What is a volcano? Volcanoes form where cracks or ruptures are present in the earth’s surface, or crust. Magma – molten, liquid rock beneath the surface – rises through these cracks. Once it reaches the surface, it is called lava. High pressure due to heat may even cause it to explode.
Ancient peoples attributed volcanic eruptions to acts of the gods. This is evident from Greek myth, and possibly from a man-made, volcano shaped pyramid discovered in Peru. In modern and popular art, volcanoes are often drawn alongside dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures, hearkening to early times in the earth’s history when the planet may have been less geographically stable.
Are volcanoes only a feature of the past? No, there are many active volcanoes on earth today. Some of the most active include Kilauea, on the island of Hawaii; Mount Etna and Mount Stomboli, in the Medditerranean region, near Italy; and Mount Yasur of the island of Vanuatu, that has been erupting for more than 800 years.
The geysers and other water features of Yellowstone National Park in the northwest United States are also fueled by volcanic activity. Astronomers have observed volcanoes on the surface of other planets in our solar system.
The most common volcanic figure in art is that of a mountain – called a cone – with a broken top, from which lava, smoke, and ash erupt. This is the type of volcano depicted in our easy, step-by-step drawing guide. Would you like to add a fiery volcano to your artwork? With the help of this simple drawing tutorial, all you will need is a pencil, a piece of paper, and perhaps an eraser. You may also wish to use crayons, markers, colored pencils, or paints to enhance your finished drawing. Notice that each step features an illustration, in which new lines added are highlighted in blue, as well as explanatory text.
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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Volcano
1. Begin by drawing two diagonal, curved lines. The lines should slant toward each other at the top. This outlines the slopes, or sides, of the volcano.
2. Connect the lines at the top using a short, curved line. This indicate’s the volcano’s mouth, from which the lava erupts.
3. Connect the diagonal lines at the bottom using a wavy, scalloped line. You now have a complete outline of the shape of the volcano.
4. Draw the lava oozing from the top of the volcano using a long, curved line. The line should double back on itself many times, forming “U” shaped lava flows of various sizes.
5. Erase the guide lines from the lava.
6. Draw two curved lines extending outward from the top of the volcano. This outlines the smoke and ash that the volcano spews into the air. Add detail to the plume by drawing several shorter curved lines between the first.
7. Draw clouds of smoke at the top of the plume. Do so using a series of short, connected, “U” shaped lines. Detail the smoke by drawing several series of “U” shaped, connected lines within the interior of the smoke cloud.
8. Give the volcano some ground to stand on. Draw several wavy lines on each side of the volcano to indicate the horizon, and perhaps some additional mountains in the background. Enclose an irregular shape in the foreground of the volcano using a long, curved line. This form could be a rock, or it could be a lake – it’s up to you!
9. Color your volcano. In our example, we’ve shaded a barren, brown, rocky wilderness around the volcano, with grey smoke and bright red and yellow lava.
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