How to Draw the Bottom of the Ocean

Updated July 20, 2017

Whether you would like to be "in an octopus's garden" or to simply render the appearance of such a place, drawing the ocean floor seems intimidating, but is not as difficult as you might imagine. By simplifying some of the intricate anatomy of the deep sea flora and fauna, you can provide the illusion of the ocean bottom by drawing suggestive shapes and textures that mimic those of the mysterious, deep-dwelling creatures.

Place your ruler on the paper horizontally, so that it is three inches above the bottom of the page and parallel to it. Take your pencil and draw a line using the ruler. This section is the sand.

Draw a large knobby, rock-shaped object in the lower left corner of the sand. Let the left part of it be cut off so that it appears to be merging onto the page. Add shadow to the bottom of the rock by pressing down harder with your pencil, and using short, quick strokes. Smudge with your finger to soften.

Draw a plant with curving, tentacle-shaped fronds approximately three inches to the right of the rock. The fronts should be flowing upward and should be curved like an eel's body. Apply darker lines on the left side of the plant and fronds to create the appearance of shadow. Draw two more of these so that they are staggered over the sand bottom.

Draw a starfish on the middle right-hand side of the sand bottom. Make five arms, and shape the points so that they are rounded and soft looking rather than sharp like regular stars. Add a line of small dots running from the tip of each arm to the centre of the starfish's body to creation the impression of spiny ridges.

Draw a horizontal oval that is approximately 1.5 inches long above the sand bottom section of the picture. Make it so that the left and right sides of the oval each come to a point, using your eraser if necessary. This will be the fish's body.

Add a triangle-shaped fin to the right side of the body. The fin should have two distinct points, like a wishbone or the tail of a whale. This will be the fish's tail. To the bottom middle of the body, add a curved, triangular fin in the shape of the rudder of a sailboat. To the top outline of the body, add a large, triangular fin that curves back toward the fish's tail.

Draw a small circle near the front of the body, in the middle of the head. Make a smaller, dark circle within the first one. This is the fish's eye. Draw a line of small circles going up into the water from the fish's head. These are air bubbles.


Before you begin drawing, take a look at some images of the ocean floor to better acquaint yourself with the movement of the various creatures and plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Ruler
  • Paper
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Simone Wood began writing professionally in 2006. Her work has appeared on various websites. She has a Master of Arts in English from the Johns Hopkins University and is pursuing her Ph.D. in literature at the University of North Texas.