Four Different Ways To Draw Hills On A Map

Drawing hills on a map can be a challenge. Unlike forests and mountains, there aren’t really any hard edges. On a line art map that causes some difficulty. Even when you add in light, shade, and colour, it’s not obvious how best to represent hills. Here’s four different styles that you can use as a basis to draw hills on your map. Continue reading “Four Different Ways To Draw Hills On A Map”

Mapping Blackcliff Academy for An Ember in the Ashes

Sabaa Tahir had a good year. She released her debut novel An Ember in the Ashes, became a New York Times bestselling author, and got the Amazon best YA novel of the year. I had the great pleasure of creating the maps for the novel. I’ve written about the process behind creating the world map. In this article I’m going to cover the process behind illustrating Blackcliff Military Academy.

Blackcliff Academy lies at the crux of the story. It is the training ground of the Masks, a sinister force in the book, and one that must be infiltrated. I won’t go further (so no spoilers), but the different locations in the academy are quite important – as is the secret stairway. Continue reading “Mapping Blackcliff Academy for An Ember in the Ashes”

An Illustrator’s Review of the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil

I’ve always wanted a tablet I could use for illustration. I bought the second generation iPad, hoping it would do the trick. I picked up all the art apps, and a range of styluses – from the Adonit Jot Touch Pro (my thoughts here), to 53’s Pencil – with 53’s Paper.

Paper was by far the best app for the iPad, because it threw precision out the window, and accepted what the iPad is – a sketchpad rather than a professional illustration tool. When I saw the iPad Pro come out, I was skeptical.

5 minute sketch with Pencil and an iPad Pro
A 15 minute sketch with Pencil and an iPad Pro, in the Apple Store, using Adobe Sketch

15 minutes trying it out in the store had me intrigued – so last weekend I picked it up. I was more than a little nervous. At $949 for the 128Gb iPad Pro, and $99 for the Apple Pencil – this could be a very expensive paper weight.

After a week I’m hooked. This, finally, is the device that makes drawing on a tablet painless.

Continue reading “An Illustrator’s Review of the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil”

A map of Danelaw Britain

I can never predict my next client – something that came very true when I was approached by Inkshares to create a map for Gary Whitta’s debut novel Abomination. Now Gary has an interesting background: writer for Star Wars, Book of Eli, and – of course – After Earth, for which I did the expanded universe maps. Though we both have 1 degree of Will Smith, it turned out that it was pure chance that Inkshares came to me for a map of Danelaw Britain.

Continue reading “A map of Danelaw Britain”

A Free World Map

Most of the maps I create are for commissions. However, every now and again, I get the chance to create a map for my own use. These maps tend to be tests of new styles, or ideas I have for a new layout. This was one of the first tests I created for an isometric map style (used at a much larger scale in the map of Rhune). It worked out well, and forms the basis of one of my core styles to this day.

Continue reading “A Free World Map”