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Thread: How do I draw/mark a desert?

  1. #1
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    Help How do I draw/mark a desert?

    Hi, I'm currently making a map for my book in a Tolkien-esk style....how would you draw in a desert or mark it out? In the picture, it's where it says Agshun Desert, any help would be huUugely appreciated as I have been stumped on this too long!
    I'm working with pen and paper on this as supposed to software. (Also apologies for the slight mess, I did this version with two broken fingers on my writing hand lol; not my best work.)

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    I can't recall the title or the author, but there is this book made by an american cartographer who worked on made a number of maps of the midwest/texas/rockies... if anyone reading this knows what I am talking about can direct you to it... I think it's just the thing you need.

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    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Chashio's Avatar
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    I would not do so well with two broken fingers. That's actually quite impressive. For the desert, it depends on how you plan to fill in the rest of it (there are so many Tolkien-esk maps out there that it's hard to know exactly what you're going for) and also what type of desert it is. It might be effective to simply leave it empty. Or use a lighter colored ink to pen some dunes, somewhat similar to low hills, or a light watercolor-type wash if you want to show the specific bounds of the arid region.

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    Software Dev/Rep Gracious Donor waldronate's Avatar
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    That last file that Chashio linked to is by Erwin Raisz ( http://www.cartographersguild.com/re...geography.html has a more painterly version of the same subject). A search for Raisz here at the build will turn up a number of posts. Raisz Landform Maps is also a good place to get more info on this style.

  6. #6

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    First you have to decide what kind of desert landforms you want to include to emphasize the nature of the desert area. This could be sand dunes, buttes and mesas, canyons, dry seabed - whichever one you choose as the primary landform, create hand-drawn symbols to represent it, then place it liberally around your desert area, and you're done.
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    Thanks Chashio, some good ideas in those links as well!
    Think a few light small dunes will do it =)

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    Thanks Gameprinter, as a curiosity, what would you recommend for a dry salt lake? Possibly got one of them needing to be drawn soon lol =)

  9. #9

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    Most dry lake beds are perfectly flat terrain with just the edges of the lake defined - so an interesting lake shore line with a featureless interior.
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  10. #10

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    You could lightly shade it and add dunes, mesas, etc. (What gamerprinter said. )

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