View Full Version : November/December Lite Challenge Entry: Mar Kentavros

11-30-2011, 03:02 PM

Well, since I double checked, and I can enter (not having three silver compasses nor any other compassi) ... I *am* going to enter. The background and backstory should become clear over time. I'm going to try to make this post into a bit of a WIP / tutorial as well, offering a bit of an insight into my hand-mapping. In the photo: 1 sheet of 250g bristol extra smooth paper, 4 letraset heavy duty fine line drawing pens, one H pencil, an eraser and a pencil sharpener. And a geometrick ruler, obviously. Slightly to the left, an A4, sketched world-map of my setting for reference.

11-30-2011, 03:22 PM
All right then, if you enter, I enter. Got to take my revenge :D
Must find a good idea though :/

Thanks for sharing your techniques. I love that!

11-30-2011, 03:36 PM

Bring it on, Dain ... my army of zombie were weasel ninjas can take anything you've got! :D

Anyway, the scan is terrible because there's almost no contrast right now - faint hard pencil lines on shiny white paper (it's *not* gray, really). I've pencilled in the frame for the map, the text box at the bottom and sketched in a vague graticule (although it might seem like this map will cover half a continent ... it won't. Really.)

11-30-2011, 04:09 PM

I know, still not much to see. Landforms vaguelly sketched in and some texts pencilled roughly. The inking should start soon, not much pencilwork left, honestly.

Obviously, the various circles are done with protractors and curve rulers, so they're nice and even :D

11-30-2011, 04:53 PM

Now it's starting to look like a map. I've only made one typo so far ... well, it wasn't really a typo. Just a letter didn't come out looking clear enough. Anyway, this is all inked with 0.1 and 0.3 drawing pens. For most of the lettering I draw pencil guides first - again, using the curve rule. I have to get all the lettering finished before I start drawing anything on the map, because it's going to be completely monochrome: black on white and nothing added. That also means I can't go and outline texts afterwards or anything, so ... labelling first, fun drawing second.

Funny thing, practically all the labels actually *mean* things.

Anyway, that's all for tonight. It's bedtime naow.

12-01-2011, 07:35 AM

Now the labels are done, some of the features have been added, and I've realized the compass element looks godawful in the scan. It doesn't look half so bad in the hard copy. Well, I'll mask it with the water a bit, and if worst comes to worst, I'll make the waters black and simply kill it off with ink :). Bottom left is being saved for a scale, the bottom bit for a legend or description of these lands.

Edit: redid the attachment

12-01-2011, 07:36 AM
Attachment not valid mate ;)

12-01-2011, 07:38 AM
Is it valid-er now? ;)

12-01-2011, 07:39 AM
Much better :D

12-01-2011, 09:19 AM
looking good lukc - and great that you share the whole process - looking forward to seeing where this goes :)

12-01-2011, 10:14 AM

Thanks Tilt :) ... now, this is it for today - got to get some other stuff done too! The time's come to raise the dpi on the scan to 150, so you can actually read things as well. I've got most of the mountains and things done, finished the swampy bit mostly, started adding the salt flats. A few more hours should see this sucker mostly done.

The borders are in slightly different weights, to give more of a contrast to the map. I also think the lettering is all done - I don't see much room left to add stuff*! Till later ...

*except the crabby sea monster, a witch somewhere, maybe a sphynx, probably some wyrms ...

** also I just noticed the borders and roads are going to have to go in too! :D

12-01-2011, 11:23 AM
Ooooo, purty, Lukc. If the compass rose (or anything else) dissatisfies you, nobody said this has to be drawn on one sheet of paper.... draw you a new one on really opaque material & paste it over this one. Though I don't see anything wrong with the present one ...

12-03-2011, 11:27 AM
Interesting to watch it develop and to hear the reasoning for each step. Thank you. It has the look of maps we have from long ago - the 3 figure groups you added to the corners works well to my mind. Your compass is also effective - fits right in. (I smiled seeing the place name, Kastel Terd... :-)

Regards, Gary

12-05-2011, 09:13 AM

I'll bet you probably thought I'd run out of time and run off, but no. I just had a very busy weekend. Such is December. Anyhow, I've now practically finished inking the map itself and the only thing left is to finish off the cartouche, background and legend for the map.

I've been considering how it would look if I added a bit of colour to the work. What think you all?

