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How To Draw Classic Fantasy Castles

Updated on June 24, 2011

Castle Drawing: A Few Rules To Sketch By

Just like drawing anything, castles have their own way of drawing them and these are what make them look rather good, but first there is an excellent resource that has lots of reference pictures of castles and castle ruins from all over the world and it is great to take parts of existing castles and make your own fantasy castle that just exists in your own made up worlds.

Here is that website:

Castles Of The World

Now there are only a few rules that I like to apply to my castles, just avoid these rules if you'd rather do your own castles.

First - The castle has to be located on an impossibly balanced ruin of a mountain as that is part of the charm of castles.

Second - Lots of towers equals a large castle

Third - A full moon in the background with lots of dark clouds just sets it off for me.

Fourth - A visible entrance or doorway.

And that is the simple rules that I myself always go by when drawing castles.

A Shaded Castle Drawing

Castle Drawing concept sketch that just served as a reminder for me, What way to draw this castle for a graphic novel cover project. Castle Drawing by Wayne Tully Copyright  2010
Castle Drawing concept sketch that just served as a reminder for me, What way to draw this castle for a graphic novel cover project. Castle Drawing by Wayne Tully Copyright 2010

Setting Up The Castle Scene

How to draw a castle.
How to draw a castle. | Source

A Castles First Lines

 The initial drawing stage of working out your castle drawing is the best stage for drawing it is the process of making your drawing work based on an idea that you may have at the back of your mind or at the forefront of your creative thoughts.

Seeing this idea transfer to paper is the exciting part and most satisfying when you get it right almost straight away. Castles always work best when you look at what castles look like today in real life and then do the exact opposite when it's time to draw the castle building.

The drawing to the right is the essential foundation of the next stage, which is as I always say, the defining stage, the process of filling in some of the gaps by random lines and made up pencil marks to form the basis of your castle building as best you can to your ability.

Defining The Towers And Structure Of The Castle

Drawing a fantasy castle.
Drawing a fantasy castle. | Source

Towers And Details Of Your Castle

 It's important to draw and define your towers and windows at this point as well as some structural issues to help support the fact that your castle is standing on one of the worlds most unstable mountain ruins.

At this point, adding more solid lines that you know are going to stay is the order of the day and also finding out where your light source is going to come from is important for the next step.

The details don't have to be exact at this stage as you can work this out in the trasition of this step to the next and be sure that all of your composition works because next we wil start to add some of the background elements to create a scene that looks like it exists and is part of a full fantasy world.

Heavier Pencil Work To Make Your Castle Drawing Permanent

Drawing a castle - Watch as it unfolds before your eyes.
Drawing a castle - Watch as it unfolds before your eyes. | Source

Drawing Harder Pencil Lines

 The drawing starts to show through at this stage and you can still change some stuff at this point, and when you add the heavier pencil lines you get to know where your castle drawing is headed.

The idea here is to define everything and see what it looks like for the ext stage of inking in black ink.

Black Ink The Castles Pencil Lines

A little black ink and working out where the dark recesses go. Castle art by Wayne Tully Copyright  2010
A little black ink and working out where the dark recesses go. Castle art by Wayne Tully Copyright 2010

Use Black Fine Liners To Ink Over Your Pencil Lines

Inking the castle at this stage makes the castle drawing more permanent and working out the recesses of the darkness that the moon will cast upon the castle subject.

At this stage of the castle drawing I have started to add a little shading on the mountains and this will be finished in the final stages of the castles drawing.

Finish The Shading Of Your Castle Design

The final castle concept design. Drawing Castles by Wayne Tully Copyright  2010
The final castle concept design. Drawing Castles by Wayne Tully Copyright 2010

Adding The Final Touches Of Shading To Your Castle

 After all of this sketching lightly and then inking, we go over the shading to create more depth in your concept castle drawing, I like drawing and adding depth to mountainous rubble and the final castle drawing you can really draw them anyway you want, the castle can be a fixed point and actually part of the mountain or something entirely different, this little drawing tutorial is not meant to make you draw the way I do or something like that, I wanted to write and draw a step by step guide just to give a few pointers as to draw a fantasy castle, the rest is up to you as an artist...Go draw castles...and maybe make your own hubpage about it!!

Drawing Fantasy Landscapes Buy The Book On Amazon

Fantasy Castle Drawing Comments

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    • rjsezack profile image

      Robert Wolfe 2 years ago from Ft. Worth, TX

      Thanks for the help. I have just taken up Art, Pencil art that is.

