Deserts

In this short step-by-step tutorial you’ll learn how to draw a deserts from start to finish, including the line art, colouring and shading.

Step 1: Start with a basic shape

We’re going to start simple with a basic shape for our sand dunes. This should be smooth, curvy lines to reflect the dunes that are blown up by the desert winds.

Step 2: Draw the dunes

With the general shape of the dunes desired it is no time to draw in the sand dunes themselves. Just like the basic shapes, the lines for these should be curvy and smooth.

Step 3: Add some slopes

Now we’re going to give out dunes some shape by adding lopes to them. Just like before these slopes should be drawn as a smooth curve, gradually getting flatter as it reaches the desert floor.

Step 4: Add details

We’re going to start simple with a basic shape for our sand dunes. This should be smooth, curvy lines to reflect the dunes that are blown up by the desert winds.

Step 5: Flat colors

Time to get started with adding color. The first thing that we need to do is settle on the colors for the desert. Which colors work best depends a lot on what other colors you use in your map, so play around and see what looks best! For this tutorial set I settled on a yellow (ddd18a).

Sometimes the black of the line art can look too stark on your map. In this case you may want to change the color of the line art. Take a very dark shade of the original colors and apply it to the line art.

Step 6: Shadows

Now let’s add shadows to the dunes. I have my light source in the top left corner, so the right side of the dunes will be covered in shadow.

Step 7: Highlights

In this step we’ll add the highlights. We’ll do this the same way that we did with the shadows, except we’ll be drawing with a lighter shade of the colors. Make sure the highlights are on the opposite sides of the shadows.

SKILLSHARE

If you want to learn more about how I draw my maps, visit my Skillshare page, where I have several classes dedicated to drawing fantasy maps!