View Full Version : hand drawing ciffs that face north

03-26-2011, 03:11 PM
This is my first post to the forum. I am trying to draw a village for my rpg. The village sits atop 50 to 100 ft. cliffs. I am having trouble with the cliffs in that they are bordered by a bay to the north. It would be similar in real life to the north coast of Spain and the Bay of Biscay. I don't know if one would be able to see the beach below. Any help and advice would be appreciated.

03-26-2011, 03:15 PM
Heya. Welcome to the Guild! Can we see what you've got so far? Seeing where you're starting from and the style you're using would help us make suggestions, I think.

Edit: I've attached some clips from my Haibianr map. This was drawn in pencil, inked, scanned, then colored in PS. The darker lines are from the original scanned drawing. The lighter lines were laid in using shades of brown over the base brown color. They're not super-realistic, however, so this might be too simple for your purposes. You could certainly make them more detailed with rocks, crags, ledges, etc. or more realistic using texture instead of simple color.

03-26-2011, 04:35 PM
In an ISO style you'd have to have north facing left, right, or down. With north facing up then it would be quite hard. You might be able to have some indents to help show it, though. I drew a rough sketch to try to show what I mean.

03-28-2011, 11:16 AM
Thanks for the help and the drawings. The coastline with cliffs I am using for my rpg is taken from Erie Bluffs state park, PA. It used to be a boy scout camp that my husband used to go to. It was called Camp Sequoyah. You can Google them and find information and a rough map of the trails back in 1950. My map doesn't have as many trees as the area is scrub with plains further south. I've used AutoRealm to do the map itself, but can't quite get the coastline. That is why I wanted to try to draw it by hand.

Ascension, what is ISO style? I'm not familiar with it.

03-28-2011, 12:04 PM
He means isometric (link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isometric_projection)), which is just a way of using 2D to represent 3D objects with no accounting for perspective.

If you could post whatever you've drawn so far I think we could give you some specific advice. If you reply and click the "Go Advanced" button and scroll down you'll see a button that says "Manage Attachments" which will let you upload your image. Apologies if you already knew that...but it's a little buried so sometimes new members don't see it right away.

03-28-2011, 12:37 PM
What they said. Basically, if you want to draw something that faces North and North is up on your page you could have issues depending on your point of view. It sounds like Ascension is giving you the best advice but, in case he did not hit the nail on the head, you may be drawing from directly overhead. In that case you have to decide if you want to keep the perspective real or tweak it a bit to show depth. If you are keeping it real and the cliffs are straight up and down you really can't see them. The only thing you can do is make the ocean water look different along that area. It is probably deeper there than around the rest of the island. If you show beach between the bottom of the cliff and the water it's going to be a challenge. The best I can say in that case is to get on Google Earth and take a tour of an area that looks like what you want and look at it from directly overhead.

If you want to tweak things then you can make it so the foot of the cliff extends out farther than the top edge and you can draw the cliff using lines and shadows. Most likely going from lighter at the top to darker near the bottom. This is what mearrin exemplified above.

Another example of how to do this and have some beach might help a bit. Take a look at what Mike Schley has done here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=14079&d=1244681987) (see the southern edge for one example).

04-01-2011, 10:05 AM
Thanks again Mearrin, I did not know how to upload an image since I am a newbie.
In my map, there will be a beach below the cliffs. There is also a rough trail that fishermen use to get down to the boats, but that doesn't need to be shown on the map. From pictures I've seen of the cliffs in real life, the cliffs are pretty much straight up and down. So I guess an overhead view is what I am looking for.