View Full Version : Small Island Style Emulation (de Fer)

02-02-2011, 12:29 AM
This is one of the smaller islands from my Shattered Isles map, zoomed in. I'm going to try to do the detail map emulating the style of Nicholas de Fer's Martinique map from 1704. I'm attaching his map, as well as what I have so far, which is my zoomed-and-detailed coastline and the sea shadow around it.

I'm working totally in greyscale for now; I may color it later, but I'm not sure.

02-02-2011, 01:19 AM
That style looks really neat. I like the shape of the island you have, looks natural. Can't wait to see how this turns out!

02-02-2011, 02:21 AM
That's a fabulous map. If I can ever do mtns like that I may just wet myself. I'm afraid that I've got to cite him for that Iambette river - doing all sorts of funky stuff. Heh heh.

02-02-2011, 03:24 AM
Gorgeous reference map and those mountains are just fantastic. Can't wait to see how you get on, Gidde!

02-02-2011, 09:42 AM
@ BookOwl: Thanks! I think so too. All of this guy's maps are simply gorgeous, but a Google search will yield the following about him (paraphrased from I don't remember where): "Known for his beautiful, yet horribly inaccurate maps." haha.

@ Asc: I know! There are at least 2 pretty gross river violations here ;) And yeah, I pretty much share the sentiment about the mountains. If I can do a rough approximation, I'll be happy :)

@ Ravells: Thanks! I can't wait either lol ... I was going to wait until the next challenge got announced in case I could kill two birds with one stone, but just couldn't wait. Guess I'll have to do two maps ;)

02-02-2011, 10:21 AM
I'm looking forwards to this. :)

02-02-2011, 09:02 PM
Thanks, Naeddyr, hope I don't disappoint!

So, after 4 tries on the rivers, they still don't look like deFer's and I quite honestly hate them, but I'm moving forward for now because I just couldn't do rivers again yet. So instead I moved to mountains, and although these don't really look like his, I'm keeping them anyway, I think, because (imho) they look pretty stinkin' cool anyhow. Of course, I could also be suffering from stare-at-rivers-for-too-long brain drain, so if they actually look like crap, *please* tell me. After I did the first one and had a "holy crap, did I just do that?" moment (at which point my oh-so-loving husband looked over and said "did you draw that mountain?"), I drew a few more to make sure it wasn't a fluke, then decided I better post em for comment before I went nuts with 'em all over my map (this island is very mountainous).

//Edit: For the record, usually hubby is very supportive. It was just exceedingly ironic timing for that particular statement ;)

02-02-2011, 09:27 PM
Very nice Gidde! All 3 mountains look great, but the biggest is the best of them. The 2 smaller ones kind of remind of armadillos. That's not bad, but they could maybe use a tiny bit more random cragginess. But then, I probably only noticed because there's still so few mountains :P

I know from experience the rush that can be had from realizing that it's possible to draw awesome looking mountains, so keep going :)

As for the rivers, I think maybe darken them even more, and try to make them a little narrower. Right now they look very dominating, and I think that as they are now, they might continue to dominate even as you add more to the map.

02-02-2011, 09:43 PM
Thanks moutarde! I'm hoping the armadillo-ness will fade as I make more; we'll see ;) As for the rivers, yeah, that's why I hate them. My first rivers were not smooth enough or fat enough... so I smoothed them and widened them and they were too fat and too smooth >.< Then I went back and drew more skinny ones, and hated them more. That's when I said "to hell with rivers" and decided to do something else for a while. I figure that with too-fat rivers, it should at least kinda force me to leave room for deFer's cool-looking banks.

02-02-2011, 10:50 PM
They look great, more 3d shaded rather than basic hatched but great all the same.

02-02-2011, 11:17 PM
I see what you mean about the rivers, but I like the mountains!

02-03-2011, 04:13 PM
I liked the mountains too, but I decided I was straying too far from the goal, so I hit the reset button. Here's the new version with all hand-done shading around the island, new rivers and new mountains (this is it for the mountains, I guess I should have said this is a very HILLY island).

02-03-2011, 06:40 PM
I like this version a lot better than the other! The rivers are better looking too, I think. Nice :)

02-09-2011, 09:42 PM
Mountains and hills are done now, I think. It's certainly not an exact style emulation, but I think it's a lot closer now.

02-09-2011, 10:31 PM
Awesome work Gidde! Keep it up.

02-09-2011, 11:23 PM
Thanks geamon!

02-10-2011, 03:06 AM
Definitely a promising project ... I am really looking forward to seeing further process

02-10-2011, 03:14 AM
Holycarp!!! that's totally the look I've been going for all this time with my own hand drawn mountains, you've nailed it perfectly in my eyes.

