View Full Version : Regional practice

03-08-2011, 08:47 PM
I've been wanting to come up with a new and faster method in the hand-drawn style so that I can whip stuff out faster. The drawing part is easy but I've been spending the last few days experimenting with "effects" that may go on top of this for a possible quasi painted-style like on video games. I keep getting distracted with the effects so I gotta focus on just getting the drawing done. This image has no effects, as you can see, 'cuz I haven't come up with anything that I like. You can see that this is named untitled 10...man I gotta finish those other 9. :) The original is twice this size 'cuz I'm more into the fast arm movements right now for speed practice. Anyway, here's my doodle so far.

03-09-2011, 05:34 AM
The forests and mountains in the bottom right really rock.

03-09-2011, 06:20 AM
Superb mountain/foothill transition effect. I like the jagged, frozen waste effect in the north-east as well. Be nice to see a tutorial once you've finalised the method(s).

It would be perfect for a map I'm toying around with just now but since you're a PSer I guess there may not necessarily be a GIMP or Fireworks equivalent. Still a nice style though.

Steel General
03-09-2011, 07:11 AM
Neat stuff so far Ascension.

03-09-2011, 09:56 AM
Good start A. The mountains will look nice once you get some shading on them... any idea what your going to do yet? Are you trying to do the shading with some type of filter to make it fast?

03-09-2011, 04:14 PM
The premise is to do this as 3 different styles along the same arc - pure line drawing, hatched or shaded line drawing (still debating that), and quasi-painted. All of this will be by hand. The effects/filters/experiments/whatever I've been messin with are all post-work like grunge, water spots, dirt, smudges, texture, etc. - something that I can do fast and replicate every time. This is only for the final painted style so, once again, I got ahead of myself. Effects are not my strong suit so I'm experimenting with lots of things just to get some ideas going that might lead me somewhere.

03-09-2011, 04:42 PM
Sounds great, A--I know I always enjoy doing my own little experiments and projects more than anything else. Good luck on this one!

Oh, and the line-art on those mountains is amazing.

03-10-2011, 01:01 PM
Really nice map! I like mountains, forests and coastlines.

Just one thing concerning the rivers, I think the layer of rivers has a bit moved. We can notice it at the level of the coastlines.

03-10-2011, 03:57 PM
Yeah, not to worry about the rivers, though - they're just placeholders while I work out the rest of the terrain. I've redone them twice since that pic and still not real happy with them but I'm neck-deep in forests right now. I'll post up a new pic later tonight.

03-10-2011, 10:47 PM
So here's where I am right now. Added some stuff, not too much to look at right now. I'll wait to post more when I get the terrain done.

03-11-2011, 12:23 AM
This is looking really cool, and I'm watching with interest; I've always wanted to be able to recreate that look.

03-11-2011, 09:18 AM
This looks really nice. Great job on the grasslands and swamp.. they look great. And the northern forest has some nice outlines that suggest conifers... nice touch. The only thing I am not immediately thrilled about is the hills. Perhaps they are a bit to "flat"... I don't know. The farmlands look really nice, but I would suggest scaling them down by about half as they seem way to large to me. I really like how you ended up with the soouthern mountains and forest blended so seamlessly, they look great. I am eagerly awaiting more on this and hope you end up putting just a splash of muted color(s) down on it.

03-11-2011, 09:47 AM
looks great ... can't wait to see it all done... the fields seems a little on the large side, but I'm guessing you aren't going for exact scale :)

03-11-2011, 04:47 PM
Totally agree on the hills - I want something that fits with the mtns more. Fields are too big and the perspective isn't right...plus I want them to look hilly and not flat. Gotta redo these parts tonight.

03-11-2011, 10:54 PM
Ok, I think is better. Fields - not quite there but close.

03-11-2011, 10:58 PM
That is pure awesome, dude.

03-11-2011, 11:44 PM
That is lookin sharp!

03-12-2011, 05:09 AM
This is really looking great. i don't know why but the map makes me think of old Conan stories, it must be the thick black lines.

