It can be tricky to draw water on a map. You don’t want to fill areas with a flat blue, but you also don’t want to draw every wave and ripple. The trick is to strike a balance, and provide a visual shorthand that quickly sells the presence of water. When putting this together I was thinking about Mike Schley‘s water style (shown in this map).
The Midgard iPad Atlas was released last year. I created the map (more on that later) and the compass art. Today I’ll cover the different sketches that started the process, and the iterations between those and the final piece.
Here’s a quick tutorial to get back into the swing of things for 2013. I was asked about drawing coastlines. This is just a technique question so it’s software agnostic.
1. Starting point
Lots of people are jumping into the #fridayfiveminutemap and posting phone snaps of their maps. A couple have asked how to take a picture of their map and clean it up a little. This mini tutorial should help with that. The basic idea also works for cleaning up scans, and the techniques are useful in a whole range of places (you can find a version of this geared to Gimp users here).
Grasslands are tricky to map. They’re large empty open expanses. But if you just flood fill an area with light green it’ll stand out like a sore thumb against your beautifully rendered mountains and lovingly painted rivers and forests. The colour is tough too – you want it to be a light green without being fluorescent.
I’ve found that the following works well for grasslands: Continue reading “How to Draw Grassland”
Following my quick run down of how to draw cliffs here’s an equally quick one for drawing cliffs on isometric maps.
The human eye looks for detail and texture, or patterns and regularity. If you use a hard edged round brush in your work, there will be hard edged circles in your work. We’re very good at picking them out, so your audience will see them. On the other hand, if you use a brush with splattered edges, a random orientation and a variable size then there will be no pattern anywhere. Then the human eye sees other patterns and forms. It sees texture that isn’t there, and fills in regions with the texture it believes it should see. Continue reading “How to make a grungy brush – Photoshop”
It’s often the case that you find that you have a map from an adventure that has labels on it. You need to remove the labels before you show it to your players or they’ll know where the bad guys are. On many maps this is actually pretty easy. Continue reading “How to remove labels from maps”