How to Draw Splashing Water

Illustrations by Andrew DeWitt

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Black-ink pen
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Digital camera (optional)

Nature is full of wondrous beauty that can defy our own limited imaginations. Water, especially, has captured the imaginations of artists. Though water is commonplace in our day-to-day experience, this crucial element is also capable of flowing into a staggering array of shapes and patterns. A stone cast into a still pond can create a symphony of motion and light that can seam daunting for an artist to try to capture on the page or canvas. But our access to cameras make it easier to freeze time and illustrate splashing water in ways that were previously impossible.

Draw the basic outline of the splash with a square shape for the front of the splash. Make the top line of this shape curve up and down. Add the back of the splash with a wide curved line above the front splash. Add a vertical line to the right side of the splash. Draw the horizon line with a horizontal line across the page. This line should split the middle of the splash. Add another horizontal line just below the first. Add rings around the splash with small curved lines.

Create the image of the liquid leaping up from the splash by adding curved triangular shapes to the top of each curve on the front side of the splash. Add droplets of water that have been split from the body of the water with small circles. Place these so that they are lifting off from the top of the triangular shapes in a diagonal path. Add the bottom of the splash with an upside down triangle shape under the splash. Add a curved "V" shape inside the triangle shape.

Create ripples in the splash itself with short curved lines around the edges of the splash. Place these curved lines one on top of the other to create rippling creases inside of the splash. Add curved crescent-moon shapes inside each droplet of water to make the droplets appear shiny.

Erase any overlapping lines on the splashing-water illustration. Ink the illustration with a black-ink pen. Let the ink dry and carefully erase the pencil strokes underneath the ink.


  • Take a digital camera down to a creek or river and snap some reference photos of splashing and running water to help you create the exact effects you are looking for.


  • Be sure to keep your pencil strokes loose so that the water splash will not look stilted.