Ok, now that work has settled back into a routine, I'm starting to feel the creative itch again, and you've just pushed me over the edge. It's time to start drawing again!

**dangit, i can't rep you for this, seems i've done so too recently... i think you deserve double rep off this project...**

02-10-2011, 07:52 AM
@ wally: Thanks! It's been fun so far :)

@ CM: Thanks, what high praise!! It's really good to see ya again :)

02-11-2011, 05:39 PM
Ok, it really goes against my instinct to bump this with so little progress, but I'm stuck and need a little help here, please.

I'm working on the settlements, so that I can put forests around them and fields in the rest of the empty places like deFer has on his, but I've never done the tiny-house type settlements before and I've hit a snag. The first city I did was all very even, tiny little buildings (by the biggest mountain). Then the second city I did was on the south coast, and the buildings grew. Now I'm trying to do the largest city (between the other two) and I realized I'm all over the map, as it were, on size. So ... here is my question, and it's multiple choice, so there's very little effort involved in answering ;)

-- a) the small buildings much better and I should delete the other two cities and keep my buildings from growing?
-- b) the bigger buildings much better and I should delete the tiny-building'd city and keep my buildings from shrinking?
-- c) the size difference really isn't that noticeable and I should quit being so anal-retentive and draw the rest of them?
or -- d) they all suck and I should take a good long look at deFer's map and then try again.

If the answer's (d), please don't think I'll think less of you for saying so.

Oh, and try to ignore the fact that I haven't bled the ink -- once I do, they'll match the rest better.

02-11-2011, 06:10 PM
The smallest buildings look the best. There's not much detail to the buildings, so if you go big, they look too simplistic compared to the mountains. If your intention is to keep that style of building, I would say draw them as small as possible, so that they don't look like they're lacking in detail.

02-11-2011, 11:08 PM
I favor small as well so that they don't dominate the image and also leave plenty of room for other stuff. Of course, if there is no other stuff to put in then make them big.

02-12-2011, 04:49 PM
I'm sorry, Gidde, I'm a (d) choice. The mountains are beautiful - the town symbols look out of place and don't do them justice. You'll need something equally as good / consistent in style with the mountains.

02-12-2011, 05:03 PM
I've been leaning the same way, Ravs, don't be sorry. I just wanted to sleep on it before I actually did it.

02-20-2011, 11:53 PM
I did another try at the quill-and-ink, this time on watercolor paper -- and realized that it was a closer emulation of this style than anything I'd done on the computer so far, so I'm putting this one here :)

Still need to do the woodcut/lines (haven't decided which yet) around the outside of the island, and color it, but other than that I think this is getting close to done and the closest I'm going to come to this style, at least until I learn more.

02-21-2011, 01:03 AM
That is amazing Gidde, it looks fantastic :)

02-21-2011, 01:15 AM
Looks great!

02-21-2011, 02:05 AM
Looks amazing!

02-21-2011, 04:35 AM
Very lovely indeed! The only thing which looks a little unconvincing is the coastline shape although that may just be a style thing.

02-21-2011, 07:13 AM
Thanks everyone!

@Ravs: It is indeed a horrid coastline. It's more of a doodle thing than a style thing. I had just wanted to test the new nibs I got for the quill pen, and draw something I could test the paints on. The town names are pretty ridiculous too! I just didn't want to waste a ton of time on something I was quite likely to ruin as soon as I picked up the paintbrush ;)

02-22-2011, 12:32 AM
Well, I think this is done, and I'm relatively happy with my first ever foray into brushwork. I have a lot of lessons learned I'll be taking to the next project -- the green of the trees is a bit too green, for example, but I'm pretty happy with the way the desert turned out (other than the horrid, failed dunes and the rocks being the wrong shade of brown) and I think I can work with this style for a bit and try to refine it.

As an aside, rivers are really hard to do with watercolor. Where there is a big fat line of color on the origin end, that's me dealing with the fact that a stylus and a brush are opposite -- stylus is easier to work thin to thick, and watercolor is much easier to work thick to thin. I think I got the hang of it for the later rivers though :)

I guess it didn't end up looking anything like the reference, but here it is ... ink & watercolor, no post-processing.

02-22-2011, 12:36 AM
I see Rillanon and Krondor!!!!

02-22-2011, 01:48 AM
Awesome Gidde!!! Rep for Watercolor too

02-22-2011, 02:22 AM

02-22-2011, 05:01 AM
That looks so beautiful! Well done. :)