How to draw, shade, and colour a mountain range

I’ve written up a couple of tutorials before on drawing isometric mountain ranges for fantasy maps – but never more than the pen and ink stage. I’ve had a few requests for how to take this to the next step and colour the mountain ranges.

Note that I use a graphics tablet. You can do this with a mouse and low opacity brushes, but tablets are getting good and relatively cheap. I’d recommend picking up something like the Bamboo Splash if you’re going to be playing around with illustrating maps.

Here’s a quick walkthrough of the four steps I take in my mountain ranges. Continue reading “How to draw, shade, and colour a mountain range”

How to Draw Forested Hills on a Top Down Map

Often hills are indicated on a map by drawing an outline, but when you have forest on top, that outline gets obscured. So how do you draw forested hills? The trick is to use the detail of the forest to indicate the hills, rather than obscure them.

Continue reading “How to Draw Forested Hills on a Top Down Map”

Killing hex bugs – and the importance of sprite sheets

I’ve been working more on my hex mapping project. One of the requests was to have random terrain placement. So, rather than picking a terrain element, placing it, and then changing to a new one – instead pick a terrain type, and place a load of terrain with the tool taking care of variation. That took a bit of coding, and threw up a nasty bug. Every 7 or 8 times you clicked the base of the tile would place, but not the terrain on top. I tried everything to figure out why – the data was there, when you refreshed the map, the terrain turned up, but it wouldn’t load on click.

It turns out it’s an image load problem. Continue reading “Killing hex bugs – and the importance of sprite sheets”

Some Sketches and Screenshots from a Work in Progress

A web based fantasy hex mapper
Fantastic Mapper – current status

If you’ve been following along on Google+ you’ve likely seen some notes on a hex mapping project in the works. This hex mapper started as a challenge to myself over the summer when I took a holiday back to visit my parents on Skye:

Can I code a hex mapper web app during a holiday?

Continue reading “Some Sketches and Screenshots from a Work in Progress”

How to Draw Mountains Take 2

This is a quick one. After the Napa map (see below) I had some questions on how to draw mountains. This style is a little different to my previous maps, closer in style to a skiing map. I thought the easiest way to show the process was to create a short video walkthrough. Enjoy!

Mapping Napa Vineyards

Tricycle Wine Partners final map of Obsidian Ridge and Poseidon Vineyards

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.

Continue reading “Mapping Napa Vineyards”