View Full Version : hand drawn / ps trading village

12-01-2012, 09:34 PM
This is something I've been playing with, again to learn PS. It's a small trading village near borderlands of population / desolation. It is run by a manor lord who has fallen out of favor with the current powers that be. Even though thrown to the neatherlands he recognized the value to the land to raise sheep. He established some dye houses and weaving houses to process the wool and dye it for trade back into his lands and for export for sale. The place has become a favored place for caravans heading into the rugged realms just beyond. Just for RobA it has a butcher, baker and a candlestick maker LOL!!

Ok here's my process for this. freehand sketch (regular 8.5 x 11 copy paper) to develope the general feel for the town based on the above concept. scanned in sketch, loaded into PS. set up a layer system of water, grassland, trees and buildings. Thats it so far. Colors are massed in per the appropriate layer, I don't care if they overlap etc at this point. Some stuff looks ok, some stuff sucks ;) We can see the background layer which really help define the hillfort mound, but I've really got to figure out how to do my contour method in PS. I will individual draw in the building etc. Comments / crits as always welcome.

50322 51052 just a side by side with the latest version to see the overall change

12-02-2012, 03:33 AM
That looks great, I really like the penmanship.

For contours, why do anything different than what you've got? The slope lines in pen are great, and the colour treatment looks a bit like watercolour washes so far

12-02-2012, 04:26 AM
That looks really good, I don't have any recommendations for contours; they look better then anything I could of done.

12-02-2012, 06:00 AM
I have to agree with the others, the contours look great already, some things are just so difficult to imitate digitally... I would seriously consider keeping them. ^^ I will be watching this thread closely. I cannot wait to see what the finished map will look like. :)

12-02-2012, 12:33 PM
I have to agree with the others about you contours...they are great and I think that they would only add to a finished PS product. I too will be looking forward to your progress on this one...as always.

12-02-2012, 03:18 PM
Contours aye there's the rub :( these are on the background layer, so is all the other trash, notes etc, so when I turn off the layer - poof LOL no contours (per the inking anyway). I made a copy of the background layer but when I erase on the copy layer I get the transparency checkerboard in the drawing. I haven't at this point figured out how to eliminate this issue. I like the way the contours look, I just haven't figured a way to get PS to cooperate! Actually without the background ink work this is really absolutely nothing, just a piece of junk, so I need to work this out.

12-02-2012, 04:26 PM
I'm a PS newbie but I came across the issue you describe and solved it by either adding another layer filled with white colour below the layer you are erasing from (and later making them one layer) or tried erasing (with a brush) with an actual colour sampled from your sketch... There are probably easier ways to do it, maybe with the clone tool?

Hope it helps :/

12-02-2012, 07:10 PM
Yes, make a white layer underneath it. Also you could try setting that background layer with the contours on to multiply to reduce some of the noise.

12-02-2012, 09:28 PM
What about copying and then pasting the contours onto a new layer. Select by color with minimum threshold choosing white and then delete.

Remember that I have no clue about PS, so this might be way out in left field....in the next town... but it might work

12-03-2012, 09:50 AM
Wirelizard, eViLe_eAgLe thanks for the comments, appreciated

Lyandra, Larb, Korash Thanks this white layer under the copied background layer does the trick, well once you remember to fill the layer white LOL. I'll put the contours on another layer in the revised edition, ya I'm changing the layout atm MUHAHA I really didn't like the location of the hill fort so I'm redoin the layout. Update maybe a little slow coming I've got some things to address before I get back on this. Thanks again for helping solve this, frustration level at times wants to make me just forget it!!