12-05-2011, 10:30 AM
I think it looks gorgeous! The only thing I'm not in love with is the marshy area to the east.

12-05-2011, 10:48 AM
Think it needs more reeds or sth?

12-05-2011, 12:06 PM
Looking really good so far Luk. I kinda like it uncolored my self, but I guess you could try it both ways and see which you prefer.


12-05-2011, 12:11 PM
Think it needs more reeds or sth?

At the moment what confuses me is that it looks like it might be the sea. Maybe if you used the normal marsh symbol... \|/ on top of a horizontal line? Dunno might look too cluttered.

12-05-2011, 01:09 PM
Hmm ... not sure if it would be too cluttered. The map symbol doesn't need to go on every horizontal line, every third line would do. Also, there aren't many labels in that area of the map, so it would probably work.

12-05-2011, 03:26 PM

Touched up the swamps, erased a few pencil marks (not yet finished) and started on the legend. Progress continues.

12-05-2011, 03:36 PM
That looks so much better on the swamps.

12-05-2011, 04:42 PM
I agree, the swamps look a lot better. I really like how the map is looking, great work so far!

12-05-2011, 05:35 PM
I've been considering how it would look if I added a bit of colour to the work. What think you all?
I think that if you go for a colorful version version, there won't be any chance left for the other contestants to win
You map is really nice!

12-06-2011, 03:44 AM
I'm thinking maybe some light monochrome shading, just for the elevations or something ... hmmm. But shading is dangerous. You have to shade everything consistently and completely, and that could add ... oof. Six hours of work, easily.

12-06-2011, 03:44 AM
Again, thank you for showing everyone the progress. Interesting to see it develop and what you place in it. You have captured the feel of an old map nicely - I like especially the small touches such as the ship and the figure groups. I think I will abstain on the marsh - it is the same symbol I use and I have never been quite sure about the effect. It can clutter up a map but, on the other hand, marshes tend to clutter up a landscape. The open impression on the right balances the detailed look on the upper left; so.... :-)

Regards, Gary

Re shading, I think you will not have the open, easy-to-read feeling of the map if you add shading.

12-06-2011, 04:03 AM
The marsh symbol is classically used on most topo maps as well, but it can also be combined with some shading. Another marsh symbol that I've encountered, which I like even less, is something like a "v" shape. Lots of little v-s sprayed around.

One of the main problems is that while the letraset pens I use don't smear at all (yay!) the pigment gets picked up by most plastic erasers, so I have to use a kneading art eraser to remove the pencil marks. I'm pretty sure I'll miss some pencil marks somewhere!

Anyway, it's almost done now, not much left. :)

12-06-2011, 07:19 AM
How to decide whether to colour a map? Science! Experiments! So I drew a quickie map in the same style on the same paper with the same pens and then coloured it.


The conclusion? Coloured Derwent Drawing pencils are great, Conté not so much, Caran d'Ache and Eberhard Faber even less. Particularly when the paper in question is a bristol extra smooth. Unfortunately, I have nowhere near enough Derwen pencils to do anything useful with them.

Mapwise? I'm not convinced. My map is going to stay black and white for the purposes of this challenge. The best colouring would probably involve a few passes in photoshop or painter.

12-07-2011, 07:16 PM
Hmm...special colored pencil brands instead of simple Crayola or something ones...now why didn't I think of that...lol..

12-08-2011, 04:39 AM
### LATEST WIP ###


Aaaand it's done. Finished. Thanks for following and for all the suggestions! They've been really helpful! Well, maybe I should erase a few more pencil marks I've found, but generally, it's finished. If I were just doing a regular map, I would probably now run a few adjustment layers, boost some contrast and maybe add some ageing textures to it. And possibly digitally colour a few things. But since we're doing hand made maps, this is it.

Since there's still 7 days to run of the challenge, there's still time for a few fixes and suggestions. :)

12-08-2011, 05:48 AM
Absolutely brilliant!

Hope you the best for the challenge ;)

12-08-2011, 05:49 AM
Looks done - and well done. Possibly some small marks only the artist can see, but the rest of us are impressed. You are certainly "a contender" in the voting. my opinion: more balanced now - the addition on the bottom seats the map. You may fix and fuss but it looks compete :-)

Regards, GAry

12-08-2011, 01:56 PM
Amazing work, Lukc! This one is going to be hard to beat!