What to learn how to paint a mountain in acrylics?
Climbing a mountain might be hard, but learning to paint a mountain in 4 steps (below) is easy-peasy. For all skill levels, even beginners.
These mountains are realistic looking and can be recreated in any mountain landscape, scene. It would even look fabulous as a part of a wall/mural.
Then at the end of this post you’ll find the full step by step tutorial on the entire mountain painting complete with silhouetted trees, cotton candy sunset sky and sparkly stars.
Let’s get started with those majestic mountains, shall we?
How To Paint Mountains – In 4 Steps
The best part of this mountain painting is that you can break it down in 4 steps. Use it to recreate any mountain of any shape, size and orientation.
Before starting the first step, paint in the background sky in any color. Leave to dry before painting your mountain scene. This will make it easier and make the sky look more realistic and in the background.
See the step by step tutorial below where I will show you how to recreate the pink sunset sky.
1. Paint in your mountain shape with base coat/undercoat
Mountains are not straight angular triangles like most of us (including me) would draw one instinctively. Instead they are jaggedly/wobbly lines that form peaks. And each mountain has a different shape too – they are not identical in shape. Keeping those 2 key things in mind, take some black paint and a 1/4″ flat brush, and paint in your mountain range outline.
Keep your strokes nice and loose. It helps to hold your paintbrush in the middle or end of the handle to get random and shaky and random lines.
Once you have your rough shape of the mountains, fill in with a basecoat/undercoat of black paint. Leave to dry
2. Draw A Squiggly Line Down The Middle of Each Mountain
Taking a piece of chalk or a pencil and draw squiggly verticle lines in the middle of each mountain. Just like the mountain shape, keep these lines nice and loose and random and not uniform and nor straight
3. Paint In The Base Layer Of Snow On The Mountain
Take some white paint and mix in just a drop of black to create a very light grey paint. Using your 1/4″ angled brush thats clean and dry (wipe off as much water on a rag as possible), pick up a tiny amount of grey paint. With diagonal strokes paint in “streaks” of grey on the right side of every squiggly line on each mountain.
This method is called dry brushing. We want a streaky look with some of the black still there and showing through. Make sure not to cover all the black.
Now mix in a tiny amount of Ultramarine Blue in your grey mixture to make a blue/grey color. Using the same clean and dry angled brush with the dry brushing method, paint in streaks of blue on the left of every squiggly line (or each black part of the mountain thats remaining).
Use diagonal strokes in the opposite direction. And remember not to cover all the black underneath.
4. Paint In The Highlighted Snow
Using the same dry brushing technique pick up some pure titanium white on your angled brush and add pure white streaks at the tops of each mountain (and along the squiggly lines. Use the same diagonal strokes. Do this sparingly so you don’t cover all the grey and black mountain below.
Mix in some white into the blue/grey mixture from step 3. Use this light blue paint to add in some streaks on the shadowed part of the mountain (using diagonal strokes). Do this sparingly so you don’t cover all the black and blue layers below.
You can make any mountain painting using the 4 step process above as your guideline. This can be done to make small paintings, large paintings and even murals on a wall! The sky is the limit with mountain technique.
If you wan to full step by step tutorial including how to paint the pink sunset sky background and the easy tree landscape, check out the tutorial below.
Mountain Painting Tutorial On YouTube
How To Paint a Mountain Landscape
- 10x10 or 8x8 stretched canvas
- Titanium White
- Mars Black
- Medium Magenta
- Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue
- Ultramarine Blue
- 3/4" flat wash brush
- 1/4" angled brush
- 2/0 detailing brush (or your smallest round brush)
- Paint palette
- Jar of clean water
- Rag/paper towel
- Watch the full Mountain Painting YouTube tutorial here.
- Mix a light yellow by mixing 1 part yellow to 1 part white on your palette. Using your large flat brush paint in the bottom half of the canvas with this light yellow. Use horizontal back and forth strokes to get even coverage.
- Mix a light pink color by mixing in 1 part magenta to 1 part white. Using your large flat brush paint pink above the yellow (leaving 1/4 of the canvas black at the top). Make sure to blend the point where the yellow meets the pink. To blend clean off your brush on a rag (wipe of all paint) and use horizontal back and forth strokes to blend the yellow/pink transition so that it looks like a gradient.
- Mix a light blue color by mixing in 1 part ultramarine blue to 1 part white. Using your large flat brush paint the light blue above the pink. Make sure to blend the point where the pink meets the blue. To blend, clean off your brush on a rag (wipe clean of all paint) and use horizontal back and forth strokes to blend the blue/pink transition so that it looks like a gradient.
- Leave background to dry (5-7 minutes) or use a hair dryer to speed up drying time
- Paint in your mountains using the steps in the post above. Make sure that the mountains are not covering all of the yellow in the sunset. Make the mountain range low enough where some of the yellow shows through some of the mountains.
- Once mountains are painted and dried to the touch, paint in the black hill and 3 trees at the bottom of the canvas (Details in YouTube Video), using black paint and detailing brush
- Draw in crescent moon and stars with white paint and your detail brush