12-04-2012, 12:56 AM
Beautifully done. Everything looks and feels consistent, and the style is lovely. The inking is very nicely done, and the coloring really matches the overall "feel" of the piece. Clean enough to work as a map, artistic enough to look like, well, a piece of art ^-^

The background information is a nice tough, too ^-^

12-04-2012, 09:58 PM
Quick update here. This is the revised village layout. I'm not finished, things not entirely tweeked. Like the town well in the middle of the road LOL. Labels are for convenience only at this point, this is not how the map will be labeled. Water shown for spacial definition clarity at this point. Void space in lower left above herbalist is more serf / slum housing, but I don't know if I really want this layout. The back story is more of one which servants are cared for, but I need a counterpoint in morality for the overall storyline I've got in the back of my mind. I like the Manor Hold location alot better separated slightly from the village, but still offering save haven for the inhabitants and overall control of the town by the Lord. Let me know if you think this works alittle better


12-05-2012, 03:25 AM
I like this version; you've maintained that great hand drawn look, and things are looking "well-organized" without looking "planned". I like the placement of the manor house; I'm wondering why the bridge doesn't quite line up straight on with the road up the hill? It's set up straight across the river, though. Not sure if that's just me not knowing how bridges are built ^-^; I like the style consistency, especially the fences ^-^ I know the labels aren't what you'll use for the final, but I think the main problem is the font - it looks too thick for the map style. But it looks like they're placed alright (for now).

12-05-2012, 03:31 AM
Now this is the way to draw out a town. I have been wanting to do one but haven't decided how I want it to look in the end. I have to say this makes me feel like I want to do mine by hand as well and add in the rest later. I'm loving it so far, keep up the good work!

12-05-2012, 09:41 AM
Kestrelgrey Thanks for the comments, The slight angle to the entrance of the manor hold was intentional, this is to create a simple barrier to breaching the gate with say a battering ram. I haven't worked out the details yet but there will be some type of draw bridge, portcullis or somesuch other barrier. The reason the manor hold is placed directly up against the river is that the Lord is planning to divert the stream at a later date to create a moat LOL. As I mentioned, labels are id's only no font selected / sized etc. just to give the viewer a reference to what I was aiming at.

Jaxilon thanks for the encouragement!! It's funny how when you look at something it makes you want to try the style. For me I look at all the PS work and think dang I need to make that, but my PS skills don't exist, so I fall back on the hand work ;) In developing this I actually tried to think what was needed to create the village in the first place and how it might have been implemented, now I'm thinking about a backstory to creat political / religious conflict in the setting MUHAHA

12-05-2012, 09:49 AM
This layout looks much better to me as well Vellum. You are right that the placement of the manor house seems more logical now. Keep up the good work! :)

12-05-2012, 12:48 PM
Great map.
One small point, the approach to the castle is across a bridge and straight up the steepest part of the hill. I think that you need a switch-back road from the river to the main gate.

[or an inclined rail for a steam-punk village]. :)

12-06-2012, 08:56 AM
One small point, the approach to the castle is across a bridge and straight up the steepest part of the hill. I think that you need a switch-back road from the river to the main gate. [or an inclined rail for a steam-punk village]. :)

but, but the contour interval is only 1 foot LOL I actually thought about this then inked in stuff and forgot to do it, to late atm to worry about :(

12-06-2012, 09:11 AM
Alright I think this is it for the layout. I've started to PS this but as we can see my PS skills stink :(( but I'm gonna keep peckin at this even though I'm way outta my comfort zone LOL! I think I may have to cut and paste this into a larger page size so that a legend can be added to id the structures / town elements.

12-06-2012, 10:23 PM
Well I messed around with coloring this some today, I really could use some guidance here. This just stinks, looks like a kindergardner with crayons LOL

12-07-2012, 04:06 AM
Actually, I don't think it's bad at all. It has a very architectural style that I tend to like.

What are you shooting for and maybe we can provide some help. Do you have any examples of some town maps that have something you want?

12-07-2012, 05:53 AM
You might be getting the "crayon" impression because of all the white showing through (as you are using a low opacity brush). You could try fiddling with the background or parts of it. Perhaps adjust the white slightly to a warmer colour or a subtle green. Or even try a paper type background.

You could also try throwing down a texture on top (something I do) - a paper or rust or whatever texture on top of everything on a separate layer set to 10% overlay or thereabouts.

12-07-2012, 06:13 AM
You might be getting the "crayon" impression because of all the white showing through (as you are using a low opacity brush). You could try fiddling with the background or parts of it. Perhaps adjust the white slightly to a warmer colour or a subtle green. Or even try a paper type background.

