View Full Version : I'm back!

03-02-2012, 10:41 AM
Hey fella's, it's been a long time... If you don't remember me, I'm that guy that was always trying to do something, and never quite finishing anything :P

I've been quite busy lately, with work and all kinds of other things... but I'm really anxious to get back into roleplaying, story creation and game design... and for me, cartography is a huge part of it... I'm very excited to see some of the new featured maps.. and some of the site updates.. looking all snazzy.. I never got a chance to talk to this side of the deal I set up for work... I forget who ended up doing it.. but whoever did the work for Big Iron Vault's Keith Foo.. I recommended this site to help him out.. I saw the final product... and all I can say is wow.. you did a great job.. I hope you were happy with working with him, he's got ideas out the butt, and if it's map related, he's assured me this site will be his best friend.

Lets see.. a run down of what I've been doing (at least stuff that could pertain to map making)... ok ok.. this first one isn't, but it's a big deal, and flows into another big adventure i've been undertaking recently...

This past July my father past away, it was sudden, he was diagnosed with cancer in Dec and past in the summer, while it was a shock to be sure, I'm handling it extremely well considering (some might say i've yet to truely grieve, but the way I see it, I left it in the best terms, I knew he loved me and was proud of me, and he knew I felt the same)... He was a good man, a tinkerer, a gardener, a painter... his skills have already been sorely missed... but his absence during the current reno of our basement, and many other activities we've undertaken have only increased the fond memories I've been recalling of him.

One thing I have taken upon myself as a sort of "tribute" to my dad is painting... My wife was gracious enough to give me an amazing gift for christmas, a beginner class in watercolour (my dad's perferred medium)... I used to paint with him when I was a kid... I mean really small.. you know those landscape paintings people do when they're just starting out? well I did several great ones when I was 7... my highschool art teacher stole them... i believe they are on display in the schools library or something now... Anyways, there's no way I can do paintings that well now, so I've wanted to start out with the basics for a long time.. I've finally made the leap.. I'll attach my first painting here in a second.. I really like it, but it's a pretty simple subject and as of yet it's the only real style I seem to have the hang of... I love the look of watercolour, and I'd really like to try to bring that look into mapping... at the moment however, paper is far to expensive to waste on trying map work at the moment.. I'd rather work on some style for a bit longer :P Here's the painting


Also, I've finished a major project at work... an economical development website written in flash for the county I work for... the url is here (http://www.lambtongis.ca/siteselector). I'm quite proud of it, it's my first large scale project, and I did it all myself. Right now I've moved on to make a mobile version of the site for your IPAD or Android devices... it's been a rediculous pain however to become a developer for apple (i never thought i'd have them harrassing me to join them). anyways, in due time i guess..

Well, enough details.. I'm interested to get back into it... I am going to attempt another shot at my "build the town from a series of events" idea I had a long time ago.. that attempt failed, but i'd like to try to come up with a process, so that i'm reacting to different events that happen, and the result ends up feeling more organic...

It's great to be back!

03-02-2012, 11:37 AM
Wow - that's a fantastic flower! I love the website too - that's incredibly cool. That's all in flash? I'm very impressed.

03-02-2012, 11:52 AM
Like you, I love the look of Watercolor. You do have to have that special paper though and that's kind of a hassle. I've gone for that look in some of my maps but it's not quite perfect yet.

I really like the flower you painted. How large is it? My wife wants some flowers for her office walls and I've been wanting to create them for her. I just haven't decided if I want to do them digitally or try actually painting them. I have next to no experience in physical (is that what you call it?) painting.

Welcome back, I always like to see what you create next. Interesting website too btw, nice job.

03-02-2012, 12:31 PM
Being that it's my first work, I believe i'm keeping it, but as i continue to paint, I'll take intrests to heart :P but thanks for the compliment!

Torstan thanks :P The website is indeed in flash, specifically using a couple of API's, one, adobe's FLEX SDK, which is now actually Apache's, and also a mapping API created by ESRI, since we used their software to post our mapping services online... A lot of the style and base function (scrolling zooming, the theme of the menu's etc) are pretty much out of the box, but all of the tools were pretty much custom programmed.. i'm especially proud of the PDF print option since there are VERY few functional print options for flash, and I had to build it using the PurePDF API...

