How to draw a sunset

Surfing
Sunset: learn how to draw the golden hour | Photo: Creative Commons

Have you ever dreamed of sketching the golden hour? Discover our beginner's step-by-step guide on how to draw stunning sunset scenery quickly.

Watching a sunset is like listening to heavenly music. But, are you able to draw the sun setting on the horizon?

If you're one of those who can't even draw a straight line, don't despair. We'll help you through your first sunset drawing experience.

You can use colored pencils, markers, oil pastels, crayons, acrylic paint, or start with a simple thin graphite pencil.

Are you ready to start drawing a good-looking sunset on the beach and/or over the ocean?

It's easy. Let's do it.

Drawing Materials

Option 1

  • Drawing paper (Stonehenge paper, illustration board, suede board, mat board, or A4 printing paper)
  • Graphite pencil
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Colored pencil set

Option 2

  • Blank white canvas
  • Fine permanent marker
  • Crayons, oil pastels, acrylic paint, or watercolor paint (aquarelle)
  • Round, flat, and fan brushes

A simple sunset drawing: all you need is sketch paper and a few colored pencils | Illustration: Creative Commons

Drawing Instructions

Here's how to draw a beautiful, striking sunset.

  1. Draw a straight, horizontal horizon line, from left to right, more or less in the center of the drawing paper - if needed, use a ruler;
  2. Start adding a bumpy mountain valley on one side of the picture, converging to the middle of the horizon line;
  3. Draw a similar curved valley on the opposite side of your drawing;
  4. Draw a circle representing the sun, starting on one side of the mountain valley and ending on the other side;
  5. Draw a series of zigzag lines below the sun to represent its reflection on the ocean;
  6. Start drawing a palm tree emerging from one side of the valley into the sun's circle;
  7. Draw a few M-shaped sunset birds in the sky and flying across the yellow dwarf star;
  8. Add a few wavy lines at an angle across the water to indicate waves;
  9. Draw a couple of curved lines at an angle across the sea to illustrate ocean waves;
  10. Color the sunset drawing with yellow, orange, pink, and purple tones, and add bluish hues to the water;