FAQ: How To Draw Waves Crashing On Rocks?

How to draw a wave — Club of the Waves

This surf art tutorial is brought to you by Bob Penuelas, an illustrator best known for his surfing comic strip Wilbur Kookmeyer. There are many different ways to draw a wave, and this tutorial only covers a few of them. P.S. If you need some inspiration, check out these surfing illustrations.

Drawing a basic wave

Draw the basic shape of the curl, spray, foam, and wave base, as well as an extra line parallel to and below the curl line to define the thickness of the lip. As you move away from the curl, gradually make each flow line less steep.


Keep a defined white line under the lip with a sharp eraser so it looks separate from the wave face, and use your eraser to add white highlights to the lip to make it sparkle. Don’t get caught up in trying to draw every foam bubble; you’ll go insane.

The importance of perspective

The two basic ingredients in perspective are the horizon line (eye level) and imaginary vanishing points, as shown in the two sketches below. Drawing a basic wave can get boring if you just follow the same formula. There is only one way to successfully create a variety of angles.

A view into the tube

Change the angle of view and the direction of the Sun’s rays to achieve additional variations.

A view out of the tube

When viewed from the right, a high horizon line and one vanishing point on the left makes it appear as if your face is racing to keep up with the wave, and more of the face becomes visible.

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A view from a pier

It appears as if you’re standing on a pier, looking down on the wave, thanks to a high horizon line with two vanishing points off to the right and left.

A paddler’s eye view

The horizon line can be lowered to create a paddler’s eye view, and both vanishing points are located outside the image border, one to the left and one to the right.

A bird’s eye view

The horizon line is moved up and completely off the image, and the two vanishing points are positioned far to the right and left, giving a very different view of the Earth from the perspective of a plane flying at low altitude.

Various scenes

You can now create line-up scenes with multiple waves using perspective, such as a reef pass, a beach break, or a point break. Add land in the background or foreground to give the scene depth, as shown in the four sketches below.

Add surfers

You can include surfers in your waves, whether they’re regular or goofy footed, backside or frontside, as shown in the three sketches below: a surfer cutting back on a wave, a big wave, and a side profile drawing of a surfer riding a barreling wave.

How do you draw a perfect wave?

Creating a simple wave

  1. Add an extra line parallel and below the curl line to define the thickness of the lip.
  2. Add a flow line starting at the lip and curving around to suggest the roundness of the liquid lip.
  3. Add the rest of the flow lines.

How do you make waves?

Get your hair ready

  1. Get A Haircut.
  2. Be Ready To Commit.
  3. Use A Wave Shampoo.
  4. Brush Your Hair.
  5. Moisturize.
  6. Put On A Durag.
  7. Continue Brushing.
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What is the shoulder of a wave?

2. Lip: When a wave breaks, the top part of the wave “pitches” from above, containing a large portion of the wave’s power. Shoulder (or “Face”): The part of the wave that has not yet broken. Surfers ride from the breaking area to the unbroken section of the wave called “shoulder” or “face.”

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