Today we're going to be taking a look at how to draw Mountains on your fantasy map. This is part two of the Ink Worlds Tutorial series. I received good feedback and criticism on part 1 (apologies for the hazy video), and decided to for now focus on written tutorials.
Above you can see the full, step by step process of seven different mountain drawing techniques. I'll give you some commentary on all of them, but my personal favourite is number seven. I've been using this style for most of my more recent maps, and you'll be seeing a lot more of it in the next couple of weeks :)
Techniques number 1, 5 and 6 are really just variations of the same type of mountains. The easiest one is number 1. Draw a few triangles, and have some 'ridgelines' heading from the top to the base of the mountains. It's an easy, fast and reasonably looking style that works well with minimalistic, iconographic types of maps. Number 5 and 6 can be used to spice it up, bring some variation. I personally used number 6 together with either 5 or 1 when I was just starting, as a representation of hills. Leaving a little white at the top of the mountains is universally accepted as there being snow at the peaks. It's nothing fancy, but it's easy and fast. I used a combination of these techniques on several of the published Patreon maps on this page. In the future, I will probably only be using Technique number 7. Let me tell you why.
Technique number 7 is by far my favourite technique of the bunch. I had been struggling around with technique number 4 for a while now, as it created these good-looking mountain chains. Sadly, it takes a lot of time and attention to get them looking just right. As you can see, I pretty much botched them here. The idea is to start with a squiggly line, and draw ridgelines going down from the parts most sticking out. If this is what you're good at, go ahead, but I will always recommend number 7. It's a much simpler style to draw, and quite frankly, I find it looks a lot better as well. You start out with a few spiky squiggles and add ridgelines. From some of the peaks, mainly the larger ones, you draw a larger ridge, basically foothills/lower mountains branching off of the larger mountain range. With a little bit of shading it looks great, and it's a technique I've been using on paid commissions for a while now.
i he above map is an example of me using Technique number 7 in a commissioned map. I will be posting a video tutorial on technique number 7, hopefully later today. Instead of filming it, I will probably draw it using my drawing tablet in Photoshop and screencapture it. Seeing how I haven't quite improved my desk lighting yet.
I hope this tutorial was useful in showing you various different ways of drawing mountains, of varying difficulties. Choose wisely, try a few different styles and settle on what you think looks best. Let me know what you think of this tutorial and leave a comment below :)
Till next time,