Mister JSP, I have strayed from the cartography page and I've got to admit that you have a very interesting life. You have all those resources at your disposal, you are very lucky man!
How do you add detail? Do you use pencil to start your ideals and then use the pen?
Thank you for the kind words! What I usually do is draw the shorelines first, then general locations for the forests, rivers, roads, mountains, grasslands, etc. as just loose circles and amorphous blobs where the mountain shapes and trees and whatnot will go. You can see a little of this in the picture below-
Where the mountains will go is nothing more than a set of lines depicting the general direction and number of the fault line that the mountains will be centred on. It looks like a Y in the bottom left. For the forests, there is a loose blob around the inked part of the road. I will fill in that with the actual trees later. Up in the top, you can see a cluster of empty squares. Those will later be divided into buildings, but the narrow spaces between them represent the roads. I usually put the 'water' edging on the shorelines last, as it is the most tedious and time consuming and really makes the depth of the map stand out. Then, once I have all the mountain shapes drawn in ink where I want them, all the trees and dots for deserts, grass clusters for grasslands, hills and roads and cities, I let it all dry and then erase all the pencil lines. This is where it becomes important to not go overboard with drawing everything before you go to ink. The more pencil, the more faded the ink will become when you erase over it.
I hope this helped!
Yes, you have help with this map making process a lot and I thank you for this. I'm going to try and get that pen today at the store, but who know. lol
Mister JSP, I have traveled into town and got the calligraphy 6 nib pen set and walmart. You were right about the price, got the set for about $13.87, including ink cartridges. There was individual pens and India ink, but I thought it would be safer this way. (The separate pen looked really complicated!).
I took pictures to show you and sorry for the quality it's a cheap camera. It's all we have.
This set includes:
1 Ink Converter
6 Ink Cartridges
I go to your blog daily and see what you've been up to, and I saw that you have created a outstanding armguard! Congratulations!!!
Thank you! It was certainly a learning experience, no doubts about it.
For the pens, you should certainly try them all out and get a feel for what writes best for you. I would recommend using the finest or second finest for things like trees and buildings, depending on what sort of style you are after, and a middle thickness for mountains and rivers, and any actual writing you may have (city names, kingdoms, etc.). The widest strokes may be too large to be of use, but they may work well for shorelines and the heading of the map.
I'm not sure how the cartridge inks work, but you will probably have similar problems with waiting for the ink to dry vice getting smears everywhere. Maps are one of those things that you cannot really go strictly from left to right (or right to left), so you will probably have a bit of down time. A few ways to help make that as little as possible are to make a blotter, a convex piece of something (cross section of a large diameter PVC pipe, a piece of wood, outside of a drinking glass...) backed with paper. Cotton paper is best, as it seems to absorb the most and bleed the least. All you do is roll the blotter across whatever you just drew after a few seconds of letting it dry on its own. That draws all the excess ink off and lets the remainder dry quickly. Just watch out for blotting the lines you just dried back onto the map in another place!
A second alternative, and the one I prefer, is to use a fine white sand. Simply scatter some over the ink, again after a few seconds of drying time, and then funnel it back into the vessel it came out of. The sand is great at absorbing and reuse after a fast drying time.
Can't wait to see what you do with it! Hope this helps!
Mister JSP, This was a big help. Though I'm going to have to start a new map to replace the old, to get used to the new pen. Could you tell me once more what type of paper to use that would be good and easy to scale for distances?
As always, I hope that this reply finds you in good health.
I usually do three general types of maps, and that dictates the relative scale. The first is large areas, think continents and multi-nation maps. The second is smaller, usually centred around a single city with some of the surrounding countryside. The last is for villages where there are only a few buildings and terrain features. For each of them, I just wing it. There is a balance between filling the map entirely and having too much blank space. It really depends on how you envision it looking. The very few times where I have mapped places that have an actual, pre existing scale, it was a lot of using rulers and dividers to get it all right. Once you have the proportions set, you only need to make sure that your forests and mountains and the like are not overflowing from where they are supposed to be. Of course, the size of the paper will determine the size of the drawing. When I drew a map of Middle Earth, it was extremely difficult to fit everything, so I had to shrink my mountains and trees and words to fit. Even so, it seems rather cramped. If I have a large amount of information to map, I sometimes draw one large map, spanning multiple pages, with only the necessary details and most prominent features. From there, I draw smaller scale (less distance covered on the page) with more detail.
For paper, I use a lot of Southworth fine parchment paper in the Ivory colour, although it also comes in gold, blue, grey, and copper. It is a little on the expensive side, but it produces a great old world feel with minimal effort. After drawing the map, I seal it with an amber shellac (one of the ~3 colours they seem to make) applied delicately with a rag in random, blotting motions.
Mister JSP, Where do you get the amber shellac? Do you make it?
I find it at the local hardware store. It should be near the varnishes and paints. I got mine in a 1/2 pint can, although it also comes in larger quantities. For the amount I use at a time, this is more than sufficient to last me a few years. I believe it is made by Bull's Eye, although there should be a few brands available. I do not recall what other colours it comes in, but amber is the best.
Mister JSP I have started a map and I'm pleased that it is almost down. I would like to give you the first look and open it up to your suggestion and advice.Attachment 57999
And a here's a close up:
I apologize for the recent inactivity and hope to got on more toward the winter months. I hope that this reply finds you in grand health.