How To Draw Coastlines On A Fantasy Map (+ Other Coastal Features)

Coastlines Tutorial - Coastlines

In this fantasy map tutorial, I will be showing you one style of drawing coastlines for when you’re worldbuilding and how to draw three common coastal features: waves, beaches, and cliffs!

Drawing coastlines

When you draw the coastlines on your fantasy map, you can start by drawing a rough outline of the continents and islands on your map, but I like to start by just getting straight to it.

I’m a fan of just starting to draw. Unless I have a clear idea of what the land and sea masses of my world should look like, which usually I don’t. And if I do it’s usually only a vague idea, and I like seeing my world take shape as I draw it.

So, whether you draw a rough guide first or not, when drawing the outline of your coast, try to create a natural looking shape by using soft and hard lines. However, you may want to alter this if an area of your coastline has a specific type of geography. For example, hard lines for an area of jagged cliffs and soft lines and curves for sandy beaches.

Next add small line details, following the coast and/or running in/out from the coast. I tend to mostly use lines which follow the line of the coast.

Then add similar lines following the path of your coast on the other side of your coastline to add the waves.

Some styles for drawing waves, beaches and cliffs

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