New to cartography
Hello everyone, I'm trusting that you're having a joyous and splendid day. I am writing this thread, because I am new to cartography and I was wondering if anyone would be as so kind as to give me some pointers and possibly start me off in the right direction and the right foot. I thank you for the time that you put forth in reading this, It's most appreciated. Have a jolly good day.
The first question you have to ask yourself is of you want to go into digital cartography or hand drawn. I have always done it the old fashioned way, so I can only give you a few pointers in that direction. In general, however, it is best to begin by asking what style of maps you want to make (what you like, what you do not, type of map [regional, cities, buildings, all of them]). Since I do it by hand, I just grab some paper and a pencil and have at it. Over time you will find your style. Above all, just play around to get your feet wet!
Ok, thank you, I appreciate your advice and If you would not mind, I think that I'll take you up on your offer about the tips of hand drawn maps. I'm very artistic in my opinion. so thank you for responding and a friend request is on the way and have a blessed night.
Thanks mate! Glad I could help. One day soon, perhaps, I will write a quick tutorial on how I make maps, and from experience, it takes a little while to develop a style that you are happy with. It took me the better part of 7 years to come to where I am now, although I am a rather recreational cartographer. Now that I have a full keyboard in front of me, here are a few more tips that I would have found rather useful when I was first starting.
Choice of paper is more important than you may think. There are plenty of options out there, everything from tea staining and drying regular copy paper to cardstock parchment paper. If you are going to dye your own, it is probably obvious but I'll say it anyway- dye it before you draw on it. What I have come to prefer is taking a 100% cotton paper, draw the map, and carefully seal it with an amber shellac. It produces a great aged parchment feel. Soon, however, I will be experimenting with real parchment!
Ink is another important lesson I learned late in the process. In the beginning, I used graphite and assorted coloured pencils. They were cheap and the effect was rather amateur (think 7 year old). For the better part of 10 years, I drew with graphite exclusively, and although I had a decent control over detail and shading, the contrast was lacking. Only in the past year or so have I started using india ink pigma-micron pens (and more recently, quill and india ink). It is a permanent, archival ink that is nice and dark. The varying fineness of the felt tipped pens is great. I start with pencil for the general outlines and move onto the ink once I am happy with everything. On top of that, the shellac seals in the character.
Everything else is really just patience and experimentation. I was largely influenced by the maps of my favourite books in my youth (think Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time, Treasure Island, ...) and adapted from there. I'm excited to see what you draw!
Mister JSP, I hope that this reply is finding you in good health, I have gained knowledge from your reply. I have started on my first island map and I'm hoping that it'll come to my liking, but that's difficult. I am wondering if I could view some of your marvelous masterpieces, so that I can gain and learn from your ideas and techniques. Thank you and have a blessed night.
First, we do have a quickstart guide in the Tutorials forum:
And if you're specifically interested in hand-drawn maps, I recommend taking a look at Delgondahntelius' excellent tutorial here:
Ok tyvm, I appreciate it alot.
That is a great tutorial on hand drawn maps! I wish I would have had the access to material like that when I first started (or at least the knowledge of where to look!). My own pieces are far from masterwork ;) It has been a long journey, that is for certain. I would say that, at this stage, I am...satisfied. Here are a few links to some of my more recent map making endeavours.
Quill & Ink practise
Wheel of Time map, slightly older and of a different medium (pencil instead of ink)
Progression of map making, a brief look at where I started and how I got to where I am.
I hope this was of some use to you, and best of luck with your first map! There will always be a special place for mine, and I have redrawn it around 6 times now!
All the best,
Yes, Mister JSP. Thank you for those links, they will help me out a lot. I have one question though. Is that your blogging site? If so, I do not come close to comparing to you in the slightest. Do those kinds of pens really work? I just thought it might have been for movies or something. If you don't mind, I'll ask a stupid question, How much do those pens cost?
Here is my first map, I extremely sorry for the bad graphic.
As always, I hope that this finds you in good health.
So far so good! The hardest part is done (in my opinion, anyway), now all you need to do is fill in the details. That is my blog, but don't think that way! I was entirely self taught, and draw maps rather sporadically. Liquid ink pens are great, too. That quill is from Italy when my folks went there a while back, but they should be in the art supplies aisle of most stores. The nib is the most important part, as the quill itself is just something to hold on to. A good nib (metal part that holds the ink and what you write with) coupled with a decent ink (black, India ink) is all you need. They are surprisingly easy to use once you draw a few practise lines on a scrap of paper. I am left handed, though, so adjusting to the slower ink drying time took some getting used to. Look for a 'calligraphy dip pen' set. Although not precisely the same thing, it is close enough to a traditional quill nib. I think I have seen them for a little under $10, and around $5 for ink. The pigma micron felt tipped pens are much easier to work in the beginning, and the varying thickness is nice. I have a set of 6 that I picked up at the hobby store for $20. They were a little harder to find, however.
Keep up the good work!