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palehorse
01-28-2008, 09:52 PM
Whenever I need a break from staring at the computer, I usually end up either grabbing my sketchbook or whatever musical instrument is closest at hand. I had a hankering to break out some drawing materials that I haven't used in a while the other day (and since this is a board for art and cartography and not recordings of sea chanties played on a ukulele or bad punk guitar), so I decided to do a map the old fashioned way.

I'm always interested in seeing how stuff like this progresses, and I figure that there are probably one or two others out there with a similar interest, so I'll be posting up the work-in-progress shots as I do it.

Here's where it stands right now. It's done on watercolor paper, since I plan on coloring it with watercolors when I'm done. The sketch was done with a plain ol' 5H pencil. I tried using one of my blue Prismacolor Copy-Nots, but it was just too light.

I'm inking over it with a crowquill pen. I'm using my favorite of all nibs, the Hunt 99 Drawing tip, which I prefer vastly over the more popular Hunt 102. (The 102 is a bit finicky for me.) The ink is Speedball Super Black.

http://www.zombienirvana.com/art/map-wip1.JPG

http://www.zombienirvana.com/art/map-wip2.JPG

http://www.zombienirvana.com/art/map-wip3.JPG

You can see that I don't sketch in a lot of details; I usually don't when I'm inking my own drawings.

I should have the inking portion done in a few days, and I'll post up the finished b&w version before I start coloring.

Gamerprinter
01-29-2008, 12:53 AM
Awesome - nice seeing hand drawn work like this! I'm too lazy to actually paint in watercolor, nice work. 8)

ravells
01-29-2008, 06:39 AM
Wow, this is beautiful! I can't wait to see more and must start doing some 'proper drawing' again.

p.s. you can post up sea shanties if you like!

Redrobes
01-29-2008, 03:38 PM
Lovely - more please...

palehorse
01-29-2008, 05:46 PM
Thanks all! My electricity was out most of the day, so I got a lot of work done on this one to while away the hours, and got caught up on some reading to boot! :-)


Awesome - nice seeing hand drawn work like this! I'm too lazy to actually paint in watercolor, nice work. 8)

I'm probably going to cheat (well, it's not REALLY cheating) and use watercolor pencils for the bulk of the coloring. It's been awhile since I did any traditional watercolors, and I'll need a few months of practice to sharpen my skills before I try using them on anything I actually want to keep!

I picked up a Niji waterbrush (one of these: http://www.dickblick.com/zz051/33/ )a few weeks ago, though, that's made it a heck of a lot easier to practice with. I need to get a few more, actually, in different sizes, now that I know I like them! They're SO handy! I'd like to get one just to fill with something like a neutral gray or brown and add some washes to my ink drawings.

pyrandon
01-29-2008, 11:26 PM
Great to see you here again, Butch--and that comment is underlined by me ten times more when you come bearing hand drawn maps! I can't wait to see the end result, and I hope it inspires others here (myself included) to set aside the mouse for a little while and remember how much fun it is to scratch on real-live paper! ;)

palehorse
01-31-2008, 12:24 PM
So here's the latest. I'm really, really unhappy with how fiddly I started making the fields. I let my mind wander while I was working, and my hand just sort of went off on it's own natural tendency to render the heck out of things. :( Chalk it up as a learning experience, I suppose.

I don't have a good way to fix it on the original (I don't have any opaque white that won't mess up the look of the watercolors) so I'll just try to clear up some the fiddly bits in the field in Photoshop later on. I'll probably go ahead and render out the rest of the fields, though, so the original will at least have a consistent look.

http://www.zombienirvana.com/art/map-wip4.jpg

ravells
01-31-2008, 12:32 PM
What...your pen doesn't have a ctrl-Z setting?? ;)

palehorse
01-31-2008, 01:10 PM
What...your pen doesn't have a ctrl-Z setting?? ;)

I wish! I'd have needed a LOT of levels of Undo, though.

Baziron
01-31-2008, 06:46 PM
This looks so awesome. I feel encouraged to draw some more, ever since I also tend to predraw with pencil and then ink over - but it'll take some practice before it looks like that.

pyrandon
02-01-2008, 02:46 PM
To be honest the fields do seem just a teensy-tinsy bit busy, but nothingt hat distracts the eye. The roads, on the other hand I think drag the composition down, dragging away from the buildings and the layout. That's not to say it's not a great map (it is), just one part that I personally didn't care for as much.

So what's next? Coloring? I can't wait--this is a very pleasing map-in-process!

palehorse
02-01-2008, 03:16 PM
Started adding some color last night. As I mentioned, I'm using watercolor pencils for most of the coloring; I have some traditional tube watercolors as well that I'm using for a few colors.

The road has been shaded in with the pencils using the same colors as the beach (a deep cadmium yellow and just a touch of ochre brown). You can see how much difference a little water makes!

It doesn't show up at all in the scan, but I added a bit of foam onto the water with some white pastel.

http://www.zombienirvana.com/art/map-wip5.jpg

Still have a lot more glazing to do; the rooftops aren't going to stay that fire engine red for long!

When it's all done I'll post up a link to a high-res version if you guys really want to get in and see how sloppy my watercolor work really is. :lol:

palehorse
02-01-2008, 03:21 PM
To be honest the fields do seem just a teensy-tinsy bit busy, but nothingt hat distracts the eye. The roads, on the other hand I think drag the composition down, dragging away from the buildings and the layout. That's not to say it's not a great map (it is), just one part that I personally didn't care for as much.

