Drawing an Outcrop with Pen

In this tutorial we will cover drawing an outcrop with pen. Such outcrops can be used in many settings in a landscape (some of which are shown below) and add great interest to a landscape. Although they look involved, once the concept of creating a plain is understood as illustrated below, they can be drawn quite easily. Let’s get started.

Step 1: Draw an Edge

It is very important to draw an interesting edge with changes in angles as shown below as this is used to create plains in next step. A simple edge will not be visually interesting.

Step 2: Draw Plains from Edge Lines

This is the most important part. Draw lines in the body of the outcrop from edge lines to establish plains. Do this when there is a change in angle of edge line. Notice how the angle of edge line indicates the angle of plain. By having interesting edge angles, interesting plains in the body of outcrop can be drawn.

Step 3: Texture the Plains.

Use parallel lines as shown below to add some tone to the plains. Notice that angle of parallel lines indicate the angle of plain and by changing them, change in angle of plain can be indicated as well.

Step 4: Darken the Tone

Use another layer of parallel lines to further add tone. In addition, darken one end more to further bring out the form of the plains. Study the drawing below. Leave a small layer of white between plains to make them stand apart.

Step 5: Add Tapered Crevices and Edge Irregularities

Finally add tapered crevices and edge irregularities to give it more rough feel. This completes drawing the outcrop.

In the outcrop above, the plains are simple and they run across the body. It is visually more interesting to create more interesting plains, which can be done as shown below for the other side by making them intersect and end in the body of the outcrop. Also edge irregularities and crevices are added initially for the other side.

Notice how the other side has more interesting plains. They are textured with parallel lines as before.

Such outcrops can be part of any landscape and they provide a way to focus the landscape in between them where other interesting focal points like a house, distant forest, mountains etc. can be drawn. Below I finished it by adding few trees as a distant focal point.

Following is another illustration of how interesting plains can be drawn. Make sure you understand the technique to be able to draw such interesting plains and hence such outcrops from your imagination.

Yet another example on the other side. Notice how such plains are more visually interesting than first outcrop drawn earlier with simple plains.

This is finished as before. Here I have drawn a mountain between them as a distant focal point.

If you are not comfortable with parallel lines, then you can use dots and ticks to texture as well. Draw edge and plains as before and then use dots and ticks to texture the plains as shown below. Darken one end of a plain slightly as before to give it some form. In an earlier post, we looked at drawing waterfall step by step. Below I have used outcrops to frame the waterfall.

This completes this tutorial and hopefully you found it useful and inspiring. If so, pl. let me know and any suggestions for improvement. To further learn about drawing pen and ink landscapes, you can check out my pen and ink drawing workbooks and also my completely FREE pen and ink drawing tutorials.

Happy Drawing,


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