Illustrating Rain, Droplets and Rainclouds

A Hand-Cranked Automaton That Mimics the Effect of a Raindrop Hitting Water.

Nature truly is amazing.

Felix-Buhot-French-1847-1898-Rain-and-Umbrella-c.1875-Etching
Felix Buhot (French, 1847-1898) Rain and Umbrella c.1875, Etching. Dark lines, which match the vertical hatching of the objects in the illustration. It’s not clear what is rain and what depicts the walls of the buildings. Weather and buildings unite.
Martin Lewis (1881 - 1962) 1931 illustration Rainy Day In Queens
Martin Lewis (1881 – 1962) 1931 illustration Rainy Day In Queens

The convention by which the motion of drops of water is represented by elongating them into a shape they never actually have in the real world appears in the picture of Peter jumping into the watering can. Yet interestingly, while this teardrop shape is like a backward arrow, we know the movement is away from the point only because we know the convention; Peter is himself a teardrop shape in this picture, but we assume he is entering the watering can, not leaving it—that he heads in the direction his body is pointed toward.

Perry Nodelman, Words About Pictures
Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Vintage Shell Project
Vintage Shell Project
Joan Walsh Anglund
Garth Williams for Do You Know What I'll Do by Charlotte Zolotow
Garth Williams for Do You Know What I’ll Do by Charlotte Zolotow
DER ROTE VOGEL FELIX (1975) Marie Sarraz rain drops
DER ROTE VOGEL FELIX (1975) Marie Sarraz rain drops
DER REGENBOGEN (1972) Marie Sarraz rain
DER REGENBOGEN (1972) Marie Sarraz rain
ACHTER DE BERGEN (1979) Lilo Fromm
The Carnaval A Book Of Poems by Sef Roman Semenovich 1994
The Carnaval A Book Of Poems by Sef Roman Semenovich 1994
‘We Love London in the Rain’ by Leilei Huang
‘We Love London in the Rain’ by Leilei Huang
Postcard by A. Golubev, 1968 rain
Postcard by A. Golubev, 1968 rain
elongated droplets watering can Peter Rabbit
EIN KÖRNCHEN FÜR DEN PFAU (1970) Helga Aichinger rain
EIN KÖRNCHEN FÜR DEN PFAU (1970) Helga Aichinger
Suzanna Byalkovskaya, 1950s
Suzanna Byalkovskaya, 1950s

LINES OF RAIN

White lines

William Steig (American, 1907-2003) New Yorker cover
William Steig (American, 1907-2003) New Yorker cover
Dick Sargent
Vogue Cover – March 1935 Premium Giclee Print by Eduardo Garcia Benito Feline rain
Caught In The Rain by Albert W. Hampson
Mauro Scali 1956
Arthur Smith 1940
Dal Holcomb
Margaret Bloy Graham 1952

White and blue lines

Peter Spier. Rain
Peter Spier. Rain
Olive Beaupre Miller's Tales Told in Holland It's Raining It's Gaining
Olive Beaupre Miller’s Tales Told in Holland It’s Raining It’s Gaining
‘April Showers, 1933’ by Martin Faulkner umbrella rain
‘April Showers, 1933’ by Martin Faulkner umbrella rain
Eugen Hartung, Swiss. 1897-1973 rain
Eugen Hartung, Swiss. 1897-1973
Look Back by Tatsuki Fujimoto
Look Back by Tatsuki Fujimoto
Illustration by N.C. Wyeth for Catriona by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1924
Illustration by N.C. Wyeth for Catriona by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1924

Black and grey lines

The Moon Singer by Clyde Robert Bulla, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman (1969)
The Moon Singer by Clyde Robert Bulla, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman (1969)
Schnick schnack trifles for the little-ones by Oscar Pletsch 1867 rain
Schnick schnack trifles for the little-ones by Oscar Pletsch 1867

And white for in front of the black

Now I'll walk in all the puddles.  From At the Open Door by Louise Robinson, 1913
Now I’ll walk in all the puddles. From At the Open Door by Louise Robinson, 1913
From The French Mail, 1908
From The French Mail, 1908
From a beautiful contemporary French book ‘Les vermeilles’ by Camille Jourdy

