How to Draw Gothic Art Step-by-Step

Gothic art is not exactly a recognised genre or movement in the art world. However, gothic culture is widespread enough that the term "gothic art" brings to mind images with specific, consistent qualities. Gothic art makes use of dark colours, atmospheric landscapes and delicate figures with pale skin and black clothes. This type of art usually features elements of mystery, psychological or physical pain, magic or mysticism, veiled threats and death.

Pick a subject. Nearly any subject can be portrayed with gothic overtones, whether it is an outdoor or indoor scene or a scene of a figure or animal.

Use a pencil to draw an outline of your subject on the paper.

Add details to the outlines in pencil. Draw lightly at first so that you can erase your marks if necessary. Begin to manipulate the drawing in order to incorporate gothic elements. For example, if you are drawing a figure, replace the clothing on the figure with black clothes and gothic accessories like black jewellery, black make-up and lacy black veils. Landscapes should seem barren, void of life, bleak and unwelcoming. Animals should be dark in colour. Trees should lack leaves. As you draw, avoid flowers or brightly coloured plant life. Alternatively, draw the flowers into the scene but make plans to colour them black at later stages in the drawing process. Shading you add to the drawing should be light at this stage, as you will cover it with pen and ink and coloured pencils later.

Shade in the darkest parts of the drawing with pen and ink. Anything that is meant to be black should be covered with solid ink at this stage. Outline all other elements in the drawing with black ink. Use long, smooth, confident lines rather than sketchy, broken lines.

Colour the areas of the drawing that have not been inked in with pen and ink. Use primarily coloured pencils that are grey and black. If you choose to use colours, keep them to a minimum. Use colours like red, purple and blue, which have connotations corresponding to moody dispositions and human passion.


You may choose to use other mediums rather than pencil, pen and ink and coloured pencils. Charcoal is an especially appropriate medium for gothic art because of its inky black colour.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Pen and ink
  • Coloured pencils
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About the Author

Leslie Rose has been a freelance writer publishing with Demand Studios since 2008. In addition to her work as a writer, she is an accomplished painter and experienced art teacher. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art with a minor in English.