how to draw a beach

How to Draw a Beach – Learn to Create your Own Beach Scene

Learning how to draw a beach is really fun and the process is very simple. Beaches are interesting landscapes to draw, as the combination of both land and sea is paired in a unique way. In this tutorial, we will look at how we can create an easy beach drawing by using a few simple materials. Beach drawing is also a great way to learn how to create depth and distance, and how to use different tonal values to evoke such qualities within a drawing. Beach drawings can also be done in all sorts of ways and many different features can be added to them to further contextualize them. Learning how to draw a beach is a great exercise that can be used for all sorts of artistic ideas. A beach drawing can also provide you with a few tricks and skills that will enable you to draw other common features found within the beach landscape.



Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Draw a Beach

In this easy beach drawing tutorial, we will look at how to create an interesting arty rendition of a beach landscape with a few simple tools. Learning how to draw a beach is much simpler than you think and is very simple to follow. This easy beach drawing tutorial will show you how to create a realistic beach drawing through a few simple steps. We will go through the basic process of turning a simple beach sketch into a more refined beach drawing. A beach drawing is also a great way to enhance your drawing skills in general, as it encompasses a few interesting objects such as sand, water, clouds, and trees.

In this tutorial on how to draw a beach, we will find that the process is more about building section by section. We will first establish the horizon line from which we will then go into drawing the sky. Once we establish the sky in the beach drawing, we will then move on to sketching the sea. From there, we will move to the beach or sand within the beach drawing. We will make sure we configure and complete each section before moving on to the next one. We will technically be drawing from the background to the foreground. As we do so, we will lastly draw some features into the beach scene, such as trees and trees. 

Now that we are aware of what to expect from the tutorial on how to draw a beach, we can now get into the drawing process.


Step 1: Drawing the Sky

We want to begin with our HB pencils and draw a horizon line. When drawing a horizon line, we want to make sure that we make the space above and beneath the horizon line uneven. We want the shaky to be smaller, leaving more room for adding in the sea and beach scene.

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Once we have our horizon line, we will continue by drawing the outline of clouds above the horizon line. We want to use our HB pencils and proceed to draw some clouds in the sky.

beach drawing 02

You can form the clouds however you would like, just remember to keep a good ratio between sky and clouds. We want there to be about a 40% to 60% ratio, 40 being the clouds and 60 being the sky. 

Play around with positioning your clouds in the sky.

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From here, we will use a darker, softer pencil to shade around the cloud outlines. Preferably, we will want between a 6B and a 9B pencil to shade around the clouds.

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We want to make sure that as we shade around the clouds, we are careful to not go over the outlines. We want to make sure we have an even tone of shading around the clouds. Try to keep your hand light as it is more sustainable this way to keep an even tone in the shading.

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Once we have shaded around the clouds, we want to even out the tonal value of the shading a little more. We do this by smudging the shading around the clouds.

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We can use both our fingers and an eraser to even out the shading around the clouds. If you use your eraser. Be sure to keep a light touch on the eraser; this way, you don’t press too hard and create negative spaces in the sky by accident.

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Take your time as you smudge around the clouds, with the intention to even out the sky’s tonal value as much as possible. We can also work on new clouds if we want more in the sky. 

This we can do by simply erasing shapes into the sky. 

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It’s up to you how many clouds you would like to be present within your sky for your beach drawing. Play around with what feels right – you can simply add more into the sky by using your eraser to draw them into the sky.

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Step 2: Drawing the Ocean

We will now move on to drawing the ocean part of the beach drawing. We can start by taking a darker pencil and darkening the horizon line. We want the horizon line to be darker as it will help with the depth of field.

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From here, we want to start drawing into the bottom of the page, slowly zig-zagging lines down the page. We want to keep these marks light, as it will give the sense of the water getting lighter as it seems closer to the foreground. We want to take a dark pencil and draw a dark shoreline by drawing a dark squiggly curved line in the middle of the page. 

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By doing this we are subtly suggesting the shoreline has a shadow as it comes closer to the beach.

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Now that we have a space between the horizon line and shoreline, we can start to add details to the water. We want to keep the curved horizontal lines within the water. By doing this, we keep the effect of water within the ocean.

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We can make the lines lighter as they get closer to the horizon line, suggesting that they are further away. We can also make lines more distinct and darker near the shoreline, suggesting that they are more visible and clearer near the foreground.

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Take your time with adding lines and shading into the water. We want to keep these details on a horizontal plane, keeping consistency within the shape of the water. 

The more horizontal-styled lines we add, we will slowly create more movement within the water. 

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Again, you can make lines slightly darker and thicker near the shore. This will give the impression of waves clearly visible in the foreground.

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Step 3: Drawing the Sand

This part is the easiest part of the tutorial as it requires very little action. The funny thing about a beach scene is that it isn’t just sand, but rather all the different elements together that contextualize it as a beach drawing. We want to draw the beach by using a dark pencil and shading the entire bottom section of the page.

beach drawing 17

Using a dark pencil, such as a 6B or 7B, proceed to shade in the bottom section of the page. We want to shade in the area below the shoreline, keeping it the same tone. 

