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How to draw isometric mountains by torstan How to draw isometric mountains by torstan
Isometric hand drawn mountains

Today's tutorial is a quick walkthrough for isometric or forced perspective mountains. This is entirely software agnostic, and is the starting point for maps like this: [link] or this: [link]

This was done with a pen in my lunch break, but can equally be done in Gimp with a mouse, or Photoshop with a tablet.

1. Defined the silhouettes for your mountains. They can be jagged, they can be smooth. Allow your hand to wander and create different shapes. It helps to start with the closest mountain (bottom of the page) and work to the farthest (top of the page)
2. Draw the ridge line. Start at the highest point on a mountain and draw a ridge line to the next in the line of mountains. Don't draw directly to the next peak, offset the end of the line. That will make it look like the ridge drops down and then comes up the far side where it's hidden from the viewer.
3. Add in the details. Here I've taken lines from all of the mini-peaks and drawn flowing lines down the sides of the mountains. Add in a few secondary ridge lines running off down to ground level (like the second mountain from the top on the left hand side)

At this point you have your mountain range. Any more detail added with colour or tone will add to the effect, but you can leave it at this and it'll read just fine as a mountain range.

As always, feel free to share this round. Previous tutorials can be found on the Tutorials page of my website: [link]
Add a Comment:
Faraleigh Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2015  Student Writer
I'm about to embark on drawing a map that includes mountains, and I wanted to go beyond clusters of upside down triangles. I think this is just what I was looking for... Thanks. :)
daniel-mac Featured By Owner May 5, 2013
I have recently started working on my first computer game and I must say that your isometric drawing tutorials are fantastic. I always sucked at drawing anything that's not 2D-looking. I am literally learning how to draw isometric stuff from here, so if I manage to get a first draft version of the game this autumn, be sure I'll link you to a download page and credit you :D
torstan Featured By Owner May 14, 2013
I'm really happy to help. Looking forward to seeing what you create!
daniel-mac Featured By Owner May 16, 2013
I am really happy I have found your account. Saved me a good deal of time. I can't believe how well I'm doing drawing my game maps after only 10 days of practicing with your tuts. I even started drawing the in-game goods (inventory items) based on your food illustrations :D Can't wait to get this baby done, to show you!
torstan Featured By Owner May 17, 2013
wnter06 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012
good job!!!
Reprogrammed Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you! I always have trouble with these.
torstan Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012
You're welcome. Let me know how you get on.
Exodyus Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Hobbyist Interface Designer
<3 I dig it. I downloaded some mountain brushes from somewhere and they're awful renditions, lol... thanks for this!
torstan Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012
You're welcome! Brushes are great, but it's always better to be able to create them yourself from scratch.
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Submitted on
February 28, 2012
Image Size
63.8 KB


298 (who?)

Camera Data

iPhone 4S
Shutter Speed
1/60 second
Focal Length
4 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Feb 28, 2012, 1:25:43 PM
Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 Macintosh