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Thread: Need help on hand drawn political borders.

  1. #1

    Help Need help on hand drawn political borders.

    Can somebody please help me ive been having trouble drawing political borders with pencil.

  2. #2


    Ive been using dashes but it looks cruddy.

  3. #3
    Guild Expert Azelor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    What style are you trying to reproduce ?

  4. #4


    Something Tolkien-esk.

  5. #5


    By the way, I dont really use colors on my maps, but i could if there is no alternitive.

  6. #6
    Guild Artisan Falconius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013


    As far as I recall Tolkien's maps didn't use political borders the countries, or areas really, were labeled and the borders were inferred from the placement of the labels and the surrounding terrain. Part of the reason was the nature of the governance, in that borders weren't really as defined as they are nowadays. And part was just the problems of logistically putting it in the map and having it look good like those that are slowing you down now. If you are not adverse to colours minimally then I'd suggest a light colour just along the political borders, it's subtle, but works well to distinguish separate political entities. If that is out you can use different light shades of either the entire territory or as with the colours just along the edges of the border. You can do the same thing with hatching which is far more distinctive than shading, just keep the lines going one direction for each entity: horizontal -, vertical |, diagonal up to the right /, and diagonal up to the left \. Or any combination thereof, vertical and horizontal, or vertical and diagonal etc. To keep it clear you can, as with the other options, just do it at the edge of the borders.

    Really it is hard to combine so much information in one map as it gets cluttered, it is often clearer if you do a different map for each information set.
    Last edited by Falconius; 08-24-2014 at 04:29 PM.

  7. #7


    If memory serves me, Tolkien maps didn't have any borders, rather defined geographical regions, bordered by forests, mountain ranges, major rivers, with labeling telling you one "nation" from another. Tolkien maps don't have borders per se. Really if the setting is analog medieval period, there really would be no such thing as "borders" that's a result of war among post-medieval nations.

    I do hand-drawn maps myself, but then I finish them digitally, and especially for labeling and any needed borders, I would draw vector lines as either dashed or other speciality lines, and colors. Imagine a line on the border with a red "shadow" on one side indicating one kingdom and a different color "blue" (example) on the other side. So the interior border for one nation would be one color. Thus you're using colors to define the differing borders. Of course that doesn't help if this is a pencil only map.
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  8. #8


    Ok thanks guys. I think that i could work with gamerprinters idea of the colored "shadows". I could use colored pencil or software.

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