Tips for Drawing Foggy Scenes

Tips for Drawing Foggy Scenes

In today’s post, I’d like to share two tips for drawing foggy scenes. Here is the reader’s question to get us started.

Good evening Carrie. I have been drawing foggy scenes in graphite pencil with good results; however, I have not been able to find any good online or printed resources that adequately describe the process for colored pencil drawings. I would be very interested in your strategy. Many thanks for your kind consideration. Bruce

I have drawn misty and foggy scenes a couple of times. The atmosphere, light, and mood in that kind of weather is very appealing, but I just haven’t done much with it.

I don’t know if I have anything as clearly defined as a strategy, but I can tell you what I did on the few pieces I have done.

Tips for Drawing Foggy Scenes

I’ve used two different methods for drawing foggy and misty scenes in the past, so I’ll share those with you here. I have also started using new tools this year that should make drawing this kind of landscape even more interesting. But I have yet to try those tools on this subject. When I do, I’ll let you know how it turned out!

Use Paper Color and Texture to Mimic Fog or Mist

The first piece was a scene in which there wasn’t actually fog or mist. But it had been raining and it looked like rain again. The sky was cloudy and the whole landscape looked very moody.

West of Bazaar, Colored Pencil on Gray Mat Board

I drew West of Bazaar on medium-light gray mat board with a bit more texture than I usually prefer. I used the color and texture of the mat board to create the look of mist and distance. For example, the silhouetted hills on the horizon are the paper showing.

The sky also shows a lot of paper color and texture.

Even though that’s an old piece, it is still one of my favorites.

Lift Color with Mounting Putty

In another instance, I used Stonehenge paper to draw a landscape with a horse in the foreground and a layer of fog in the background. It’s shown here.

Portrait of a Tennessee Walking Horse on a Foggy Morning, Colored Pencil on Stonehenge, Cream

I put down the colors beyond the fog and faded the colors into the foggy area. Each color was applied with light pressure. In between layers, I did a bit of burnishing with a colorless blender and with White.

Then I lifted some of that color with mounting putty to create the look of fog. In areas where I wanted a very smooth transition from fog to no fog, I went back in and added more color, fading the color into the cloud bank.

For areas where the fog is thicker, I used mounting putty more than once, lifting a bit more color each time.

I also used the color of the paper to give the fog its color. That saved me a lot of time by reducing the amount of fog I had to draw.

A Mini Tutorial about Drawing Foggy Scenes

If I have a strategy for drawing fog, it would be either using one of these methods. Using the texture of the paper to create broken color, or layering color lightly, then lifting it with a good eraser that works with colored pencil, or with mounting putty or tape are both good ideas for drawing natural looking fog.

But I have written a short tutorial on this subject, and you can read that here. It explains in more detail how I used the color and texture of the paper and the drawing methods described above.

Got a question? Ask Carrie!


    1. Patricia,

      Thank you for reading this post and for your question.

      Mounting putty is a mold-able, sticky substance designed for hanging posters and other light-weight items. Common names are Poster-Tak, Handi-Tak and Blu-Tak. It’s available in most stores in the office supply or school supply sections.

      It’s easy to use, you can clean it by kneading it, and a package lasts a long, long time because it doesn’t quickly wear out. It also doesn’t dry out.


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