View Full Version : Painting Mountains tutorials?

05 May 2005, 06:19 PM
Anyone know where I can find some good tutorials on painting mountains in photoshop?

05 May 2005, 10:20 AM
I'm also intressted in this :)

05 May 2005, 11:52 AM
I guess it's the usual. Find some good reference, stare at it for a while until you 'get it', and then try to start painting =)

Rabid pitbull
05 May 2005, 09:49 PM
Pretty helpful info there. :sad:

05 May 2005, 10:43 PM
I didn't actually mean to sound sarcastic, if that's what you mean.

Thing is. Painting a mountain isn't like painting an apple. You can give some advice on how to pay attention to the specular properties of the surface, in which order you might paint different things to get it looking right, etc. But a mountain isn't just a mountain, is it? Is it snowy, grassy, rocky, sandy? what are the light conditions? what are the surface properties?
The way to go about painting things really is just to observe what you want to paint, note its characteristics, and then try to reproduce them. You can learn tips and tricks on how to use Photoshop or Painter, but you can't easily learn to employ perspective, value and colour.

IMHO, of course.

How's this though:

establish your horizon line and basic perspective grid
establish your light source and position + weather type
establish what type of terrain you're going to paint
establish a palette
find reference for the type of terrain you want to do - this should also help you establish a palette and give you pointers as to what landscape features there are (type of trees, rocks, etc).

Now block in your shapes using large brushes, the most distant mountains first. If you keep each individual mountain on a separate layer it'll be easier for you to light and shade them since you can turn 'preserve transparency' on, which'll let the layer contents act as a mask. After you've got your shapes, block in the light and shadows as well.
When you're happy with the overall layout and look of them, you can start adding details like trees, rocks, grasses, houses, clouds in the background and so on.

does that help?


05 May 2005, 12:49 AM
Why yes kind sir, it does help. Thank you much. Now I'm new to painting in photoshop, I've just got the hang of painting clouds. So how exactly do I set up a palette? Is there a certain tool that allows me to do this?

05 May 2005, 08:46 AM
i am interested by the tutorial for paint clouds and mountains like Dylan Cole...

05 May 2005, 10:43 AM
We're all interested in that, mate. =)

Anyways. Following this thread, I went on a little hunt last night to find some good reference images. I'm going to try and write up a tutorial on how I'd do mountains tonight or tomorrow. Might learn something in the process!! :)

Rabid pitbull
05 May 2005, 03:26 PM
That is a very good response now! Many people here(myself included) are unsure where to begin with such a task in photoshop. Now all we need is the "happy trees" lesson for photoshop. :)

Thanks for taking the time to answer this question properly.


05 May 2005, 12:33 AM
Right. I've written up a few words about this now.

-> mountain painting tutorial <- (

05 May 2005, 12:51 AM
Hey, thats a great little tutorial, thanks for sharing!

05 May 2005, 10:52 AM
Yes, great tutorial thanks 4 sharing :thumbsup: i wanna paint some mountains now :)

05 May 2005, 11:11 AM
remember, when making mountains especialy, the three perspectives. Value, Linear, and Contrast. As things get farther away they start to lose there color and become one contiguous color(Contrast) and so on.

Rabid pitbull
05 May 2005, 01:54 PM
Gret job Plaf, that is a EXCELLENT response! Really nice lesson there.

05 May 2005, 03:12 PM
hope it's useful.

Voldron: good point, I should really emphasize this consciously as well. I'll do a little revision on there later on. thanks!

05 May 2005, 03:40 PM
Good stuff there, plaf, thanks for the effort.

05 May 2005, 04:15 PM
Very well answered, and good tutorial. :thumbsup:
Thank you for sharing.

Best regards,

05 May 2005, 04:57 AM
Lovely tutorial Plaf!


05 May 2005, 06:32 AM
Thanks Plaf. I couldn't get back to the computer all week. I'm going to bed now, but as soon as I wake up, I'm going use the tutorial. My father found a wacom tablet around the house, and now all I need is a Stylus, and then I should really get going on this kinda stuff. But thanks man, greatly appreciated!:buttrock:

07 July 2005, 06:57 PM
Great tutorials, you're like the digital Bob Ross.

07 July 2005, 07:34 PM
Following a request for a tutorial on how to paint mountains on CGTalk (not painting them ON CGtalk, but painting them, on CGTalk. Or something)
That would be: Following a request on CGTalk for a tutorial on how to paint mountains, I think, just a guess, tho, not my native language. :D

Thanks for putting this together, a really usefull tutorial not just for the mountains but the landscape painting in general. As for the reference pics, I can advise to try those made by the Terragen fans, I don't like the idea of the programm itself but I cannot deny that when it comes to landscapes, it really can do so awesame and realistic effects that you could hardly meet in life. There are some guys from who are quite good at this:

07 July 2005, 09:33 AM
You can find tutorials on clouds and much MUCH more on


07 July 2005, 07:59 PM
nice tutorial. it really helps!!:thumbsup:

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