How to Draw an Explosion: The Ultimate Guide

You can’t get very far in a drawing without coming across an explosion. Drawing explosions is definitely more than just throwing some fire and smoke around the place!

Do you want to draw an explosion? Do you have questions about how to do it? This is the ultimate guide for drawing explosions. We will cover everything from the different types of explosions that can be drawn and much more.

After reading this article, you should have enough information for any type of drawing project involving an explosion!

How to Draw Explosions: the Basics

What Is an Explosion?

An explosion, as the name suggests, results from a violent expansion of gases. This happens when something combusts or reacts with other chemicals to release energy in the form of heat and light (usually accompanied by smoke). The most common example would be firework displays on New Year’s Eve!

Another easy way to think about explosions is that they are just really big bangs! When you hear someone say ‘an explosive personality – what does it mean? It means their person has lots of energy, right? Well, this can also apply to drawings depicting people exploding with rage. Lots of lines coming out everywhere = lots of emotion!

How to Make an Explosion Look Realistic?

There are tons of different types of explosions, but there is one thing they all have in common. They explode! Explosions need to be drawn with a certain type of motion and speed. It’s important that the explosion looks like it actually happened or else you will be drawing something completely different than an explosion.

For example, if your character punches through a wall, it won’t look much like an explosion no matter how many flames cover up where he punched it out from!

It’s very important to remember that explosions come in all shapes and sizes. It’s not as simple as just drawing a sphere exploding outward from the center of your piece – you need to take perspective into consideration too!

For example:

  • The smoke is coming out toward us.
  • Parts of the flames are going upwards.
  • Other parts of the flames are moving away from us.

One technique for animating explosions is by adding lines pointing outward at angles away from each other. These could even represent shockwaves rippling outwards which would add more depth to the picture as well as simulate real-life movement within the image itself! These are called vector lines.

Vector lines are what make an explosion look like it is actually exploding outwards, not just up or down!

So even though this looks like one big explosion, there are many little mini ‘osions’ within it that are being affected by perspective.

What Is the Point of the Explosion?

Assuming you want your explosion to have a point from which it explodes could be helpful for deciding where to place objects within your drawing. This would help give depth and perspective when breaking apart walls or blowing characters off their feet!

If there is no defined area that the explosion blows outward from then this can confuse readers into thinking that everything exploded at once without any real reason why they did so other than to add action towards whatever scene was being created.

Types of Explosions to Draw

There are many different kinds of explosion drawings out there ranging from small firecrackers or gunshots all the way up to large nuclear blasts so it’s important to size them properly according to what kind it is.

The first thing we need to do is decide the size of our explosion. We can do this by determining how much space it takes up in the drawing, or if there are any objects nearby that we want to show being affected too.

Small Explosions

These kinds of blasts take up a small amount of real estate on your canvas and don’t have far-reaching effects. They might also be used for simple firecrackers. For these kinds, you only need one main fireball with smoke trails coming from underneath. The key here is not to overcrowd your work because then things get messy fast!

Examples: Cherry bombs, gunshots, or small vehicles exploding.

Medium Explosions

These kinds of blasts are the ones that usually take up about half to two-thirds of your drawing space and can be used for anything from large scale explosions like tank shells hitting an army campground, all the way up to nuclear warheads which causes widespread damage due to radiation poisoning over time!

It’s important not to forget smoke trails coming out first before adding fireballs so you know exactly what direction they’re moving towards at first glance! Once again, keep outlines relatively thin so the colors won’t blend together later.

Examples: Tank shells hitting an army campground, large explosive devices like grenades, nuclear warheads exploding and ships sinking due to torpedoes.

Large Explosions

These kinds of blasts take up most of your drawing space because they’re meant for major events that can change entire landscapes! They might even be used in science fiction movies involving alien planets being destroyed by asteroid impacts.

Examples: Asteroids hitting a planet’s surface destroying everything in its path (similar to how meteors impact Earth), large space stations blowing up into pieces after being hit by missiles, or huge explosions that can even destroy entire countries like nuclear bombs!

How to Draw an Explosion: Techniques

There are a few different ways to draw an explosion.

Basic Shapes

The first, and easiest method is by using basic shapes such as triangles or circles with lines emanating from them. This drawing technique can be used for both small and large explosions alike! It’s important that you vary the size of your objects within the picture so that it doesn’t look like everything just blew up at once!


The next way to create an explosion would be through free-handing which means drawing whatever comes naturally without any specific guidelines to follow. You could even use this technique for creating smoke rather than fire depending on how much detail you want in your piece!

Just remember not to place too many details since it will make things hard when trying to blur out what needs to be blurred later on.

