Step by Step: Drawing a River/Stream with Pen and Ink

Drawing a River/Stream

Last week we learnt how to draw a waterfall and this week we will stay with water and learn how to quickly draw a river/stream. It is again quite easy to do once few simple techniques are understood. So grab a pen and paper and follow along and enjoy discovering your creative side.

Step 1: Drawing River/Stream Outline

Draw a tapered shape of outline as shown below as it is visually interesting.

Step 2: Drawing River Bank.

Depending on the location of viewer, usually, one bank of river is visible. Draw it by using vertical parallel lines to define the depth of the river bank.

 Step 3: Drawing Water

Water can be indicated using few simple overlapping lines as shown below. Make the lines follow the contour of river’s bank.

Step 4; Drawing Foliage

It is visually interesting to have something by river’s edge that is reflected in water. A simple foliage works very well. It can be drawn using a combination of scribble for foliage and tapered darks for trunks. Vol 5. of my pen and ink workbook discusses drawing foliage in details.

Step 5: Drawing Reflection

Proper reflection in water is very important to bring out the feel of water. It can be drawn using horizontal lines as shown below. 

Draw reflection of foliage in water using the above technique.

Step 6: Finishing with Other Elements

To bring a finished feel, other elements like ground cover, distant tree line, stones, sky etc. can be added.

This finishes this tutorial. Hopefully it inspired you to try these simple pen and ink drawings and find how relaxing, enjoyable and easy these are to do.  My tutorials provide more information on drawing other elements of nature used above. My Pen and ink Workbooks are also a great way to learn drawing pen and ink landscapes. Available for only $6 (paperback) and $2.99 (Kindle), try them today.

Want to give a creative gift this Christmas that is actually useful? Then try my pen and ink drawing workbooks. With step by step instructions and illustration of techniques, it will help anybody learn this wonderful hobby.

Drawing is always more fun as a social activity. Do feel free to share this with others and also on your social media.

Happy Drawing,


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