03-12-2011, 06:03 AM
This looks seriously awesome!

I really love the hills + fields, and your mountains (as already noted) are superb! I'll be waiting with baited breath for further updates!

Keep up the good work :D


03-13-2011, 12:59 AM
This is really looking great. i don't know why but the map makes me think of old Conan stories, it must be the thick black lines.

That's so weird! I was thinking that same thing. It needs a couple of Ernie Chan Picts up in the corners.

03-13-2011, 03:23 AM
That's so weird! I was thinking that same thing. It needs a couple of Ernie Chan Picts up in the corners.
Can't agree more :-)

03-13-2011, 06:36 PM
Ooh, those fields are fantastic!

03-13-2011, 07:24 PM
I really love the hills with the creepy crawly tree breaks...just fantastic.

Ascension! It's so good to see you breaking out of the box into things different!

03-14-2011, 08:28 AM
I agree with everyone else's comments. The changes to the fields to incorporate some trees and hills are a really nice touch. My only suggestion at this point might be for the hills on the middle right to thin out a bit in some spots. Anyway, I really dig this map. Your grasslands have inspired me and I expect to get back to my region map soon and use that technique.

03-14-2011, 09:09 AM
Yep...I made a few changes the other day before I got sidetracked with something yesterday. I was thinking about things to put on a map and ended up with 100 pages of text and still not done...I'm calling it my "big list o stuff". Once I get a little bit more done on the map I'll post it up. I'll post up the list as well once I get it organized.

03-14-2011, 09:21 AM
Yep...I made a few changes the other day before I got sidetracked with something yesterday. I was thinking about things to put on a map and ended up with 100 pages of text and still not done...I'm calling it my "big list o stuff". Once I get a little bit more done on the map I'll post it up. I'll post up the list as well once I get it organized.

Heh.. so we should call this the map of "Kit-Chen Sink"??? :-)

03-14-2011, 12:54 PM
I'm trying to avoid putting everything in so that's why I started the list. I figured that if I had a list of things I could pick and choose what to use and what not to use in order to keep things coherent at a regional level. At a world or continent level, sure, everything goes in but at this scale I don't want it to look hodgepodge or thrown together...I want my biomes to make sense. Tabletia was more about putting everything in and as I look back at it it is rather scram gravy. Anyway, back to my editing.

03-14-2011, 04:59 PM
Holy cows! I don't think it would be possible for me to come up with 100 pages of things to put on my maps. I'm struggling to come up with enough stuff it seems like. That's amazing.

03-14-2011, 11:24 PM
Well, it started with swamps, mountains, forest, rivers, and towns. Then I added compass, scale, lat/long lines, rhumb lines, neat lines, etc. Then I thought about icons for things like cattle, gold, teepees, etc. Then I started thinking about those illustrations that you always see in the corners of maps so I started thinking up specific things like olive tree, bread loaf, wagon wheel, goblin, mandrake, holy water, and then before I knew it I had more than I could keep track of so I started putting these things into groups like trees, flowers, reagents, monsters, etc. This lead to more groups, and so on and so on. Then I was like, that's a pretty weak list of trees...better check somewhere to find the rest that I can't remember. So 99% of it is more about giving me ideas for stories/plots//illustrations. When I start making a list my obsessive side just totally takes over. It's all unnecessary but it's kind of fun. Right now I'm straightening out the flora, minerals, reagents, metals, elements sections (stuff for spell-casting/alchemy) and once that's done I'll try to condense things with tables or colors or something. After that is fauna and monsters, professions, fabrics, etc. It's all about having ideas for when one gets a blockage...pick out a few things from the list and boom, you've got an idea to start writing or drawing.

Like this little gem I found - Abrus precatoris "jequirity" - a vine whose berries are two orders of magnitude deadlier than ricin, less than 3 micrograms can kill a human but the seeds are used in jewelry. Imagine if your assassin had to quest to Indonesia (where it grows) to get some of that in order to make a very nasty poison to kill some hero or king. The lapidaries who make the jewelry often die by poking their fingers with the needles. So imagine some princess who wants a necklace and you have to get some of the stuff then find someone brave enough to do the work. The leaves can be made into a tea that acts as an aphrodisiac...native medicine but who knows how well it works. Three good stories from just one little vine.

