View Full Version : November/December Lite Challenge Entry : Perintethibar

11-23-2011, 11:15 PM
OK, the only way I'll do this is by just diving in. The WIPs are likely to be wholly different versions at first, as I work out how to get the right effect. What I'm shooting for is the style of US Civil War maps such as these (http://www.davidrumsey.com/maps1100163-26867.html) at the David Rumsey Map Collection.

The world is the geofiction one I participate in, Aurora. My nation there, Sam'thuma (http://worldspinner.net/worldofaurora/wiki/index.php/Samthuma), draws on Earth's India for inspiration. This blankness on the first version will become partly jungle. I'll explain other peculiarities of the surroundings as I go.

I can see already with these pens I might ought to cover this amount of territory on a larger sheet of paper, else I won't be able to get variation in line weight. Too, the water is going to look better lined in blue ink, as well as colored in.

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11-24-2011, 11:20 AM
Great choice of style! You are going to have to find a pen with a very thin italic nib if you want to reproduce the lettering though.

11-30-2011, 12:27 PM
I really like the style, it really does remind me of the old civil war maps. (Being a sort of a war buffy) I'm really anticipating your finished product!

12-01-2011, 02:04 AM
Ravs- ja, tiny nib, or else just draw it on a whoppin' big sheet of paper :-).

So at a bigger size like this I can manage the lettering, albeit my penmanship is still rusty. And my the .1, .3, .5, .7 mm pens give a little lineweight distinction - not that I made good use of it <shrug>. The town name stinks - I didn't leave enough room & it shows.

Sam'thuman standards are looser than ours - we'll say this unimportant crossroads town was done by an apprentice cartographer - yeah, that's it :-).

ChH is a chai house - both tea and some manner of food in an enclosed building. Just Ch would be a chai bar, with perhaps only a bench under trees, or a few convenient logs to sit on. The terminal is an airship mast - the Sam'thumans use tip-up airship masts (http://worldspinner.net/worldofaurora/wiki/index.php?title=Aerospar) - that's the little square-and-line symbol. After trying several building blobs, I decided drawing fine-line squares works best with these pens, then coloring in the blocks. I left a few unfilled to show how I did that.

The little number-symbol isn't an actual building outline, it's a church/ temple/ worship place -- many Sam'thumans worship one of a plethora of deities whose names are numbers. (http://worldspinner.net/worldofaurora/wiki/index.php?title=Samthuman_Old_Faith) Many towns and cities in fact are numbered instead of named, in honor of the locally-prevalent god.

I'm still working out how I'll do tree symbols.

This is only a part of the full sheet I plan to present - this was 8.5"x11" ; I guess I'll need four to six times that much paper to get the effect I want.

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12-01-2011, 04:06 AM
Ravs- ja, tiny nib, or else just draw it on a whoppin' big sheet of paper :-).

Absolutely! On another map I'm drawing with handwritten labels, I'm using the same nib for bold and light text by writing the bold text smaller and the light text larger and then reducing the size after scanning it. Unfortunately in this comp, that's not allowed, though. I would like to get to the stage where I print out a very light outline of the map, draw in all the labels at once and then just scan them in, getting it done in one shot.

12-01-2011, 04:37 AM
Nice use of labeling - you use a clear style that works well. The overall balance appeals to me also. I am challenged when it comes to text on a map - so I appreciate your work and skill with pen. You've added in basic scale and direction - just right for the style you are working.
Regards, Gary

12-01-2011, 11:18 PM
Thanks, Gary. I used to have a fair calligraphic hand, mumble decades ago ;-)...

Give me your thoughts folks - I'm waffling between the solid banks of forest on the west and distinct outlined stands of trees like on the east, with some sort of symbolic representation of predominant tree types. Sam'thuma is seriously swathed in tree cover, so they care about what species are present.

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I wouldn't mind making the colors flat, as though printed like on the example Civil War maps, instead of scribbly shaded in. Unfortunately, I've been using non-permanent black ink .... watercolor pencils ? Not a good idea now.

12-02-2011, 02:47 AM
I would kind of go with the full tree cover, it looks more consistent ... however, the outlines might also work, but I'd make the edges thinner. There, enough zwei-centy for you? :)

I always love it when I realise I'd like to add something water-based to water-soluble inks ... nothing like *thinking* you've used permanent ink and going for that first wash ...

12-02-2011, 03:29 AM
Interesting question - consider the relation between habitation and landscape - sharp hard lines or black objects used for human additions. Thus, to my mind, the landscape should be lighter - more vague - background. I would pick the west forest design and keep it throughout the map - the idea being it will be the textured base for the detailed habitations and roads that overlay it. Your river is lightly colored so I would stay with a lightly colored forest area. Especially because you plan to use a good deal of labeling.