I love to program in flash, I am indeed one of those HTML5 haters, mainly because I really don't want to have to deal with browsers, quite honestly I think its rediculous that they agree to a standard, then go about creating their own implementations of it.. I recently looked in on ESRI's take on HTML5, really just their Java API with HTML5 functions in it, and to be brunt it's rediculous, to do one thing in HTML5 (for instance a drop shadow in css) you have to type 3 extremely similar lines of code... for instance

drop-shadow:5; //IE
-mos-drop-shadow:5; //Firefox
-webkit-drop-shadow:5; //Chrome

why. Why? WHY!? does that make any sense! :P

anyways. thanks for the compliments :)

03-29-2012, 08:56 AM
Well here's another painting I just finished, it's from my phone so it's not an amazing shot.. I'll try to get better quality pics later

03-29-2012, 11:37 AM
How cool! And I sympathize with the "always doing but never finishing" bit. It takes me FOREVER to finish any one particular project because I'm always trying to do too much. I like to paint too, but I use acrylic and I'm very much a beginner. I tip my hat to you! I never got the hang of watercolor, but it's a very beautiful medium. :)

03-29-2012, 03:12 PM
Watercolour is very hard, most believe it to be the hardest paint medium, cause it's very unforgiving... you kind of need to think 5-6 steps ahead at all times... I can pick out about 10-20 things wrong with this particular image, but when it comes down to it.. looking at a picture of the painting itself, i can see it it a less critical light... I'm very much a beginner as well (this is like.. my 5th painting i think? 3 of which aren't even done... but some of them seem to just... work... dunno if it's a bit of my dad's spirit helping me out or what.. but I'm sure happy with the result!

03-29-2012, 04:32 PM
That's lovely! I really need to get back to watercolors a bit as well ... I've been too digital for too long, methinks :)

I love how simply and well you've done the water effect.

03-29-2012, 10:00 PM
Here's a better image of the first, and another that I like

03-30-2012, 01:40 AM
From my experience, I definitely think it's the hardest! The beautiful thing with acrylic is that if you don't like something, you can paint over it. The beautiful thing with oil is that if you don't like something, you can change it 'cause it stays wet forever. Watercolor, well... Like you said, very unforgiving. However, the finished product can be so astoundingly beautiful. :)

03-30-2012, 08:27 AM
I've been experimenting some with watercolor too, and coming up with nothing worth posting! Those look great to me :)

06-15-2012, 10:52 PM
Very nice work! I love to look at watercolors, but I'm an acrylic painter. =) Tried oils first, because my great grandmother used them, but they took too long to set. Been meaning to paint an acrylic map at some point, but I got my tablet and now I'm kinda stuck in the digital realm. And that blasted shadow box script! Jeez. I spent like two hours trying to get rid of that when I updated my blog. haha!

Oh, and... 'physical' painting (or any medium, really) is often referred to as traditional.

06-17-2012, 06:12 PM
I gots a new WIP.. it's a grain barn or something from alberta? i dunno.. i found the picture online of different canadian pics :P

I've got to figure out how to do the shingles all over the barn (it's like, cedar shingled over the whole thing) and do more details to the wood stuff along the bottom... clounds in the sky, and an entire lifetimes worth of grass blades :P

06-17-2012, 09:20 PM
What's with the little tiny picture?! =) It looks good from a distance, anyway. The grass... you might consider using a fan brush, but practice a bit first. ;)

06-18-2012, 09:33 AM
haha so you can't see the mistakes! :P

really i just kept it small for a quick upload... its not done, so i didn't think it had to be large... fan brush is indeed the way i'm going with the grass i think, there's just too much to try to put them in individually.. it's not really grass, its like, chopped down straw or wheat or what have you, it was a lot of white, which i decided i'd either scratch in at the end or just deal with it being yellow (i don't have the time to try to mask a million grass clumps).. the shingles are the hard part, i can't seem to find a good way to do em.. here, i'll upload the original pic and see if you have any ideas...


06-18-2012, 09:47 AM
Whoa, that's a lot of little squares.

I would test out some ideas if it was me.

I think my first experiment would be to paint horizontal lines and then vertical lines after that had dried raising the brush up every now and then. Obviously using a slightly darker color for the vertical lines....you could do it the other way around and go vertical first if you cared. Then I would go back through and touch up with some lighting or whatever. Not sure this will work because I am a noob with watercolor but that would be my first guess other than doing each shingle at a time.

You could cut yourself a little square of stiff sponge and make a brush for stamping each shingle. Then just be real careful to line them up.

You could attempt painting each square, haha.

Find a piece of screen, maybe remove some strands and lay it on the paper and brush over that with a mostly dry brush and see what happens.

Ok, those are my 2 minutes worth of experimental ideas. Let us know what you decide.

PS. If all that failed I would probably do the shingles with ink and then fill in the squares with the paint.

06-18-2012, 12:22 PM
Yeah, I did a painting of grassy dunes by the ocean for my brother last year, and of course I did it the hard way. Blade by blade. Though it doesn't really count, I suppose, when the paint is opaque. hehehe =)

First thing I'd do is size up the image so you can study the details. You've probably already done this and uploaded a small version. :P Then I'd mask off the lightest shingles and wash over everything with the few various deeper colors (green moss, then red glow, and red-purple on the end side). Mask the next-lightest shingles and give it another wash of colors. Mask the next- lightest, etc, etc... until happy with the variability of values. THEN unmask and selectively paint a few of the darkest edges.

That's what I'd do.