How to Draw Mountains – Part 3

How to Draw Mountains – Intro

How to Draw Mountains – Part 1

How to Draw Mountains – Part 2

How to Draw Mountains – Part 3

How to Draw Mountains – Part 4

How to Draw Mountains – Part 5

How to Draw Mountains – Part 6

How to Draw Mountains – Part 7

Draw the Left Peak

Begin Shading the Mountain in the Foreground


Now that the sky is complete, let’s give our attention to the mountains on the left. We will start with the mountain in the foreground.

I’m using a 2B pencil. I’m also using a pencil lengthener, just because this pencil is very short, and the lengthener makes it easier to hold the pencil and squeeze more use out of it! Anyway, basically what I am doing here is darkening the lines in the rock that I made earlier.


Continue this with the lower rocky area. Make the lines nice and dark and thick. You can even sketch some extra lines here and there for more detail. These thick lines represent the dark shadows of the cracks and crevices within the rocks.


Sketch some vertical lines very close together between these two sections of rock. This area will represent a band of trees.

Finish Shading the Mountain in the Foreground


Blend the rocks and trees you just drew. I’m using a tortillion to blend the lighter areas first, and then smoothing over the darker areas and the entire area in general with a blending stump. I think for much of this drawing, I will be switching back and forth between these two tools for blending purposes, but I feel like it’s mostly a matter of preference as to which one you use. You can also blend with a tissue.


Since this side of the mountain is facing away from the sun, I will be using a darker 6B pencil for much of the shading. Let’s begin by darkening up the trees.


Next, darken the cracks between the rocks. Then smooth them out with a blending stump or tortillion. You can also add a few more details as you see fit.


Like many others, these mountains have these horizontal lines going across the surface of the rock. These are often called strata. Some people call them bedding planes. I’m no geologist and don’t claim to be an authority on proper rock terms, but I believe there’s a slight difference between the two and the bedding planes separate the strata. Anyway, for the purposes of our tutorial, I will just refer to these horizontal lines as strata. Let’s create them by first flattening our kneaded eraser into a wedge and then making streaks across the rock.


Then use your pencil to sketch lines above or below the strata, giving the rock more texture. Let’s darken the trees too while we’re at it.

Add the Ground and Trees on the Left Side


Put some shading on the dirt area in the foreground. Then blend the entire area.


Use your 2B pencil to add more tones. Keep the direction of your pencil strokes consistent with the surface of the slope.


Now I will use my blending stump to blend this out. Then I will use my kneaded eraser to bring out a highlight along this edge.


With a 6B pencil, outline the edge you just highlighted. Along this edge, between these two slopes, sketch some tall vertical lines. Use a few short, diagonal strokes going down to help give the indication of trees.

Now, although you see me putting some short trees along this shoreline closest to us, I recommend that you do not put any trees here at all. First of all, I noticed after I finished this drawing that there are no trees in this area in the reference photo. Also, this area seems to be the same distance from the viewer as the trees on the other side of the lake. So I am sketching them way too short here. Since I am too late in catching my mistake, I will just pretend these are very short trees or some very tall grass. Oops!

Begin Shading the Left Peak


Now let’s work on this left mountain peak. Begin by blending all of the shaded areas of the mountain. For now, I’m leaving the lighter areas alone.


With a 2B pencil, outline and better define the cracks at the summit of the mountain. We want to now amplify the appearance of a rocky texture.


Keep working your way down the mountain. Look for dark shadowy areas that require additional shading. We will shade this steep incline at the base where there is some vegetation.


Continue to create rocky formations on the rest of the mountain. Keep in mind that the sunlight is coming from the left, so we want to put shading on the right side of these individual rocky sections.

Finish the Left Peak and Base


Blend the lighter areas with a tortillion. Then blend the darker areas with a blending stump.


At the summit, alternate between darkening the shadow areas with a 6B pencil and smoothing them out with a tortillion. Use a kneaded eraser to lift graphite off the paper to look like snow.


Keep alternating in this same manner as you work your way down the mountain. Focus on tracing over rocky outlines to make them stand out. Also, it really helps to place dark tones directly next to lighter tones. Keep layering additional tones to darken shadows as needed.


Just like we did earlier, let’s make strata lines for this mountain now. Begin at the top, and flatten your kneaded eraser into a wedge to make horizontal streaks across the mountain surface. Accent these lines with adjacent pencil marks. Not only does this technique produce the appearance of strata, but you can also create the impression of a shelf on the side of the mountain here and there.


Still with the 6B, make some marks to represent distant trees and other vegetation at the base of the mountain.

How to Draw Mountains – Part 4

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