For this project, I give the students a photocopy, that have about 10 different small detailed pictures of various fish. They are to pick one that they like, and try to draw the basic shape of the fish on a 12x18 piece of black paper. Then, they may add whatever designs they'd like to their fish. It may be realistic, or abstract.
They use prismacolor colored pencils (which work marvelous on black paper!), and must press hard with them! These took a long time, but they were just gorgeous!