03-16-2011, 11:13 AM
That's really nice. Too many great features to note them all but I really love the "shard" mountains in the northeast and the "caterpillar" forests on the hills (they should be tree ent herds!) This is the beginnings of Featured Map material. I'm already jealous. Have some rep in advance...I know this is going to turn out awesome!

03-17-2011, 10:33 AM
The hills and cultivated lands are very good. I like the grasslands too but the scale seems somehow out, possibly because the coastline seems one more in keeping with a depiction at a continental/world scale whereas the mountains, hills, marshland (really good BTW), etc. are more at the regional scale. Following the progress with great interest though, and not a little envy.

03-27-2011, 10:55 PM
Had some time finally so I finished up the terrain. Next up I'll be thinking of what and how to do things like caves, towns, etc. So far everything is drawn with the default 5 or 9 pixel hard round brush except the rivers (used the 13 there). Not sure about the ice in the middle top but no other ideas for it either.

03-28-2011, 12:23 AM
A, this is looking absolutely amazing. I'm positive the finished piece will be breathtaking.

Ryan K
03-28-2011, 01:14 AM
Seconded, it already looks so beautiful. This is one to watch alright.

04-06-2011, 10:40 PM
OK, so I brain-farted and saved the smaller flattened jpg as the psd so this one might be a while before I come back and finish it up. Since this is for practice I just started a new one in order to practice the things I want to practice, If it turns out well then I'll try to go back and finish the other one.

Sergei Zybin
04-06-2011, 11:06 PM
This ia realy cool! I love linework and details (swamped tree absolutly wonderful)!

But little piece of critics - coastline in south can be more plain with smaller amount of ilands. Rugged coastlines done by movement of glaciers in some old past of world. So, most of it in north.

04-06-2011, 11:20 PM
Ah, good point, forgetting my own advice. Thanks, man but too late. Thought I'd hit y'all with a quick screenie before I go to bed.

04-10-2011, 10:45 PM
Took me a while to find a better forest style, one that fits the mountains better. I tried big, over-sized trees in an illustrative, realistic style but they were almost as large as the mountains. I tried individual trees but the shadows became overpowering and annoying. I tried my usual style but it was lacking something. I tried the Fragless style but it didn't fit here. So I spent like a whole night on each different style only to scrap it until I eventually hit on this style and thought it was pretty cool until I realized that it looked like 18th19th century bird's-eye city maps - but that style rocks so I'll take it. :) It's not fast, which is what I wanted, but it looks pretty good - that whole section took me most of Saturday afternoon and night. Today, I worked on the banners and went through all of my fonts, settled on Bouwsma Uncial, while watching The Masters. The outer glow on the text is just a place-holder for now, I'll rectify this at the end. Then I went over and played with the gift that I bought my niece for her 11th birthday (Wii U-Draw) and helped her learn how to use it - to which she promptly told me to step off so that she could just experiment with it (yeah, she's just like me). Then I hung the dragon poster that I drew and we both crayoned last week when she had a sick day and came to my workshop. I'm one of those guys who is always hot so I've been telling her for years that I have dragon blood and now she's starting to always be hot as well. Heh heh. Who knows, maybe she'll be posting here in a few years, she's far more diverse than I was at that age (I just drew hot rods). :)

Ryan K
04-10-2011, 10:59 PM
Excellent work! I really love the feel of this one.

04-11-2011, 12:14 AM
Those trees are gorgeous, and the icons for buildings are also really sweet. The whole style, as you said, rocks. And yeah, get your niece's stuff up on here, we can all encourage her until she is better than you!

