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Thread: Watercolour Mountains

  1. #1

    Default Watercolour Mountains

    Hi there,

    I'm working on a map of Eurasia with an old, watercolour look. Right now I am hesitating as to how I should draw mountains. The main problem is that the sense of perspective from mountains and forests conflicts with the flat look of rivers and lakes (which is an outline template of Eurasia, from Wikimedia Commons).
    So here are two types of mountains I worked on, and I would like to get your opinion and see if you have any suggestions. Thanks

    Test 1:


    Test 2:
    Last edited by jesuisbenjamin; 07-01-2011 at 05:05 AM. Reason: added new link to images

  2. #2
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    I prefer the first style, trees look pretty good too.
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  3. #3
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    I am fine with both, but I do like the first one's better.... If you don't like the "flatness" of the river, etc, have you thought about changing the perspective? Instead of a flat plan of the entire landmass shape, use an Isosceles trapezoid. Djekspek has an excellent example. I expect that would help quite a bit with making it look right. Of course, that perspective introduces it's own set of challenges...


    EDIT: Oh, and I would suggest NOT outlining your lake/sea, perhaps even have it a bit more blotchy even....
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  4. #4
    Community Leader Gracious Donor Jaxilon's Avatar
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    I really like the first ones as well, they look beautiful.
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  5. #5
    Professional Artist Gracious Donor Djekspek's Avatar
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    In my opinion, the 1st one looks prettier, but I think the 2nd one works better with a top-down map view. The 1st one has a bird eye view on the mountains that makes the eye expect the complete map to be in perspective (which you coud do of course as jfrazierjr pointed out). The 2nd one is more of a side-view, and the eye (at least mine is not tricked, and the rest of the map is clearly a top-down view... cheers, DJ
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  6. #6
    Guild Journeyer Marken4's Avatar
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    The first ones is beautiful! But they don't fit the style of the rest of the map. Those kind of mountains deserve/need more realistic rivers and especially forests. Therefore I would go with number two. (Unless you want to put more work into the forests)

  7. #7
    Guild Journeyer Blaidd Drwg's Avatar
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    There is absolutely nothing wrong with the second painting, but the mountains in the first one are just spectacular. Maybe you can give the river some 'depth' by gently shading the riverbanks as opposed to outlining them. You could even use that to differentiate between shallow river valleys and steeper ones. The forests look just fine to me. They may be a bit less realistic than the mountains are in the first pic, but then again, it's a map, not a satellite picture Whole masses of forest don't look unrealistic to me, actually. Although you may want to suggest some trunks along the edges.

    Love to see where you're gonna take this. Keep it up!
    Last edited by Blaidd Drwg; 07-01-2011 at 12:15 PM. Reason: some additions
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  8. #8

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    Dear all,

    Thanks for your feedback. So far I have put either option aside to explore alternatives. Right now I have looked at a more ink-painting or printing style, which would match the line style of my outline. It's not perfect yet. This one is monochrome and I have not yet developed the matching forest model. Colour could be applied as a fuzzy water-colour fill.
    Yet another model is a frontal view of a mountainscape aligned with the chain's orientation (regardless of the map's orientation), which gives it a medieval look, although the paint is a bit impressionist / dirty, which makes it less so. Here are samples, let me know what you think, thanks

    Ink-like:


    Scape-like:
    Last edited by jesuisbenjamin; 07-03-2011 at 10:19 AM. Reason: added scape-style

  9. #9
    Community Leader Gracious Donor Jaxilon's Avatar
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    Hmm, that second one is making me want to tilt my head 45 degrees to the left....I don't know if I can take it. I do love the look of the painted mountains though...just might have to straight them up with the top of the map for me.
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