View Full Version : hand drawn archipelago

01-28-2013, 09:44 AM
Just another doodle here to play with stuff. No background material with this one. I ended up not liking the outer islands off the large island on the lower left. Screwed up the compass rose by not paying attention to what I was doing!! No real scale thought out. Donít like the borders, if I continue this one Iíll probably have a changing border pattern to work out something I may like to reuse. The marsh / swamp area was intended to be a connection link between ocean bodies north and south, with marsh lake areas suitable for pirate hides, lizardmen villages, and other out of the way remote areas etc. The interior ďbayĒ is supposed to be shallow water area, think a little deeper than the florida keys. As you can see I havenít completed this one at all, donít know if I will. Thought I would post Ďer up even tho this one has been a hard motivational issue for me.

Comments and suggestions on this are always welcome. As a matter of fact how about addressing how you kick start the motivational issues when you run into them!! Well I kinda know how Iím gonna address this particular motivational issue, the wife says we are tearing out the kitchen!! So I may be sparse here for a bit LOL!!


- Max -
01-28-2013, 10:21 AM
Good start so far with the usual Vellum's touch! Keep up the good work

01-28-2013, 10:39 AM
That is a lot of marsh! Or fen. Or whatever. I always have to remind myself of the differences between a bog/marsh/fen/swamp.

So are the lizardfolk organised or more tribal? Do they have their own "heraldry" or something similar? As it is such a dominant feature on the map I wonder if it could be incorporated too somehow like your heraldic shields are.

01-28-2013, 11:43 PM
Y'know, in a way, I kind of like that compass rose better than if it was perfect. This one's got character and looks cool.

I think overall this map has a lot of potential; it's got a sort of Spanish Main vibe to it already. Don't discard it completely! If you're feeling less than motivated work on something else, but don't forget this one.

01-29-2013, 12:45 AM
I think the whole point of drawing by hand is to create something that does not look perfect, and that gives it more integrity/realism. So yeah, this compass rose definitely has character, as does the border (one of my favourite bits). I didn't think of the Spanish main until Diamond mentioned it, but now, that idea really suits it.

There's something about the swamp. It looks good, but somehow wrong. It might be that swamps usually form along major rivers (I think)? or the fact that it ends rather abruptly (maybe stretch it along the coast for a while, so that it becomes really elongated)? or maybe something to do with all of those streams?

Like Diamond says, though, keep it up.

As for motivation, I've found that I make my best maps (and enjoy it the most) when there's some kind of story to tell. Otherwise you're just making pretty scribbles which have no practical function. That's why I invented Larithas Stone, to tell a story through maps. I don't know how you use these/why you draw them, but maybe this approach will give you that boost you're asking about.

Freehand 5.5
01-29-2013, 03:24 AM
I like that map. I just had to look very closely to get the error on the rose.
So yeah, put it aside, make your wife a nice kitchen, than come back and do it.

Motivation: Listen to your most liked music while drawing.

01-29-2013, 10:22 AM
Well the spanish main idea (I guess I need to get rid of the viking ship;) )is kind of interesting, cause while I was playing with the swamp thing LOL I did think of Jean LaFitte :D. I the marsh / swamp / fen edge abruptness is something that bothered me and I will address this in two additional ways. 1. I will extend it outward in the nw / se direction to a more random outline. 2. I need to address the water inlet source issue which is missing at this point but I think I will add mountain / hill ranges also in the nw / se direction to get some flow lines for a major water source in both directions. Another thing which bothers me is the "relative straight line issue of the swamp coast lines. When I googled some sat shots of the florida everglades there where alot of projections out to barrier islands so to speak, which i have none of. This might be hard to "tweek" at this point.

Lizardmen heraldry? A croc maybe LOL I'll see if I can come up with something.

Kitchen update, man am I sore and all I did was empty cabinets and a closet to put all the crap yesterday LOL

01-31-2013, 09:33 PM
Very small update, trying to get 15 minutes here and there while working on the kitchen. Kitchen is killing me, gonna need a vacation after its over LOL. I thought about drawing a map of the kitchen progress on the back side of a door, wife nixed the idea! Anyways added tad more border, some mountain range to the SE, added lakes to drain into swamp / fen etc to be able to enlarge ;) it some and add irregularity. Minuscule coast line work.


02-01-2013, 12:15 AM
Looking nice, dude. That border is something I'd NEVER have the patience to attempt.

What's that area of polka dots by the mountains? A city?

- Max -
02-01-2013, 03:20 AM
Small update is still an update :) Looking good so far

02-01-2013, 03:50 AM
Looking great I really like the border.

02-01-2013, 09:51 AM
Diamond, yep the dotted area in SE mountain semi circle is a city. Trying to find a different symbol to use for built up areas. Not sure it came off too well, I think the dots are to large and overpowering, might have been better off to use smaller dots LOL. The triangle dot symbol elsewhere are ruins. The other symbols so far are varying population levels of towns / villages etc. I've been trying to think up a background story as TheHoarseWhisper suggested, but I'm not having any luck there either. And yeah the borders can get tedious, but if your dead tired their just brain dead repetition :D so no big deal you won't even remember you did them!

Glad you like the Amberroberts09, feel free to steal em if you wish ;)

02-03-2013, 04:55 AM
Looking good Vellum!


02-03-2013, 05:35 PM
Vellum, if you're going with the Spanish main idea, and you're looking for a story, I smell pirates, treasure, native peoples, colonialism, and possibly civil conflict. Damsels and distress comes to mind, also ;).

02-03-2013, 08:28 PM
A great drawing. But the marsh makes it looks like it was about to break off.

02-04-2013, 03:57 PM
A great drawing. But the marsh makes it looks like it was about to break off. I'm not following this. The marsh / swamp / fen area is an area that separates two ocean / sea / deep water bodies. ATM it is not completed northwest or southeast to break up the hard edge if that is what you mean. it's still a wip ;)

02-04-2013, 07:41 PM
Couple more small updates, just nibbling away at this and that. Scan has cut off the right hand border, but you can see this in previous posts, added the left vertical border, some more mountain range in west island, started second compass rose ink, few more symbols. Trying out some new to me techniques as in the sinking ship and barrels, barrels really need a smaller pen weight for the waves I think, that and a bit of more practice on my part to get them to look like waves ;)
I'm not sure this is maintaining the pirate seal of approval anumore LOL


- Max -
02-04-2013, 07:52 PM
Great job so far. I'm not really convinced by the barrels but the ship on waves is excellent! I really like your compass roses and especially your rhumb lines

02-04-2013, 08:02 PM
Yeah I'm not too happy with the barrels, but they are in ink!! so they stay. I try not to get to upset when I screw something up, especially something I don't take the time to practice the technique first, just lay it down, DOH! rhumb lines are good, I liked the way they came out, so I'll be reusing those. fyi the small anchor symbols represent safe harbor / anchorage spots, not real settlements of any sort. These could be pirate hides?

02-07-2013, 06:20 PM
Looks great so far. Love the ship. :)