Learning how to draw water drops might seem like a challenge, but it is easier than you think. Creating realistic pencil drawings of water drops can be accomplished by understanding how light reacts to a transparent object.
Drawing shadows and highlights to the water drops will create an illusion of them popping off the drawing surface. In this how-to sketch water drops drawing tutorial, I am going to share with you my drawing techniques so you can create realistic pencil drawings.
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Water drops come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and take on the value and color of the subject they are on.
Some drops of water are oval, while others are more round, which makes the light react differently to each one.
Drawing any subject, including water droplets, can be accomplished by understanding how light reacts to objects and learning how to see the different dark and light values.
Light penetrates the water and reflects off of the water droplet, creating different highlights and shadows along the sides of the droplet.
Study a reference image to see how light reacts to water drops.
On the reference image above, I highlighted the soft value changes.
Notice how each water droplet is different in shape and how the light reacts to them differently.
I use Pixabay for reference images for most of my tutorials.
Pixabay offers stunning free images and royalty-free stock which, you can use for practicing your art skills.
For my original drawings, I get most of my images at Wildlife Reference Photos or commissioned jobs.
Reference image courtasy of Pixabay
Below is a list of all the materials I use for my drawings. I purchase all of my drawing supplies online at Blick Art Materials.
- Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board Pads 9″ x 12″ Smooth
- Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board Pads 9″ x 12″ Velum
- General’s Factis Magic Black Eraser
- Tombow Mono Zero Refillable Eraser
- Prismacolor Kneaded Rubber Erasers
- Alvin Dry Cleaning Pad
How To Draw Water Drops Step By Step
You can create the drawing larger or smaller if you wish. But if you draw the drops too small, you will find it challenging to add subtle value changes and details to the drawing.
Drawing Tip: The proportions of the subject you are drawing have to be accurate if your goal is to draw a realistic drawing.
Note: The lines in the drawing below are darker than what I usually sketch for my drawings.
I only drew the outline of the droplets darker in this drawing tutorial so you can see them better on this post.
Sketching the subject lightly will make it easier to erase the outline of the subject after you have added the shading.
Nothing in life has a line around it.
If you are trying to create realistic drawings you want to create a form and separate planes with values, not outlines.
Values are the different shades you will be drawing with your graphite pencil.
Sketch The Water Drops
Lightly sketch the outline of the water drops using a Tombow Mono HB Pencil on a 5″ x 7″ piece of Strathmore Series Bristol Board Smooth.
Drawing Tips – Sketch the droplets lightly so you can easily erase the guidelines later.
Keep in mind that you will be adjusting the drawing as you go along, this is just a rough sketch at this point.
Begin by adding graphite with an HB pencil to the darkest areas of the droplets.
The darkest areas will be where the shadow is.
Refer to the reference image to identify the shadows.
Drawing Tips: Use a sharp pencil and do not make the shadow to dark at this point. You will be adjusting the values as you go along.
The next step is to draw in the dark areas of the water droplet.
Drawing Tip: Draw in a circular motion with a light touch.
Continue to refer back to your reference image.
Lightly blend the graphite with a blending stump.
Drawing Tip: Do not press too hard with the blending stump. Doing so will damage the tooth of the paper, making it imposable to add more graphite to the drawing surface.
Lightly tap off some graphite with a kneaded eraser. Removing some of the graphite will create soft value changes and create highlights to the water droplet.
Clean up the lines with a Tombow Mono Zero Refillable Eraser.
Drawing Tip: You will want to follow the steps above several times until you are completely satisfied with the values and highlights.
Continue to work on all of the water drops one at a time and continue to refer back to your reference image.
Notice how the light is reacting differently to each water droplet creating different shadows and highlights.
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