Whether you are drawing a tropical paradise from your imagination or the island you visited on last summer's vacation, drawing an island landscape does not have to be any more difficult than drawing a mountain landscape or beach scene. The key is knowing what perspective you want to assume as you draw your island, and moving forward from there. From a detailed masterpiece to a simple sketch, an island landscape can be drawn by any skill level.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Draw a shoreline on a diagonal going from the bottom left corner of the page and stopping about 3/4 of the way up on the right side of the page.
Draw a horizon line across the page that connects with the upper-right terminus of the shoreline -- where it meets the right-hand border of the page. This horizon line should leave about 1/4 or more of the page above it.
Draw a mountain on the horizon line that connects to the shoreline and touches the sky, water and beach. It should have its starting point somewhere in the middle of the horizon line and should extend up to the top right of the page. Make sure it is not just a straight line -- the view here is fairly close to the mountainous outcropping and therefore it will look like it has bumps and dips.
Add your beach scene. In the foreground -- where you have the largest amount of shore (beach) -- you can draw anything from palm trees to beach umbrellas. Remember, these are in the foreground and are therefore large. In the narrowest part of the shoreline (higher up on the page, and towards the right), you can draw some island flora or gradually smaller trees and umbrellas.
Draw the sky to the left of the mountain in any fashion you like. Then add the water, which occupies the space to the left of the shore and below the horizon line, including the area below the bottom-left half of the mountain.
Draw the shape of your island in the middle of the page. Make sure it is not perfectly round or oval. Shorelines are varied, especially on islands.
Add forests or flora to the centre of the island, with maybe a few isolated patches a bit outside the main concentration. The rest of the island will be sand.
Shade the water around the island by making the shallowest part -- that closest to the shore -- lighter and gradually getting darker as you move out into the ocean. Make sure to show the water's constant motion by depicting shadows and highlights to indicate waves.
Include a skyline by shifting the perspective from direct overhead to angled overhead. This will allow for more detail in the island trees and topography, as well as an opportunity for an impressive sky-scape.
Draw a horizontal horizon line somewhere in the lower half of the paper.
Draw your island on top of the horizon line, but also extending below the horizon line and into what will become the water. You can make your island rocky, forest-filled or sandy with palm-trees. Draw it as you would see it if you were looking at it from a boat in the ocean.
Add your sky above and around the island to the perimeter of the horizon line, and the ocean below the horizon line. Again, remember that the ocean will be lightest where it is closest to the shore of your island.
Add more texture to the water in the forefront of the picture (bottom of the page). Since this is closest to the viewer, the waves need to be more noticeable and varied than at the horizon where they are harder to see.
Make the drawing a little more complex by adding a second horizon line a little above the land of the island, but below the top of the trees on the island. (It is easiest to do this with isolated palm trees). Between the first and second horizon line, add more ocean in a darker shade than the ocean between the island and the bottom of the page.
Tips and warnings
- --The beach perspective does not necessarily indicate an island, but as islands tend to be more mountainous than mainland beaches, the inclusion of a mountain is suggestive of an island environment.
- --If you don't already know the techniques for drawing in perspective, as well as those needed to draw sky, water, trees and sand, invest in a good art book like "The Fundamentals of Drawing: A Complete Professional Course for Artists," by Barrington Barber.
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