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languard
08-20-2013, 01:20 AM
I've recently started back in to making maps by hand. I've also had a very nice Chinese brush set that one of my in-laws gave me some years ago that's been gathering dust. Some caligraphy paper and Chinese ink via Amazon, and I churned out these two maps tonight. They're very rough, as it's been a long time since I've hand-drawn maps, and I've never used brushes before. Also didn't realize the paper was larger than my scanner until it was too late :P I'll try to complete 6 a week for a few weeks until I've gotten enough practice to start making quality maps using this technique.

Also need a better scanner, but that's not changing any time soon.

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Need some way to indicate which spaces are solid rock, not sure this reads well.

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Don't bother trying to read/translate the runes. 100% made up on the spot and don't mean anything.

Lorenzo3
08-20-2013, 08:16 PM
I draw terribly, so I draw on the computer, even if it makes the map become less real.

languard
08-20-2013, 11:11 PM
Pfft. I draw with the talent of a 6 year old. I can say this with confidence since my son can draw about as good as me. Not gonna stop me from making maps though.

You should try making some by hand. After doing it a few times it starts getting easier.

Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk 2

Azelor
08-21-2013, 01:08 AM
Ink is good to make chinese characters but for making maps, I'm not so sure. It require some technique I suppose. I can't give advices because I don't draw a lot, I only use software to make maps. But I do know it's possible to have a style similar to ink with inkscape or illustrator but without the smudge thing. In the end, it might look too clean.

languard
08-21-2013, 01:36 AM
I'm stubborn. I'll figure this out. I mean if people can do stuff like this - Mountain Landscape Original Large Chinese Brush by CLineCreations (http://www.etsy.com/listing/18468598/mountain-landscape-original-large) - then surely I can figure out how to make simple, decent maps :) Just gotta figure out these darn brushes first....

Did another map tonight but...ouch. It's bad. Really bad. Not going to throw it away, but not gonna post it either :P

Hai-Etlik
08-21-2013, 01:43 AM
Ink is good to make chinese characters but for making maps, I'm not so sure. It require some technique I suppose. I can't give advices because I don't draw a lot, I only use software to make maps. But I do know it's possible to have a style similar to ink with inkscape or illustrator but without the smudge thing. In the end, it might look too clean.

It's certainly possible to roughen it up but it does take some thought and effort. In Inkscape at least, the Tweak, Fractalize, and Pattern along Path tools are all useful, as are filter effects. Even little things like a custom dash pattern can help give a hand drawn look.

Azelor
08-21-2013, 01:59 AM
Ink is good to make chinese characters but for making maps, I'm not so sure. It require some technique I suppose. I can't give advices because I don't draw a lot, I only use software to make maps. But I do know it's possible to have a style similar to ink with inkscape or illustrator but without the smudge thing. In the end, it might look too clean.

Wow, I did not know it was possible to make something like that with ink. Of course if you persevere you will become very good.

Chashio
08-21-2013, 06:55 PM
I'm stubborn. I'll figure this out. I mean if people can do stuff like this - Mountain Landscape Original Large Chinese Brush by CLineCreations (http://www.etsy.com/listing/18468598/mountain-landscape-original-large) - then surely I can figure out how to make simple, decent maps :) Just gotta figure out these darn brushes first....

Did another map tonight but...ouch. It's bad. Really bad. Not going to throw it away, but not gonna post it either :P

Oh, ink is an excellent medium for map making and painting/drawing in general! I've done a bit with ink, but mostly with art and calligraphy pens. Brushing ink is more difficult but well worth it. I applaud your efforts, languard. If I might offer a suggestion....

It's not so much the amount of practice drawing maps but the attention to the technical aspect... learning the various ways in which stokes can be made and then practicing the movements until you've got it enough (first to be able to get the results you were aiming for and later experimenting with style development). It might help if you pick out a few single strokes from that ink painting you referenced and fill half a page with them. Then fill the rest of the page with a couple types of multi-stroke items (mountains, trees or ?). You'll develop a feel for and confidence using the brushes more quickly that way, and confidence is a large part of ink painting.

There are also a ton of useful videos on YouTube if you like to learn by watching... I've watched a bunch of Henry Li's videos: Henry Li - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/blueheronarts)

Oh, and before I forget... Great maps! Double points ... Monty Python and the Holy Grail: black beast of Arrrggghhh - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJfowXTXOfU) ... for the Monty Python reference!

leen
08-22-2013, 05:47 AM
I like it!
I suggest that you use a bit more water, the strokes seem very dry.
Cashio is absolutly right about the technical aspect, practice the single stroke. Remember that you paint/draw with a brush, so don't draw like with a pencil. Use the features of a brushstroke, which are for example the varity of the thickness of the stroke, the amount of ink, the structure of the stroke, to show the texture of stone, hills, grass etc...
You also might want to use different shadings of grey (50? 8) ).

I look forward to the next bunch of maps from you!

languard
08-22-2013, 03:34 PM
Learned a lot just from watching the preview's on some of Henry's videos. Shows how much I need to learn :) I have started practicing with just strokes, and with adding more water. I agree that the brush was very dry on the first ones, I've got more shades on my third map, though the rest of the experimentation didn't go good. Hopefully tonight will go better.

languard
08-23-2013, 10:43 AM
And a new map, description in the spoiler. Want to make sure it'd readable without me saying what it is.

