Mountains are probably the most vital natural function you can draw on a map. They influence weather patterns, where rivers flow, and also ultimately wherein cities and also nations arise. But, exactly how do you draw them for this reason they don’t just look favor squiggly triangles on your map?In this accuse I will walk through one of the methods I usage to attract mountains top top fantasy maps.

You are watching: How to draw mountains on a map

All of the pen I will be using for this tutorial room available in Map maker Essential Brushes pack for Procreate & Photoshop.


1: specify the Shape

Draw a heat to indicate where you would prefer to ar your hill range.

This help you to focus more on the in its entirety composition of her mountain selection so it looks herbal on the map. If you attract the actual mountains too shortly you’ll regularly have come redraw lock to settle their placement.


2: map out Some an easy Mountains

On a new layer or with a pencil, lightly sketch some basic mountain shapes to specify the tallest mountains along the middle of the range.

The main thing you want to emphasis on below is the general placement and the height. Save things simple at this suggest to set a good structure before you start to attract in the final line work. It helps to create the size of the mountains here to save them consistent across the map.


3: filter the main Mountains

Once you are happy through the placement of your key mountains, friend can produce a brand-new layer and also draw your final line work.

For this layout of mountains you will want to usage a form of jagged action pattern for the key shape of the mountains.Try to differ the placement and also height of this ridges for this reason the hills don’t show up too similar.


4: include Smaller Mountains

With her tallest hills in place, you have the right to now draw some smaller mountains roughly them. You deserve to use the same method as the vault step, but notice the smaller hills are much less vertical in nature.

As you location the smaller sized mountains, think about the selection tapering into the neighboring landscape. Usually as soon as people start drawing maps their mountains are every the same height and it looks quite unnatural.


5: draw in the Foothills

Last but not least, attract in some tiny rounded hills at the base of the hills to blend with the terrain.

In the real civilization it is unexplained to encounter huge mountains which emerge from a totally flat landscape. Usually, over there is a transitional area made up of roll foothills. This can go a long method to making her map feel much more realistic.

6: add the main Ridge

With every your hills in place, you deserve to now begin to attract in detail. The an initial thing is to include a ridge line that flows down from the main peak and also connects come an adjacent mountain. Shot to use a smooth earlier and forth movement when drawing the ridge.

The various other thing is girlfriend can draw a line under from every of the little ridges top top the outside of the mountain. This helps give a sense of depth.

The astute observer will also notice that i have included a couple of medium sized mountains that weren’t over there in the previous step. The factor being when I began to draw the ridge on the peak two huge mountains, ns was unhappy through how much the line had to travel prior to it hit another peak. It simply didn’t look appropriate to my eye, and also I wanted to leave this in just in situation you encounter a similar problem through the spacing of your mountains.

7: filter the Ridge

Now the your ridge is in place you can draw lines that circulation down from each suggest or curve the the ridge which will define an ext of the form of each mountain.

Really try and imagine each mountain as a three dimensional thing in bespeak to do these present feel prefer they they monitor a organic slope.

8: complete the Details

The last details to include are some extr lines the follow the contour of the mountain. They also aid indicate the direction of the light as you have the right to add much more lines come the side of the mountain that will be in shadow in bespeak to include greater depth.

Continue to monitor the herbal slope that you identified in the vault step. Be certain to use a finer line because that this step to do the detail feel more subtle.

9: repaint in the base Shadows

With the line job-related finished girlfriend can begin to paint in some shadows top top the best side of every mountain.

If you desire the old civilization sepia look favor this; pick your eye dropper tool and pick the paper background color. Lower the brightness, transition the hue a little more toward red, and also increase the saturation simply a bit. The exact color I offered was #b9a48e.

I am using the absent Climber Filler brush to accomplish that pretty rocky structure in the shading. Otherwise the shading can look a bit too smooth and digital.

CLICK right here to learn an ext about my contemporary Map an equipment Essential Brushes because that Procreate & Photoshop

10: Deepen the Shadows

The following thing to execute is come deepen several of the shadows to add greater depth. Usage a darker the shade of brown (#7c644e) an especially near the height of every mountain and also following the information lines you added earlier.

Tip: If you paint these shadows top top a separate layer indigenous the previous ones you can use the opacity slider to gain them just right. In this instance I actually painted them all in and then lower the opacity come 60% to get something ns was happy with.

11: repaint in the Highlights

Finally, the last point to execute is paint in some highlights ~ above the opposite next of your mountains. Use a shade that is based upon your record background but obviously lightened. In this situation the color I supplied was #f2eae2.

Just like the deepest shadows, her brightest highlights must be close to the top of the hill where the light hits most directly. I have tendency to like a lighter touch through the highlights so the hills don’t end up looking as well reflective.

The modern Map machine Essential Brushes

$19 | because that Procreate & Photoshop

Want the the brushes i am utilizing for this tutorial?

The contemporary Map an equipment Essential brushes is a repertoire of 15 pen designed to take it the guess-work out of acquiring started illustration fantasy maps through digital tools.

Mountains were one of the points that took me the longest to figure out as soon as I began to draw maps. A large part of the trouble was see them just as individual mountains rather than a cohesive range that is made up of mountains. When you view them together unified and also connected with the remainder of the terrain then with practice your mountains will look much less like they are just stuck on height of her map, however are part of the landscape.

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If she Struggling…

Anyone deserve to learn to draw if they have actually the desire to carry out so and put in the time. Ns am encouraged that arts is 90% skill and also only 10% “talent”; the an excellent news is that an abilities are learned. They aren’t magically born into some people and not others. Even the most talented person still needs to put in the time and also acquire the an abilities before they become great.

So if you monitor this tutorial and struggle, remainder assured that ns did too and also I never ever imagined I would be law a accuse on this to assist others. However if you put in the time and also are doggedly determined to figure it out, you’ll obtain there, i promise.

If you uncovered this useful I would appreciate the if girlfriend pinned this to save for later and to share v your friends. Say thanks to you, and also I look front to see you map your story!