How to Draw an Underwater Ocean

Written by simone wood
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How to Draw an Underwater Ocean
Draw from an undersea perspective. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The life forms and topography that exist beneath the ocean's surface have long since baffled and intrigued scientists, tourists, writers and explorers alike. The underwater view of the sea can also be translated into a vibrant, sketched composition in pencil. By choosing a particular niche of ocean life to focus on, and being particular about which creatures, plants and land forms you include in your drawing, you can create an unusual and authentic piece of art.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser

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    Drawing an Underwater Scene

  1. 1

    Draw a gently sloping line horizontally across your page, beginning about 4 inches from the bottom of the paper. This bottom section will be the sand on the ocean floor.

  2. 2

    Erase a section of this line on the right side of the paper. In this blank spot, draw a mass of coral, using a photograph for reference if necessary.

  3. 3

    Draw a school of small, minnow-sized fish swimming in the upper 1/2 of the drawing. Draw the outlines of their bodies only, not using too much detail or shading.

  4. 4

    Draw a couple of small rocks (1/2 inch or so in diameter) on the left side of the ocean bottom. Draw one or two conch or scallop shells in this section of the sand as well, allowing them to be slightly larger than the rocks. Apply darker pencil to the bottom of the shells and rocks where they meet the sand to create the illusion of shadow.

  5. 5

    Draw a clown fish swimming above or beside the mound of coral. Draw the fish in as much detail as you can, leaving the two white bands behind the head and before the tail. Look at a photograph for reference if necessary. Shade the fish's body using short, upward-curving strokes that begin at the bottom of the fish's belly.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not make your composition perfectly balanced or symmetrical. Allow the viewer's eye to be drawn to one particular part more than the others.

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