Shop More Submit  Join Login
×




Details

Submitted on
January 7, 2013
Image Size
58.9 KB
Resolution
1000×347
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
3,808 (2 today)
Favourites
159 (who?)
Comments
14
Downloads
106

Camera Data

Make
Apple
Model
iPhone 4S
Shutter Speed
1/40 second
Aperture
F/2.4
Focal Length
4 mm
ISO Speed
50
Date Taken
Jan 7, 2013 4:20:14 PM -05:00
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 Macintosh
×
How to Draw Realistic Coastlines by torstan How to Draw Realistic Coastlines by torstan
Here's a quick tutorial to get back into the swing of things for 2013. I was asked about drawing coastlines. This is just a technique question so it's software agnostic.

1. Starting point

Here's the basic shape of the coastline - this is what I see a lot in turnover sketches at the early design stage. It's very blobby and indistinct, and looks nothing like a real coastline. The key is the regularity and smoothness of the line

2. Break it up!

I've followed the general shape of the coastline, but broken the line into a more jagged pattern. Some regions are almost sawtoothed. Try not to make features and variations the same size. Coastlines are fractal - they should look similarly broken up at a range of different zoom levels. Add some smooth coves for beaches to give variety (like the beach under the 2.)

Add islands along the coast. I tend to add them off peninsulas - where a spur of rock stretches out into the sea and leaves a trail of islands pointing out - or in inlets where the islands can mimic the shape of the negative space.

3. Edge detail

At this stage I've added a range of marks to the land to indicate the structure of the coastline and hint at hills, valleys, and the form of that beach I mentioned earlier. A lot of coastline has a sharp drop to the sea, and these lines hint at that structure.

For more hints and tips see the Tutorials section of my blog: [link]

Ask any questions in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconva1th:
Va1th Featured By Owner May 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very nice. I've looked through all of your tutorials and I'd be interested to see a simple one on different methods for drawing a desert landscape.
Reply
:icontorstan:
torstan Featured By Owner May 18, 2013
Good call. I've added it to the list.
Reply
:iconamberwillow:
amberwillow Featured By Owner May 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
used your how-to here: [link]

thanks! :)
Reply
:icontorstan:
torstan Featured By Owner May 14, 2013
Good job!
Reply
:iconnitedaemon:
NiteDaemon Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
I always struggle with this whenever I try to draw maps. Thank you so much for sharing~!
Reply
:icontorstan:
torstan Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
No problem - hope it goes well.
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for this. ;)
Reply
:icontorstan:
torstan Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
You're welcome.
Reply
:iconscotlandtom:
ScotlandTom Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A nice little guide to hand-drawn coastlines. The point about smooth areas for beaches is a particularly easy one to forget. There are some amazingly straight and smooth coastlines in reality that I find are often overlooked features in fictional maps.
Reply
:icontorstan:
torstan Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
Definitely - there are some odd coastlines out there.
Reply
Add a Comment: