How to Paint Raindrops and Dew

With rain in the forecast, it is a perfect time to explore how to draw and paint raindrops and morning dew. Avoid dropping dew drops over every rose you draw, this just turns your field journaling into kitsch. But if you go sketching early in the morning or after a rainstorm, you have earned your dewdrops!

Light bends when it passes from the air to the water so even though it is transparent, it still casts a shadow and light makes counterintuitive patterns within a raindrop. On a solid object, the lightest side is the surface that faces the light. On a raindrop it is the opposite so that the shadow is adjacent to the lightest side of the raindrop and the highlight show up as a high contrast reflection in the darker part of the raindrop (the side facing the light).

Click on the first illustration to start a step-by-step annotated slide show.