How to Draw Mountain Landscapes

Written by leslie rose
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How to Draw Mountain Landscapes
Distant mountains will appear to be lighter than mountains that are in the foreground. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Drawing impressive-looking mountain landscapes is often not difficult for advanced artists, or even beginning artists. You should find that drawing a realistic mountain landscape takes little effort. For added inspiration or guidance during your drawing process, look at a photograph, or several photographs, of mountain landscapes. Looking at photographs should give you good ideas and instruct you during the drawing process. Pay attention to the effects that distance has on the relative values (darkness or lightness) of land forms.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Acid-free paper
  • Blending stick

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  1. 1

    Draw the outline of a few rolling hills, approximately halfway up the page, represented by a few long humps drawn across the horizon of the drawing. These are the foothills.

  2. 2

    Shade the rolling hills very lightly with a hard lead pencil, 3H or harder. Shade the hills all the way down to the edge of the page. The hills should be evenly shaded. Do so by running your pencil across the paper, back and forth, slowly and patiently. Shade all the way down to the bottom of the page.

  3. 3

    Draw some clusters of blades of grass near the bottom of the page. The closer the grass is to the bottom of the page, the larger the grass should be. This gives a sense of perspective -- details are more defined, and objects appear larger, in the near foreground of an image.

  4. 4

    Draw the outline of a row of mountains behind the foothills. A mountain will look like a giant, irregularly shaped, upside-down V. The mountains are positioned behind the foothills and should extend to nearly the top of the page.

  5. 5

    Draw the peaks of a row of more distant mountains, visible between the mountains you drew in step 2. These peaks represent mountains positioned farther away, behind the first row of mountains.

  6. 6

    Shade the front row of mountains a dark value with a soft lead pencil -- 3B or harder. The mountains should not be as evenly shaded as the rolling hills, so if parts of the mountain are darker than others, that is acceptable.

  7. 7

    Shade the peaks positioned behind the front row of mountains. These peaks should be shaded lighter than the front row of mountains, to suggest depth in the picture plane. You may make these mountains lighter either by switching to a pencil of a slightly harder lead, or by pressing slightly less on your soft lead pencil.

  8. 8

    Shade the sky very lightly with a hard lead pencil -- 3H or harder. Use a blending stick to smooth the shading of the sky. The darkest thing on the paper should be the front row of mountains.

Tips and warnings

  • You can make the mountains snow-capped by erasing the shading at the top of the mountains, or by not shading the top of the mountains at all.

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