View Full Version : Anyone know a good technique fro drawing large-scale forested areas (hand drawn)?

07-21-2010, 10:48 PM
Hello all,

I am spending all day today drawing maps for my fantasy world and i was wondering if anyone had any good techniques or ways to hand draw large-scale forested areas on maps with a black pencil (i.e only using black and white colours)? I have numerous maps in front of me and have bene trying different styles from them but they all seem to be turning out either bad or just average.

Help please?


07-21-2010, 11:06 PM
Option 1: Use a stamp (e.g. Ramah & Gidde)
Option 2 (the time-consuming one): Draw them all one-by-one
Option 3: Block in a "region" in a shade of grey, then mark in a few trees across that region to establish that the whole patch of grey is supposed to be trees.

07-21-2010, 11:08 PM
Ok thanks, though a stamp? What do you mean?
I will try number three out though, i was drawing them individually before but it took so long and didnt end up looking very good because, or maybe it was just how i was drawing them... ^^


07-21-2010, 11:19 PM
What he means is a symbol (in CC) or a brush (in Gimp or PS). Basically you make one (or 3 or 9 or 15, however many you decide) tree, then stamp it down over and over again. In Gimp it's easy to vary the symbols using a special type of brush called a pipe; the pipe is actually a set of brushes, and each time you click it will pick a brush from the set depending on the settings you've chosen (for forests I usually go with random).

07-21-2010, 11:24 PM
ahh ok, that sounds good, i will remember that when i am mapping on my computer using gimp :D But at the moment i am drawing using pencil and paper.

07-21-2010, 11:28 PM
Ha! Didn't notice the avatar at first. Love it.

07-21-2010, 11:29 PM
Hahaha Thanks ^^ I'm taking it that you're a Fallout fan then?

07-21-2010, 11:37 PM
A recent one; I never played the first couple, but Fallout 3 had me at hello. New Vegas can't get here soon enough!

07-21-2010, 11:40 PM
I second that, I cannot wait for New Vegas :D

The first two were pretty good but Fallout 3 is just awesome.

07-22-2010, 12:20 AM
Unfortunately there aren't a lot of shortcuts when drawing by hand :)

If you have a light table that would help, as you could get a set of trees that you're very happy with on a separate pice of paper, and trace out as you go (my light table, when I had one, was a 200 or 250 watt bulb underneath a storm window pane that was up on blocks)

if you're ambitious and have some good exacto knife blades you could even make a stencil from cardstock.

When I was drawing out the mountains on my last few maps (it was on the computer, but I was using the tablet and drawing them individually anyhow) was to have an example of some really nice mountain shapes I was happy with set up as a step by step process. I had that open in the second monitor next to where I was working, and I'd refer to that picture as I went. Doing trees shouldn't be too different.. set up a piece of paper where you draw some that you're happy with, as a step by step (outlines, then shade the outlines, then add shadows, or whatever - each step laid out) and keep it close as a reference while you move around.

What I was doing with my celtic art on paper, when not using the light table, was simply drawing the same thing out over and over and over until it was just reflex. Eventually you should get to the point where you're happy with them as you draw them out and don't need the reference material as often.

Good luck and happy callouses!

07-22-2010, 05:10 AM
Thanks that helped a lot. :D

07-22-2010, 05:56 AM
Glad to hear it! Got a scanner? I'd be interested in seeing how you do :)

07-22-2010, 07:20 AM
yep, im trying to fix it now so im hoping by tomorrow (as its currently late here) they should be up :D