How to Draw an Underwater Scene

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Oceans have always been fascinating to people due to their abundant variety and alien features. Over seventy percent of the Earth's surface is covered by saltwater, yet some researchers have said that we know more about the surface of the moon than the ocean depths.

Marine biology is the study of the plants and animals that live there. About a million species are suspected to reside in the world's oceans. The smallest can only be seen with a microscope, and the largest, the blue whale, is the biggest creature to ever live. It outsizes even the mightiest dinosaur.

Animation often looks to the sea for inspiration. Notable examples include Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, Shark Tale, and The Incredible Mr. Limpet.

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Would you like to draw an underwater scene like one from your favorite seafaring cartoon? This easy, step-by-step scenery drawing tutorial can show you how. All you will need is a pencil, an eraser, and a sheet of paper.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Stingray, Cartoon Shark, and Cute Starfish.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing an Underwater Scene

How to Draw Underwater Scene: Step 1

1. Begin by drawing a series of overlapping horizontal curved lines. These indicate the sandy seafloor.

How to Draw Underwater Scene: Step 2

2. Draw cloudlike shapes using connected “U” shaped lines. Then, from the tip of each bulge, draw a line downward to the seafloor or the shape beneath it. These form underwater plateaus.

How to Draw Underwater Scene: Step 3

3. Draw the staghorn coral, erasing as necessary. For each coral, use a curved line to draw many branches, and branches upon these branches. Use a single curved line and double it back upon itself many times.

How to Draw Underwater Scene: Step 4

4. Use curved lines to draw additional dunes of seafloor sand in the background. From the dunes, extend pairs of curved lines upwards. Enclose each set of lines with a wavy line. Then, draw another wavy line above it. Connect them at the ends with short, curved lines. On top of this, use inverted “U” shaped lines stacked close together. This forms an anemone with its stinging tentacles.

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How to Draw Underwater Scene: Step 5

5. Draw some seagrass in the foreground. At its base, use a curved line to draw a small dune of sand. Then, extend pairs of curved lines upward, allowing them to meet at points. Erase as necessary. Then, draw some sponges in the background. Draw pairs of lines rising from the seafloor, and connect them using curved lines. Draw an oval near the top, then band the sponge with curved lines.

How to Draw Underwater Scene: Step 6

6. Draw another coral by doubling a curved line back upon itself many times. Draw another stand of seagrass, using curved lines as dunes at the bottom and allowing each blade to culminate in a sharp point. Draw small stones on the seafloor. First, draw a “Y” shaped line to indicate the depression in the sand, then enclose the stone using a curved line. Finally, draw a five-pointed star with rounded tips. This is a starfish. Texture it with dots.

How to Draw Underwater Scene: Step 7

7. Draw some fish. Outline the bodies of the fish using curved lines. Note the different kinds of fins they can have - some pointed, some rounded. Detail the face, and embellish the body with stripes or scales.

How to Draw Underwater Scene: Step 8

8. Draw a jellyfish. Draw the bell using a large “C” shaped line, the ends connected by a series of small “U” shaped lines. Then, draw many tentacles using curved lines. Allow some of the lines to meet at points.

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How to Draw Underwater Scene: Step 9

9. Draw bubbles throughout the landscape, using a small circle for each.

How to Draw Underwater Scene: Step 10

Color your cartoon underwater scene. Use bright colors on the tropical fish and coral.

Then, learn to draw even more denizens of the deep, including your favorite characters from Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

The Complete Underwater Scene Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Underwater Scene

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