View Full Version : Hand Painting or Computer Painting?

03-06-2011, 05:22 PM
So, hello agian :)

Now that i find a scanner to scan my hand drawn maps and another stuff, a question came to my mind. What is better: Hand painting and then scan or i should paint on the computer? If the hand painting is better what should i use? Colored Pencil?

I'm really in doubt because i've never done this before.

03-06-2011, 06:12 PM
The computer can never really truly mimic the hand-made arts, though some are better at getting close than most of us. That said, I'd take the line drawing and practice on the computer because mistakes can be erased while paint is much harder to get rid of. Once you have a good idea of how you want it to look then go and paint it.

03-07-2011, 04:05 AM
work with the media you feel more comfortable with - if you're good at drawing, draw on paper, scan it and you can still edit it in the computer afterwards. But if you like the undo function it might be good to start working in the computer instead - you could buy a tablet to keep working with a pen even on the computer :)

03-07-2011, 08:49 AM
I've been trying paper maps lately and found colored pencil to be difficult to work with for mapping, although that could be user error ;)

I'd also second what Ascension and Tilt said as far as the computer, and a small tablet is well worth the investment.

03-07-2011, 09:35 AM
Yeah, i like to work on the computer cuz i can undo things i don't like. But my main problem using Photoshop/GIMP to draw maps is that it's slower and i have difficult to draw somethings like mountains or forests. That's why i started hand drawing, i'm not that good at this but much better than using the computer. Also, i'm afraid of painting and don't like what i did.

But Ascension gave me a good ideia, try painting on computer and when i liked it paint on the paper. Altough a problem came to my mind, when u paint with colored pencil how do the maps look like? I mean, does it look good?

Is it possible to draw the mountains and forest (or another objects) scan them and turn them into brushes for PS/GIMP? Did anyone try it?

About the tablet, that is a good ideia, actually i thought about it but here in Brazil tablets are so expensive, it's like 2~3 times the price in USA.

Thank you for answering, and sorry about the english mistakes :)

03-07-2011, 10:13 AM
a lot of people use pencil for the sketch lines and then ink it later, then erase the pencil. The "problem" with colored pencil is that it is often weak in the colors and as such can be hard to scan proberly afterwards (not a solid rule though).

03-07-2011, 05:29 PM
Drawing things on paper, scanning them, tweaking them in the computer, then finalize them into a digital brush to use over and over has been going on for a very long time. So if you like your hand-drawings better than your tablet-drawings then draw 'em and scan 'em. It's what I used to do until I got proficient with the tablet.

03-07-2011, 11:22 PM
It also depends on what you are after. If it's illustration then I would say get good at doing everything in greyscale before you even touch color. At least that's what I get from the professional information I have been able to gather.

If you are doing maps then it may not be as important to do that.

My best skill is pencil. So, if I need something to look just right I will draw it on paper first. I include shading so it looks as good as possible. I'll go for a black and white photograph look if I'm really serious. Then I scan it in and go from there.

I'm still a noob when it comes to painting so I like being able to add color on the PC where I can remove/undo stuff I don't like. I would be having to toss a lot of canvas if I was doing it the traditional way.

I have also taken to drawing out my brushes (mountains, trees, cities), scanning them in, cleaning them up and turning them into brushes I then use to create a map. I did that with the Empire (http://rivengard.wordpress.com/maps/regional-maps/empire/). (Which I just realized I never posted into the finished maps here. I guess I should do that.)

Sam Conifer
03-08-2011, 12:04 AM
I just spent about $150 on an RL mapping project that I have yet to complete. Money can be another thing to consider. If you stick to a couple relatively hard pencils or inexpensive pens you can usually meet a reasonable budget, but once you enter in the paint realm you can find yourself suddenly out far more than you had planned for. That is one reason I love computers. They might be expensive, but you don't have to pay-per-use. :)

03-08-2011, 09:21 AM
@ AscencisonI guess i'll use my own mountina, forest, cities scanned and the rest i'll do by the computer, let's see what i can do with this technique.

@Tilt: Yeah i was wondering if the colored pencil would be hard to scan, and as you said its probabily hard so i'm triyng the computer for painting.

@Jaxilon: I want actually to do both, maps and ilustration (to use on my RPG game, and maybe on a novel, i'm still thinking about it).

Btw, I saw your map somewhere in the forum (don't remember where), and it's beatifull.

@Sam: I agree with you

@Sam: I agree, computer are good cuz u dont have to pay-per-use :)

So i think all my doubts are answered, thank you guys, if anyone has anything to add feel free to say :)

03-08-2011, 12:05 PM
If you look at any of my map designs from the last 2.5 years, I prefer to do hand-drawn linework with pen that is digitally scanned, imported to my graphics app of choice (Xara Xtreme Pro 4), then all coloring and effects are done with software. The linework captures the illustrative hand-drawn feel to my maps and sets the tone of the overall map. The hybrid digital work I add afterwards reveal a 3D-ish quality to emphasize what is on the ground and what is above it, as well as elevation in terrain. While I could try to do the aftereffects as hand-drawn work as well - my goal is speed, since I have many maps to create for my own projects and for commissions.

The linework provides all the hand-drawn artistry I need - I don't have to do it all by hand to achieve the look I want, in fact it would be tougher to accomplish as all hand work (and for me, wasted time consumption).

Whatever workflow works best for you will be acquired over time. You'll find what you like the best, or which best gives you the look you want.