Learning to Map

I have spent a good deal of my past two weeks learning to map a region.  I am horribly challenged when it comes to drawing of any form and struggle to draw entertaining stick men.  However, in this regard I wanted to have a go at the mapping for my module before I send it off for publishing consideration.

My first attempt

I decided to do this as I know what I want from this task.  I can see in my head how it should all appear and I think that to hand it on to someone else would lose some of that detail.  I considered doing it utilising computer drawing programs but decided that I could do it with a hand drawn map that gets enhanced at the final product.

The next step of me attempting this was looking for a style that I wanted to employ for the map.  Being a member of Google + makes this very easy as there are a lot of great people out there that put up examples and tutorials on how to approach this sort of stuff.  People like +matt jackson+Fantastic Maps+Monkeyblood’s Model & Map Mayhem+Michael Tumey and +Dyson Logos are great people to look up as their work is stellar.  I am in awe at every map they produce.  They look so simple but a lot of work goes into them as I have found out.

And how it finished

The map is to be dominated by a mountain range and some moors.  It was much easier to find the mountains tutorial as there were several examples of mountain ranges done with heavy ink line along the ridge and embellished with finer lines for detail.  The original tutorial came from +Fantastic Maps but I originally saw the style when +matt jackson gave it a go.  These were the style of mountains that I was after.

The moors proved much more difficult to find and in the long run I approached +Fantastic Maps to see if he could come up with a style that I could follow.  He kindly did and loaded it up to Google + for all to share.  It looks great and I am more than happy to have a go at it.  With these in place I started sketching and working at the styles.

And another trial

I have to say that I am impressed with the ease I was able to recreate the styles.  Two weeks on from starting this quest I began work on the final version of the area map on Saturday.  I know I can fix mistakes when I scan it but I am using a two stage process of penciling, inking several times on the one portion of map and being very careful to get it right first time around.

I am even finding the work a little therapeutic!  Last game of Pathfinder I ran while the players were umming and ahing about their next action I found myself sketching out a mountain range in one of my books.  I have to say that I am incredibly thankful for all of the names I have mentioned here and strongly encourage you, if you want to draw some maps, to get on Google + and follow these people.  They often share completed maps and tutorials on how they did it as well as progress in a particular work which is all fascinating to watch.

The start of the final attempt

I have nearly finished the area map at the moment and I will be diving back into their pages again to find out the best ways of mapping interiors which again I struggle at doing.  Once I have got my locations done then the module will be off for consideration.  So, a big thanks from me to you all and all the people that have commented on the images I have put up.  Hopefully I will soon de drawing maps like it is second nature!  Keep rolling!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.