Pen and Ink Tutorial Part 2
This starts the 'tutorial' part of the guide. I hate calling it a tutorial, because a tutorial gives you step by step process on how to achieve the look of an end product. When it comes to hand drawn maps with pen and paper, you can give step by step instructions, but you aren't guaranteed that the end product is going to look exactly like the tutorial. This is primarily based on one's artistic skill. I'm not an artist, though the term has been getting thrown at me quite a bit recently, and I'm slowly succumbing to the fact that, yes, I just might be. But I stress that this isn't a comprehensive guide, its not meant to be. All I can do is tell you what works for me, maybe some tips, some exercises to practice and techniques that I've learned. I'm always free to answer any questions you have, if I know them :D
My goal for this tutorial is to start out with some tips on pen and ink drawing. Explain what you can do between projects and give you an overall knowledge of what to expect out of pen and ink drawing.
Then I'll go into how I make a pen and ink map, from the begining until the end, and then explain on how to use digital products to enhance what you've drawn. Because I own Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, these are what I'll be using in the finishing stages. I'm sure any number of programs can be used however like GIMP, Corel etc.
When someone mentions Pen and Ink, (I) you think black and white. But it does apply to color ink as well. I rarely use color ink however. So for the most part, this is for black and white drawing. I will (if time permits me) go into some coloring of B&W ink drawings in PS.
Tips, thoughts, tricks, techniques, and stuff.
So, you got your pencils, your pens, your paper. Now what?
I attribute most (if any) of my skill at mapping to doodling. I constantly doodle. If a pen or pencil is in my hand and I'm not working on a specific project, I am doodling. Designs, lines, hatching, objects, scribbles, and just plain abstract stuff. So, I suggest if you want to have any skill at drawing professional pen and ink maps by hand, you should doodle. Sound crazy. It is!
First, it gets you accustomed to your pens and how they feel on the paper and how they work on different grades of paper. If you've never used a technical pen, or have never used one on a consistent basis, you should know they do feel and operate differently than you normal ink pen. They require little pressure (for me this is something I still constantly have to consciously remind myself not to press down so hard), and you can't 'sketch' with them so to speak. The lines need to be drawn slower to prevent skipping.
It also lets you practice your technique for hatching, for making symbols such as trees and mountains. So doodle that... just make trees and mountains until you find something you like. You may discover your style this way, I know I did.
While you doodle, be sure to practice your hand position. Technical pens require you to hold the pen almost perpendicular to the surface you draw on. Practice keeping your lower hand off the paper and minimal contact with the drawing surface. INK STAYS WET, so be aware of what you've drawn so as not to smear it. This ruins a map pretty quick. Also, and this is a tip for beginners: QUIT moving your hand to such awkward positions! Move the paper! This really helps in working with lettering.
Switch between your technical pens and your dip pens. I never thought I would use my dip pens for mapping to the extent that I do now. Sometimes I use them MORE than I do my technical pens. If you are a beginner with dip pens, then be prepared for lots and lots of ink on your hands and finger tips. You will find however, the more you use them and gain skill, the less mess you will make. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE ... and always remember: PATIENCE. Inking is tedious, tiresome and sometimes boring work. So take breaks in between inking. And know that yes, your hands will hurt. At least, mine do.
Always practice your techniques. Over and Over and Over.
---The story goes that the pope sent people out to find artists and gather up examples of their skill in painting. When one asked the painter Giotto for an example, he took a brush and dipped it in red paint, then stood with one arm straight down to his side as if to make a compass, and with his other hand drew a freehanded perfect circle.---
Maybe you understand what this means, maybe you don't. I will say this, freehanded perfect circle drawing is quite possibly the hardest thing to do. So, that is one technique you should practice. I'm not an expert on freehand perfect circle drawing (google it and see what I mean). I don't know about straight hands on one side and all that. Take you paper and just draw circles, try to make them as perfect as possible. Small ones, medium ones and large ones. I happen to practice this one quite a bit, so you should too :D
Take a piece of paper and a T-square or ruler. In pencil draw several straight lines across the length of the paper. Then freehand those lines with your pen in one stroke. That means, place your pen on the paper and don't lift the pen until you complete the line. This technique gets you accustomed to drawing those long stretches of line and making them crisp and not squiggly.
Draw four 1 inch squares, in the first square pen in horizontal lines approximately 1/8th of an inch apart and fill the square. Do so for each box but perpendicular, diagonal right and diagonal left in the other boxes. Do so freehanded and try to keep the lines consistent in distance apart and straight as possible. You can practice not lifting your pen for each line if you wish, but I don't, and I'll explain why later on.
Now try doing the same thing but without the box as guidlines.
For dip pens, try varied pressure techniques. That is, start with a firm pressure at the beginning of the line and as you come across slowly ease up and you get a faded line that starts thick to thin. Be sure to use a tip that allows varied pressure such as a speedball 100 or 103.
Tone, Hatching and Stippling.
Combing lines to create tone. Essentially this is the same technique you used with the boxes, except your lines are closer together. In addition to the kinds of lines you practiced above, practice arcing those lines in a consistent nature both from left and right.
I'll mention here about how I draw these kinds of lines, and why I don't maintain my pen to paper. I draw lines better at certain angles and directions. Since I'm right handed I draw from Top to Bottom and Right to Left. Although I can maintain fairly consistent lines from Left to Right, if I try to draw a line from Bottom to Top, well, you won't get a very straight line. Instead, what I do is flip the paper to make those lines connect in the middle from where I feel comfortable making them. Hopefully this made some sense, but all I know is this what works for me and feels comfortable.
Next practice hatching. Since I was never trained in art, I don't know all the proper names for types of line and hatch. I just know what it looks like. Essentially hatching is crossing lines to give whatever you are drawing definition and form and to produce shading and light.
Practice Up/Down hatching, "X" hatching or cross hatching, and then both of them together (+x ), Then random hatching. (Remember, you can move the paper!)
Now Stippling. DOT DOT DOT. While my favorite style to use and look at, painstaking amount of time is what it requires. Practice stipling from dark to light, and practice with several sizes of point. (.13 to .35) Also, practice creating objects like cubes, cones and spheres by using nothing but stippling.
All of the above techniques make a map come to life, tough not all of them are used in the same map. Find your style and what works for you. Also, keep in mind this isn't everything, and there are many, many books out there you can use to help you along your way. I recommend "Rendering in Pen and Ink" by Arthur L. Guptill ...which primarily covers the use of dip pens, but can work for technical pens as well. The book is fairly comprehensive guide to pen and ink drawing which I would rate with 5 stars.
But those techniques are primarily what I practice in my doodling and idle time. Just keep at it and you will get the skills you need over time. It does take time though, unless you are a natural. I just know I had to work pretty hard to get to where I'm at, and I still have a long way to go before I would consider myself a master at pen and ink mapping and line drawing.