how to draw a lightning storm

How to Draw a Lightning Storm

Step 1.

We will begin at the upper left corner of your paper or drawing sheet. Begin sketching out the crack style lines which resemble spider veins. As you can see some of the bolts are thinner then others as well as longer.

Step 2.

Next, you will add some smaller bolts that spider out from the original bolts you just made in step one. Really fine lines as well as thick lines will make up the thunder or lightning bolts as you see here. Also add some soft shading for the light clouds in the sky.

Step 3.

We will sketch in the ground starting with the rolling hills or mountain landscape like so. Color in the landscape and proceed to step four.

Step 4.

This is the line art when complete. You will need to add your own personal touches to make the drawing custom to your likes.

Step 5.

First, I always begin with a base color for the background before I etch in any specific colors. In the next step, I add a reddish hue to the sky to shape the clouds and soon the bolts. With a hard/soft brush hybrid, I add in the lightning bolts. Keep in mind to reference as many lightning bolts to get a feeling for the movement they can be drawn in. Once you've got solid ground on that, it's time to add the other effects to make this storm pop.

Step 6.

Now observe how the lightning painting progresses as I add detail after detail to the atmosphere. At the 4th stage, I add a glow around the bolts that is tinted a reddish tone so it makes the white stand out and blend in at the same time. Then, paint the black skyline to add depth and dimension to the composition. Lastly, paint in the ripples and lightning reflection in the water.

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Uploaded: November 7, 2014
Artist: Dawn
Difficulty: Novice  Novice Skill Level
Steps: 6
Updated: November 8, 2014
P.O.V: Front
Favourited: 14 times
Artist comments

Some parts of the world have days and days of thunderous storms that produce tons of lightning bolts followed by torrential rains. Then there are some places that just have dark skies that produce thick bolts of lightning without any rain at all. Today I will be filling a request that a member/visitor made for me to make a tut on "how to draw a lightning storm", step by step. Of course there isn't much to a lightning storm except crackling bolts of lightning that crash from the skies. I also include a distant background with this lesson because what would a lightning storm be without views of the ground below. In the distance there is a mountain landscape with a sea of water. The water can be a lake, ocean or large river. Drawing lightning isn't always so easy. The realer the bolts, the more complex the lesson. Enjoy folks and stick around for more drawing fun.