Mohammadpur, Dhaka |

How to Draw the Desert

Dr Ahsanur Rahman, PHD

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To draw the desert, you can follow easy step-by-step tutorials available on YouTube and other websites. These tutorials will guide you in creating a simple and beautiful desert scene or specific elements like desert animals, plants, or landscapes.

By following these tutorials, you can learn how to draw a desert easily and create impressive art.

Materials And Preparation

Before you embark on your artistic journey to draw the desert, it’s important to gather the necessary materials and create a conducive workspace. In this section, we will discuss what you’ll need and how to set up your workspace to ensure a smooth drawing experience.

What You’ll Need

  • Paper: Choose a sturdy drawing paper, preferably one with a smooth texture that can accommodate various drawing techniques.
  • Pencils: Invest in a set of graphite pencils with different levels of hardness, ranging from 2H (hard) to 6B (soft). This will allow you to achieve a wide tonal range in your drawings.
  • Eraser: Have a good-quality eraser handy to correct any mistakes or make subtle adjustments to your artwork.
  • Drawing board: Secure your paper to a drawing board using clips or tape to prevent it from moving during the drawing process.
  • Reference images: Collect reference images of deserts from books, magazines, or the internet to inspire and guide your drawing.

Once you have collected these essential materials, you’re ready to create your desert masterpiece.

Setting Up Your Workspace

Creating an organized and comfortable workspace will help you focus on your drawing without any distractions. Follow these steps to set up your ideal drawing environment:

  1. Find a well-lit area: Natural light is preferable, but if that’s not possible, use a bright desk lamp to illuminate your workspace.
  2. Clean and declutter: Clear your workspace of any unnecessary objects or clutter to create a clean and distraction-free area.
  3. Arrange your materials: Keep your pencils, eraser, and reference images within easy reach. Organize them in a way that suits your preference and promotes efficiency.
  4. Comfortable seating: Choose a comfortable chair with good back support to ensure you can focus on your drawing for extended periods without discomfort.

By implementing these tips, you can create an environment that fosters creativity and allows you to fully immerse yourself in the drawing process.

How to Draw the Desert
How to Draw the Desert 4


Creating The Background

When drawing a desert scene, creating the background is essential to set the tone and atmosphere of the artwork. The background elements such as the horizon line, sand dunes, desert rocks, and mountains are crucial in capturing the vastness and beauty of the desert landscape. In this section, we will explore each of these background elements in detail to help you create a captivating desert drawing.

Sketching The Horizon Line

The first step in creating the background of your desert drawing is to sketch the horizon line. The horizon line represents the meeting point of the sky and the ground. To sketch the horizon line, start by determining the vanishing point, which is the point at which parallel lines converge. Once you have identified the vanishing point, draw a straight line across your paper, dividing it into two sections – the sky and the ground. Remember to keep the horizon line horizontal to create a realistic perspective.

Adding Sand Dunes

Next, it’s time to add sand dunes to your desert drawing. Sand dunes are iconic features of deserts and add texture and depth to the background. To create sand dunes, start by drawing curved lines or crescent shapes in the ground section above the horizon line. Vary the size and shape of the sand dunes to make them look more natural. Use shading techniques such as cross-hatching or stippling to add dimension to the sand dunes and give the illusion of texture.

Incorporating Desert Rocks And Mountains

Incorporating desert rocks and mountains into your background adds visual interest and complexity to your desert drawing. To draw desert rocks, start by sketching irregular shapes or boulders on the ground section of your drawing, making sure to vary the sizes and positions for a realistic effect. Use shading techniques such as hatching or stippling to add volume and create the illusion of three-dimensionality.

For drawing desert mountains, start by drawing triangular shapes that gradually decrease in size as they go higher, resembling the natural formation of mountains. Use shading techniques to add depth and detail to the mountains, paying attention to how the light falls on the different surfaces.

Drawing Desert Flora And Fauna

Learn how to draw the desert and its diverse flora and fauna in an easy step-by-step process. From desert plants to desert animals, this tutorial will guide you in creating beautiful desert-themed drawings. Explore the artistry of the desert with helpful tips and techniques.

