How to Draw a Waterfall With a Forest in the Background

Updated April 17, 2017

Waterfalls are beautiful and powerful forces of nature found in all kinds of jungle and forest landscapes. It is important to create your waterfall as the central item of the picture so the forest landscape does not dominate the drawing, so when sketching, be sure to create the right perspective. Drawing trees, rocks and shrubs are all elements that will help to create your waterfall forest landscape, so don't scrimp on the details -- and let the waters run naturally. Use or copy a photo for inspiration.

Draw a 4-inch rectangle in the centre of your piece of paper. Place the paper vertical so you can create more depth with your waterfall. Follow each side of the rectangle and draw rocky bumpy shapes coming off the side. Draw the bumpy shapes continuing until the edge of the paper. This will be the start of your waterfall. Leave half of the page empty above your waterfall as this is where you will create your forest.

Draw several rocky creek lines surrounding the rectangle and underneath the rocky guideline. Draw jagged, uneven lines that fall around each side of the waterfall. Draw small circles and bent grass lines to add shrubbery to your cliff face.

Draw six vertical lines within the rectangle to create the motion of rushing water. Do not make the lines all joining and continuous, but scattered.

Draw a bubble cloud shape at the bottom of the waterfall to show the foam and back spray of the water plunging into the pond. Draw detailed, wiggly lines within the pond of where the water leads; this will create a more realistic effect.

Create a forest in the background. Draw a stream that consists of two curved lines that swirl back into a point. This point will be your central point of perspective. Following this central point of perspective draw everything getting bigger from this point. Around the stream, draw several rocky shaped circles that increase in size as your reach the waterfall base. Draw curved lines in the stream to show the motion that leads to the waterfall.

Draw trees and bushes that branch off from the stream. To create forest trees, draw long rectangular trunks and then draw an oblong shape above the trunk. Inside of the oblongs, draw curved lines and leafy shapes to create different types of trees. Around the stream, underneath the trees, draw faint spiky pencil lines to create the effect of grass and draw cloud like bubble shapes to create bushes. Don't worry too much about making perfect shapes and forms in the forest. Using coloured pencils is an easier technique to use to create a more realistic forest backdrop.

Colour in your picture using various shades of coloured pencils. The key to creating a real natural masterpiece is in your shading and use of colour. Outline any rough shape in pen and, using a variety of shades, add depth and perspective to your waterfall picture.


Perspective is important in creating a natural landscape. Make sure the waterfall is the central item of the picture, while the forest and its surroundings add atmosphere. Colour and shading are important when adding texture and vibrancy to your work, so be sure to use a variety of coloured pencils to give your creation lots of depth.

Things You'll Need

  • A3 (or 11-by-17-inch) paper
  • HB (No. 2) pencil
  • Coloured Pencils
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About the Author

Lauren Pringle has been writing professionally since 2007. She has worked as a freelance journalist for "ThreeWeeks," "Andovar" and "WhatsUpBuenosAires," and as a professional copywriter for DSGi International. She graduated from the University of Sussex with a B.A. in English literature and theater.