Composition Themes with Video Demonstration: Mountains

A mountain is usually at the back in a landscape with other elements in front of it. Depending on its size and position, it can either be main element of the landscape or it can be a secondary focal point. Mountains can be drawn in many different ways and different techniques gives different feel to them. Techniques for drawing mountain is discussed in detail in drawing Mountain tutorial.

Mountains can be used in compositions in following 2 ways.

Theme 1: Mountain as a backdrop

In this theme, there are other elements in fore ground which are main focal points with mountain in the distance as secondary focal point. These fore ground elements are drawn first and then the mountain. The size of the mountain usually ends up smaller as the landscape is receding into the distance.

Video Demonstration (Demo 16): Mountain with Surface Plains.

In this demonstration, parallel lines are used to texture the mountain and difference in tones is used to indicate planes on its body as discussed in technique 1 in drawing mountain tutorial.  Notice how tree trunks and flowers are primary focal point with mountain a secondary focal point. drawing mountains

Theme 2: Mountain as the Main Element

In this theme, mountain is the main element and other foreground elements are not used to take focus away from the mountain. A distant element at the base of the mountain is usually used to provide transition from ground to the mountain.

Video Demonstration (Demo 52): Mountain with rounded layered forms.

This is another technique for drawing mountain where layers of rounded forms are used to give it a different feel. The focus here is on the mountain with no foreground elements. A tree line at the base of the mountain is used to provide transition from the ground to the mountain. drawing mountains-2.gif

Following is another technique for drawing mountain with explicit indication of sharp planes. More interesting receding ground plains are used to add more visual interest to the landscape but the mountain is till the main focal element.

Video Demonstration (Demo 19): Mountain with Sharp Planes.

pen and ink tutorial -mountains 3

In the following demonstration, drawing reflection of mountain in the water is demonstrated. Technique discussed in Theme 1 is used to draw the mountain.

Video Demonstration (Demo 29): Reflection of Mountain in the water.

pen and ink tutorials -mountains 4


Watch the above demonstrations along with tutorial to learn how to draw mountains as main element or as a distant element. Try some compositions of your own and practice often.

Have fun,


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Back to Composition overview.

One response to “Composition Themes with Video Demonstration: Mountains

  1. Thank you! An excellent tutorial.

    Sent from my huge new 27″ Illudium Q-42 Explosive Space Modulator, hand-built by former Keebler elves.

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