How To Draw Water With Colored Pencils

Drawing clear, vibrant water with colored pencils is an art form almost as old as time itself. Every budding artist dreams of being able to produce the perfect piece of artwork, one that effortlessly breathes life into the subject. To successfully capture the beauty and mystery of water, there are a few techniques you can explore.
The first step is to gain an understanding of how light interacts with water. Notice how the water reflects light sources as well as the colors of the environment surrounding it. Next, use a piece of fine sandpaper to lightly buff the surface of the paper, as this will help your colors blend more easily. To achieve a realistic reflection effect, begin by lightly shading the object that’s reflected in the water (i.e., trees, mountains, buildings, etc.). As you progress, keep in mind that darker colors should be used at the base of the reflection and lighter colors should be used at the top.
When it comes to working with colored pencils, you’ll want to begin with lighter colors and transition to darker colors as you start to fill in the surface of the water. Remember to fill in any gaps with a light-colored pencil and to transition gradually to darker shades in order to create a natural effect. You’ll also want to mix a few colors together to produce different shades, allowing you to realistically depict the patterns and ripples caused by the wind, waves, and currents.
It’s also important to remain mindful of the texture of the water. Every ripple, sequence, and movement will create a unique texture and the best way to achieve this is with a light-handed approach. Begin by lightly marking the water with a few dashes and circles, and then begin to build up the layers until you’ve achieved the desired texture.
Finally, let your imagination go wild. It’s just as important to express yourself with your artwork as it is to recreate a piece accurately. Take liberty with your choice of colors and use a range of motions and techniques to bring your artwork to life. Experiment with different pencil strokes and angles, and layering colors to create an unexpected and eye-catching piece.
In summary, drawing water with colored pencils is an exciting and creative journey that begins with understanding how light interacts with the surface. Sanding the paper is a great starting point, followed by adding reflections and transitions to darker colors. Make sure to blend various shades and create interesting textures as you layer the pencil strokes. Also, let your imagination go wild and play around with bright, vivid colors. With these tips, you’ll be able to create your own unique works of art.

Create an Underwater Scene

When it comes to drawing with colored pencils, the combination of light and dark can create an enthralling underwater scene. Start by outlining the shape of the water and creating a slight ripple in the background. Once the outline is ready, use a light color to fill in the outlines and draw details like flitters, waves, etc. Darken some of the already drawn lines to create depth in the water, such as near the shoreline or in shallow areas.
To bring the image to life, you’ll want to add a variety of patterns and textures to give your scene a realistic look. Experiment with medium and light shades of pencils and layer them over the base layer. For the final touch, break up the surface with a few darker accents and add some living creatures like fish or plants. Don’t forget to use your imagination as well.

Sea, Sand and Sky

Adding a spectacular, dreamy feel to a drawing is all about layering the color pencils. Start by outlining the shore, which should be done lightly in order to create a believable and calm atmosphere. Then, add in the sand and sky. For the sky, use a range of light blues and lilacs, blending them together with strokes in the direction of the clouds.
For the sand, you want to go for a softer, more muted tone. Using different shades of beige and brown, create depth and a pleasing effect that looks as if the sand is slowly changing color. Finally, begin layering the sea color by color. Start with a deep blue and lighten up as you move away from the shore. Play around with dark and light shades, add reflections and draw textured lines. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and erase them as you progress. This type of mistake and trial is crucial when drawing water with colored pencils.

Textures and Shading

Shading can play an incredibly important role in the overall look and feel of your underwater scene. It’s all about layering the color pencils to give the image depth and shape. So, when drawing water with colored pencils, it’s essential to start from the bottom up. Begin with dark and brash lines to define the shape of the water, such as around the shore or in deeper areas.
From there, you’ll want to layer darker and lighter shades of pencils on top of each other to create texture and reflections. The paradox is to use a light hand to add little strokes, keeping in mind that the lighter spots should be higher than the darker shades. Once you have the base of the image down, team up bright and vibrant colors to give the water life.

Incorporate Pop of Colors

If you’re looking to give your underwater scene energy and life, go for bold and cheerful colors. With colored pencils, you can create a variety of effects, such as fish and shellfish. For example, start with oranges, yellows, and bright blues to draw the shapes. Then, begin layering light and dark shades of pencils for depth and dimension.
Once the fish are done, don’t be afraid to experiment with different shades, like pinks and purples, to give them a unique look. Also, try adding some bright highlights and accents to bring the image together. Finally, fill the underwater with plants and rocks for a realistic underwater effect.

Julia is an artist and musician, who grew up in a small town in Ohio, where she played in local bands and painted murals in free time. She moved to NY City to study art at the prestigious Pratt Institute, and then relocated to LA to pursue a music career. Julia loves sharing the knowledge she gathered during the years with others.

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