Mapping Things Out

Although the map I originally made for The Keeper is alright for an amateur, I knew I could do better! I had done a little bit of hand-drawing for the idea of the map, but ultimately did the whole thing in photoshop. So after practicing a bit on random maps, I finally sat down to hand-draw a new one for The Varken (although I will most like update the one in The Keeper).

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I used the tutorial I had posted recently, but then did a lot of research looking at other fantasy maps to get more ideas on shapes, particularly for the mountains and trees. I drew it out lightly with pencil, then darker, then I inked the whole thing and erased the pencil. I tried to have a little bit of imperfection to my hand, to let the map look more hand-drawn (because it is!)

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I scanned the original inked in case I messed it up while painting…or just didn’t like the outcome. Then I could either paint it digitally or print it out on a new sheet of watercolor paper and start over.

Watercolors, how I have missed thee! It was so great to be able to pull out some of my old art supplies for an actual project, instead of just having fun.

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First I did shading with my beloved Payne’s Grey over the entire image: mountains, water waves, trees, cities.

Although I had considered doing a straight wash over the entire image of a sepia color, as you often see for fantasy maps, I decided that was something I could easily change with digitally, but that I would have more options (and more fun) if I went ahead and did color for the painting.

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I’m really excited to get it scanned and start adding names and filters to get just the right look for the map. (and yes, I will share it when it is complete!)

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