Winter is cold and unpleasant, but it definitely creates beautiful landscapes. Mountains and tree branches covered with snow, lakes turned into ice… Even if there’s no winter where you live, you can create some winter magic by drawing a snowy scene. In this tutorial I will show you how!
What You Will Need
- Sheet of paper
- HB pencil
- 2B pencil
- 5B pencil
- 8B pencil
- Pencil sharpener
1. How to Sketch the Mountains
Take the HB pencil and sketch the general outline of the mountains with sharp, ragged lines. Press as lightly as possible—the lines should be barely visible.
You can use a reference for this step—for example, one of the mountain photos on PhotoDune.
Draw some “branching” all over the mountains.
Now add branches to these lines. You don’t need to be very careful—draw these lines sharply, chaotically. Nature doesn’t like perfection!
Change your grip to a looser one, to draw with a side of the lead.
Use this grip to shade one side of each branch. This should create a 3D effect.
Change your grip back to the precise one (the one you use for writing), and make the edges of the ridges more detailed.
2. How to Draw Snow on the Mountains
Take the 2B pencil now, tilt it (change the grip) and darken the shadowed side of each ridge. This is supposed to be the area uncovered by the snow. Feel free to press hard to achieve a deep, dark shade.
Continue the process by going lower and lower, leaving some space for the snow. To create a proper pattern, imagine that the snow is sliding over the ridges.
Shade the same side of the ridges some more to create a contrast between the shadowed and the illuminated side.
Tilt the pencil and draw the area uncovered with snow on the other side. Don’t press as hard so that you keep the contrast between both sides.
Take the 5B pencil, make sure it’s sharp, and use it to add details/detailed shading on the shadowed side.
Take the eraser, clean it, and use it to carefully brighten the snow between the ridges. Be careful not to erase the details!
Take the HB pencil, make sure it’s sharp, and use it to create a border between the “naked” rock and the snow layer. You can also add some details (loose rocks) with it.
3. How to Draw a Winter Landscape With Frozen Lake and Trees
If we darken the sky, the contrast will make the snow look whiter. Take the 2B pencil, tilt it, and fill the sky with it. Then blur it using a finger.
Use the eraser to “draw” the clouds. You can learn more about drawing clouds from my tutorial:
Use the HB pencil to outline the shore of the lake. Leave some area of snow between the mountains and the lake.
To create a nicer composition and a sense of scale, sketch some trees that are closer to the viewer than the mountains.
Take the 2B pencil, tilt it slightly, and sketch the branches. Leave some white between them to place snow there.
You can learn more about drawing trees from my tutorial:
Use the HB pencil to draw the outline of the snow. Make it heavy!
Take a well-sharpened 8B pencil and darken the branches, adding some details to them.
Use the 5B pencil to shade the ground under the trees.
Take the HB pencil and sketch more trees going deeper and deeper into the background. This will add a sense of distance.
Shade the trees, with contrast fading as they go deeper into the background.
Add a whole forest of tiny trees under the mountains. Draw them with the 2B pencil, and don’t try to include any details—they can be just a bunch of short lines.
Take the HB pencil and stress the line of the shore again to know exactly where the lake starts.
Take the 5B pencil, tilt it, and draw a very basic reflection of the scene. Ice is not as reflective as water, so don’t worry about the details.
Take the eraser and smudge it over the lake. This will create an effect of a matte reflection.
Scan the drawing or take a photo of it, and don’t forget to clean it up before sharing!
That Was Cool!
Did you like this tutorial? Don’t forget to try others from the Drawing Nature series: