How to

How to draw mountains (step by step)

Mountains have always been a captivating subject in art. If you’re interested in drawing mountains, we have a step-by-step tutorial just for you. In this guide, we’ll break down the process into simple and achievable steps.

Understanding the Important Characteristics

Before we dive into the tutorial, let’s take a moment to understand the key characteristics of mountains. Familiarizing yourself with these features will help you create more realistic mountain drawings, even without step-by-step instructions.

  1. Triangle Shape: The basic shape of a mountain resembles a triangle. However, the level of clarity may vary depending on the specific mountain.

  2. Rough and Sharp-Edged: Mountains are often characterized by rough and sharp-edged structures. The outlines tend to be mostly straight.

  3. Light and Shadow: Lighting plays a crucial role in capturing the essence of a mountain. One side of the mountain is usually brightly lit, while the other side is in shadow.

  4. Mountain Ranges: Mountains rarely stand alone. They are typically found in groups, with several mountains positioned next to and in front of each other.

By combining these characteristics, starting with a simple triangle, you can already create the basis of a mountain.

Mountains based on triangles

Now, let’s move on to the step-by-step process of drawing mountains.

Step 1: Establishing the Outline

To begin, there are various methods you can use to draw the basic shapes or lines. One effective technique is to create a zig-zag baseline that defines the outline of the mountains.

For better orientation, you can draw a horizon line before proceeding. Keep in mind that the horizon line will later be covered by the mountains.

Horizon and baseline

Step 2: Defining the Mountains

Using the baseline as a guide, start defining the individual mountains. Draw lines from the lower points that overlap the mountains. This technique automatically establishes which mountains appear in front and which are positioned behind.

Defining the mountains

Step 3: Creating Depth

Next, draw jagged lines from the mountain peaks down the center. These lines significantly contribute to creating a sense of depth. Ensure that the lines are not much longer than the height of the mountain.

Center lines

Step 4: Adding Rock Formations

Now, use the vertices of the center lines as starting points for additional rock formations. Draw more jagged lines, starting at the corner points. Towards the end, you can make the lines finer or allow them to disappear behind other lines.

Tip: Introduce breaks in your lines to add even more structure, resembling a lightning bolt.

This step offers an opportunity for exploration and allows you to define increasingly intricate structures.

Draw foothills

Step 5: Enhancing the Details

Before moving on to shading, it’s beneficial to reinforce the fine lines. Pay particular attention to the sides facing away from the light source, as they can be drawn with more intensity.

Remember to consider the positioning of the light source. If you plan to draw a sun over your mountains, it will illuminate each side differently.

By closely examining the image, you can already anticipate the general location of my light source.

Step 6: Adding Light and Shadow

To accentuate the light and shadow aspects of the mountains, you can employ various hatching or wiping techniques. In this tutorial, we’ll use a simple cross-hatching technique to maintain the slightly abstract character of the drawing. Cross-hatching complements the characteristics we discussed earlier.

Remember to keep the light areas lightly hatched, giving them a delicate texture.

Hatching mountains

Step 7: Adding Finishing Touches

You’re almost there! At this stage, your mountain chain looks substantial and realistic. Now it’s time to add more elements to complete the scene. Consider drawing a sky and incorporating trees, animals, or architecture to provide context and enhance the overall composition.

Add details

Congratulations! You’ve successfully drawn your own picturesque mountains. Wasn’t it easier than you anticipated? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment and share your experience with this technique.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Keep exploring and experimenting to develop your unique style in capturing the grandeur of mountains on paper.

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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