How to Draw Stones With Pen

In this post, I will demonstrate how to draw stones with pen. Stone is a great addition to any landscape scene as it is relatively easy to draw and really helps to anchor a scene and creates simple focal points. Follow this tutorial to learn how to draw a stone in simple steps.

To understand how to draw a stone, it is useful to visualise a box. When seen in three quarter view, which is most interesting, you can see its left side, right side and top. Same is the case with a stone. You just need to make the sides irregular and add marks to show surface texture of the stone.

a box

To believably depict a stone you need to accomplish following 2 things:

  1. Show its solidity by defining planes and shading them appropriately to bring out their solidity.
  2. Use various marks and other techniques to bring out the rough texture of the stone.

Drawing Stone:

To draw a stone, follow the steps shown below. First the planes (left, right and top) are drawn with lines. Next they are shaded to bring out solidity and finally additional marks are added to enhance its texture.

pen and ink tutorial, drawing stone in pen and ink

By varying the length and angles of lines for different sides, you can create many interesting shapes. Some examples are shown below. Angled top is always more appealing.

pen and ink tutorial, drawing stone in pen and ink

Following are some more examples of drawing stone outline.

drawing stone outline

Following is how to texture simple stone outline to bring out a feel of stone.

drawing stone

Parallel lines are use to give tone to the sides above but dots and ticks can be used as well as shown below.


Very fine dots can be used to create fine tone control as shown below. Choose the technique based on the feel for stone you want to convey.


It is also very important to have overall tone on one side darker than other side depending on direction of light. If light (Sun) is on the right side, then right side will receive more light and hence lighter in tone than left side which will receive less light. Use appropriate level of stroke (parallel lines or dots) to achieve that. This is done in example above and all other examples.

Finishing a stone:

To give rough texture to stone, darken the edges irregularly and use tapered marks as shown below from edges and in the body. This indicates edge roughness and cuts in the body of stone.

pen and ink tutorial, drawing stone in pen and ink

For more roughness, other planes can be added as shown below.

pen and ink tutorial, drawing stone in pen and ink

In addition to tapered crevices, random dots, ticks and small crevices can be added to give stone a rough feel.

pen and ink tutorial, drawing stone in pen and ink

Drawing Stone with Multiple Planes:

Above we looked at stones with a left and a right side. Same concept can be extended to draw stones with multiple sides. Key is to create an outline with change in angle corresponding to a side. These concepts are further explained in my Vol 3. pen and ink drawing workbook.

pen and ink tutorial, drawing stone in pen and ink

Drawing Rounded Stone:

Instead of distinct sides, rounded stones have overall curved sides. They are drawn by starting with an overall rounded form in which sides and top are defined as shown below. Dots, ticks and small tapers can be used to finish as discussed earlier.


Difference between these and angular stones we saw before is lack of sudden change of plane on sides to create distinct sides. By using different shapes for outline and sides, limitless stones of this kind can be drawn. Following are some more examples. Notice that in the following example, I have used additional set of parallel lines to give 3 tone variation to sides. This helps to give sides more form.


Dots and ticks can be used to draw rounded stones as well as shown below.


Above there is a distinct change in tone from side to top to give a feel of distinct side. By using a gradual change in tone, sides vanish and an overall rounded stone results as shown below.


Parallel lines can be used as well but be careful to do gradual tone change to avoid sides.


There are many other type of stones as depicted below. Drawing them is discussed in detail in vol 3 of my pen and ink drawing workbooks.

Drawing a Group of Stones:

Always start with the stone in front first and follow the steps described earlier but don’t draw the plane lines that are not visible due to stone arrangement. Make stones further out smaller to reinforce perspective. Finish the stones as explained before.

pen and ink tutorial, drawing stone in pen and ink

Same steps can be used for stones going down as shown below. Stones should also become smaller with distance. Also note that in examples below, less dark is used for shading to give stones more of sunlit effect. Experiment with different levels of shading to see what you like.

pen and ink tutorial, drawing stone in pen and ink

Following is another step by step illustration of drawing group of stones:


Using Stones in Drawing:

Due to their size, stones are usually used in the foreground. They go very well with water, wooden posts etc as shown in some of the drawings below. Learn to draw the following drawings step by step.

This completes the tutorial on how to draw stone. Remember to Practice and have fun. Drawing stones is discussed in detail in vol 3 of my pen and ink workbooks. Try it today. If you liked the content, do consider a small donation to help me write more of such content/

Happy Drawing,


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