Ruler straight lines that extend across the entire canvas

The Slough of Despond, illustration for a 1928 edition of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, wood engraving by Gertrude Hermes (UK, 1901-1983)
Ink sketch by Duilio Cambellotti rain
Ink sketch by Duilio Cambellotti rain
Charles Keeping 1969 From the book ‘Knights, Beasts and Wonders’
H. R. Van Dongen (1920 – 2010) 1954 cover illustration The Big Rain for Astounding Science Fiction magazine.
The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories 1908 illustrated by Sidney Herbert Sime
The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories 1908 illustrated by Sidney Herbert Sime
Ida Rentoul Outhwaite 1888 - 1960 The Storm
Ida Rentoul Outhwaite 1888 – 1960 The Storm
Dugald Stewart Walker illustrator, Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) writer, ‘Rainbow gold; poems old and new selected for boys and girls’ 1922-6
Bernie Wrightson (1948 - 2017) 1977 illustration for Frankenstein by Mary Shelley rain
Bernie Wrightson (1948 – 2017) 1977 illustration for Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

RAIN IN THE DISTANCE

Des Brophy
Des Brophy
Des Brophy
Des Brophy
Jeff Rowland (1964-2018)
Jeff Rowland (1964-2018)
Jeff Rowland (1964-2018)
Jeff Rowland (1964-2018)
Jeff Rowland (1964-2018)
Jeff Rowland (1964-2018)
Frank Coburn, 1925 rain
Frank Coburn, 1925 rain
George Bellows (American, 1882 – 1925) Rain on the River, 1908
Mai Miturich, 1969 rain
Mai Miturich, 1969
Achiel Van Sassenbrouck rainy sky clouds
Achiel Van Sassenbrouck
Achiel Van Sassenbrouck fields
Achiel Van Sassenbrouck
The-Airmail.-N.-C.-Wyeth.-1938
The-Airmail.-N.-C.-Wyeth.-1938

Storm Scents: It’s True, You Can Smell Oncoming Summer Rain, from Scientific American

WHY DOES IT ALWAYS RAIN ONLY ON ME?

This solipsistic feeling is as old as time. We have illustrations to prove it.

Crocodile In The Rain, Theodor de Bry, after Jean Jacques Boissard, 1596
Crocodile In The Rain, Theodor de Bry, after Jean Jacques Boissard, 1596
Why does it always rain on me Harley 1766
Fairyland Annual 1969 Stories By Joan Fisher, Illustrations By Hutchings, 1968
Fairyland Annual 1969 Stories By Joan Fisher, Illustrations By Hutchings, 1968
Easy Answers to Hard Questions pictures by Susan Perl text by Susanne Kirtland (1968) what makes it rain
Easy Answers to Hard Questions pictures by Susan Perl text by Susanne Kirtland (1968) what makes it rain
Pegana, by Sidney H. Sime, 1905. Frontispiece to Lord Dunsany’s Gods of Pegana
Pegana, by Sidney H. Sime, 1905. Frontispiece to Lord Dunsany’s Gods of Pegana

This coffee is served with a cloud of ‘cotton candy’. The coffee vapour apparently rises to dissolve the ‘cotton candy’. The cloud begins to rain with sugar over the coffee.

Coffee with cotton candy vapour

FANTASY RAINDROPS

Raymond Peynet, French illustrator 1908-1999 rain
Raymond Peynet, French illustrator 1908-1999 rain

And here is a cinemagraphic example

RAINDROPS TRAVELLING ACROSS GLASS

Two sisters travel the same streets, though their lives couldn’t be more different. Then, one of them goes missing.

In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don’t speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling.

Then Kacey disappears, suddenly, at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey’s district, and Mickey becomes dangerously obsessed with finding the culprit–and her sister–before it’s too late.

Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters’ childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.

FURTHER READING

Scotch mist: A sober soaking rain: a Scotch mist will wet an Englishman to the bone.

from a 1703 dictionary of slang

Header: Candee – Rubber & Snow Shoes Advertisement – art by Franco Barberis – 1929