How to Draw
A Vector Wave

Drawing water is not always simple. Drawing a vector wave can also be complicated if you are not 100% sure on how to achieve that. In this drawing lesson, I will show you how to draw a simple cartoon wave using mostly transparency and a gradient fill effect.

There are many ways to draw water using a vector software and in my case, I love to create simple effects using only the most basic tools.

Some will prefer to add more tones of blue, others will choose to add more transparency and more layers. Once again, feel free to experiment and hopefully, you will find a style that you will apply on all your future creations.

Besides the first step, you will find two images for each step of this tutorial. The first image displays only the changes or addition that you must perform on the illustration while the second image is the result of this addition. This way, it will be easier for you to notice all the changes that are made from one step to another.

Step 1

vector wave

In this first step, create two shapes using two different tones of blue. The wave should be drawn on the shape that is in front on your artwork. Make sure that the shape on the back is the one that is drawn with a darker tone of blue.

Step 2

vector wave
vector wave

In the second step, it's time to add some gradient effect using two additional shapes. As you can see on both images above, you must place one shape on each of the two shapes that you have already created in the previous step.

These two new shapes have both a gradient fill effect and transparency apply to them. Notice that for the transparency effect, the lighter side is on top of the shape.

Step 3

vector wave
vector wave

Next, it's now time to give a little volume to our vector wave. I have added four additional shapes which have both a gradient and transparency effect.

Only the shape inside the wave is filled with a transparency effect that gives a lighter color to the top of the shape. For the three other shapes, it is important to fade the bottom part in the previous shapes for a better effect.

Step 4

vector wave
vector wave

If you want to make your vector wave more visible, you can add a few outlines on the most important areas of your drawing. You don't need to add a line on each wave. Only a few lines are sufficient to enhance your illustration and make it more readable.

Step 5

vector wave
vector wave

Finally, for this last step, you can also add a few thick lines to create some reflections. Once again, don't draw too many lines similar to these ones.

A drawing that is too loaded is not necessarily more enjoyable. Finding the right balance between something too simple or too complicated is very hard sometimes. You need to try a few things before getting it right.

So there you have it! Drawing a nice vector wave is not too hard if you follow these steps carefully. Just play around with your gradient and transparency tool until you are comfortable with them. Drawing water with a vector software is pretty cool once you know how to do so!

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