You could also try throwing down a texture on top (something I do) - a paper or rust or whatever texture on top of everything on a separate layer set to 10% overlay or thereabouts.


Adding a subtle texture will make a lot of difference to how it looks.

Not that it needs it though. I think it looks great. :)

12-07-2012, 12:22 PM
I find it beautiful, and I think that it would be an extremely rare child the one able to do something like this in a kindergarden!

12-08-2012, 11:17 AM
Jaxilon Ė Here are a couple of links to stuff I like, this is more or less elements of the style (though I like the styles selected) I like your water style in the cano exp I think overall I like the subtle understated styles the best, that have the handdrawn/digital combo. But then again I happen to like a variety of the maps I see here. Thatís really a hard one to answer.
Torstanís Midguard http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachments/finished-maps/48988d1349803161-world-midgard-wastedwest.jpg The forest area textures and the light ďdesertĒ areas

Arsheesh Picture 12 of 13 from My Completed Maps (http://www.cartographersguild.com/members/arsheesh-albums-my+completed+maps-picture24667-western-baronies.html)

Schwarzkreuzsí background textures http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachments/regional-world-mapping/50351d1354521426-%5Bwip%5Dworldmap-commission-hughes9.jpg

Larb Iíll give the background fiddling a shot, once I figure out / select a good texture pattern. Iíll be looking at your tutorial as Iím using CS3 also http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/18390-%5Baward-winner%5D-town-map-tutorial.html Hopefully this may enhance my PS skills, thanks

Ramah I like your grassland style in http://www.cartographersguild.com/regional-world-mapping/21289-perdon.html#post202178. It seems you also used a ďblotched parchmentĒ background layer?

I'll be slack for a bit here RL is getting in the way LOL, not much of an update, I've been working on the forested areas and road a bit more but not much. Afterthought here on the maps selected, these all seem to be regional / world maps so I'll have to consider the scale of the elements compared to my village. Thanks for the input guys.

12-08-2012, 02:32 PM
I think you will find some happiness by just putting a parchment layer under this. It'll add some depth and texture to your coloring and you can tweak from there. Looking forward to seeing it.

12-08-2012, 04:39 PM
I think this is a fine map. I'm sure you PS people can offer some improvements, but please keep the "hand drawn" feel. As a long-time game master and now author, I feel many of todays maps are too polished. Just like I don't like my music over polished, maps that have a "look what I found in grandpa's dresser drawer" feel seem somehow more authentic and more real. It feels like somebody who lives in that town took the time to draw a map of his town. I really like it, and thanks for posting it!

12-10-2012, 08:42 PM
Small tweeks update, now that I see this online it looks to subtle. Whatcha all think? worked on the treeline some, road edges some, cleaned up color overlay on building to make them pop out a bit more. Still haven't worked on the parchment layer, was trying to update what I had before I screwed around LOL. Well everything is screwing around!! Whew this is hard work ;)

12-10-2012, 08:53 PM
Oooh, that's looking nice Vellum.


12-11-2012, 11:37 AM
Well it looks like this may be finished for now :( i accidentally converted the psd into last night's jpeg post!!! I've got the day previous save file, but this kinda knocked the wind outta me, had more than a couple of hours change in it yesterday, worked the day on an off. Good lesson to pay attention to the save function and not do it automatically LOL. I guess my choices are to try and recreate layer system from this point or drop back and rework stuff. I think I'll step away from it for a bit and maybe get through the holidays then jump back on it.

12-11-2012, 10:03 PM
Ok this setback thing really bugged me so I bulldozed my way back to where I was :P Actually I like the way the tree mass is coming along alot better, added some minor pathways along waterway, thru trees and between some houses. Not so happy with the dirt / grass condition in the manor hold, think I'll need to go back and rework this. So another minor update but it's sure looking different than the start! Becoming a tad more comfortable with PS, but still need lessons LOL.

12-11-2012, 10:29 PM
Ah the joys of being self taught...even with help ;) I think you are really starting to get the hang of PS. It feels quite alive.

