Diane Wright artist - graphite pencil drawings
Diane Wright artist - graphite pencil drawings

Drawing Water

Tutorial by Diane Wright

part two

Drawing Oceans and Waves

Not all landscapes involve up-close images such as the swan swimming. Ocean or seascapes require a completely different type of interpretation and representation.

This might seem a bit simplistic, but no matter how I try to illustrate how to draw water, I seem to end up with this approach. Do you remember your first drawing of a boat in water? Remember that one line of waves under that boat? Well, that's basically the pencil stroke I use!!

Here is an example of the horizontal rocking back and forth, overlapping my strokes. The strokes are much smaller and shorter for the distant waves. By concentrating on the under-shadows of the waves, my water seems to just appear.
Drawing water technique
Try drawing waves. This image keeps these to a minimum and just a splash on the rocks. It's a simple composition but looks can be deceiving!!

This reference photo is courtesy of scratchboard artist, Karen Hendrickson of Oregon. Iowa doesn't have any oceans, so Karen keeps me stocked with beautiful photos from her own "backyard".
Sketching Water - ocean breakers reference

Sketching Water - ocean breakers being drawn
Here is the completed seascape.
Sketching Water - ocean breakers

Tutorial © 2010 Diane Wright