04-11-2011, 08:53 AM
Loving the look of that, Ascension. Your new trees look lovely. Looking forward to seeing more. :)

04-12-2011, 10:43 PM
Here's where I am tonight. Added a canyon, desert, scrubland/chapparal, some cacti, forests getting quicker (not so tedious as I was expecting). This is 50% size. So far just using the 9 pixel hard round for coasts, 5 pixel hard round for main lines, and 3 pixel hard round for details.

04-12-2011, 11:15 PM
Ascension, I want to eat your brain and steal all your talent.

Ryan K
04-12-2011, 11:27 PM
I'll second that.

04-13-2011, 12:15 AM
Ay, check it out...we got zombies here. :) Heh heh. You'd better have a big desert 'cuz what's between my ears is fairly small and very scrambled (according to my exes). Seriously though thanks, guys.

04-13-2011, 12:45 AM
Nah, it's cool, I had a big lunch.

04-13-2011, 01:17 PM
Fantasico, Big A. Are you going to use those forested hills? I really liked them - and your current forests really rock.

04-13-2011, 01:29 PM
Very awesome indeed, I only have a couple things I've noticed. First the shadows cast by your community/building markers are a little off putting since it distracts from the details. I don't know if a change in angle or opacity will help or not. The parchment bases is awesome but unfortunately it looks overexposed in many spots when photographed and can be off putting. the can canyon in the south is it a fissure in the land where sea water drains into or is it a river bed that eventually meets the sea thats not visible due to size of the canyon. Aside from this very well done and really look forward to the end product. Just curious are using black line work simply set to grain merge?

04-13-2011, 01:40 PM
I love your art, but I'm finding this expanded version to be too busy. I thought your original map in this thread was also going the same way. The foothills around the mountains in the SW for instance, there just seems too many of them. Having 50% of that number or even less but just spaced out more would convey the same area without looking like they are squeezed in.

04-13-2011, 04:19 PM
I wasn't particularly fond of the hills in the bottom left (looks like a little army of hills marching in step) so I'll probably take many of them out and put some trees in there to make up the space. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, I was just letting it slide. :) Maybe I can put some mesas in there for practice. The shadows; I have to change color to something oranger and lighter because simply reducing opacity makes the brown look gray. I originally had them on an angle but it just looked weird. I was planning to tweak these once I get down to really placing the towns but I guess I need to address it now instead of later if I'm going to keep putting up these updates. By the way, no black at all except for the town sketches, using a dark brown with a slightly more orange outer glow. The canyon...maybe I'll pull it back away from the sea a little bit but yes, it is a river. The parchment is just one of the coyotemax ones set to hard light and I kinda like the look, shrug. We'll see at the end how things turn out but for now it stays...that's one of those little tweak things I do once I get all of the hard work done. Thanks for pointing things out so that I can work on 'em...I was being lazy on the hills (bad me). Ok, off to tweak now.

04-13-2011, 05:57 PM
Great stuff.

Sorry to appear negative earlier but as it seems to have had a positive effect then I'll stop feeling bad. :)

As to the canyon... I don't think you need to move it away from the sea but I think the problem is that it appears very deep and then suddenly it is a normal river. For instance, directly south of where the river begins ( meaning the traditional river, not the one assumed to be at the bottom of the canyon ) there is a very long line showing how massive the cliff is there but within a relatively short distance it is then a normal river. I think that line and maybe a few around it need shortening to show the canyon getting shallower. Or at least an abrupt end to the canyon with the river emerging needs somehow showing which will be quite hard to effectively show.

04-13-2011, 09:19 PM
Na, man, criticism isn't a big deal...it just means that I haven't accomplished something that I was trying to accomplish so I need to try again. Cabyon; you're telling me - I struggled with that darn thing for a few hours. The conclusion that I came to was that in order to show it effectively I'd have to draw both sides of the canyon...kinda hard in an ISO view. But I tried it anyway and it came out looking like I drew a top down creek and that it was just oversized for effect but that, certainly, clashed with everything else so I went back to this one and left it. The only other thing that worked was for me to draw the river at the bottom of the canyon sort of like where the river meets the ocean there (not just a single line river but a wide 2-line river) but I don't want to be drawing all of my rivers that way and if I do one that way then the others have to be that way. The problem that arose then was that the river looked like an elevated rail just hovering in air. I could try hiding the second line of a 2-line river behind the edge of the lower rim but then I have to draw tiny waves n stuff...didn't want to attempt that but maybe I should give 'er a go. The whole problem boils down to the fact that I just am not that good at drawing an ISO canyon and once I get it right others will see it properly. :) Wait, I just saw something. In the part that runs vertical I run the far side lines all the way down to the lower rim...I should angle the sides there and put the river in there and that might work.