12-11-2012, 11:52 PM
For what it's worth, your latest version is better than the one before it. And I personally prefer the mud/dirt outside the manor/keep now. A few things I thought of for this map (which you're probably going to hate me for):

Your trade house and inn are facing the main square at an angle - you'd think they'd prefer to have the road right at their main doors.

The wagon maker looks like his/her shop opens onto a yard (which makes sense), but the main road is prime real-estate (I'm assuming the road lower-left to upper right is the main road); s/he'd also want a large front door, and perhaps a lane from main street to yard?

The mill is a very important building, and the miller would also want a path.

And, last, if that space in front of the manor/keep is somewhere carriages pull up (perhaps made by the local wagon maker?), you could try adding some lines in the mud to look like wheel ruts. It might make you happier with the mud there.

Just some things to think about (might be too late for some of those, I know, but the wheel ruts should be doable). Otherwise, great looking map. Definite improvement in the trees, and I like the colours around the dye vats.

12-12-2012, 07:55 AM
Korash, thanks the learning has been quite a journey for me here :P I look at alot of the works here and I'm truly amazed, you guys are incredible cartographers and a nice bunch of folks. thanks all

THW Trade house / Inn Placement at an angle was intentional, helped to focus the setting inward to the well and more or less facing the Manor Hold. This to me helped bring the illusion of the town center (which is actually on the outskirts) back towards the middle of the town/map. I Also added a bit of building profile for the traveler to see the front building face as they entered from either direction, so there is some method to my madness :-)

I've not finished up with the paths, so we will see more mud trodden lanes LOL as well as maybe more trees, more roof coloration etc I work sporadically all over the place and tend to quit what I'm doing in the middle when tedium sets in. I'll give the roadwork ruts (good suggestion) some thought, have to work out a scale in my mind first.

I've not really made up my mind which road will actually be the main access, this will more depend on the story line (which is getting more extensive by the hour!). From a minor aspect of the story line the main road is really the road from upper left to lower right, but alas I really didn't consider this when I started the doodle. The roadway from lower left to upper right actually works better from a building placement standpoint. Ahh, the dilemma!! thanks for the crits, good thoughts to ponder, if not on this then the next.

12-17-2012, 07:17 PM
This is getting better and better Vellum! :) The setback you've had seemed to have helped as well. ^^ The latest version looks really great!

01-01-2013, 11:18 PM
Small update, worked on this some tonight just to get back in the swing of things for the new year. Messed with the border, not liking this atm. Need a few more named places, going to do a bit more research on what may or may not be located in this type of village. Played with tree texture some. If ya all have any suggestions shoot em up ;)


01-02-2013, 05:46 AM
I really like the hand-drawn ink houses and geographical elements. If I were to make one suggestion it would be that the overall composition might be improved were you to employ the same pencil and ink style on the trees and forests - for consistency.


01-02-2013, 10:18 AM
Arsheesh the style consistency idea is a good one, I'll try it with the next effort. I didn't do any tree line / forest work in the original freehand sketch as I really haven't found a technique that I like to accomplish this. Any thing on the site here that I should look at that would work? Or elsewhere for that matter.

01-02-2013, 02:01 PM
It looks great to me. I know there are a few hand drawn guides in the tutorials forum, a thread of collected mini tutorials.

01-02-2013, 02:55 PM
Arsheesh the style consistency idea is a good one, I'll try it with the next effort. I didn't do any tree line / forest work in the original freehand sketch as I really haven't found a technique that I like to accomplish this. Any thing on the site here that I should look at that would work? Or elsewhere for that matter.

It looks great to me. I know there are a few hand drawn guides in the tutorials forum, a thread of collected mini tutorials.

Also, have a look at some of Larb and Schley's town maps for a good example of what I'm talking about.


01-02-2013, 03:09 PM

Your map has a nice earthly feel to it, and would remark that the roadways need to be made to stand out just a bit. Maybe a brown or even penciled in and scan again. Have you thought about coloring the roofs? I think it would also help contrast the objects in your map.