    • profile image

      rg 3 years ago

      Cool

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 5 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      I'll be doing more drawing and painting tutorials and videos in the future, so look for them soon cheers now!

    • profile image

      Olivia :) 5 years ago

      Any ideas on how to become a better drawer please. I LOVE drawing and I am good but I wanna get better. I practice a lot, and I wanna be better at shading... any tips??? Do you paint? I also wanna paint, I suck at it but I really wanna learn!! If you paint could you give me some tips to become better at everything about it, I really am bad lol thanks

    • profile image

      Silverash 5 years ago

      Not bad! I like the rules.. keeps it relatively simple

    • profile image

      Livv 5 years ago

      I love fantasy art, I practice a lot and hope to be as good as you one day! x

    • profile image

      L . Bhuvaneshwari 5 years ago

      I love and love and love and love haunted castles

    • Johnjfernando profile image

      John Chandra 5 years ago

      That's Amazing!

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 5 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers now! A simple way of looking at it is if light is coming from one direction, then the exact opposite direction will be the shadow area, so for example the left side light is shining on objects, then the right side of the objects will be in shadow or gradual tones....

      I think I'll be creating a hubpage about this and shading too soon!

    • Ania L profile image

      Ania L 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great hub but as always I've got in trouble when you mentioned the light source - even if I decide where the lights is going from it still doesn't tell me anything about where to draw shadows. I'm not an artist, I just can't see it. Is there any logical rule or something I could use to do know how to do it?

    • profile image

      nad 6 years ago

      its fantastic

    • profile image

      Draw Fantasy Art 6 years ago

      Cheers now! Yes I really drew that castle, whilst not a perfect castle it is nevertheless an idea of one that people can take away and draw for themselves or draw something entirely different and better.....Art is what you make it and drawing fantasy art is about exploring your imagination!

    • profile image

      steve macintire 6 years ago

      lol wat ar u tlkin bout lol xx i love tht drawin nd by the way hav u really drew tht........

    • profile image

      rinu 6 years ago

      the pictures should be big

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 6 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers now! Have done a few of these drawing hubpages so far and there's more to come, thanks for stopping by!

    • bonnebartron profile image

      bonnebartron 6 years ago from never one place for too long

      Very nice, I like your perspective on the castle.... Very Comic bookie! ;)

    • profile image

      sweetie 6 years ago

      i love this.it is so cool

    • Manna in the wild profile image

      Manna in the wild 6 years ago from Australia

      Nice work. Without drawing and art I would go insane!

    • profile image

      Tash 6 years ago

      Wow these castles are challenging but fun to draw!!

    • woodpusher329 profile image

      woodpusher329 6 years ago from abilene texas

      hey this is the kid that said hed be using some of ur drawings to get a losse grip on a flash book... welll i drew some stuff u should check out my hub it has a few things i drew https://hubpages.com/community/some-art-I-will-be-... and u could be my first follower :)

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 6 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Thanks Linda!

    • LindaJM profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 6 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Wonderful... I appreciate all the drawing help I can get!

    • profile image

      ME 6 years ago

      Wow these are some really awesome drawings. i so wish i had the skills to draw that well. Nice job

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 6 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers now!....yeah I get 50, 60 or sometimes over a 100 hits a day on each drawing hubpage tutorial.....I've begun to increase my out put with these drawing tutorials now and will continue to create them in varying areas of art.

    • MKayo profile image

      MKayo 6 years ago from Texas

      You make the process of drawing look so easy. Great stuff. Do you get a lot of visitors to your drawing hubs?

    • Tom_Radford profile image

      Tom_Radford 6 years ago from London

      Great stuff. Nice bold simple pictures. I used to love drawing castles.

    • profile image

      Janeah 6 years ago

      OMG! i am 10 and i love to draw... i wanted to learn how to draw castles and i just drew it!!!!! I love this castle!. I will cherish it forever!...i hope

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 6 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers there Pcunix!

      I've got more in the pipeline, just a good few of them will be going on my blog and then I could rewrite some and do new drawings for over here too!!

      I hope you find them of use, as they have been inspirational to many!

    • Pcunix profile image

      Tony Lawrence 6 years ago from SE MA

      Great stuff, I come from a very artistic family, but inherited little talent.

      I enjoy drawing, I just don't do it well :-)

      I have done bad little cartoons for many of my posts here. I have fun with them and I hope that is what is important.

      I'll be studying your drawing posts!

    • profile image

      justin 6 years ago

      best Castle i'v drawn

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers now!

    • jandee profile image

      jandee 7 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

      Shouldn't have strayed down this road ! got the drawing bug again ! Very relaxing!Thanks.....

