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★ How to Draw a Water Drop | Drawing Tutorial & Video Demos ★

Updated on January 17, 2018

Lessons For Creating Realistic Water Droplet Art

Anyone who draws or paints will know that mastering the art of creating realistic water images is very difficult and requires different skills and techniques compared to drawing other objects and textures. Because water is transparent, it takes on whatever color is behind it, so when drawing a water drop, all you can add is light and shadow.

This page will hopefully help you to learn how to go about drawing a single water droplet in pencil, although when you have the basic knowledge you can then try drawing a droplet in any media you wish. I have included a few photos of water drops on this page which you can use as your subject, or you can draw a still life of water on a surface such as a car windshield, a water bottle, a sink, a flower, a leaf or a window.

I hope you find this page useful :)


I've put a few photos on this page so you can study them and perhaps use them as the subject of your paintings or drawings. This one gives a great close-up view, with very clear shadows and reflections.
I've put a few photos on this page so you can study them and perhaps use them as the subject of your paintings or drawings. This one gives a great close-up view, with very clear shadows and reflections. | Source

The Setup


I should make it clear that I'm not an artist so if I can draw a half decent water drop then you can!

The equipment I used was as follows:

- Any old pencil!; I just used one of those retractable pencils, and I don't even know the grade of it. Any kind of pencil would be fine, but if you have a pencil specifically made for sketching, use that.

- A bit of kitchen roll; I scrunched this into a point to smudge the pencil when needed but it wasn't very efficient...I just didn't have anything else at the time! A tortillon, which is a pointed paper tool used by artists for smudging charcoal/pencil/pastels, would be a wise purchase - or you could make your own.

- A retractable eraser pen; this was useful for me but was quite clumsy and difficult to be accurate with due to the thickness of the eraser (even though I did try to create a point at the end). I would personally suggest you get yourself a cheap kneaded eraser so you can be much more accurate.

- White colored pencil

- Paper: I just used a regular white paper in a sketchbook.

You may also see a charcoal pencil and a white gel pen in the photo. I ended up not using these, but a darker black and brighter white can be achieved with these items if you wish.


The Anatomy of a Water Droplet

This is a basic outline of a water drop and it gives you an idea of the parts of a drop in terms of light and shadow; in the picture, light is coming into the drop in the direction of the arrow, which creates a bright white dot (reflection) where the light hits. Around this dot is a dark area (not shown here).

On the opposite side of the drop is a reflection arc, and then there is a flow of light leaving the drop onto the surface below. Although not shown, there is a shadow around the edge of the water drop on the opposite side to where the light enters the water.

My Favorite Video Lesson

This is the video I used to learn how to draw a water drop - and I love the angel painting example at the end too so watch out for that :)

Step 1 - The Outline


The first step is to lightly draw the outline of the water drop. It should be a bit bottom-heavy, and should not be perfectly circular.

Step 2 - Start Shading


Identify where the light is hitting the water (in this case from the top-left) and mark out a small area which will be the reflection. Shade around this area and around the whole of the top-left area. Then add a shadow to the right-hand-side.

Step 3 - Further Shading


Intensify the shaded area as shown above, plus add shaded lines leading from the water drop in the same direction as the light will be travelling through the water.

Step 4 - Blending


Use your smudging/blending instrument to blend your pencil shading lines together to produce a softer look. Concentrate in the darker areas and try to avoid the reflections and avoid going outside the lines.

Step 5 - Shadow


Strengthen and darken the shadow on the right and bottom-right of the drop, as the smudging will have softened it.

Step 6 - White Pencil


At this point I used a white pencil on the reflections, but in hindsight I shouldn't have. If you are using a pure white piece of paper like me there is not point adding white pencil because you won't get brighter white than the background you already have. The best thing you can do is simply use an eraser on the reflection areas to let the white paper background show through. So I would say just ignore this step!

If you want to use a white colored pencil, I would recommend using a non-white piece of drawing paper for more of a contrast and a more stand-out effect. The best choice would be to use a light gray or beige paper I think. When using a non-white piece of paper, a white colored pencil is required for the reflections and should be added as the last step.

Step 7 - Finish the Shading


Darken the top-left area and the right-hand-side shadow again, plus put the finishing touches to the rest of the shading and blend your shading once more. Use your eraser to remove any pencil in the reflection areas and anywhere you want to be blank and white.

My Eraser Pen

This is the retractable eraser pen I used for this exercise, and although it was useful it didn't allow for much accuracy. It is good for erasing smudges in larger areas though. Just make sure whatever eraser you choose to use is clean before you use it each time - if it's not, rub it on clean paper to get rid of the pencil graphite on the surface.