When it comes to capturing the essence of the desert in your drawings, it’s important to depict not only the vast arid landscape, but also the unique flora and fauna that thrive in this challenging environment. In this section, we will explore how to draw cacti and succulents, add desert flowers and shrubs, and depict desert animals, all bringing your desert scene to life.

Drawing Cacti And Succulents

Cacti and succulents are iconic symbols of the desert, known for their ability to thrive in dry conditions. To draw these xerophytic plants, follow these simple steps:

  1. Start by sketching the basic shape of the plant, using simple geometric forms like circles or triangles.
  2. Add curved lines to create the contours and texture of the plant.
  3. Use short, overlapping lines to define the spikes or thorns.
  4. Add shading to create depth and dimension.

Remember to observe different types of cacti and succulents to incorporate specific characteristics into your drawing, such as the round shape of a barrel cactus or the segmented pattern of a prickly pear.

Adding Desert Flowers And Shrubs

Desert flowers and shrubs add pops of color and life to your desert drawing. Here’s how you can include them:

  1. Start by sketching the overall shape of the flower or shrub.
  2. Add details such as petals, leaves, and thorns using curved lines.
  3. Consider the unique characteristics of desert flora, like the trumpet shape of a desert lily or the small rounded leaves of a creosote bush.
  4. Use varying pressure and shading techniques to add depth and texture to your drawing.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors to make your desert flowers and shrubs vibrant and captivating.

Depicting Desert Animals

Desert animals are incredibly adapted to survive in harsh desert conditions. Here’s how to draw them:

  • Research and study the specific animal you want to draw, paying attention to their unique features and characteristics.
  • Start with basic shapes to establish the overall form of the animal.
  • Add details such as facial features, limbs, and tails.
  • Use reference images to guide you in capturing the textures and patterns of the animal’s fur or skin.
  • Experiment with shading and highlighting techniques to add depth and realism to your drawing.

Remember to consider the specific adaptations of desert animals, such as the long ears and powerful hind legs of a jackrabbit or the hump and wide feet of a camel.

With these tips in mind, you are well on your way to creating a captivating desert scene that showcases the unique flora and fauna of this arid landscape.

Adding Details And Textures

Once you have sketched out the basic shape of your desert landscape, it’s time to add those crucial details and textures that will bring it to life. In this section, we’ll explore three key elements: creating realistic sand textures, adding shading and highlights, and emphasizing the ruggedness of rocks and mountains. Let’s dive in!

Creating Realistic Sand Textures

When it comes to drawing the desert, achieving a realistic sand texture is essential. To do this, start by lightly shading the entire sandy area with short, horizontal strokes using a pencil or a digital drawing tool. This will establish a base layer of texture.

Next, add finer details to mimic the texture of grains of sand. With a sharp pencil or a smaller brush size, create tiny dots or irregular shapes within the shaded area. Vary the size and spacing of these marks to add variation and depth to your sand texture.

To add even more realism, consider using references or studying photos of actual sand dunes or desert landscapes. This will help you understand the unique patterns and formations that occur in different types of deserts.

Adding Shading And Highlights

Shading and highlighting are key techniques for adding depth and dimension to your desert drawing. To create shading, identify the primary light source in your composition and imagine where shadows would naturally fall. Use hatching or cross-hatching techniques to add depth and shadow to objects such as rocks, cacti, and landforms.

For highlights, imagine where the light source would hit the objects and create areas of lighter tones or even white. This will give your drawing a sense of the sunlight casting its glow on the desert landscape.

Remember to keep your shading and highlighting consistent throughout the entire drawing to maintain a cohesive and realistic look.

Emphasizing The Ruggedness Of Rocks And Mountains

Rocks and mountains play a significant role in defining the ruggedness of the desert landscape. To emphasize this ruggedness, start by sketching out the basic shape of the rocks and mountains using bold, jagged lines.

Next, add shading and texture to create the illusion of rough surfaces. Use short, quick strokes or cross-hatching to give the rocks and mountains a weathered and craggy appearance.

Additionally, consider adding cracks or crevices to make them look more realistic. Pay close attention to the direction of your strokes, following the shape of the rocks and mountains to enhance their three-dimensional quality.

Remember, practice is key when it comes to mastering these techniques. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different textures, shading styles, and lighting effects to create a desert scene that is uniquely yours.

