Category Archives: City Map

Snapshot of a city map

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.

How to draw featured buiildings

Highlighting Featured Buildings – Shape, Detail and Contrast

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.

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The Free City of Braavos

Official map of the city of Braavos for Game of Thrones

Braavos, © George RR Martin, used with permission

Braavos is the second of the two cities to get a full map work up in the Lands of Ice and Fire (the other, of course, being King’s Landing). It’s also a city that was previously uncharted before this map – so I got to play in a wonderful sandbox whilst creating this map.

If you’re following the TV series, don’t worry – Braavos will become a major player in the plot in the future. For now, you can happily ignore much of this, but be warned – there are spoilers (and lots of detail shots of the city) in what follows. Continue reading

How to use brush dynamics to draw buildings

Drawing Buildings with Dynamic Brushes

Earlier in the week I posted a tutorial on how to draw buildings with the pen tool. But sometimes drawing each building just takes too long. For whole cities, you probably want a quick way to lay in whole blocks of buildings. Photoshop can help – using dynamic brushes. Continue reading

King’s Landing

King's Landing map for Game of Thrones

King’s Landing, © George RR Martin 2012, used with permission

King’s Landing, heart of power in Westeros, location of the Iron Throne. This city acts as the fulcrum for the plots and machinations of the warring factions of the Seven Kingdoms. This map is something of a dichotomy. It contains more detail than any of the world or regional maps, but fewer named locations. To see the high resolution version, you’ll need to pick up the poster map folio – The Lands of Ice and Fire – but if you want to see some detail shots, read on after the jump. Continue reading

Drawing Buildings With The Pen Tool

How to use the pen tool to draw houses

Following the previous tutorial about town design here’s a tutorial on filling in the buildings in the town.

I’m jumping in at the stage where we’ve already got the terrain, major locations and roads mapped out. The next step is filling all the remaining space with buildings to turn a skeleton of a town into a town. The key here is to give the impression of a large number of buildings, without having to agonise over every single chimney pot and awning. Continue reading