View Full Version : The town of Vasil

11-13-2009, 08:52 PM
I'm having to throw together some quick maps for a game I'm going to be running through the holidays and I thought you, my fellow cartographers, would appreciate quick hand-drawn maps as much as finished works.
I often find myself sloppily throwing together maps for the games, only finishing them after they've been played through once or twice. The maps are only intended to show relative positions and placement of significant structures, I have no scale in mind when I draw them. For this game the players are going to be minor nobles in a fantasy setting and I'm going to need to draw out several towns and cities for the aristocratic intrigue...
This first map is of the PCs hometown of Vasil. Usually these "sketch maps" never make it past the pencil stage, but I figure since I still have about a month to prepare I could spend the time to ink it. The actual drawing is drawn on standard copy paper pulled from my printer; I start out with a non-repro blue pencil to rough out the shape, follow up with a soft HB pencil then finish it off with a set of felt-tip mechanical pens. After inking I use an Artgum eraser to remove the underling pencil.

11-13-2009, 09:02 PM
Here's another town that will be coming up in the game. I drew this one a year or so ago and it is still in the sketch phase and has never been cleaned up or inked.

11-14-2009, 03:25 AM
I like your handdrawn maps, probably because I like drawings. I'm sure that it would be very nice "software" map too.

In any case, it is very simulating and makes me want to draw and make maps with CD3.

11-14-2009, 07:08 AM
Looks great, especially the first map. Have some rep!

11-14-2009, 07:58 AM
Pretty cool and well done.

Steel General
11-14-2009, 08:02 AM
These are both quite nice...keep 'em coming.

11-14-2009, 04:28 PM
I'm glad to see that these are appreciated. As much as I'd like to use software with my maps, I never learned how to use any of the available programs. I have always hand-drawn my maps and I figure that even though I'll find software handy for editing and labeling, I don't see myself creating maps from scratch with a computer; I enjoy the artistic process of drawing by hand too much :D

This does bring up a good question I have: If I draw the maps by hand, which program would be best for editing, coloring and especially labeling scanned-in artwork? Photoshop? Corel? Something else? I've fiddled around with GIMP and Inkscape, but they seem a bit "clunky", probably partly because I'm just not familiar with them and also because I'm spoiled with the user-frendliness of AutoCAD (with which I'm well-practiced).

I'm going to be sketching out a few more settlements and I'll post them here when they're done.

11-14-2009, 06:24 PM
I know Ravell's bangs on about Inkscape being great for labelling. I tried it but I couldn't wrap my head around how to use it. I really ought to put in the effort with it though as I use Photoshop and when you have a whole map filled with labels, each on different layers, it really does start to slow down a lot.

11-14-2009, 09:21 PM
Yeah. These are sharp. The town layouts look very plausible. Have some rep.

I've had some success bringing my scans into Photoshop and placing them on top of the layer stack with a blend mode of Multiply. I've also found that it helps to save some selections to confine my painting (land, water, buildings, forest, whatever).

11-14-2009, 10:20 PM
Here's another. I changed the style a bit to speed up the drawing process; for a finished product I like to keep the individual-tree style but these sketches don't merit it. I purposefully left this one unlabeled so I can play with it in Inkscape. Enjoy!

11-15-2009, 05:29 AM
Btw... I forgot to say in my last post... really wonderful maps you are posting here. :)
I'd love to have a crack at a city map and I'm sure I will do soon as soon as I get past the irrational fear of doing one. Hehe.

11-15-2009, 08:36 PM
OK, so this one isn't a town-city map, but it does belong to this series. This is a quick inked map of the region the settlements come from.

11-17-2009, 07:20 AM
Well it seems that after all when you got imagination and an nicely worked setting going on, all you need is a pencil and a paper!

Very nice maps. If all DMs could come up with something like this in mere minutes...Well, life would be easier!


11-17-2009, 12:10 PM
The area map was created in a few hours, but I've had the region that it represents mapped out on 17"X22" vellum for years; I simply referenced it to free-hand the smaller version.

What enables me to whip out the settlement maps so fast is the availability of my older work to use as reference. I never throw out any of my older sketches (well not any that were good enough to be used), and the past designs provide excellent inspiration. You'd be amazed what new maps you can come up with just by changing the orientation of the compass and shifting a road here and a building there ;)

11-17-2009, 04:24 PM
Love these and all the thought that has gone into them.

11-17-2009, 08:44 PM
I've added some detail to the large town (Vasil) and I've added a map of the cemetery for the small town (Hedgemond).

11-25-2009, 11:44 AM
These are fantastic. I too appreciate the hand-drawn maps (though I'm as big a fan of digital ones) probably because that's how I started mapping. Of course, when I started mapping I think graph paper was the highest mapping technology that was generally available.

Rep to you! (I think, I'm very new here so I'm not totally sure I did that right).