Water drops can be challenging to depict in paintings; the anatomy of a water drop changes from its raindrop shape as it falls to a flatter, more reflective drop shape once it has fallen. It also changes in colour, from having a bluish tinge as it falls to the colour of the object it lands on once it has fallen. Whether you want to paint a water drop that has fallen from the tap, on foliage in your garden or elsewhere, with basic art supplies you can paint realistic-looking water drops and add an intriguing quality to any painting.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 1 container acrylic paint in desired colour
- 1 container acrylic paint two shades darker than desired colour
- 1 container acrylic paint in white
- 1 container acrylic paint in black
- Small paintbrush
- Art paper or canvas
Dip a small paintbrush in paint of the desired colour, which should be about two shades darker than the colour of the object the water drop has landed on. Barely coat the bristles of the paintbrush.
Press the tip of the paintbrush on the area of the art paper or canvas where you want the water drop, and paint a roundish, slightly oblong shape.
Dip a small paintbrush in paint of the desired colour, which should be as close as possible to the colour of the object the water drop has landed on. Barely coat the bristles of the paintbrush.
Paint in the centre of the darker water drop you already painted, blending in with the outline so there are no hard edges. You should be left with the painted water drop, and just a thin outline in a slightly darker shade. This creates definition and ensures the most realistic-looking water drop.
Dip a small paintbrush in the black paint. Barely coat the bristles of the paintbrush.
Paint shadowing directly underneath the water drop, no larger than one-third the width of the water drop, focusing on the right side of the drop. Wait for the paint to dry completely. Acrylic paints dry fairly quickly, and this should take no more than a half-hour; refer to the instructions on the paint to be sure.
Dip a small paintbrush in the white paint. Barely coat the bristles of the paintbrush.
Paint a small arc just under the top left curve of the water drop. This creates highlighting and adds depth to the water drop.
Repeat this process for as many water drops as desired.
Tips and warnings
- To create the illusion of a water drop sliding down or across an object such as a flower petal or leaf, due to gravity or the wind, simply add a thin, squiggly water trail at the tip of the water drop.
- Place a piece of waxed paper, some paper towel, or a drop cloth--depending on the size of art paper or canvas you are working on--under your work area before starting, to protect the surface underneath.
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