How to Draw a Water Drop

Learn how to draw water drops from artist Rebecca Schweiger in this Howcast drawing tutorial.

We’ll now focus on how to draw water drops. I will show you the beginning stages and techniques of drawing a water drop. Truly, you could spend hours perfecting a drawing of a water drop or anything else, but the most important thing is how to get started. Always very important to just relax, to find a comfortable place to sit, turn on some music, and approach your drawing with the goal of really having fun and expressing yourself; having a way to really authentically express yourself. I typically tend to look at something, rather than pull something from my imagination, that way I have a base for my drawing. I’m going to just choose one water drop. Water drops obviously come in every shape and every size. What I’m going to do first is sketch the shape of the water drop.

Typically, any water drop is going to be either a circle or an oval, so you might even practice drawing a circle or drawing an oval. Then within that circle and oval, for lack of better words, there are almost squiggly lines. Instead of a perfect circle, maybe it comes down a little bit or comes up a little bit higher. The goal is to not focus on the whole shape at once. Break it apart, and take a little bit at a time. All a drawing is, is a little line connected to another little line, connected to another little line. Everybody can do this, and everybody can do that. If you can do those 2 things, you can draw.

I’m going to focus on the shape of my water drop. It’s a curved line, connected to another curved line, connected to another curved line, connected to another slightly curved line, another curved line, another curved line, and that’s it. What I’m going to start to do is think about the shading. The shading will allow the water drop to feel 3-dimensional. I’m going to do the shading and sketching with a variety of different pencils. Some of the pencils are lighter, and some of the pencils are darker. I’m going to start, actually, by looking both outside of the water drop and inside of the water drop for the darkest areas.

I’m using a 6B pencil. A 6B allows us to get very dark lines. I’m just going to move around inside the water drop and outside the water drop, and shade in. All I’m doing is with the tip of the pencil I’m doing this type of motion. It’s just back-and-forth, back-and-forth. Then I do it on top of, so it’s layers of back-and-forth, and then sometimes it’s smaller. If I press harder, it’s darker. If I barely press, it’s much lighter. Right now, I’m pressing fairly hard. I really want a nice dark line.

Now I’m going to look in the water drop itself, and look at the different shapes. There are so many different shapes of color right inside the water drop. I’m going to look inside the water drop and find, what is the darkest area of this water drop? What is the lightest area? Maybe what is the medium-toned area? I’m going to sketch in this darker area. I can start to go in the direction of the water drop. Instead of just the back-and-forth line, it can be a curved line. That will show the motion and the direction of the water drop.

As I’m drawing, I’m not so concerned with, "This drawing has to be perfect." I’m not concerned with, "Oh, no. It doesn’t look like the perfect water drop yet." I know that if I continue to practice these techniques, and I spend the time, that it will continue to evolve. Most importantly, I’m relaxing, I’m enjoying this experience, and I’m allowing the drawing experience to really nurture me creatively. If that’s happening, then I’m succeeding already.

Certain areas are darker. Certain areas are lighter. I’m now going to grab another pencil; this is a 2B pencil. It’s not as dark as the pencil I was just using. There are some areas, it still has shading, but it’s just not as dark. Instead of using the tip, now I’m using the side of the pencil. I’m holding it . . . the end of the pencil is really in the middle of the palm of my hand. Then I’m folding my hand over so that my pointer finger is on the pencil, and I’m grasping it with my thumb. Just very quickly finding the different movements of the water drop, and how the water is moving.

I’m going to use my finger, and I’m going to shade the pencil together. All I’m doing is making a circular motion and pressing down right on the paper and the pencil, and all of these colors start to move together and blend together. I’m now going to take my eraser, because within the water drop there’s always a very light area. I’m going to take my eraser, and I’m going to erase right into my drawing. I’m literally drawing now with the eraser. I want to just bring those highlights out. When you draw, the eraser itself is a drawing tool. One thing that makes a water drop feel like a water drop is what’s around it. We’ll quickly sketch in, or shade in, some of the areas around the water drop.

We can come back into the water drop to find the shapes of all the different shading a little bit more; always looking for shapes, always, always looking for the shapes of the lights, the lightest areas, the darkest areas, and the shape of that which you’re drawing. One thing also is when you’re drawing a water drop, there are always all these different curves, it’s almost like the letter ‘S’. You want to find all of those interesting curves, and really bring that out in your shading.

This is just the beginning stages of your water drop. Typically when you create a water drop, there could be another drop and a couple of drops in the same area. These are the beginning stages. If I were to continue this, I would continue finding the lighter areas, I would continue finding the darker areas, bringing in more shading, making changes, and most importantly, relaxing and expressing my own creativity.