades of the same colors helps give the drawing more dimension but you can use a single coat of red for a simpler drawing. Adding the different shades of red on top of each other can be time-consuming, so be patient and take breaks. Add more dark gray to the top and bottom of the body but leave a strip blank near the middle. This is where the blue will go.
Start adding the "neon" section in the middle by using dark blue at the top and bottom. Add another layer of lighter blue on top. Color lightly and gradually build up to the color you want. Add some light blue when you get closer to the middle but leave a section blank. The key to making the iridescent section "glow" like neon is to leave a thin strip blank surrounded by gradually darkening colors. When you get to the shade of blue that you like, add more gray throughout the neon tetra's body. Add the gray right on top of the outer edges of the blue strip to blend the colors together and make them transition into each other. The dark gray accentuates the glow of the blue strip in the middle. Use black for the neon tetra's eye and add it lightly to the rest of the body to further emphasize the neon look. It's always a good idea to use reference for a more accurate drawing. If you have an aquarium with neon tetras or a similar variety or breed of fish, try to duplicate their pattern on your drawing. Remember to pause the video after each steps to draw at your own pace.
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