Drawing a cartoon ocean is a nice challenge whether you do you it using a vector software or not. Water is an organic substance and drawing it accurately can be difficult at times. In this tutorial, I will show you how to draw a simple ocean using only irregular shapes and a few lines. I will also use three or four different colors (various blue tones).
It's definitely not a difficult image to get right, but adding realistic patterns can be slightly challenging. Pay attention to these irregular shapes and let's see how we can illustrate this fun part of the world in just a few basic steps. :)
First, let's draw a large rectangle filled with a bright blue color. Gradients are used to give a little more depth to the illustration. As you can see below, the top part of the shape is a little bit darker than the bottom. It's a subtle effect, but certainly an important one.
Now that the background is created, let's add some patterns using simple irregular shapes. In this step, you can sketch a few elements mostly near the bottom of the image. Two subtle colors are used for this step. Notice how objects near the bottom are closer to each other.
Nice work! For this second step (as shown below), you can add darker patterns inside the ones created in the previous step. These new elements are mostly small circles and oval shapes (once again, irregular shapes).
In this third step, you can draw more patterns on top of the cartoon ocean. This time, all shapes must be filled with a darker color. Some of these new additions can also be filled with tiny holes.
We are now done drawing large shapes on the water. In this fourth step, you can add darker curved lines in some areas as shown in the sample below. These lines are usually similar to patterns located near them. Some lines are short and simple while others are a little bit longer and more complex.
Drawing darker lines is nice, but it can also be a good idea to sketch brighter ones. That's exactly what we are going to do for this next step. Most of these new lines are thinner than the previous ones.
Brighter lines are also longer and more present in this image. These new shapes are definitely adding more movement and motion to the illustration.
One last thing we can do inside this fun picture is to add a large reflection. To create a realistic effect, make sure that this new line is only touching shapes drawn on the water. Indeed, this line is not visible on the background of the cartoon ocean.
We are done creating this realistic version of the ocean. If you need more help with this lesson, feel free to take a look at the image below. This one is filled with all steps required to draw this ocean in just minutes. You can also try your own version and play with patterns, colors and effects.
I hope you had fun with this lesson. Don't hesitate to try more cool lessons related to nature below. Just practice on a daily basis and have fun drawing. It's the key to become better at drawing quickly and easily. :)