Bringing Your Desert Scene To Life

To truly bring your desert scene to life, it’s essential to pay attention to the small details and incorporate elements that make the environment feel realistic. In this section, we will explore how to add a desert sky, incorporate a sunset or sunrise, and enhance your drawing with additional elements.

H3adding A Desert Sky/h3

One of the key elements in a desert scene is the sky, which plays a crucial role in setting the mood. To create a realistic desert sky, start by selecting the appropriate colors for your drawing. Typically, desert skies have shades of blue, turquoise, and hints of orange or pink. Begin by applying a light wash of blue as the base color, gradually adding layers of darker hues to create depth.

Once you have the base color in place, consider adding subtle cloud formations to the sky. This can be achieved by gently brushing on white or light gray paint in soft, wispy strokes. Be sure to leave some areas of the sky untouched to create a sense of openness.

To enhance the realism of the desert sky, you can also add a touch of warmth by incorporating a gradient effect. Starting from the horizon, blend in shades of orange or pink, gradually fading into the blues of the sky. This transition will mimic the natural colors seen during sunrise or sunset.

H3incorporating A Sunset Or Sunrise/h3

One of the most captivating moments in the desert is the sunrise or sunset. To incorporate this spectacular event into your drawing, focus on creating a vibrant and striking sky. Begin by applying a yellow or orange hue near the horizon, gradually blending it into a deeper shade as you move upward. This will mimic the warm glow of the sun.

Next, add in the sun itself. Keep in mind the position of the light source and decide where it will be placed in your drawing. Use a lighter shade of yellow or white paint to create a circular shape for the sun, being mindful of the size and proportion.

To add depth and dimension to your sunrise or sunset, consider adding silhouettes of desert elements such as cacti, palm trees, or sand dunes. These darkened shapes against the colorful sky will make your drawing more visually appealing and add a sense of scale to the scene.

H3enhancing Your Drawing With Additional Elements/h3

While the desert sky and sunrise/sunset are essential elements, incorporating additional elements can further enhance your drawing. Consider adding desert plants such as cacti and succulents, as well as rocks, sand dunes, or even animals like camels or lizards.

Use varying shades of green and browns to depict the plants, creating texture and depth. Experiment with different brush techniques, such as stippling or cross-hatching, to bring these elements to life. Don’t forget to pay attention to the details, such as the spines on a cactus or the scales on a reptile.

Including foreground elements like a winding path, footprints in the sand, or small desert flowers can add interest and draw the viewer’s eye into the scene. These details will make your drawing more realistic, allowing viewers to feel as if they are standing in the desert themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Draw The Desert

Can You Give Me A Step-by-step Guide On Drawing A Desert Scene?

Drawing a desert scene is easy with these simple steps:
– Start with a horizontal line for the horizon. – Add the sand dunes by drawing curved lines. – Draw a cactus and other desert plants. – Add details like rocks and camels. – Finally, color your drawing to bring it to life!

What Are Some Tips For Drawing A Realistic Desert Landscape?

To create a realistic desert landscape drawing, follow these tips:
– Study reference photos of deserts to understand the shapes and colors. – Use shades of brown and yellow for the sand. – Add texture to the sand by using short, light strokes. – Include various desert elements like cacti, rocks, and tumbleweeds. – Create depth by using lighter colors for distant objects.

How Can I Make My Desert Drawing More Visually Appealing?

To make your desert drawing visually appealing, try these techniques:
– Use contrasting colors for the sky and sand to make them stand out. – Add shadows and highlights to create depth and dimension. – Include small details like footprints in the sand or a distant oasis. – Experiment with different compositions, such as a winding path or leading lines. – Use a variety of textures to add visual interest to your drawing.


Drawing the desert can be a fun and creative way to showcase the beauty of this unique landscape. By following simple steps and using basic shapes, you can create a stunning desert scene. Start by sketching out the horizon line and then add in sand dunes, cacti, and other desert elements.

Use earthy tones and textures to bring your drawing to life. Remember to take your time and enjoy the process. With a little practice, you’ll be able to capture the essence of the desert on paper. So what are you waiting for?

Grab your pencils and start drawing your very own desert masterpiece! Protection Status