“An artist must be a reactionary. He has to stand out against the tenor of the age and not go flopping along.” - Andre Maurois
Painting, drawing, and art are both relaxing and creative pursuits. While there was a huge boom in colouring book sales, it quickly plummeted afterwards. That said, painting is becoming more popular.
White backgrounds with pine trees, bears, and alpine lodges are popular amongst many artists.
So why not learn how to draw them?
With coloured pencils, oil paint, or graphite, you’ll soon know how to draw a snowy mountain top!
Art supplies at the ready! In this article, we'll be looking at painting and drawing mountains.
How to Draw a Mountain: Pay Attention
You need to pay attention when drawing real things. Unlike creating something yourself, when you draw a mountain, you need to look at the details to ensure that you capture what makes it real.
Ideally, you want to be looking at some real mountains. It’s harder to get more realistic than the real thing. Of course, not everybody lives opposite or even near a mountain to have the time to sit down and think about them as they draw them.
Furthermore, you can also get a feel for your surroundings. You want to capture the atmosphere and ambience when you draw a landscape. In some cases, you’ll need to take some artistic licence to convey the things you can’t see. In other words, you need to convey how the mountain makes you feel and what they're really like.
To draw well, you need to be in a comfortable place with your sketch pad and pencils. You don’t want to lug all your art supplies up the side of a mountain, after all. A couple of pencils and some paper will do the trick. You need to try and reproduce the shapes of the mountains and their proportions on paper.
If you aren’t lucky enough to live next to some beautiful mountains, you might want to find a photo of some online. You can also copy from somebody else’s work but just for practice. Using this work would be plagiarism.
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What Techniques Should You Use to Draw a Mountain?
Graphite, watercolours, gouache, acrylic paint, oil paints, Indian ink, mixed media, etc., there are plenty of different materials and techniques to choose from to show off your drawing skills.
For those just getting started, we recommend you use a graphite pencil. This means that you’ll be able to correct any mistakes that you make when sketching.
Of course, there are no rules when it comes to what you’d like to use to draw your mountains. On the other hand, it’s not very easy lugging oils and canvases up the side of a mountain either. Most people opt for watercolours when painting nature as you can get watercolour palettes from most art shops. You just need a few paintbrushes, your colours, and some water.
Once you’ve finished your sketch, you can always add colour to it there or take it back with you and finish it at home. Don’t worry too much about your choice at first.
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Drawing a Mountain: The Steps to Follow
Once you’re sitting comfortably in front of your mountain or photo, it’s time to start drawing.
Sketching the Outline
Whether you’re a beginner or experienced artist, you’ll want to start with a sketch. Some experts can skip this step but it’s always a good idea to plan out your drawing with a sketch where you can correct any mistakes quite easily.
Start with the outline of the mountain on your sketch. Follow the contours and summits you see. For more realistic drawings, you need to pay particular attention to the proportions between the various mountains.
In addition to drawing the outlines, you also need to separate the various mountains from one another.
You need to be flexible when doing a sketch. Don’t hesitate to make several marks in the same place. You’ll choose the best one when it’s time to ink. Before then, let your hand go with the flow. You’ll soon start making quick and steady progress.
Even if your drawing isn’t perfect, try to let go.
Discover how to draw beaches.
How to Draw Relief
Once you’ve got the main contours drawn, it’s time to give your drawing some relief. You can also complete this step with a pencil. You always have your rubber if you make a mistake.
As you’ll have noticed, mountains aren’t smooth. You can’t just draw a few triangles alongside each other for a mountain range. To give your drawing more relief, you need to work on areas of light and shadow. Mountains tend to have deep crevasses. You need to darken these areas with your pencil either through crosshatching or shading. This will give your mountains more character.
You can then add some vegetation to the sides of your mountains.
Colouring Your Drawing
You can keep your drawing in black and white if you want, but colour can bring it to life.
Like we explained before, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to adding colour to your art. Acrylics, pastels, markers, coloured pencils, etc., you can even colour your work digitally on a computer.
You can colour your picture realistically, respecting the colours as they appear in real life, or you can colour to accentuate certain areas. You can work with light and shadows to add depth and relief to your images. You need to use colours and darker shades for deeper areas. Soon, your drawing will be finished.
It’s quite complicated making specific marks when drawing a mountain. Some artists prefer to draw realistically whereas others prefer to draw to a feeling. Every artist has their style.
After all, mountains drawn by young children are just as recognisable as mountains as those drawn by adults. Each artist has their techniques, style, and inspiration. The most important thing is to enjoy yourself when you draw.
Learn how to draw houses.
Finding Models to Draw
If you don’t live near a mountain, you’ll have to find examples of mountains you can work from. What better resource than the internet for finding images from all over the world.
You can start by searching for images on Google. Find a copyright-free image and practise drawing. Social networks are also great places to find mountain landscapes. There are plenty of users sharing photos of their holidays in the mountains in both summer and winter.
This is particularly true on networks like Pinterest and Instagram. You can also find drawings and paintings shared by other artists that you can use as inspiration.
There are plenty of examples of images done with charcoal, pastels, pens, inks, and paint on social networks.
The best way to draw better mountains is by regularly drawing mountains. Any artist will tell you that you need to regularly work on your art. Your practice will help you to develop reflexes and drawing will become second nature to you.
By copying or imagining mountains every day, you’ll start to see your work getting better.
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If you don’t want to teach yourself, you can always look for art teachers or tutors to teach you in a workshop, class, or private tutorial.
There are also classes for drawing landscapes. A tour guide and art teacher can accompany you up a mountain and help you as you draw. In addition to showing you how to draw, they’ll also show you the best parts of the mountains to draw.
Drawing and painting classes are also important for learning the techniques you’ll need and developing an understanding of light and shadow, proportion, still life, or life drawing.
You’ll learn how to create drawings and colour them!
If you'd like to take a drawing class, learn about figure drawing, painting techniques, basic drawing, ceramics, or art history, or sculpture, consider getting in touch with a private tutor on Superprof. You can get either face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, or group tutorials.
Each comes with its pros and cons so take your time when deciding what's right for you, your learning style, and your budget. Face-to-face tutorials are more cost-effective but also more costly while group tutorials tend to be cheaper but you won't get as much one-on-one time with your tutor.
Keep in mind that many of the tutors on Superprof also offer the first hour of tuition for free. You can use this time to get to know them, discuss what you want out of your tutorials, and agree upon the conditions of your private tutorials. Try out a few different tutors before you decide on the one that's perfect for you.