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Thanks...I can see another castle drawing hubpage around the corner.....

    • cavetroll profile image

      cavetroll 7 years ago

      Great hub! Great step by step instruction.

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 7 years ago

      Yoov got reel talent!

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Thanks Velvet!

      Yeah give a castle a try to would love to see the results!

      cheers!

    • VelvetRosetta profile image

      VelvetRosetta 7 years ago from Puerto Rico

      i really like this, i draw some but i love to learn techinques..i usually draw or paint landscapes..i have lighthouses but never been bold enough to try a castle , but now i will , practice so thank you for this..

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers Oliversmum!

      I do enjoy drawing this kind of stuff, although I want to try my hand at drawing some fairies and angels as that is more of a challenge because I'm more used to drawing monsters....

      Thanks for your comments!

    • oliversmum profile image

      oliversmum 7 years ago from australia

      Waynet.Hi. What absolutely beautiful drawings,you are an extremely talented person.I can't draw to save myself,but do admire folks that can,wonderful information on how to achieve drawings like yours as well. Thank you.:) :)

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Thanks Anime_nanet!

      Got more on the way with videos too!

    • anime_nanet profile image

      anime_nanet 7 years ago from Portugal

      You are a true artist!!!

      Thumbs up!

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers malmuhan!

    • malmuhan profile image

      malmuhan 7 years ago

      good job thank you dude.

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers, I do plan on doing more of these tutorial drawing articles as and when I have the time, so thanks!!

    • beckykolacki profile image

      beckykolacki 7 years ago from Bethlehem, PA

      I love your drawings! I'm not much of an artist myself, but if I do ever attempt to draw I'll be sure to read more of your tutorials :)

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Good good! Patricia!

      If ever you need help with some more sketches, just tell us what you want as ideas and I'll draw up a hubpage with some sketches and stuff!

    • profile image

      patriciarose7 7 years ago

      I think i will find your hub page interesting and helpful as I am trying to get more ideas on some pictures for my next Children's book. Thank you for your drawings as they might inspire something for me to draw next. LOL

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers again Mike!

      I've started a new castle drawing hubpage on another account and hopefully I should improve upon this one too.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Nice hub! Glad I found your spooky castle right before Halloween, it was very inspiring! Thanks for all your contributions, you are incredibly talented!

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers SweetyCheeks!

      I like drawing castles, they is fun!

    • SweetxoxCheeks profile image

      SweetxoxCheeks 7 years ago from Essex UK

      Wicked Hub !!!

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers I like drawing castles!

    • QuirkyPearl profile image

      QuirkyPearl 7 years ago from England - UK

      The best yet!

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Thanks Leslie!

      I'd like to get better at drawing and do more of these drawing tutorials.

    • Leslie L. Sanders profile image

      Leslie Lee Sanders 7 years ago from Queen Creek, Arizona

      Beautifully done! Good job. You are a great artist.

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Thank you Eonsaway!

      I enjoyed drawing it, but I may do another example either added to this one or a completely separate hubpage altogether as I feel it looked okay, but I might do another example which captures what I wanted to draw for a castle.

    • eonsaway profile image

      eonsaway 7 years ago from New Mexico, USA

      Really like the way you have a twist-factor going on in the composition. The contrast is great. I love to do imaginary work it's my favorite. Your castle is inspiring!

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Thanks Dheeraji!

      I do have more of these planned, but with the release of an online business fairly soon, all time has been taken up with marketing plans and cash flow analysis for the business, but I do plan on finishing all of my draft hubpages soon!

    • Dheeraji profile image

      Dheeraji 7 years ago from Leicestershire

      Hey Wanye,

      I would just like to say that this is a awesome hub and pretty good art work you got there. Very good indeed.

      Wish I could draw a good as this :)

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      ahh! I've done that a couple of times...with drawings it is easy to backtrack and trace the steps as I've done that too, but paintings I just don't have the energy to backtrack steps....got a few painting hubpages in the works so...

    • lakeerieartists profile image

      Paula Atwell 8 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      I was just creating a watercolor today, thinking that I should take pictures as I go to do something similar. But I kept going. :)

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Thanks Lakeerieartists!!

      I like doing these drawing hubs...must have found my calling!!!

    • lakeerieartists profile image

      Paula Atwell 8 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      I like your step by step method of teaching drawing.

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers Mick!

      I am in the process of doing a few other castles and stuff here at hubpages....so keep an eye and ear out!

