Rain drops are interesting forms and textures to draw. Water is an endlessly versatile substance, creating all kinds of rhythms and shapes at different scales. The raindrop is among its smallest visual forms and can be more dynamic and exciting than we might first expect. Learning a few basic skills can transform drawing raindrops from a tedious daunting task into an elegant artistic expression.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Drawing paper
Draw rain drops from a distance using straight vertical lines. When rain drops are far away, we do not see three-dimensional shapes. Rather, we see grey streaks. When drawing many rain drops in the distance, use straight light marks to indicate streaks of rain.
Draw closer rain drops by outlining the basic shape. The shape of a raindrop is nearly spherical and is actually not the tear shape assumed in popular culture. As water falls through the air, it naturally becomes spherelike. Draw many of these basic spheres quickly. Each one can be lightly shadowed on one side to suggest three-dimensional shapes.
Draw detailed raindrops using curved shapes to suggest their watery reflection. Outline a very close, large raindrop. Then draw precise curved shapes in it that have sides similarly curved to the outline of the raindrop. Water naturally reflects light. So when we see a raindrop up close, we will notice it reflecting shapes around it. The curve of the water evokes sharp, crisp edges to these shapes. Some can be shaded dark, and others can be kept light.
Draw an entire rainy environment using all of these techniques. Draw many grey streaks in the distant background, for example, of a street scene in Seattle. Then draw many but fewer closer drops whose detail is in direct proportion to its size. The closest raindrops will be the largest and have the most detail. A select few very large drops can be added for compositional and dramatic effect. In the farthest distance, add a slight grey tone to everything to suggest a rainy atmosphere.
Tips and warnings
- Practice drawing rain while it is raining outside. Instead of trying to observe an individual drop fall, feel the rhythm and direction of the rain instead. This will make your drawing process more natural and expressive.
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