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Thread: Steampunk-ish political watercolor map

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  1. #1
    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Lingon's Avatar
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    Default Steampunk-ish political watercolor map

    That's the plan, anyway!

    As I did't like the way my last map turned out, I decided I need more practice. So I flipped the paper over and began drawing something new on the other side. ("Recycling?! Are you kidding me?!" – my dad when he saw it.) And my portfolio is really thin too, so hopefully this'll turn out good enough to add to it. I've got no story or anything to accompany this map (though I'll have to come up with a little when it's labeling time), so I'll just go straight to the first WIP:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    For inspiration I've looked at maps from the 1800s, and I got the feeling there was some competition going on between the cartographers about who could place the most rivers on their maps. Which seemed fun, so I added a lot. My idea for mountains is to make them a lot less prominent than on my previous maps, just highlights and shadows and no inked lines, so that's why there aren't any there yet. I did draw them in faintly first though, to get the rivers and fjords right.

    What else, what else… It'll be a watercolor painting, again, and my first try at a politically focused map. Thinking of using those fading colored borders I've seen so often. And a steampunk feel, which I'll try to achieve with color scheme and border decorations.

    I'm working on a commission at the same time (no experimenting on that one, sticking to what I know!), so updates may be a bit slow until that's done.

  2. #2

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    Very interested to see this one progress, as I'm kinda-sorta working on a steampunk themed project myself.

    If I may make a suggestion, a good way to suggest the steampunk theme might be in the symbols you use for cities, lots of smokestacks and steel. Adding in railways might help as well.

  3. #3
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    That looks pretty darn cool so far! I really like the way those rivers and fjords look. Very 18th-century cartographic.
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    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Chashio's Avatar
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    The rivers look awesome, though I'd not want to label all of them. This should be fun to watch grow. Is the commission a watercolor as well?

  5. #5

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    I like what I see there so far. Love the look of the rivers, it's very detailed already!

  6. #6
    Guild Adept Gracious Donor lostatsea's Avatar
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    Looks interesting so far! Waiting to see how you do the mountains that spawn all those river-lets !
    "Aye The skies be clear , the seas be calm and the winds be with us .....

    ARGH!! but the damn compass be broken!! "

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  7. #7
    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Lingon's Avatar
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    @Deaghaidh
    Thanks for the suggestions! I don't think I'll be able to do that detailed city icons and keep them a reasonable size, but railways are a must!

    @Diamond
    Thank you!

    @Chashio
    Thanks! Labeling will be annoying, yes The commission is watercolor too, with a small amount of digital work. It's sort of an evolved version of the style of my first map, this one: http://www.cartographersguild.com/fi...continent.html

    @Battlecat
    Thanks!

    @Lostatsea
    Thanks, I'm a bit curious about the mountains as well because I don't know exactly how I'll do them. Hopefully I won't mess the map up entirely


    Here's a small update, just drew a box for text, a little steam ship, and inked the border. I plan to do one of those striped borders, but I haven't decided what projection this map is in () so I'll wait with the actual stripes until I have the graticule done. The text box will get more decorations too, thinking of the swirls that surround practically all map titles from the early 19th century but I'm not sure yet. I took a higher resolution scan this time, 150 DPI instead of 100, as the first was a bit pixel-y.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8

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    For another "filler" image that screams "Steampunk", perhaps a cool airship of some kind.

  9. #9
    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Lingon's Avatar
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    Airships are a bit cliché though, aren't they And I don't think there's space for more fillers, actually. But I appreciate the suggestion!

    I began coloring the map, looks like this now:
    Attachment 54642

    The ink bled a little, not to bad I think but a few rivers will need some redefining. I'll do the nation borders first though, as a lot of them will follow rivers and would mess up the inking again. I left the mountain areas white at this stage, but they'll look a lot less snowy when done

    Edit: Don't know what happened to the attachment, but it seems to work anyway…
    Last edited by Lingon; 05-15-2013 at 03:31 PM.

  10. #10

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    One man's cliche is another's established convention of the genre.

    The attachment isn't working for me, but I've been having trouble loading the forums in general today.

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