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ORTHODOXY Sketches

Just a quick update here, but a little while ago I added a page to the Projects section – it’s called “Sketches” (was “Sketches & Miscellaneous”). Basically it’s just a ‘running gallery’ of sketches, WIPs, and mostly unfinished things I’ve been doing recently. Last night I did a few sketches for my friend Jordan Voltz’s KickStarter Project, Orthodoxy RPG. Below is my favorite color sketch (there are 3 additional sketches on the Sketches page), as well as one of the new headers for the page sections.

DuellistThe Duellist, one of the traits in the Orthodoxy RPG

I chose to do a less traditional representation and focused on “duality” (a purposeful mis-reading of “duel”). I actually reasoned it out, too – duels often occur(ed) between friends/acquaintances over perceived slights & wrongs, so “friend & enemy”.

Overview header image
Overview header image for Orthodoxy RPG Kickstarter

Jordan asked me to create some new headers (or update the old ones; I chose to make new ones) with some sort of embellishment rather than just text on a textured background. The nature of the Kickstarter site doesn’t allow for changing the page background or even the color of the font, so I went with all new headers, black on white. One of the major rewards we’ve offered are laminated, hand-embellished player screens (“sect screens”) – 5 to each backer pledging $100+! – and we’ve got 2 backers who’ll be receiving those. I chose the font and the design for the header with those screens in mind; depending on what I can find at an acceptable price, I’m hoping we’ll be able to make the sect screens out of fairly heavy-duty parchment (or kraft-paper-colored) paper rather than white/off-white. That will best offset the hand-embellishment, I think – except an update about those player/sect screens fairly soon!

 

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Posted by on June 17, 2014 in Art, Digital, Game, Illustration, RPG, Update, Writing

 

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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 …

umbrella_leo_2013

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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Graven Map

New  Map

New map of Graven, section

Well, I’m redoing the whole map. Again. I’m not even going to bother trying to count how many iterations I’ve gone through. This time, though, I’m moving out of Photoshop and into Illustrator, and working with building lots instead of individual buildings (1st large map), or streets (2nd large map). I’ve also increased the size of the map (sort of). I wanted the city to be about the size of Tokyo; I discovered my map was a fraction of that size, so I had to scale it up. To work on it in Illustrator (or in PS without the software crashing or taking 5 minutes to draw a single line), I have to work on it at 1/4 the final size – at 1px = 1 m (or 1000 px = 1 km), that means my final size will be 47,000 pixels across (2209km²). Or approximately 13′ x 13′. Okay, that’s a lot bigger than I thought it’d be.

I’m building the map in Illustrator for a few reasons, however, all of which depend on the infinite scalability of a vector image. The biggest reason is that I want to print this map as big as I can possibly get it (which isn’t going to be much bigger than 3′ x 3.5-4′ or so, probably; and sadly). I’m also planning on creating a sort of “atlas book”, similar to the excellent and inspiring “Tokyo: Bilingual Atlas” (there’s also one for all of Japan; the link is to the revised edition on Amazon, although I’m currently borrowing the older edition from the library).

Now that I’ve figured Illustrator out enough to work quickly – a lot quicker than in Photoshop! – I just need to double check that I’ve scaled things down properly to 1/4 scale. I have a sneaking suspicion I didn’t … But we’ll see, and this will go a lot faster now. Hopefully I’ll have a preliminary map done by the end of the week, if not sooner. Then I can get started on labels and marking key locations, among other things. Who know, maybe I’ll even have my constructed language pretty well completed (which I’m in the process of revising, as per the previous post). That would allow me to label in my own language, or at least use characters as map symbols.

 
 

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