01-02-2013, 04:32 PM
Larb / Arseesh
Iíve tried a tree line ink technique in the harbor map and in the issamont threads. They are ok, but just donít float my boat. The style consistency is there in these two previous maps but Iíd like something different. I like Larbís style as his treeline is similar to the above mentioned maps. Schleyís maps are nice, but the trees seem to be more digital oriented than the look Iím after. I know this is going to be something that will just have to develop over time into something I like and can call my own . The ink edge line in issamont will probably show back up, but a texture fill may or may not be the answer with it. I need to hunt down the mini tuts.

Rodan Still a work in progress, there will be more line definition of the road / grass edge. The roofs are colored atm, albeit subtle, as I prefer it for this technique. This is also a hard balance to pull off correctly and not have conflict with the overall style. I have a compass rose / border to add also. Just gonna keep peckin at it.

01-02-2013, 05:52 PM
Hi Vellum, nice map. Thought I'd put in my thoughts about it. Although it looks great, there was something bothering me about the building's you'd labelled. There are a lot of different trades going on in a fairly small village - I don't know if a village of this size would have its own armourer, for example.

The other thing I noticed: where's all the farmland? If this is a typical medieval-type village, most of the buildings would be peasant houses, and those peasants would all be working the land. I remember you gave this map something of a backstory, re. the dyeworks, but if you mentioned farming, I don't remember (and, admittedly, haven't rechecked). That then leads on to the question of the mill - if they do not grow their food locally, what is the miller milling? what is the weaver weaving? what does the baker bake? etc.

Other thoughts:
- where does the potter get his clay?
- you have both a weaver and a tailor - can the weaver really make a living simply from weaving (historically, it was probably wives and widows who did the weaving for each household)?
- there's a cooper making barrels, but who buys the barrels? (scratch that, the inn would probably do its own brewing)
- you've got wagon-makers, cobblers, and harness-makers, but no carpenters, tanners or leather-workers.
- I think it is plausible that the manor-hold would be the place for administering justice, but who catches the criminals? who does the daily business of administering the village? Is there a sheriff/bailiff/reeve?
- Another medieval building you might expect to see is a gaol cell - nothing larger than a single room, but where prisoners can be kept while awaiting the lord's justice (of course, the prison could just be inside the lord's house).
- if the trade house is like a market hall, you might find a lot of specialist shops clustering around it. (I think I pointed out last time that some of those buildings - wagoneer especially - would be mainly facing the street, not the backyard. The sheds just seem to reinforce the sense that they're looking the wrong way).
- I was going to ask about honey and beeswax, but that might come straight from the woodland.
- Also (and you might disagree with this), I suspect there might be more fences and walls between different buildings - the dye-works would want to guard their business from thieves, and most other homes (even the homes of professionals) would have a small garden with a wall.
- Lastly, I do like the livestock pen - nice touch.

Sorry if that's all negative or unhelpful at this stage. I hope you don't mind me saying so, but I think there is a temptation to include too many assorted buildings/trades in what should be a humble village map. That said, it's your village, and your decision. And it's still a nice map.

01-02-2013, 06:14 PM
That is looking really good! I do think HoarseWhisperer has some good points on the naming of things and a few of the layout details, but it looks awesome as is.

One label I'd change is the two references to coal should almost certainly be to charcoal, which is made from wood - so lime & charcoal kilns in the top left corner, not lime & coal, and a charcoal storage behind the smithy.

Now I'm going to be purely greedy - could we get a version of this without labels at some point? I'd love to be able to run a copy off as a player handout in an RPG session, and being able to re-label buildings (or just have players make their own notes on the map) would be great.

01-02-2013, 06:31 PM
To play devils advocate, a number of the layout choices can be explained away. The sheriff (or equivalent) might reside in the manor. The "lockup" will likely be a spare secure room somewhere, like perhaps in the guardhouse or whatever (imprisonment was not a common form of punishment in the medieval, merely a temporary condition before sentence was passed). The crop fields could be a little further out. The clay pits could be a short walk downstream. The cooper might make "coffins" too if the burials are in barrel-like containers. Individuals might perform the services of carpenters and tanners to supplement their "income" between working the fields. Or the tanners might also be trappers or ranchers living further out.

