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Thread: Coloring a pen & paper map

  1. #1
      Johnnysd is offline
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    Default Coloring a pen & paper map

    So my map is getting close to finished (for now), and I'm looking to maybe add some color to it. Does anyone here have any experience with this? The few attempts I've made have all ended up looking worse than the original b&w version. Should I use color pencils, pastels or whatever? I know what I want the finished product to look like, but I am just not sure how to get there, and if it's worth the extra effort.

  2. #2
      Lingon is offline
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    Depends a lot on the look you want, but watercolors are by far the easiest to use (and I personally love the look of watercolors!). You also have the options of acrylics and oil paint, if you want darker, richer colors. You won't be able to see much of the pen lines through either of those, though, while it's very easy to control the transparency of watercolors. Those are my two cents Color pencils and pens can be used to amazing results too, but I have no experience with that, so I can't say much about it

    Make sure to show your results

  3. #3
      Johnnysd is offline
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    Hadn't considered watercolors! I'll probably go a few rounds with myself about the coloring, but I'll post the map when I'm done inking it. Soft pencil is hard to make out..

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      Chashio is offline
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    What do you want the finished product to look like? Different mediums have different looks. Also, the type of paper and ink you used may be a deciding factor on what mediums will be the best to color with. You may want to do a test on a separate sheet to ensure that the coloring medium will work on top of what you've already got and not mess it up. Might also be a good idea to make a photocopy or scan and do a test run of color options before working on the original.

  5. #5
      Johnnysd is offline
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    I have a vision in my head on how I want it to look. Just not sure how best to achieve that :p I plan to make a map or three just to test various coloring mediums and looks.

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    When I want to apply a "water color like" look to my hand-drawn maps, I cheat. I digitally scan the hand-drawn lines, import it to my vector drawing application for compositing. I apply what is called a 'stain-glass' transparency which converts the image to something like a transparent PNG file, where the black lines are 100% solid and the white is 100% transparent (this might work as merge layers in Photoshop). Then I create shapes that fit beneath the lines of the hand-drawn work. I give the shapes in the water a fractal cloud color mix with 50% transparent light blue and 50% transparent medium blue. I do the same in shades of green on the land part. The result I get is posted below.

    Note: I also apply bevels to the colored shapes I place beneath the linework - its my style, so it might not be a step that you'd want.

    GP

    Coloring a pen & paper map-waterfall-final.jpg
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  7. #7
      Meriba is offline
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    Wow, that's just what I'm looking for my actual project. I wanted to create a shallow river but I didn't know how. Any other advice?
    Gamerprinter likes this.

  8. #8
    Publisher Gamerprinter's Avatar
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    Note the areas of darker blue water in the depths. I did this by creating multiple stacked layers of transparent blue. When stacking the difference is darkened and appears deeper. Even though I create a lot of photo-realistic style maps, this fake "water color" style is the one I am hired most often to create for publisher commissions.

    I did a rough draft tutorial of this exact river crossing/waterfalls map in the Tutorials forum.

    GP
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 07-28-2014 at 06:22 PM.
    Gamer Printshop - We print RPG Maps for Game Masters!
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  9. #9
      jgerman is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamerprinter View Post
    Note the areas of darker blue water in the depths. I did this by creating multiple stacked layers of transparent blue. When stacking the difference is darkened and appears deeper. Even though I create a lot of photo-realistic style maps, this fake "water color" style is the one I am hired most often to create for publisher commissions.

    I did a rough draft tutorial of this exact river crossing/waterfalls map in the Tutorials forum.

    GP
    I noticed the link in your sig to Game Printers, do you know if they're still active? Their order page is broken and I got no response when I sent them an email.

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