Mapping Things Out

Although the map I originally made for The Keeper is alright for an amateur, I knew I could do better! I had done a little bit of hand-drawing for the idea of the map, but ultimately did the whole thing in photoshop. So after practicing a bit on random maps, I finally sat down to hand-draw a new one for The Varken (although I will most like update the one in The Keeper).


I used the tutorial I had posted recently, but then did a lot of research looking at other fantasy maps to get more ideas on shapes, particularly for the mountains and trees. I drew it out lightly with pencil, then darker, then I inked the whole thing and erased the pencil. I tried to have a little bit of imperfection to my hand, to let the map look more hand-drawn (because it is!)


I scanned the original inked in case I messed it up while painting…or just didn’t like the outcome. Then I could either paint it digitally or print it out on a new sheet of watercolor paper and start over.

Watercolors, how I have missed thee! It was so great to be able to pull out some of my old art supplies for an actual project, instead of just having fun.


First I did shading with my beloved Payne’s Grey over the entire image: mountains, water waves, trees, cities.

Although I had considered doing a straight wash over the entire image of a sepia color, as you often see for fantasy maps, I decided that was something I could easily change with digitally, but that I would have more options (and more fun) if I went ahead and did color for the painting.

DSCN4334 DSCN4335 DSCN4336 DSCN4337DSCN4338

I’m really excited to get it scanned and start adding names and filters to get just the right look for the map. (and yes, I will share it when it is complete!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s