Thursday, 21 October 2010

Tutorial - WaterDrops

So, Water Drops! I decided it's a nice simple tutorial to do! Waterdrops are really cool, and can be a really neat 3D effect as well. To start off you need to know what a water drop looks like. I took some photos.

This water drop I just put a drop of water on a post it note and using the Macro feature on my Camera I took a couple angled close ups. You can see that a water drop casts a shadow on the far side, and inside the drop there is a heavy glowing on one side, and darker on the other. these the reflection of my light bulb.
The first picture is the one I used in my samples with a few changes. What you have to decide first is what colour you want. I choose pink because well... I like pink, plus my Mums fighting breast cancer right now so its relevant.
Step 1
lay down a layer of your base colour.
I used RV10, but you can do this with ANY colour, even multiple colours.
Make sure this layer dries fully or you'll have impatient marker syndrome (feathering)
Step 2
Step 2 I actually didn't Photograph. That was to ink the drop with a circle shape but not closing the circle. leave the bottom part open.
Hopefully you can see the inked area in my image.
The area I left un-inked is going to be the brightest area of the drop. Then I added a darker shade of Violet - V95 to be exact. something greyed out from your original colour. I went around the inside, leaving the area of the light area free, and also did the outside area opposite the light area, for the cast shadow.
Step 3
Blend it Quick!
So you can see how I've blended it soft on the inside, but NOT the cast shadow. I think the cast shadow should remain a hard edged. It's up to you. Develop your own style.

Step 4
This one has Pink lines - thought I'd Show as an example if line colour, but I didn't like it fully closed line like that.
Using the blender to lighten the glow area.
Now you want to take some colourless blender and lighten up that glow area inside the drop.
Push IN towards the centre of the glow to make it go away from your cast shadow area. Blend soft!
Step 5
Add White
Add a few drops of Opaque white, and by golly, you have a water drop.
I know my reference has only one light spot but 3's make better design company, so 3 dots is good for me. 
Up close these look less effective, but look at this photo of them on my desk:
Click to embiggen
When you see them in the photo they look pretty 3D eh? Especially the one closest to the left, that's the one inked in pink. 

Heres a couple other drops, just for fun, since I was experimenting. the blue one is just a side view drop, and the grey one is a drip with multiple light spots and reflected colours in it. I poorly defined the shape, but I think it looked kinda cool anyway.

Extra Tidbits:
  • Try adding reflections into your drops for a unique way of showing something Like A breast cancer ribbon, a Christmas tree, or Christmas lights. It could be rather fun to experiment!
  • Light passes THROUGH a water drop, so sometimes right along the edge of the drop you will have dark on the inside, an EXTERIOR glow within the drop shadow. 
  • Study real drops. If you want to do something light Christmas lights, hold lights up to a drop of water, take a photo and use it as a reference.
  • Try covering your light source up with coloured transparent sheets and see what effects are achieved.
Okay, I hope that was useful, or at least interesting in some way. I just NEEDED to get my markers out and use them today.
Soon I'll do more tutorials thanks to Happy Crafter's wonderful suggestions and inspiration on my To do List page.
Later, gators.


  1. GREAT tutorial! Your droplets are a amazing ;D

  2. Ooh, these looks great! I need to try this out.

  3. These are super cool, I can imagine doing one of these hanging off of an umbrella....hmm...have an umbrella image in my stash, will have to play with it! Thank you so much!

  4. WOW!!! Hey, I haven't thanked you, I never received my prize in the mail. Maybe it got lost? Anyway, just didn't want you to think I was ungrateful, especially since I haven't had time to do any coloring and haven't made anything with your image yet.

  5. LORI!!! you haven't received yet!?!? well... I don't know why! maybe because I had to mail it as a package instead of a letter (because I put a plastic case in it to keep from bending) it might take longer. something I mailed a week before I mailed yours only arrived the other day and it was a wee package. I think it will arrive! If it doesn't come in another couple weeks I'll make a new package and mail again.
    Hope I didn't get your address wrong or something.... but my return address was on it so they would have sent it back....
    anyway! Hope it comes. :B


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