So what's next? Coloring? I can't wait--this is a very pleasing map-in-process!

I wouldn't say it's great. :lol: Definitely too busy; I'm not use to thinking in color when I'm just drawing by hand, since I usually work in black and white with, at most, a single color wash or something similar to provide a bit of gray. I just have to remember next time to leave some of the work for the color!

GlennZilla
02-01-2008, 04:35 PM
I must admit that I am anxious to see this finished so I can chop it up into symbols to use in my own maps. I am nowhere as good with a pen.

And for that reason, Repped!

palehorse
02-01-2008, 05:21 PM
I must admit that I am anxious to see this finished so I can chop it up into symbols to use in my own maps. I am nowhere as good with a pen.

Heck, if that's what you want, I can just get out some bristol board and draw up a sheet of houses. I ordered a new batch of pen nibs and I'll need a good excuse to try 'em out.

Back in college I started off in architecture and then moved over to fine arts, so I kind of got a leg up early!

Redrobes
02-01-2008, 05:56 PM
That would be stupendous. I looked at your site and seen all those lovely maps. A blend of pen and Photoshop can produce some great looking maps. If your looking to get some villages and cities made in your style then a sheet of houses and cottages by your pen would get a few people here including me eager for a chance to pop a few down and see what can be done with them.

Midgardsormr
02-01-2008, 07:38 PM
I love your style. It takes me back to my early days of running ICE's Middle Earth RP modules.

And I can certainly identify with the tendency to get too "fiddly" with the details--that's always been one of my weaknesses.

su_liam
02-05-2008, 02:31 AM
Buh-hee-you-tiful. I just love the ink-line work and even the coloring is growing on me. The water is sweet, the pink houses are... well, anyway, you said that was going to change, so hey! I like it.

Like Midgard, I'm all over fiddly bits.
By the way, I'm the Colin Paddock of the Clan Mc Donald who has been pestering you over at your site. Now get back to the video work. I want to know what you do with Dissolve before I come up with too many more dumb ideas of my own. :)

Sirith
02-05-2008, 12:41 PM
For some reason, I just love those trees. Trees always give me trouble (whether from the side or from the top), and these are just beautiful.

Also, I'm very interested what the endresult will be :)

GlennZilla
02-05-2008, 01:59 PM
I'd love to get a compilation of houses, terrain and such to use! I tend to grab buildings out of aerial photos (Google Earth) and chop the up and paste them back together.

palehorse
02-05-2008, 06:07 PM
Thanks all! Weekends are family time here at Casa del Zombie, so I haven't worked on the map since last week. I should have some time tomorrow to finish it up, though; it really doesn't need much more work, and I got a couple of new waterbrushes in today that I'm dying to try out!


Buh-hee-you-tiful. I just love the ink-line work and even the coloring is growing on me. The water is sweet, the pink houses are... well, anyway, you said that was going to change, so hey! I like it.

Like Midgard, I'm all over fiddly bits.
By the way, I'm the Colin Paddock of the Clan Mc Donald who has been pestering you over at your site. Now get back to the video work. I want to know what you do with Dissolve before I come up with too many more dumb ideas of my own. :)

Glad to see you made it over to the Guild!

I wanted the rooftops to have a warm tone, so they'd have a bit of pop against the green. I lived in the Azores for awhile, and almost all the rooftops there had these terra cotta tiles on top (normal rooftops would get blown away, literally; it gets VERY windy there!). Here's a pic to show you what I had in mind: http://www.azores-express.com/images/IM000174.jpg
I don't really have a good, rich orange like that, and I'd like to try to create by glazing layers of color rather than just mixing it. I haven't used watercolors in a while, and I'm trying to build my chops back up!

I'd love to go back there and just fill up a sketchbook with drawings and paintings some day!

I'm just now getting over a head cold, though, so I have to wait a few more days to get my voice back before I try to record another episode or it'd be nothing more than a series of croaks. Entertaining, sure, but not that educational!


For some reason, I just love those trees. Trees always give me trouble (whether from the side or from the top), and these are just beautiful.

Also, I'm very interested what the endresult will be :)

Thanks! I did a bunch of test drawing and coloring on the flip side of the map, and I did some trees there that I like a lot better than the ones I ended up with. I got a copy of Rendering in Pen and Ink (http://www.amazon.com/Rendering-Pen-Ink-Techniques-Illustrators/dp/0823045293) over the weekend, and while it's really gotten me inspired to do some more ink work, it's also made me painfully aware of some things I could've done better on.

There's always next time, though!


I'd love to get a compilation of houses, terrain and such to use! I tend to grab buildings out of aerial photos (Google Earth) and chop the up and paste them back together.

You've gotta love Google Earth! :) I'll probably use Google Maps to find some interesting building shapes. Working on a top-down only view, it's nice not having to worry about how the building actually has to fit together like when I'm making buildings in Sketchup!

GlennZilla
02-05-2008, 06:34 PM
You've gotta love Google Earth! :) I'll probably use Google Maps to find some interesting building shapes. Working on a top-down only view, it's nice not having to worry about how the building actually has to fit together like when I'm making buildings in Sketchup!

I keep thinking I want to make a model in Sketchup for the town but I can't seem to take the time for it. Plus I learned 3D in 3DS Max so if it's not Max I have a hard time using it. It's what I got used to using, I guess.

Too many ideas and not enough time.

Though I think I am going to do a WIP thread on my aerial view mapping method, just as soon as I am not at work and not dealing with a feverish child.