Step 8 - Extend Upwards


Extend the drawing to include a thin stream at the top, like you find when a water drop runs down a vertical surface. This stream will be shallow so not much shading is required, as seen above. Do light shading which fades towards the top, and then blend.

Make any final touches you want to the whole image.



You will now have a finished drawing, yay!

You can work on the drawing for as long as you want but in total it will probably take you 15-30 minutes. Just bear in mind that it is possible to overwork it so if you're not sure what else can be done, leave it to one side and come back to it later. With a fresh look you will be able to see the bigger picture and assess whether it does in fact look like a water drop, and it will be easier to see what needs to be worked on.

Good luck and have fun!

Rain on a Window

Lots of drops to have a go at drawing here!
Lots of drops to have a go at drawing here! | Source

Lots of drops to have a go at drawing here!

Photo by Natesh Ramasamy.

More Video Tutorials For Drawing Water - Includes Charcoal, Colored Pencil & Painting Lessons

Handy Drawing Materials

As noted above, I use retractable eraser pens for general use as well as for this particular water drop drawing. I have therefore listed a 5-star rated pack of these, plus a kneadable eraser (which I would suggest is the best choice for art-specific use), a sandpaper pencil pointer, tortillions which are perfectly designed for blending pencil lines, and white colored pencils for creating bright reflections. All of which would be very useful for creating water drop sketches.

Water Drops on Leaves


Inspiring Demonstrations & Time Lapse Videos - A Variety of Water Art

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    • profile image


      3 months ago

      Your have made drawing water more understandable. Thank you!

    • profile image

      Toni Arrington Dean 

      9 months ago

      I enjoyed your tutorial. Thank you!

    • ayesha zulqurnain profile image

      ayesha zulqurnain 

      16 months ago from pakistan


    • Lisansia Johnson profile image

      Lisansia Johnson 

      17 months ago from Dar es Salaam

      this is a great way to learn how to draw things and make them look so real...i love it

    • profile image

      Absolutely brilliant. Excellent tutor 

      21 months ago

      Excellent tutor.Brilliant artist.You have inspired me to draw.Thank you.

    • ahmedbream profile image


      2 years ago


    • pinkladyphillips profile image

      Shantal Siomara Phillips 

      2 years ago from Utah

      thank you for all the great advice on how to do the shading part and also great water drop loved it :)

    • profile image

      NIMI JOHN 

      2 years ago

      Wow!!! Thank you for your drawing class, I'm a beginner in drawings, your class is very very helpful. My dream is draw very well

    • profile image 

      2 years ago

      Love the large work with dozens of rain drops. Looks like a drawing or is it a painting? Just beautiful!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Thanks for sharing! :) How great it is !!!

    • profile image

      Eli Lili 

      3 years ago

      Awesome! :D

    • AbsorbArt profile image


      3 years ago from United States

      Seems simple enough! It's interesting how with just the right shading something can look realistic!

    • profile image

      Meshack Nkosi 

      3 years ago

      Wow, I have learnt an easy way on how to draw a water droplet, thank you very much itvwas helpful.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Leonardo, this video on water drops is great and very helpful! Congratulations and thank you!

    • profile image

      An v d ham 

      3 years ago

      Amazing, y Love drawing and painting.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Wow that's realy cool

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Real cool and awesome, Wellington. Nice work on the hub! Voted up!

    • profile image

      Ellen Moss 

      5 years ago

      Thank you very much; your instructions are so helpful. I appreciate your video; enjoyed the whole thing and printed it out. And now, to work!

      Thanks again.



    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Adorei!!!!! Os desenhos ficam reais...obrigada!!!!!

    • Street-Wear-Buff profile image


      5 years ago

      Well put together! My water drops were always so linear... Until now!


    • Laura335 profile image

      Laura Smith 

      5 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      This is really helpful. Water is so hard to draw. I just tried a tidal wave, and it was so difficult. I hope you post more tutorials.

    • Besarien profile image


      5 years ago from South Florida

      I agree with everyone who thinks you are an artist. Thanks for a great tutorial.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      This is a great tutorial. Good job on the water drop!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Excellent stuff.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Brilliant, I loved it and cannot wait to try it myself. thanks.

    • Michelllle profile image


      6 years ago

      Love this!

    • chocochipchip profile image


      6 years ago

      I love your tutorial! Very helpful! Thanks a lot! ;)

    • MaggieTee profile image


      6 years ago

      Great explanation, excellent examples.

