How to Draw a Tent – Part 1

How to Draw a Tent – Intro

How to Draw a Tent – Part 1

How to Draw a Tent – Part 2

How to Draw a Tent – Part 3

How to Draw a Tent – Part 4

How to Draw a Tent – Part 5

Sketch the Outline of the Tent

Sketch the Outside Border of the Tent


The first thing we need to do is sketch the outline of the tent. We’ll begin with the outside border.

We will use a 2B pencil for the first part of this drawing.

Let’s start off by sketching the side of the tent. When sketching the side, make sure to make the first vertical line slightly taller than the second. This is because the side of the tent will be receding into the background.

You’ll notice that these vertical lines aren’t perfectly vertical. This is okay. The tent is anchored on these two long poles that cross over each other at the top and then bend toward the ground in an almost vertical position as they approach the ground. So, a slight tilt in the angle is okay.

Next, start drawing the outline for the top of the tent. The sides of this sort of curved triangular wedge shape represent a continuation of the poles I was talking about. The tip of the triangle here is the top of the tent, which we can also call the pole hub. 

From the top of the tent or pole hub, you will have to make a curved line to a corner, and then change it into a more vertical line to complete this side. You’ll notice that I decided to erase this top corner and make it lower in order to align with the top corner of the first edge we drew.

I also sketched the bottom of the front face, which completes the outside border of the tent.

Sketch the Front of the Tent


Now let’s sketch the front of the tent.

It’s helpful to draw these guidelines on the front of the tent. Not only do they help to frame the opening, but they come in handy when sketching the rolled-up tent doors.

When sketching the tent doors, remember that they are held in place by door tie backs. That’s why there is this bend from the tie back to the bottom corner of the tent.

This big round oval shape I’m drawing now is the mesh door of the tent. For the purposes of our tent drawing here, this door is zipped closed, but it has a mesh material on the upper portion of the mesh door to keep the bugs out, and we can see through it to the inside.

Sketch the Inside of the Tent


For the inside of the tent, start by drawing the back corner and the floor of the tent. Line up the edges of the floor with the front and back corners of the tent. 

Draw the mesh door for the other side of the tent. Then lightly sketch a guideline for the other wall that serves as part of the tent’s design.

Before finishing the inside, I noticed a little detail I left out when drawing the outer portion of the tent. That little detail would be the stakes that hold the outer tent (or rain fly) and the inner tent to the ground. Let’s draw these stakes now, along with the straps that are pulled by and wrapped around the stakes.

Let’s also put where the zipper begins for the front mesh door.

Now back to the inside. You can leave this empty like you see in the reference photograph, or you can draw sleeping bags or whatever else you usually have inside your tent. When my wife and I go camping, we bring our sleeping bags, but we also bring pillows, blankets, and/or other bedding to be cozy and comfortable. So that’s what I’ll sketch here.

Add Details to the Tent


We’re almost finished with the outline of the tent. Let’s add some final details before we get into shading.

Sketch some lines to represent folds or wrinkles on the outer surface or rain fly of the tent. This will add a touch of realism to our drawing. Begin with the top of the front opening.

Draw lines that radiate from the top of the opening to the poles that frame the tent. These lines exist because the poles tug and pull on the fabric.

Keep drawing these lines between the poles on other parts of the rain fly, like the rest of the top and the side of the tent.

Look for other parts of the rain fly where smaller folds in the fabric can be found, like along the edges and on the bottom of the mesh door.

Along the very bottom edge of the mesh door on either side, draw a horizontal line that serves as a design element of the tent.

Add a few sprigs of grass along the ground, and we are done with the outline for our tent!

How to Draw a Tent – Part 2

4 Replies to “How to Draw a Tent – Part 1”

  1. I think it might be helpful to keep the reference photo with the drawing so we can see both the instruction and what it’s supposed to look like.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Some of the courses do show the reference at different stages. I’ll keep experimenting to find something that is not too obtrusive.

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