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Thread: Having an impossible time drawing recessed canyons and valleys

  1. #1

    Default Having an impossible time drawing recessed canyons and valleys

    I can't draw worth a damn but I'm trying to make a world map for a project I'm working on. I started with Star Raven's delightful cartography brushes and then discovered that I could, actually, sort've mouse out additional terrain features as required, which is what I've been doing in areas like deserts or swamps or what have you.

    The map's pretty big but I'm having problems with one main part - the canyons. I just can't wrap my head around the thatching and how to illustrate the things.



    The map I'm working on needs a web of canyons right around that area of the map, but I have no idea how to draw the recesses properly. I've combed around here for any examples, but I've not found anything really close enough to use as a reference.

    Any advice?

  2. #2
    Professional Artist Gracious Donor Sapiento's Avatar
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    You have a good start. The only problem you seem to have is the transition from the flat land down to the canyon on the upper part. You did it fairly well on the lower/nearer part. You need just do the same on the other side, start with short lines at the end and make them longer when you go to the center of the canyon.

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    Professional Artist Gracious Donor Djekspek's Avatar
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    Saw this and thought why not do a quick step-by-step on how I do canyons. Not in the style as your map Jamsessionein, but maybe it helps. cheers, DJ
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    Community Leader Gracious Donor Jaxilon's Avatar
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    Nice mini-tutorial Dj.

    You might also just want to take a look at a map Ramah did here to give you an idea. The big thing that is going to help is getting the shadows right. Just determine where the light is coming from and place your shadows accordingly. If you get stumped grab a shoe box or something and place a light near one side of it and look at how the shadows fall.

    Also, drawing with a mouse is like drawing with a rock so don't be too hard on yourself.

    Oh I guess I could link one of my own but it's not as curvy as what you are going for and while there is a canyon path it's more cliffs but it might help.
    Last edited by Jaxilon; 06-29-2011 at 09:52 AM.
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  5. #5
    Professional Artist Gracious Donor Sapiento's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djekspek View Post
    Saw this and thought why not do a quick step-by-step on how I do canyons. Not in the style as your map Jamsessionein, but maybe it helps. cheers, DJ
    Good! I wanted to make something similar, but had only a mouse available when I answered to the post. Once you are accustomed to pen&tablet it is nearly impossible to make something decent with a mouse.

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    Guild Journeyer Wannabehero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djekspek View Post
    Saw this and thought why not do a quick step-by-step on how I do canyons. Not in the style as your map Jamsessionein, but maybe it helps. cheers, DJ
    That is totally bangin'


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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Cool stuff DJ!
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  8. #8

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    DJ, that helped immeasurably. I managed to do some decent canyons up after studying how you put those together. What I have now may not be in the exact same style as the rest of the map, but I think it's close enough that I'm not really going to worry.


  9. #9
    Professional Artist Gracious Donor Djekspek's Avatar
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    glad it was of help, they sure look like canyons to me cheers, DJ
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Yep, good stuff. Looks like it fits to me. Dj, good job there helpin out a new guy.
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