View Full Version : How to draw... Mountains?

04-06-2013, 10:38 PM
Hey guys!

I am embarking on a new project I'll post here soon, and I am trying to create some realistic mountains.

I know there are quite a few different mountain designs out there, but I am curious to know which ones are best and how to go about doing them. For this project, they will be hand drawn, but advice for prorgrams like Gimp would also be helpful, since I hope to move to computerized maps soon.

Thanks in advance!


Dornier Spy
04-06-2013, 10:49 PM
Hmmm...what a predicament. I have a few mountain designs I use for maps. But they are those I found on deviantart. Most of the stuff I draw is based off there. I would look on some maps from there for inspiration. Or some on this Guild, thats my advice.

04-06-2013, 10:59 PM
Good idea. Thanks for the quick reply.

Dornier Spy
04-06-2013, 11:08 PM
No problem man.

04-06-2013, 11:33 PM
You may get some more assistance if you share a picture link of what you mean by 'realistic'. There are many ways to draw realistic mountains.

04-07-2013, 12:51 AM
I would say, pull up Google Earth, find a mountain range that looks like what you are after and then draw/paint something like that. I have a couple techniques I use but I keep changing how I do it so it depends on what day you ask me, and on if you think my mountains look realistic to you.

04-07-2013, 09:20 AM
@Chasio: You're exactly right when you say "there are many ways to draw realistic mountains". If you look up a picture of a mountain online you can find all sorts of different photos. However, when it comes to drawing them, it's harder to say what looks the best. One could use the topographical map feel (looking directly down, with lines marking elevations, the closer together the lines are, the steeper the slope) or drawing the mountains side-on and try to replicate the ridgeline. Below I gave an example of a topographical map.


@Jaxilon: I just did exactly that, and those look like something I could use. The trick would probably be getting them at the correct angle. Thanks for your suggestion.

Thanks guys. I'm gonna try to put them in this morning, wish me luck!

04-07-2013, 12:12 PM
Katahdin! :)

Yes, so I'd say that the best style of mountains is whatever is the most clear and useful for what you want to use the map for. If you're intending it to be used for specific route determination, then a full out topo map with relief shading would be the way I'd go. If you don't need to know the elevations you could forgo the topo contour lines. If you want to give a pictorial representation of the landscape--maybe show how jagged or smooth a mountain range is--a bird's eye or isometric angle might better suit your needs. What did you have in mind?

04-07-2013, 04:46 PM
You're in Maine too? Awesomeness. :)

I published the map I made, you can find it in my signature link below. I am mostly happy with how the mountains turned out, and perhaps I'll like them even more once I can add some color.