After working for quite a while in Photoshop and Illustrator on various iterations of my map of Graven, I’ve decided to take a step back and try something new. I thought it would interesting to see a city grown not inwards from an island, which is what I’ve been doing, but outwards from a single point, a single building. To that end, I’ve been setting myself up for hand drawing the city in pencil (and later inking it, possibly also by hand), starting from scratch. In order to show individual buildings and leave for labeling, which I’ll probably do in PS just to make things easier for myself, I’ll be drawing rather large and working across several sheets of paper. The biggest obstacle was figuring out how I wanted to draw it. I’ve decided to go with drawing lots, which will create streets and on which I’ll be drawing the individual buildings. Since Graven is pretty dense through most of the city, that will work for most of the area. Where buildings are more spread out, in farm land or suburban/rural areas, I’ll just lightly draw in the street edges. This 17th century map of London illustrates what I’m talking about in terms of lots defining streets, but I won’t be drawing my map in this exact style.
Just to motivate myself and get some inspiration, I went looking for other city maps drawn by hand. And I not only found this great website on mapping called Radical Cartography, I found a post about a giant city map drawn entirely in pencil spanning dozens of regular white printer papers. The artist calls the city Pencilvania, and you can click on individual images to view them full size. Very inspiring (even if most of the streets seem to be completely straight, with only freeway exits/entrances curving). If Daren Keene, the artist of Pencilvania, can do that, well then so can I! I’ll be working in a different style, but it’s fun to see what someone else has come up with. Hopefully I’ll be able to post a preliminary draft later today.