The key to a good map is the information it presents. As soon as you’ve done the line drawing on a map, it should be perfectly possible to pick it up and use it. Everything after that point is polish to make it pretty. But polish matters, especially when you’re trying to set the scene.
Here’s how to take a simple map on a white background and turn it into an aged paper handout. Continue reading “Turning a map into an aged paper handout”
There are lots of ways to indicate water on a map with lines – and many more with tone or colour. Here are four I regularly use. Continue reading “4 Coast Styles for Mapmaking”
Parallel lines are a good way to indicate a road on a map. But drawing parallel lines is next to impossible. Photoshop to the rescue – there’s a simple trick to get this effect quickly and easily. Continue reading “How to Draw Roads on a Map (with the Stroke Tool)”
In a plan view map, elevation is hard. This is especially true for line art maps, where you don’t have the advantage of shading to indicate height and depth using the cast shadows. Here’s three different styles for drawing chasms on a line art map. Continue reading “How to Draw a Chasm on a Map”
None of my dungeons are flat. I always have things for people to jump off or fall into. But if you’re laying out a top down view it can be tricky to show elevation on a map.
Continue reading “How to use Hatching to Show Elevation on a Map”
This is a quick tutorial covering the steps I take when laying out and drawing a cave map. Continue reading “How to Draw a Cave”
I’ve been asked a few times recently about how I draw isometric buildings. Here’s the run down. Continue reading “How to draw an isometric house”
This tutorial covers my entire process for how to draw a map – from start to finish. In this case I’m illustrating a simple town map, but the steps apply to any map. Continue reading “How to draw a map”
It’s always fun to try something new, but in this case the something new was a sci fi galaxy map, and the client was Overbrook Entertainment, and Will Smith. The brief was to create 4 maps for the expanded universe around the movie After Earth. There are a bunch of books and graphic novels associated with the film. Those stories had been written in parallel with the movie development and each had added something to the geography of the universe.
One of the writers on the expanded universe material was an old RPG hand, and noticed that what the worldbuilding needed was reference maps – of the universe, solar system, world, and key city. And so I got a call.
Continue reading “After Earth – Mapping the Galaxy”
This is definitely the week of mountain ranges. I had a question on reddit on how to draw mountain ranges that go east-to-west rather than north to south. Here’s a very quick tutorial on the difference. If you want to go deeper into the north-south version, check out this earlier tutorial on mountain ranges.
The hotizontal version is very similar – with a few tweaks. Continue reading “How to draw a horizontal mountain range”