    • MickS profile image

      MickS 8 years ago from March, Cambridgeshire, England

      Watcha Wayne,

      excellent, useful and well executed How To article.

      best Mick

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers now Robert!

      I've always drawn variations of castles, in fact one of my best ones was one I drew A3 size in just pencil and it was the best castle drawing I ever did, but it just disappeared when I moved house.

      Rocks are just wonderful to draw, I could draw them all day and also rubble, the randomness of rocks and rubble line and shade, just make me add lots of details sometimes.

      I have a hubpage in draft on how to draw a lord of the rings tower inspired from the films, but I don't know when I'll finish that one...!!?

    • robertsloan2 profile image

      robertsloan2 8 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      This castle article rocks! I hadn't found anything on drawing fantasy castles and have been floundering along doing it my own way, the best one I did is a small watercolour where I covered the entrance and much of the lower area with mist.

      I won't usually stick to your rules, because it depends on the context and the story -- maybe the entrance isn't necessarily visible in the scene that I want to illustrate. But the difficult approach on a high peak is historical as well as artistic, that makes it extremely defensible. Unless dragons are landing of course.

      That and depending on the story I may not be looking at it at night. Yours are beautiful and so atmospheric. You have a unique, powerful style with rocks and mountains that's almost organic. Cherish it and keep drawing castles!

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Thanks Deltachord! I enjoyed drawing this castle and am sure it will be the first of many and yes some of the castles in Europe look fantastic and would love to visit them.

    • Deltachord profile image

      Deltachord 8 years ago from United States

      Hi Waynet,

      I like your castle drawing. I used to watch a show called Great Castles of Europe. I've always been fascinated with castles and enjoyed your article.

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers write away, When I learned to draw a castle this way as a child it has stuck with me forever, I like going sightseeing and taking pictures of castles and would love to visit some all over the world.

    • write away profile image

      write away 8 years ago from Maryland

      I thought you wrote a good informative article on castle drawings. I've always been a big fan of the castle inside and out.

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Yes this will be a large project and it will be one that will be good to do, as drawing is one of my number one hobbies!

      Aree_36 - Cheers too, the castle drawing is intended as just a concept sketch and should just be used for inspiration and not actual fact realism.

    • Aree_36 profile image

      Aree_36 8 years ago from Georgia

      I enjoy your picture but I don't the moon and the wave.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      It sounds like a massive project, but I am sure once completed you will get a lot of traffic. I drew a castle once for a six grade art class, but I do not know what happened to it.

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers now Sweetie and well done for winning the hubmob for your mothers day hub!!

      As for my tutorials I have about 14 more how to draw ones in draft, but on paper I have 100+ all mapped out and counting, I thought I might as well get on with it, so that I can build up something useful as one big interlinked content library all of my own!!

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I just noticed your forum post, so I decided to check out your hub. You do draw very well and explain these tutorials quite well Wayne. I hope you continue to update your older hubs with the photos of your drawings.

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers Kerryg! Drawing gets better with age and lots of beer!!

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Ms Chievous, Dragons are definitely on the list of unpublished hubpages I have in draft, so yes they do go with castles.

      I'd like to beef these "how to draw" article tutorials up over time with multiple examples.

      Cheers for the comment!

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 8 years ago from USA

      Very cool! I wish I could draw better.

    • Ms Chievous profile image

      Tina 8 years ago from Wv

      Really neat idea for a hub! Where are the dragons? Dragons go with castles!

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Yes, Isn't he the comic book artist? I've seen quite a bit of his artwork and it is truly inspirational, I remember seeing a tree sprite pen and ink drawing he did and that was fantastic! I've even thought about buying it!

      Cheers now!!

    • profile image

      Leta S 8 years ago

      Cool...! (I followed Sufi over here.) Do you know the work of Bryan Talbot, out of curiosity?

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Ha! no I have enough reference photos of sumo wrestlers and other stuff I am taking inspiration from, thanks for your suggestion though lol!

    • Sufidreamer profile image

      Sufidreamer 8 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Need a model? ;)

    • waynet profile image
      Author

      Wayne Tully 8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers Sufidreamer & tdarby!

      I'm trying to go through my unpublished hubs and complete them as I have lots of how to draw tutorials in draft, the next one is how to an ugly troll, just need to do a few sketches.

      Thanks for your comments!!

    • tdarby profile image

      tdarby 8 years ago

      Thanks, this is a fun hub. Good, careful advice on how to draw castles.

    • Sufidreamer profile image

      Sufidreamer 8 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Quality, Wayne - I love castles, especially with lots of bats flying across the face of the moon! The spookier, the better.

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