When it comes to drawing water, it can be really tricky to get it right. Drawing water droplets is a very cool skill to have because they look MUCH more difficult than they actually are. You can spend a lot of time refining them to look hyper-realistic, but even with just a few minutes of time, you can get pretty impressive water droplets on paper. I love drawing them because they add a lot of visual interest to artworks, and they can really create depth in an otherwise lacking piece.
You may be surprised to learn that drawing water droplets is actually extremely simple. I’ve created a fun video to show you how it’s done, but you can also see this simple step by step that I did in five minutes in my sketchbook!
To begin, I created a simple wash of color, laying down a bit of blue, and then I allowed it to dry.
Next, I drew some water droplet shapes with a blue colored pencil. I tried to create a few different shapes, as water droplets can be any shape at all.
When drawing water droplets, you need to decide where your light source is coming from. In this case, I decided it was coming from directly above the page. Water droplets are counter-intuitive for shading, as the light actually creates a shadow instead of a highlight. Therefore, wherever your light source is will be darker. I used my blue pencil to shade in a dark to light gradient from the top of the drops to the middle area. Then, I added a shadow underneath each droplet. (See the video if you’re confused. It’s hard to describe!)
Next, I used a white prismacolor pencil to add in the highlights of the water droplets, which in this case was the bottom of each sphere. As I said before, there will be highlights in the darker part at the top, as well as in the shadow underneath each droplet. You can use your pencil for these, but I tend to use a gel pen or ink.
You’ll want to use your fingers, a cotton bud or even a damp paint brush to blend the white into the lighter blue and then up into the darker blue. It’s important to have a VERY smooth gradient to really make your sphere look realistic. But even in just a short amount of time, you can create something fairly impressive.
The final step is adding in your highlights. In this case, I added two small highlights into the top of the droplets as well as a thin line in the shadow underneath. I also touched up the white part of each droplet with some ink to really make them stand out.
When you look closely at the paper, it obviously doesn’t look super realistic, but as you get further away, your eyes will start to see water.
Spend as much or as little time on these as you like, but remember that the smaller the droplets, the more realistic you can make them look. Larger is definitely harder.
There you have it. Very cool looking water droplets anyone can draw!