How to Draw a Cartoon Beach

Cartoon beach drawing - showing the sand, the ocean, the sky, a palm tree and umbrella.

A beautiful 'azul' cartoon beach - first of the landscape drawing lessons here on the site. Can't think of a better way to kick things off.

While working through this drawing lesson, I recommend you have a ruler on hand, some pencil crayons (or photoshop!), and any other tools that will help make the process that much easier and fun. A circle stencil for example, would be helpful for drawing the sun, clouds, and the beach ball.

Let's hit the beach!

First Step - Shapes + Lines = Cartoon Beach!

Much the same with any 'subject-focused' lesson here on the site, I'd like to tackle this one in a very similar manner - mapping out lines and shapes before-hand, to help reveal the simple plan - framework - allowing you to feel more at ease as you bring your work into view.

Beginning with the subdivisions of the three main components of our picture - sky, water, and sand... here's what we've got...

Dividing the image area for a cartoon beach
Mapping out key parts of the cartoon beach drawing.

Pop quiz!

Any idea just what on earth these shapes will soon become?

Well - a quick look up top - and you'll quickly find that they are in fact, the sun (circle), some palm tree leaves (triangle), a beach ball (another circle) and last but not least - an umbrella -- marked off by a simple angled rectangle.

Simple stuff - exactly how we want it to be! :)

Second Step - How to Draw a Cartoon Beach

And - now that we've got the 'gist' of it... let's move on with the gradual and sequential placement of our lines - beginning with those things that would appear CLOSEST to the eyes of the viewer.

Simple lines revealing simple components of our soon-to-be-beach, here's how to bring things into view, step by step...

Drawing the leaf, umbrella and beach ball.
Completing the palm tree, umbrella and beach ball.
Drawing the water line and horizon line for the cartoon beach.
Drawing the clouds and sun at the cartoon beach
Drawing birds and details for the cartoon beach.

So - how are things coming along so far? If there's anything I think you might have some difficulty with at this point - it'd be those clouds. But really, clouds come in all shapes and sizes, so dig deep creatively and give creating your own unique version of these clouds - a go.

Below, is a simple colored version of our cartoon beach...

Cartoon drawing of a beach.

While this colored version is great - easily capturing the look of a simple cartoon landscape (perfect for a comic strip!)... you might still want to take things a step further. Especially if you're using an image editing program like Photoshop, a few extra steps can drastically effect the overall perception of the drawing.

To show you what I mean, here's how things look with the addition of some gradients, the subtraction of some black lines, and the changing in color of some other lines...

Colorful drawing of a cartoon beach, with the sea, birds, sun, a palm tree, umbrella and ball.

Ahh - now that looks refreshing! A beautiful cartoon beach - exactly what we were aiming for.

And regarding those gradients - the transition from one shade of blue to another - like with the sand and the water... you can achieve similar results with the use of pencil crayons, paint, etc. In fact, I'd recommend you give Prismacolor pencil crayons a try as their oil-based properties allow for more control over blending, as they smear quite easily.

And that's all there is to it. Until next time!