A river coming out of the mountains, with a trade road running along side it. To the southwest is a grassy plain.


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And this one isn't a map. I was experimenting with strokes, and thought that this one part looked like a thatched roof. A few strokes later and I had a hobbit hole :)

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Chashio
08-23-2013, 02:26 PM
Awesome hobbit hole! A fellow looks-like opportunist :) The paper buckling is throwing me off a bit, but I do like that speckled texture on your mountains; I'd suggest maybe playing around next with line weight for the top-lines of the peaks... think thinner and or lighter on the sunlit slopes and like you have done on the shaded slopes. Not that the style is bad, just as another technique to try for experience. Also try practicing washing out edges, like a gradient.

The river is perhaps a bit wispy and undefined on its borders compared with the solidity of the rest of the marks (I do like the stroke texture, just not the shore edges)--and I am definitely assuming that this is the river and the road is the smaller, darker stroke-- I'd be tempted to go over the river again with a wet, low opacity stroke the thickness of the river to give it a touch more definition, but that's me.

The grassy plain didn't read as a grassy plain to me; I generally associate soft washes or bare paper as plains, but again... just me.

Looks like you're having fun with it. Keep 'em coming, languard :) And if I happen to get too critical for comfort or style aim, do please let me know; I've a tendency to over-comment on occasion.

languard
08-24-2013, 12:24 PM
As long as the critique is done with an honest intent to help, critique away :)

I agree that the river could use stronger definition on its borders. I did try and go over the river with a light gray, but it dried a lot lighter than I thought it would.

The plains...blank paper bugs me, so I really want to try and find a good style to indicate plains. Perhaps I'll experiment with washes, see how that turns out.

Chashio
08-24-2013, 03:01 PM
Things look darker when the paper gets water-heavy; that gets me almost every time with color washes :D aggravating as ... although I think you can minimize that issue if you use thicker art paper.

languard
08-26-2013, 02:28 AM
Today's Lesson Learned:
Don't add too much water to the ink :P Couldn't get a thin dark line to save my life.

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Chashio
08-26-2013, 04:01 AM
haha :) that just made my day.

... I recall learning that lesson. Fun times.

languard
08-29-2013, 01:19 AM
Today I mostly threw practicing brush techniques to the wind and just had fun creating a cave system. Experimented a little at the end with trying to fill in the rock areas.

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I'm beginning to suspect that I'm using the wrong kind of paper though. Constantly having to deal with the ink bleeding through to the surface I'm painting on.

Chashio
08-29-2013, 08:48 PM
Ink has a tendency to bleed through things... even a lot more than watercolors on sketch-type or printer paper (the water goes through much more than the pigment but sometimes the pigment joins it if the brush is heavy with both). I usually put a paper towel between my paper and desk surface to be on the safe side, and it does help to absorb excess water. Maybe watercolor paper would prove too thick for ink (100lb business cards are not enough for ink with water), but different paper also has a different feel to the handling. I guess just find something you like to work on. I haven't researched paper specifically for ink painting... but if you find a good one, I'd love to hear about it.

moop123
08-30-2013, 09:09 AM
I can't find a thread for hand 'drawn' maps but this seems to be the place. I have done a couple drafts of this map. It has been done of 4 A-4 sized sheets of paper and all
done by hand. I am soon going to move this project onto something simple like auto-realm to get a digital base for a much bigger project on a piece of software more suited to very
detailed maps. However at the moment this is what I have. The pics (photos, since I don't have a scanner at the moment) should look as though they are joined together however they
might be slightly off. As I took a pic of each one to make it easier to look at the map as a whole. I hope you like it, waiting for feedback.

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moop123
08-30-2013, 09:25 AM
Also I would imagine a nice way to use ink to your advantage is ink pressing. For anyone who doesn't know about it you need a roller, a tray you don't mind getting dirty and ink.

You roll the ink out evenly on the tray, quite thin (so their is nearly no shine in the light, though their should still be some.

If you have applied to much you can place some blank or scrap pieces of paper and press them onto the tray and lift them off having them take off some of the ink. Do this as many
times as you see fit.

The ink should not mark the paper on touch but instead should only mark the paper whenever and wherever you touch the paper.

You should draw the map on a piece of tracing paper and when you want to do the the full version simply lay down a piece of normal, blank paper onto the ink tray, flip the tracing paper over and place it onto the tray, on top of the blank paper so that it appears the the map is all backwards and then draw over it all again.

Wherever you want their to be shading simple smudge your finger onto the tracing paper. This will lightly cover that area of the map in ink. The more you do it the dark it becomes. Lift it off and the map is complete.

Fear not if it has smudged in areas you didn't want it to because you will still have the tracing paper copy to repeat the process. However this accidental smudging can
create quite a nice effect and it can sometimes come out better than you expected. Don't be afraid to mess around with it.

I'm sure there are lots of videos on youtube of this so check them out.