Some of my recent works
I'm almost embarassed to show my work when I look around but I'm still somewhat proud of these.
Here is my first color urban map that was done for sombody who wanted adobe structures and stone for her fantasy setting.
and the other is the partially complete overland route for her characters journey. I struggled a bit with the valley on the 'east' coast because she wanted it only accesssable via the path they took and no ships to be able to land due to a cliff running the length of the coast. My inner nerd keeps telling me it needs off shore islands and rocky projections to prevent the mountain rage from such an ubrupt stop. And I couldn't figure out how best to do the cliffs. But all in all it looks decent and fits her needs (I also feel there should be a bog or two or a lake somwhere on there).
Considering that I did these freehand with minimal tools I like them. They also fit the tech level of the setting. They would be unlikely to use compasses and drafting tools for much of it.
I may have to invest in those soon though:)
These are good first posts. I like the detail you've put into the maps - and especially the style of the mountains in the overland map. I'd suggest going through the tutorials section of the site and getting some ideas for styles that you like and styles you don't. They will also give you an idea of the tools available and what can be done with them. I doubt many people here use compasses and drafting tools - rather using computers for the maps you see. There are a number of inexpensive (or free!) computer tools available. When you have questions, just ask.
As for the cliffs, you seem to have taken a top down view of them, whereas your mountains are drawn from the side. To make it consistent, you might want to take a shot at a side on view of the cliffs, descending down into the water. I agree that a few rocky outcrops would help the look of that coast.
Thanks for the reply. I already know what I'd do differantly about the cliffs. The are not horrendously bad as they are now but What would have worked better would have been two crisscrossing lines that could then have been made to look like the cliffs in and out from behind one another. I've got a scetch back at the appartment right now.
As for styles I like, I like many but one that I dream about doing is a famous japanese painter did a regional map in birds eye view. I've got that data somewhere but I can't get to it right now. I'ts absolutely beautiful. I'm going to give it a go some time soon.
The trick with the computer related stuff is that I don't have a fully functional computer. I use a univer. comp. lab where I work. They have one scanner that some kids take as the status computer (no they aren't scanning anything and there are thirty others available they just like that one) half the time. I'm working to change this.
I have an old i-mac in storage that is dieing. I aquired i-book that is a bit of an upgrade for it. It has no keyboard or power cord right now (looking to get the power cord soon). I'll hook up an external keyboard and keep it wall powered as my main home computer. It's not net accessed but It will allow me to get ahold of things I haven't accessedin years. And since it's abit of an upgrade I can do some other things with it. Somewhere in storage is a compatable scanner, and I have a compatable drawing tablet that I found at goodwill for five bucks. With a usb hub I should be able to expand the 1usb port to allow the new keyboard, tablet and scanner and still have room for a thumb drive, printer or even a usb wireless. That should get me up and running again after years.
I still prefer hand made maps though.
Ask Ravs, I've been dabbling (not recently though) with Ukiyo-E styled map art. The prints you are referring too was created by Hokusai, in the latter years of his life. There are very few examples, though, two in Japan and one of China, though Hokusai never left Japan in his life.
Originally Posted by Rovingjack
You can look at my early samples of Ukiyo-e styled art:
If I ever have time, I'd like to dabble once again.
that would be the name. It's just one of the maps I saw that he did was so unique, I've only ever seen the one like it. I did find a peice of potter at the local thrift shop with a rough version of the same style on it.
It was meant more as a decrative scene then a map. But by copying it by hand and then playing with the shapes and moving elements and eventually creating new elements I hope to get some of the technique down.
That's inbetween projects though so we will see where we go from here.
I love your city map. Very reminiscent of my first dabblings in city map making
Nothing at all to be embarrassed about! There is definitely something to be said about hand-drawn and coloured maps. I started out this way, and they remain my favorite medium. I think the colours are fantastic!
These are great starts, hand-drawn maps are hard to do well, but exude personality. I would suggest that the way to improve is to initially find something you like the look of and learn how to copy it. Try mixing media too, use ink with your pencilwork, or buy some watercolours or gouache. Once you learn how to copy stuff it's a much easier step to produce stuff of your own (It'll probably happen naturally).
Both GP and I are with you in our love of Ukiyo e landscapes - I live in hope that GP will go back to making his painting kit for it. Or I could pull my finger out and do it myself of course!
Cheers and good luck with the mapping.