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

Step 1: General layout

The first thing to do when drawing a fantasy village is to think of the layout. What sort of terrain features there are can influence your design a lot. A village built near cliffs may have several layers and in the hills you’ll find winding roads.

Step 2: Draw the outlines

The next step is to draw the outlines for the buildings and trees. You can use various shapes for different kind of buildings. Try to imagine what each building actually looks like. A town hall may be larger and have several wings, while a simple farm house or cottage probably won’t have any additions.

Step 3: Add details

With just the outlines it’s hard to make out what the village looks like. Time to add some details, such as the rooflines, dormers and garden fences and walls and roads. This will start to bring your village to life.

Step 4: Flat colours

Time to get started with adding color. The first thing that we need to do is settle on the colors for the village and surrounding terrain. Which colors work best depend a lot on what other colors you use in your map, so play around and see what looks best!

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 color and apply it to the line art.

Step 5: Cast Shadows

Let’s start the shading by thinking of how the buildings and trees cast down shadows. With a light source in the top left corner the shadows will be cast towards the bottom right. Draw in the shadows and try to think of the structures affect their shape.

Step 6: Shadows

Now let’s add shadows to the village. I have my light source in the top left corner. This means that the bottom right side of buildings and trees 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. Add a light stroke around the areas that catch the light, such as the roof lines and trees.

Step 8: Final Details

The final step in colouring is to add some final details. Add some lines in the fields, and add some texture to the roofs. These are small additions, but will make a great difference in the final look!


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!