How to Draw a Cartoon Valley

Cartoon valley drawing

In this landscape drawing lesson, let's tackle a cartoon valley - something very popular when it comes to backgrounds and backdrops for your cartoons.

A circle-type tool such as a protractor or compass can really come in handy here - but really, a careful 'swoop' of the wrist, and you should be able to sketch some truly nice looking hills - similar to the ones you see above.

OK - into the valley we go...

First Step - Plan and Design Your Cartoon Valley

To begin, let's divide our working area into two, with a simple lightly sketched horizontal line across the page. If you want - sketch in a few... anything to help subdivide key regions, helping with your overall visualization of what you're about to be drawing, and how you're going to go about it.

Here's what I came up with...

Dividing the cartoon valley drawing with a line
Mapping out the mountains of the cartoon valley
Mapping out hills, valleys and the river of the cartoon valley

Using colors similar to those you see elsewhere on the site - helping to map out the various parts of a framework... here I've done the same - outlining key components.

Which components?

Well... the blue lines help to bring forth the hills, and the sun as well. The green line will soon be a river. And something else... the orange lines, used to map out areas where I'd like to sketch in some large groupings of evergreens.

In short, a little planning goes a long way - same as it would in any large-scale painting project.

Second Step - How to Draw a Cartoon Valley

Where to begin... well - how about with the trees. At various areas - the hills will be seen to emerge from behind groupings of trees. This is because the beginning of each hill is obscured by the tops of the trees, as they tower above the base.

As you can see in the first step here, I've kept things SUPER SIMPLE - with respect to drawing the trees. No way are they really this basic-looking, but given the fact that this is a cartoon - and that they're pretty far away judging by the image at hand... they'll do just fine! :-)

Here goes...

Drawing the trees of the cartoon valley
Drawing the hills of the cartoon valley
Drawing more trees in the cartoon valley
Drawing the river in the cartoon valley
Creating land borders in the cartoon valley
Drawing mountains in the distance in the cartoon valley
Black and white drawing of a cartoon valley

If you did the cartoon beach lesson from before, you'll notice the clouds here - the sun and birds too... are pretty much the same. And this is helpful, as you can compare differences between the two. Subtle changes in lines to reveal an entirely different place in the world!

Colored - here's what our valley looks like...

Colored drawing of a cartoon valley

Again - just like with the beach from before, this'll make for a nice and simple background.


With the addition of some gradients - dark greens to light greens, light blues to dark blues, etc.... things look even better!

Drawing of a cartoon valley

In the end, with some well-placed lines - yes, just lines this time... drawing a valley becomes all the more doable. Shape-wise of course - those hills could be parts of circles, and the trees - little triangles scattered all over.

And there it is!

I hope you had fun with this drawing lesson. :-)