We can do this by coloring in the entire section and then using an eraser or our finger to smudge and smoothen out the shaded area. 

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When using your eraser to smudge in pencil and create an even tone, you want to keep your touch light as you go over the pencil marks. You want to lightly rub over the entire section below the shoreline, making sure you go over the entire bottom section on the page.

beach drawing 19


Step 4: Drawing the Foreground

We will continue by creating a foreground for our beach drawing by drawing a grassy area with a tree. To give a sense of depth, we want to make the foreground the darkest. We can start by drawing a diagonal line across the bottom of the page with our darkest pencil.

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From there, we want to color in the section below the diagonal line. We want to color it quite dark, making sure there is a distinct contrast between the foreground and the background.

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Once the bottom space below the diagonal line is colored in, we can start to add strokes along the top edge. We want to add lines along the top of the colored in sections in all sorts of directions, creating the effect of grass.

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From there, we can begin to add a tree to our beach drawing, which we can begin by drawing two parallel lines on the side f the page. We want to make sure that the base is slightly thicker than the body of the tree. From there, we can color the tree completely with our dark pencils. We then can add foliage to the palm tree, by drawing strokes of lines arching downward from the top of the tree. 

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From there, we can add little strokes to each arched line connected to the top of the tree.

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We can add as many of these palm leaves as we would like. We want to make sure that the tree, grass, and foreground are all the same in color. Keeping these features dark gives a sense of depth to the beach drawing and creates a distinction between the foreground and the background.

easy beach drawing

And there you have it! A fun few steps that teach you how to draw a beach. You can add more details to your beach drawing to give it more features if you would like, otherwise, that is the basic process for creating a beach drawing.



Tips to Remember

  • Create each ground one by one. You want to make sure you work out the background first, then the midground, and then the foreground, each one at a time.
  • Use paper under your hand. Working in pencil drawings can easily be smudged by accident. A way to avoid this is by working with a piece of paper under your drawing hand.
  • Take your time with each step. Take your time on your beach drawing, making sure you work out all the details to your satisfaction.
  • Play around with other features. Now that you know the process, feel free to add birds to the sky or objects to the foreground. It’s really up to you and how much you want to add to your beach scene.
  • Keep lines in the water in a horizontal direction. By doing this, we keep a consistency in the form of the water’s flow.

how to draw a beach

And just like that, you have drawn a beautiful and serene beach scene. By gradually building up the different elements of your beach sketch, you can create a seamless and realistic environment.



Frequently Asked Questions


How Do You Draw the Sky?

Learning how to draw a beach means you are essentially learning how to draw a few different structures within a single image that can be contextualized as a beach scene. Drawing a sky is quite simple, as it is essentially about drawing the clouds first and then shading around the cloud shapes. Once you have established the cloud shapes, you then want to shade and smudge the pencil marks around the clouds to create contrast between the sky and clouds. From there, you can use your eraser as a tool to add in more clouds by erasing shapes into the pencil-smudged areas. By doing this, we create more variety of cloud formations within the sky. You just want to make sure that you don’t add too many or too little – we want to create a 40:60 ratio with 40% being clouds and 60% being sky. This will result in a nice ratio within your beach drawing.


How Do You Draw Water?

Water can be drawn in all sorts of ways, although it is often necessary for it to be contextualized within a landscape in order for it to be perceived as water. In a drawing of a beach, we can create the water or sea by drawing a set of squiggly-type lines that move along a horizontal plane. We want to make sure that this type of mark-making exists within the space allocated to the ocean between sky and sand, which will establish it as water within the scene. Water in an ocean context is often seen at a distance and can be represented through a series of lines that are stacked in a horizontal plane. You can also make some of these lines darker, thicker, and thinner to give the impression of movement in the water. However, just remember to never keep them straight, but rather jagged and squiggly which is more representative of the movement of real water.


How Do You Draw Sand?

Once you have established the sky and water within a beach drawing, the sand part of a beach scene is quite simple to draw. Essentially, you will lightly shade in the foreground from the edge of the water, which will naturally define the space as sand. You can add little ripples into the sand by drawing a set of lines parallel with one another in the same formation. You can play around with adding ripples and lines into the sand to establish how uniform or disrupted you would like the sand to seem. Otherwise, if it exists within the context of an image with a sky and ocean, it will naturally be contextualized as a beach or sand. You can also shade in the entire sanction and use your eraser to create lines, which can be a cool way to establish highlights within the sand.


Cite this Article

Matthew, Matthysen, “How to Draw a Beach – Learn to Create your Own Beach Scene.” Art in Context. July 26, 2023. URL:

Matthysen, M. (2023, 26 July). How to Draw a Beach – Learn to Create your Own Beach Scene. Art in Context.

Matthysen, Matthew. “How to Draw a Beach – Learn to Create your Own Beach Scene.” Art in Context, July 26, 2023.

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