How to Draw Mountains, Trees and Rivers

Written by paul rance
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How to Draw Mountains, Trees and Rivers
Mountains, trees and rivers are a stunning combination to draw. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

It's helpful to an artist, when attempting to draw and paint landscapes, to be able to create constituent parts individually. Drawing a mountain, tree or river involves varying degrees of difficulty. Acquiring the skills to draw a mountain, tree or river will increase an artist's confidence when it comes to portraying a landscape. The effort put in will prove to have been worthwhile, as drawing and painting a landscape will appear less difficult.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Images of mountains, trees, rivers

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  1. 1

    Begin a drawing of a mountain from one side of its base and work upward. Draw the mountain's peak, and then draw the other side of the mountain down to its base.

  2. 2

    Shade in the mountain from the base upward. Be methodical, and work across from one side of the drawing of the mountain to the other, until you have shaded in all the area up to its peak.

  3. 3

    Complete your drawing of the mountain by adding distinguishing lines. Add any additional distinguishing marks.


  1. 1

    Attempt to sketch a tree before beginning any drawing. Also just try to depict the outline of a tree and its branches in the sketch before adding greater detail.

  2. 2

    Check that the sketch is accurate before beginning your drawing. Draw the tree's outline and branches more carefully. Shade in the boot of the tree and its branches.

  3. 3

    Add finer details to the tree last, such as leaves and blossoms. When shading in the leaves and blossoms, concentrate on the overall effect, rather than trying to portray them in great detail.


  1. 1

    Study the river carefully, before starting your drawing. This will help you to fully grasp its overall shape and flow.

  2. 2

    Draw the movement of the river by utilising shading. Use the side of your pencil tip to draw the shaded, curved lines of the flowing water. Use flowing strokes when drawing the river.

  3. 3

    Leave large areas of blank space in between the shaded areas. This will help the drawing capture the natural contrast of light and dark on a river's surface.

Tips and warnings

  • Sketch mountains, trees and rivers at every opportunity. Make a series of very quick sketches, and your technique and understanding of the subject matter will improve.
  • Never try to make an exact representation of a mountain, tree or river. It will take too long to achieve.

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