This is definitely the week of mountain ranges. I had a question on reddit on how to draw mountain ranges that go east-to-west rather than north to south. Here’s a very quick tutorial on the difference. If you want to go deeper into the north-south version, check out this earlier tutorial on mountain ranges.
The hotizontal version is very similar – with a few tweaks.
1. Draw the ridgeline
With a horizontal mountain range, you’ll definitely see the ridgeline. Start at where the base of the range is going to be – and draw a line that steps up as you get to successively higher peaks. At the other end, step down in the same way. I’ve decided at the far right to bring the ridgeline around, and have it come out towards the viewer. If you want it to be truly horizontal, make sure you’re ridgeline ends up at about the same level it began at.
2. Draw the secondary ridges that come down from the peaks
Even though your primary ridgeline goes left to right, the peaks have many other ridges, and they will go in all directions. Draw in ridgelines that come down from the peaks towards the viewer, away from the viewer. These will define the bulk and form of the range, and will give you valleys between them that lead into the range. These can overlap, but if they do, make sure one is clearly in front of the other.
3. Add all the detail
At this stage, we draw all the details of the terrain that falls away from all of our ridges. This gives the form to the skeleton we drew. It doesn’t have to be neat. We’re just looking for a sense of form here, and the viewer will do the rest of the work. Note that here we now show that between each two secondary ridge lines, we get a valley.
If you want to take this further, you can follow this tutorial on how to shade and colour your mountain range.
There’s lots more tutorials on the blog, or leave a comment if there’s a tutorial you’d like to see.