Personally, I would avoid single depictions of tree type - they are over size in relation to symbols. And, perhaps, will draw attention away from the focus. Finally, the question we all must ask ourselves: does it add any important information to what I am trying to communicate? Meaning, the emphasis in your map is on habitation pattrens more than setting.

Regards, Gary

Could you use old fashioned colored pencils (broad point)?

12-12-2011, 02:00 AM
Yup, Gary -- this seems to be working best with ballpoint green trees and stippling, overlaid with the same generic colored pencils I filled the water with. I tried the trees with the pencil on the W side of this version - looks maybe too muddy to me. Point taken about the lightness being better to avoid competition with the labels - Guess I'll go back and put some labels across that more vague pencil-only section and see how it looks. For now though:

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Things I feel still need work - if I'm working on this at 2X or 4X 'life size', the marsh symbols are too small, and the dotted casing on the main roads is too close to the solid side. Anybody see other things I can improve?

I need to remember: First the main black linework, then light pencil guidelines for labels, then ink the labels, then erase the guidelines, and lastly fill the forest. I had to be careful not to take out too much green when I removed the guidelines on this try <shrug>.... guess I'll get the layer idea better in mind as I rework this over and again :-).

I've almost made the river too narrow to justify a ferry...

The athletic field next to the airship terminal is annotated for the sports played there - in this case both Triplet (http://worldspinner.net/worldofaurora/wiki/index.php?title=Samthuman_Sports#Triplet) and Football (soccer). The terminal is annotated to indicate it does have wireless service - telegraph and telephone service is scanty in backcountry Sam'thuma; radios are rare enough to warrant noting their availability on a map. The little swallowtail flag indicates a public-governance building; both National (http://worldspinner.net/worldofaurora/wiki/index.php?title=File:SamthumaFlag150.gif) and Principality (http://worldspinner.net/worldofaurora/wiki/index.php?title=Samthuman_Principality_Flags) flags in Sam'thuma are swallowtailed instead of rectangular.

12-12-2011, 04:21 AM
Good work. I especially like the names, which seem to "mesh" together, like they actually come from a single language. It looks really good.

12-12-2011, 05:41 AM
Looking really good, JB! I especially like the calligraphy and the outline of the river.

In terms of C&C (and this has to be the least useful C&C of all time) It looks like it's missing something, but I don't know what that 'something' is.

12-12-2011, 05:48 AM
That is a lot. You've given it some thought, have you? Too narrow for a ferry? Depends... No problem for me as is. I agree, wireless is essential. How many people live there? Why do some house symbols have their own name? The spacing on the trees suggests thin woods to me - was that your intent?
Regards, Gary

12-12-2011, 11:50 AM
Ravells, maybe it's just the framing still missing. I am not too worried about making it look like a published map once I like the contents, so I haven't bothered to do bordering, etc. on these throwaways.

Thanks, Lukc -- that's high praise from you :-).

Gary - just a few hundred inhabitants. Outside the town proper, folks' dwellings constitute landmarks in and of themselves. I assume on the US Civil War maps that was important in case a unit had to deal with Mrs. Perkins, all the locals would be able to tell just where that was. Sam'thuma's main roads look like forest paths to outsiders - only the cased ones on the map are even assumed to be cleared to a width for cars & trucks. So instead of "4.3 km down Highway 78" Sam'thumans definitely use "turn past Sunduripethy's barn, ford two creeks, and my house is a bit further on the left".

That's assuming there's even a 1-meter path near a destination. Significant numbers of backwoods Sam'thumans' dwellings are up a dry (one hopes) streambed, across a pond, or "park your car, put on your snake-shedding hat, and walk uphill".

Hmmmm, yeah, that symbology does imply open woods. Dang - I was just going for lazy/easy. Think,Think,Think,Think,Think, ....

12-14-2011, 08:27 AM
Ok, I'll buy that. I spent way too much time in Texas not to understand your logic. Something is bothering me about the setting - I think it is the mix of modern and isolated. I'll get over it. The old joke: we used to always give directions with "turn left at the green water tower..." Of course, when it blew down in the tornado, we had to start saying, "turn left where the green water tower used to be..."

What is bothering me.... I think it is that the American Civil War was around mid 1800's - the American south was sparsely settled and people did live away from towns. Someone's house would be a landmark. Self-sufficiency was a necessity rather than a lifestyle choice. That was about 150 years ago and now we have wireless and sports. People continue to live outside towns but I'll wager the mortgage money that they would be upset without a way to get to town for supplies and still put in a full day's work on the farm.

That said, I still like it and enjoy exploring what you've put into it.
Regards, Gary