04-14-2011, 06:21 AM
Wait, I just saw something. In the part that runs vertical I run the far side lines all the way down to the lower rim...I should angle the sides there and put the river in there and that might work.

That's what I was saying.

04-24-2011, 12:41 AM
I've only been able to put a few hours a day in on this experimenting with how to get things to look right. I was also lucky enough to avoid the 24 tornadoes Friday night - glad I don't have to fly anywhere or else I'd be driving. Saturday I had a lot of time to work on it so that's where I made a real dent. I still have much to do but I have some other things I have to do for a while before getting back to this. This is half size so a lot of the details are mush and it's also medium quality but only minor loss there but that's what it takes to get it uploaded here. Don't think anyone wants the full size 33 meg jpg that's 22 x 17 inches. :)

04-24-2011, 01:58 AM
Really really nice! I wish I could do it that good.

Steel General
04-24-2011, 08:44 AM
Very cool my friend. :)

04-24-2011, 02:51 PM
Wow, this is looking really nice Ascension! Did you make the paper parchment yourself? Kudos.


04-24-2011, 02:52 PM
Gosh... My I have your tallent? :)

05-03-2011, 10:49 PM
Here's where I'm at now. Gotta tie up a bunch of loose ends, tweak stuff irking me, put in labels, cartouche, compass, and maybe some more little doodles of things (maybe monstahs, dunno).

05-04-2011, 12:45 AM
Looks fantastic! Really love the new colours you've got going on. Your roads kind of clash with the rest - they look too uniform and inorganic. Might be as simple as a tiny bit of size jitter and a thicker glow for the edges?

05-04-2011, 01:03 AM
Looks great to me. Really like the habitation icons and little scroll labels.

05-04-2011, 02:38 AM
Looks really nice. I like how the rivers flow. The only thing that sticks out is the roads, they don't seem to fit with the rest of the style. Also the stonhenge thing on the island don't seem to melt into the environment, it stick out a bit (I think the texture of it is to white). But that is nitpicking. The whole thing is fantastic.

05-07-2011, 10:02 PM
Initial coloring. Minute adjustments to the road dots, not sure if it's any better but I might change them totally.

05-07-2011, 11:21 PM
Wow Ascension...I haven't seen this thread for a while but I think this looks fabulous!!

05-08-2011, 06:05 AM
Seriously beautiful work. Love the paper textures (has that tactile feel), it's also different enough from anything else I've seen posted in this style to make the style your own.

05-09-2011, 12:52 AM
I think someone else said something similar, but it bears repeating:

Ascension, I want to eat your brain and absorb your talent.

That. Looks. Fantastic.

05-09-2011, 04:17 AM
Looks excellent!

Kaiser MacCleg
05-09-2011, 12:33 PM
That. Is. Beautiful. :O

05-09-2011, 02:38 PM
I love the artistry of the whole thing but I still think it is too busy. If people feel that your roads are failing then I suspect it is because they are disappearing somewhat into all your little decorations. I think on a map that was a little more open those roads would be perfect.

05-09-2011, 05:41 PM
Thats really quite awesome!

Abramelin the Mage
12-18-2011, 11:29 AM
Ah, good point, forgetting my own advice. Thanks, man but too late. Thought I'd hit y'all with a quick screenie before I go to bed.

How did you get that texture with the folded, crinkled paper look? In the post above you went from a grey and white image to boom, awesome colors and textures...