On the otherhand, the charcoal (and yes, it would be charcoal) "kilns" would probably be in the middle of whatever bit of coppiced woodland is the main source of wood (at least from what I know of charcoal making). And yes, I imagine there should perhaps be a fence around all the hanging dyed cloth.

01-02-2013, 09:42 PM
TheHoarseWhisperer I don’t mind the critic at all and I don’t take this as negative, I even requested some input about building naming conventions a few posts back. If you will notice not all of the buildings are labeled at this point for just this reason, or I haven’t made a decision ( or in some of your examples I really didn’t think about it) what some of the building naming conventions need to be. There is a back story which explains some of the reasoning for the town layout, but it is only a generic guideline to me. There is more working farmlands (grazing lands) surrounding the town, I just didn’t wish to address it with this town “center” map. You do have some good points as to the who what when were of the setting. Now don’t take the rest of my comments as a posture to defend my map layout, but you do need to keep in mind my major focus, which is not to build a fantasy place setting, it is to learn photoshop. This is the first real attempt at anything photoshop related that I have ever done, all my other posted maps are handdrawn (with the exception of blindly following tears tutorial) and scanned in the images. The learning experience has been my foremost goal, which I hope has improved my skills and understanding of the program. I still wish to employ some new techniques on this map, some may or maynot work, or I may not like, it’s just part of my journey. I would hope that this has given some incentive to the other new folks to give a shot at posting up some work and joining me in advancing our cartographic skills in a cooperative manner. That being said, now tell me how you did the stains on darenko empire map and add parchment to this beast 

Wirelizard, yeah the coal label should really be charcoal, was late at night LOL.

01-03-2013, 07:31 PM
Vellum, if this is an experiment, than it looks like a success. I will no longer nitpick over details.

As for Larithas' map of Darenko, and the coffee stains on it, those are from an image of old stained paper that I added as an overlay layer to the image, with a few adjustments thrown in for good measure. The overlay came from my brother, so I don't know where he found it, but it was probably just a google image search. Don't know if that helps.

I've been doing my own recent experiments on photoshop to create an infinite number of old grungy paper backgrounds, but they're still ongoing and look a bit digital. Once finished, I could post them/the method in the forums for everyone's use, if desired.


- Max -
01-03-2013, 08:43 PM
Hi Vellum, you did a nice job there. The buildings are nicely done and give a great feel to the map.
My two cents about how to improve it with photoshop : adding a bit of texture on background to give some "relief" to the whole map, adding specific textures for grass, roads etc... will help you to color it up. Textures on the roofs really give your buildings some character and adding shadow color and highlight color (even if they are subtle) on those roofs would improve the whole map. Adding some shadows outside houses could be fine too. And I'm notr a great fan of the blue you used on the river :p By the way, keep up the good job!

01-03-2013, 09:04 PM
THW hey I donít mind if you nitpick this, I may not address the items you brought up with this exercise but I will think about them in future projects. Just trying to make PS work is giving me a headache  there is so so much I donít understand or know how to manipulate that it frustrates me because I donít get the results Iíd hoped for. Simple issues like changing the canvas size to add a parchment background so that I could number / label the building in an index form and not have writing in the map proper area. Tried to do it a couple times with no results. Been putting off the border element, even though this seems simple to some, I have to take some baby steps here to figure it out.

Max Ė Oh the river water, how I hate that color LOL. I don't have the concept of opacity / texture combinations down. Iíd love to try some textured elements and shadow effects. I feel like I spend more time hunting down how to do things than actually working on the map .

If either of you have good examples, point me in their direction, Iíll take a look. I really want to get better at this.

- Max -
01-03-2013, 09:16 PM
Sometimes juts using some fine grunge style brushes (soft or hard) around with different layers modes help you in a great way to add texture. Try using some. And spending time hunting down how to do things is never a waste of time ;)

01-03-2013, 09:55 PM
Here. I suppose you should have a little rep from me for this pretty awesome map. Nice work. :)

- Max -
01-04-2013, 10:05 AM
Max Ė Oh the river water, how I hate that color LOL. I don't have the concept of opacity / texture combinations down. Iíd love to try some textured elements and shadow effects. I feel like I spend more time hunting down how to do things than actually working on the map .

