Tag Archives: drawing

Wo0t Maps!

Okay, that sounds really hyper-active far-side-of-the-moon can’t-find-my-brain (yeah, that’s a ‘zero’ in the title), but let me explain:

After avoiding drawing and even art in general for almost a year or so, I’ve been getting back into it. Over the past few months, I’ve picked up a couple commissions for illustrating maps of fictional worlds, and even created the front cover of an RPG manual (just a home-brew RPG by a group of friends down in Argentina, but it’s not a map! And they just signed off on the front cover and are hoping I can do the front pages of the Bestiary and Herbs sections of the manual (^o^)v ). Okay, so doesn’t sound like much of an achievement to warrant leek-speak (or leet-speak, for that matter), but effectively finishing one of the first major maps I took the commission for and finishing that RPG manual cover and finishing another map (okay, I feel done, but the commissioner has to sign off on it) AND getting not one, but two paid commissions from some truly excellent people … Now all of that is definitely enough to encourage a little slip in spelling and grammar.

Now, I’ve been asked to not share the RPG manual cover by the commissioner, but I can share the 2 maps I’ve just finished (okay, okay, as far as I know they’re finished):

08Drawn for Matt Hoffman (Technospiritualist at the Cartographers’ Guild forums). He’s working on a novel, the first draft of which he’s almost done with (!), and this map is of the ‘world’ of the story.

map_003This one was done for another novelist, Steve Pote (Blahman919 at the Cartographer’s Guild forums). He provided a rough hand-drawn map, which I essentially ‘traced over’ in Photoshop to ensure that everything was placed properly. The lighter lines … Hah. Are roads, which I need to label. Now I see that. Well, other than that, the map is done, as far as I know.

And in the interest of branching, here’s a small sketch I did earlier today. It’s actually part of a larger, image, but …


To see the whole image you’ll have to check out my new website, 99 Colored Umbrellas ! (I know, original, how original!) It’s still under construction, but you’ll find that image there, so check it out ^-^!

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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Art, Cartography, Color Study, Digital, Idea, Map, Update


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Late Update

Wow, it’s been awhile. I have been working on several projects, on and off, but haven’t taken the time to update.

I have a new update for the map I’m creating for Matt Hoffman (technospiritualist):

Commissioned Map

Commissioned Map


And I recently (re-)started my world building project. You can follow my progress at Worlds of Sand, where I hope to update at least weekly. I’m also open for all sorts of commissions! You can find me on the Cartographers Guild forums or just e-mail me through this blog (I’m thinking of setting up on Deviantart too).

I am still planning on rearranging this blog a bit, which means some posts may disappear pretty soon as I move things around. I’m not restarting, though; I just want to move some things to a different home (like those photos of Paris, randomly taking up tons of post-space …). Most everything will reappear somewhere else at some point, so if you’re just coming to the site and wondering if you missed something, you probably haven’t.

Hopefully I’ll be able to update more often now!


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Mapping by Hand

Recently I got a bit fed up trying to map my fictional city Graven on the computer. Although I have the ability to undo anything I don’t like and I can change virtually anything in just a few minutes or less, drawing the map on the computer not only felt painstakingly boring, I have the entire island to look at. I kept getting caught up in the idea of carefully “organizing” the city or having it “grow” out from select points, small villages expanding into large towns expanding into the giant metropolis I have in mind. Even when I told myself I would let the city “find itself” – in other words, I’d just erase streets in rather randomly (based on a random “reference sheet” I put together from screen shots of Google maps) and create the history of the city from whatever ‘presented itself’ – I still felt like it was agonizingly slow and incredibly boring. I think the biggest problem is that I have nothing to work with until I start filling in the smaller lots and even the individual buildings, so working down from the major roads through smaller and smaller streets to alleys and individual buildings means that I have to wait until I’m practically ready to start labeling the map before I can start doing other things with it.

So I tried something new today:

Hand Drawn Map

Hand Drawn Map

I drew all of this on an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of printer paper (a misprint page, so there may be text showing through here and there). I used a new steel Sharpie Pen I just picked up, and didn’t plan a single thing. It’s growing organically, and I don’t think about much except what looks good or what I feel like including at the time I’m drawing. Which means it looks a little cluttered and disorganized and in place I’ve made some “mistakes”. The really gigantic walled area in the north is based on the (feeling I got at the) Luxembourg Gardens and the Boboli Gar, and the large buildings in the east are supposed to be stores, based (again on the feeling I got in) the shopping district east of Hyde Park in London. The long narrow strip near those stores is supposed to be an elevated plaza with a statue of … something in the middle and at the northeast end. The larger circle to the south of the strip is a fountain. The areas outlined in little dots/short lines are supposed to be parks, maybe even gardens. Because of the thickness of the pen, I can only detail so much; I have a .01 pen I think I’ll use for smaller details later; right now I don’t want to keep switching pens while drawing.

As you can see, I’m starting to reach the edges of the paper in several places. Once I fill in a bit more in the corners, I’m going to tape another sheet up against one side (not overlapping) and start filling in the buildings that overlap. Once I cover the edges of the 2 papers, I can undo the tape and keep going if I need to, or I can place tape on the top faces of the pages to keep them together.

I’m currently taking finals, so I don’t know when I’ll be able to update again; this was just a break I took between writing essays.

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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Uncategorized


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