Inking and Color

Once you have your drawing the way that you want it, it’s time to add color! The colors used can be just about anything depending on what type of explosion is being drawn and whether or not there are characters around.

This means adding lots of contrasting colored lines in this technique will make things look more realistic by simulating wind blowing outward from an explosion while also making sense due to how objects would move during such a powerful event.

Integrating Your Explosion

Remember how we said there are many different types of explosions? Well, you aren’t just limited to drawing flames and fire whenever depicting an explosion! There is a ton more stuff out there such as smoke, dust clouds, sparks, debris from whatever exploded in the first place (maybe even clothing), and so much more.

Try experimenting with all these things by creating something we haven’t seen before but still looks like an actual explosion! Have fun with it and don’t limit yourself when trying new ideas within this realm of creation unless you want your image to turn out unoriginal or boring.

How to Draw an Explosion in Seven Easy Steps

1. Sketch a circle in the center of your paper. This will be the epicenter for your explosion so make it as round and perfect as you can.

2. Now we’ll start working on adding detail starting with a few wavy lines radiating from the center. It will be a cloud of the explosion. Add some bigger, wavy lines along with these smaller ones.

3. Add a few more straight lines to represent the explosion bursting outward. Draw some pieces flying out of the explosion.

4. Make all of your lines darker and thicker. Make sure they are smooth and fluid.

5. Next, add some more lines to your explosion for that extra bit of detail. These should be smaller than the original lines but still, protrude outwards making them look like they are expanding at a rapid pace which is what an explosion does when it’s detonating or after being detonated actually.

6. Add shading to the explosion for a three-dimensional look. You might need a couple of tries before you find what works best for this step but once you’ve got it down it’s awesome how much depth this simple technique adds.

7. Add in some details like stars, etc… Don’t overdo the details as you can make your explosion look messy and not believable because of that.

See how easy that was? You should now know exactly how to draw an incredible explosion like a pro by following this simple tutorial because all it takes are seven easy steps to become an expert when depicting one in your own pictures.

How to Draw an Atomic Bomb Explosion

Step 1

Begin by drawing an oval shape to act as the general outline of the explosion. It will be your mushroom cloud head.

Step 2

Draw a long shape starting from the center of your oval explosion head. The sides should protrude outwards slightly to indicate that it is expanding.

Step 3

The next thing we’re going to do is add several rings surrounding our explosion that are progressively larger than one another. These will act as shockwaves caused by physical impact or heat from the explosion.

Step 4

Draw some little curves all around the mushroom cloud. Keep this part simple since we’re going to add details later anyway so don’t worry about making any mistakes now because they can always be erased after.

Step 5

Add shading to your explosion for a more realistic look. Don’t hesitate when adding lines or shading over already existing ones, if something doesn’t work then feel free to erase it completely and do whatever else you want to it because, in the end, it is your artwork.

Step 6

Erase the lines and shades you don’t need and add some shading to your shockwaves. This helps with making everything look more realistic and also gives your image that extra bit of detail it needs for being believable enough so make sure not to skip this part.

Step 7

After all of that has been done then you can add some shadows surrounding your object such as smoke around an explosion from ashes burning upwards into the sky. Add shading to the sky holding your pencil almost flat.

Step 8

Close off your lines and add in any additional details you might want. This is optional though since adding these won’t make or break your picture/drawing but those who want their explosions to look perfect will appreciate this part.

For more drawing tutorials read our How To Draw A Fist Guide.

Tips on Drawing Explosions

The main thing to remember is that drawing an explosion isn’t always about trying to make it look like a photograph of one. Sometimes you’ll find yourself needing drawings to depict the aftermath and not necessarily what was happening during the event itself.

That’s when these tips can come in handy:

  • Always err on using too many lines than not enough as this will help with making your object more believable especially if it’s for something such as showing where debris has fallen from or even how far any shockwaves have traveled outwards after impact has been made.
  • Use shading sparingly because sometimes overdoing things might cause some confusion for others viewing your work and also be careful not just with adding shadows but highlights as well since they’re both used differently and have different effects.
  • Also, remember that most people won’t be able to draw something perfect the first time they try so don’t get discouraged if your drawing doesn’t come out exactly how you wanted it to. Practice makes perfect and with enough practice eventually trying new things will become easier!

Final Words

That concludes how to draw an explosion! We hope that by reading this article you have acquired some valuable knowledge about drawing explosions for your art projects or school assignments.

So what are you waiting for? Stop reading and start drawing! Before we wrap things up though, remember that there’s always more than one way of doing things. So feel free to experiment because, in the long run, it’ll make your drawings look much better compared to if you just stuck to following this tutorial step-by-step without putting any thought into it.

After all: art is about expressing yourself so do whatever works best for you even if they’re not mentioned above!

Leave a Comment