    • MaggieTee profile image


      6 years ago

      You say you are not an artist, but I disagree. Perhaps you're not a Paid Artist; but you definitely are an artist! Good work, great explanation.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It looks amazing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      this is so awsm...dude..i wish i can do that...i am impress

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great explanation - can't wait to try it

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      That is amazing. I have always been rubbish at drawing but your directions explain fully how to re-create your excellent work!

    • sbconcepts profile image


      6 years ago

      This is great, I've always wondered how artists do this.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      How cool! I've never been good at drawing, but this tutorial seems easy to follow.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great tutorial, it looks amazing! I'm going to have to try this.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very interesting drawing tutorial!

    • Kaliopekaty profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks, interesting stuff!

    • NuttSoRuff profile image


      6 years ago

      very cool!

    • wellingtonboot profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from U.K.

      @frenchlingo: This one is quite good:

      But there are tons of drawing websites available online that are very helpful :)

    • frenchlingo profile image


      6 years ago

      Simple yet very effective technique. Do you know of good resources I could refer to to learn more about shading?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing these Lessons For Creating Realistic Water Droplet Art. Keep up the good work.

    • rking96 profile image

      Rick King 

      6 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Very simple, but a great way to pull people in. I almost think I could draw a raindrop now.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      cool lense made me want to try

    • girlfriendfactory profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow, great job! My problem definitely revolves around the lighting ~ I have no comprehension of how to create the shadows and the light (without graphic tools that give you global lighting lol). I'm so excited now! :-)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      soooo real! wow.. great lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, thanks

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      its just amazing

    • msnz profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens. I will try this...

    • HughSmulders LM profile image

      HughSmulders LM 

      6 years ago

      What an awesome tutorial. With its help, it seems not so hard to be good at paper and pencil!

    • Meganhere profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow, you make that look so easy!

    • maryseena profile image


      6 years ago

      It's really impressive, and you say you're not an artist! You're better than many!

    • irminia profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for the explanation - I will try in other media

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this... the main component is to draw EXACTLY what you see... every shade, every nuance... the highlights and the shade, that is if you want a realistic rendition. Spot on for showing how to render. Great lens

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 

      6 years ago

      Very detailed lesson, really step by step Thanks

    • SusanAston profile image


      6 years ago

      I think you are an artist! That water drop looks very real.

    • Raymond Eagar profile image

      Raymond Eagar 

      6 years ago

      neat I do more in oils

    • mcsburlea profile image


      6 years ago

      very cool lens

    • Northerntrials profile image


      6 years ago

      It is all so simple when broken down into steps. Thanks

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 

      6 years ago

      I can't wait to give this a go! Excellent lens. Thanks.

    • Varliukas profile image


      6 years ago

      Very nice!Thank you for sharing that :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Not an artist? You've done beautifully!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Really So realistic. Great jobs. Thanks for sharing :)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Excellent job explaining this. Your steps are clear and the photos really help.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      That's cool! Thank you.

    • DLeighAlexander profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice tutorial on drawing water. I learned in art class that drawing anything correctly is first about learning to see it correctly.

    • LynetteBell profile image


      6 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Your water drop is so realistic!

    • wellingtonboot profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from U.K.

      Aww thanks guys!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      all i can say is WOW, now you got me coming back to my artist side. very nice lens

    • katiecolette profile image


      6 years ago

      Your water drop turned out great! Thanks for sharing your tutorial - I will try it out :)

    • amosvee profile image


      6 years ago

      I think that you are, in fact, an artist. I am not, but wish that I could see things the way artists see them.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 

      6 years ago from Kansas

      Great tutorial on painting water drops. Artists have a way of "seeing" exactly what is there in reality. This is a great example of examining the subject and understanding what is seen and how to interpret that onto paper.

    • GregoryMoore profile image

      Gregory Moore 

      6 years ago from Louisville, KY

      I wish I had the talent to draw. I can draw a pretty mean stick man, but past that a kindergartener can draw better than me.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Wow, this is great. Thanks for a great tutorial on how to draw a water drop. Loved the videos and your drawings.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is really great and the main video was fab. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Julia Morais profile image

      Julia Morais 

      6 years ago

      Wow...the drop of water really looks realistic. You make it sound so easy, yet I'm pretty sure I might screw it up...haha. Anyway, great lens.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      6 years ago from USA

      So cool. You did a great job showing us how to make a water drop. Congrats for making the front page also.

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 

      6 years ago from California

      Thanks for sharing. It looks easy when you are shown. But it makes all the difference on how drawings turn out with all those fine details.


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