If either of you have good examples, point me in their direction, Iíll take a look. I really want to get better at this.

Hi there, not sure if this will help you but I made you a quick tut on some fast ways I sometimes color up my hand drawn rivers. Maybe it gives you some ideas :)


01-04-2013, 08:10 PM
Awesome Max!!! thanks for the mini tutorial, I appreciate it.

- Max -
01-04-2013, 08:56 PM
No problem Vellum, Glad you liked it.

01-06-2013, 07:39 AM
Ok messed with a border here. Some issues once I imported it in, we see opacity change from lower left to upper right. border layer is the top most layer atm. I assume this opacity change is because of the overall color changes in the layers below? Anyway to correct this? Open for suggestions here on how to improve the border look, both technique and design layout. Compass rose showing is just a place holder until I work it out alittle better. I also need to go in and erase layer coloring overlap, I think this will help the overall washed out appearance it seems to have.


Blaidd Drwg
01-06-2013, 03:50 PM
I love how there seem to be more and more pretty hand-drawn maps around, these days. This is certainly a good example of one. :D

01-06-2013, 04:08 PM
Thanks for the seal of approval Blaidd Drwg, appreciated.

Add a side by side on the first page of posting to show the changes LOL

Freehand 5.5
01-06-2013, 05:32 PM
I'm a big fan of hand drawn maps, too. Very cool project.

The river is a bit to dark and to strong in color. Water always reflects the sky. Perhaps a lighter and more greyish blue would look more naturally.
The trees look a bit to cloudy. They could be more defined at the edges.

The mill is to small and has no court. The mill is a building, where all the peasants come to mill their grain. Big carts. Heavy sacks. Many people. Long queues ... (there is a german proverb that says: Who comes first, mills first.)

But despite my nitpicking I like that map very much.
The hill is great. The houses are plenty and very detailed and please my dry old eyes. ;)
Its a nice piece of work. Hopefully not your last.

02-05-2013, 03:16 PM
Hi Vellum. I sent you a response to your PM but I can't tell if it went or not so I'll repost my advice here:

Actually it's a pretty darned good map and it seems you're getting the hang of PS pretty well. My suggestions on this map would only be stylistic: 1) draw and ink the trees, roads, and maybe some of the other natural features, and 2) cut back on the blue saturation in the river, maybe to the level of the pond. Beyond that I think it's good to go!

I haven't really done that many hand-drawn maps like this but I've got some general pointers: 1) Scan the map at the highest resolution possible and then open that file into PS and save it as a PSD, 2) Promote the resulting "Background" layer into a real layer and set its blend mode to "Multiply", 3) At the bottom of your layer stack either import a parchment or other interesting (light) texture or make a white (or other light-colored) layer, 4) create layers above your base layer and paint into them. If you have an underlaid texture then paint with lower opacity to let the texture show through, if white then you might want to use a higher opacity. Try different styles of brushes...there are lots of "natural media" and "grunge" brushes out there, and these can help you add texture to the painting, 5) I like to add a layer to the very top of the stack containing a grungy texture (a dirty stucco wall, rusty metal, or something similar) and then put it on "Multiply" mode and play around with the opacity. This will give you some additional texture. Try different modes such as "Overlay" to see if it looks better...sometimes bringing in the color of the grunge texture a little will help tie the whole thing together.

Hopefully you find some of this useful. You draw great maps...PS is just an afterthought if you've got that kind of talent. Good luck!

02-05-2013, 07:03 PM
got the PM mearrin69 :-) thanks for the comments between yours and torstan's comments ya all are gonna make a mapper outta me yet!! I seriously fight photoshop, I'm one of those folks ya just gotta beat over the head to get it right LOL. sometimes there has to be a little pain to progress!! I thank all of you who have helped to push me, the support on this place is awesome.