Not all my maps are of fantasy lands – every now and again, one comes along from the real world. Before Christmas I was asked to map the Mayacamas mountain range for Tricycle Wine Partners, a vineyard in California.
City maps are complex beasts. There’s a balance to be found between detail and time. The ideal is to be able to imply all the detail of a city, without getting lost drawing every single roof tile.
It’s good to hand over final pieces. This one went out the door today – a city map for a client. The combination of detailed line art featured locations and more anonymous shadowed buildings seems to work well.
The featured locations were all drawn at many times their final size. You lose the precise detail when the locations are shrunk down, but the combination of the details provide a sense of the structure.
Eric Quigley asked about labeling recently and that prompted me to think a little about how I actually go about labeling a map. Often it’s the last thing to get done, but it’s also the most important. A map without labels is just a pretty picture, it’s not useful. So, it’s worth taking some care getting labels right.
This is a photoshop tutorial, but these techniques are almost identical in Gimp.
Today, a quick one on isometric pen and ink mountain ranges. Continue reading
It’s always a little daunting to take on a brand new style of map. When Steve Russell asked for an map inspired by the Orient for Heroes of the Jade Oath I took it on with some trepidation. After a ton of experimenting with textures, brushes and line-styles I came up with a version I was happy with, and this is the result!
There’s a lot of old-school gaming posts going round today, and I thought this one would fit in. This isn’t really a tutorial, more a set of thoughts on different ways to indicate walls on a line map. Continue reading
Cities and buildings come up a lot in questions. I’ll put together a software specific tutorial on buildings, but today I’m just going to go through my philosophy when illustrating a featured building like a castle or a temple. The process is the same, regardless of software. In this case – ballpoint pen on sketchbook paper.