My hobby: drawing maps

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Trajector
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My hobby: drawing maps

One of my hobbies is drawing fantasy-style maps in various combinations of pen, ink, and watercolor pencil. This is probably my main hobby besides board games, to the point that I've got about a dozen finished maps lying around the house, made a map for my wedding invitation, and even took a commission for an aspiring fantasy author. I just finished a big new one and I thought, hey, why let the people on the Cartographers' Guild have all the fun? I bet the Multiversians here would enjoy this, too.

map image

Here is a link to the full-size image, and here is the description I wrote for my blog. You guys might also be interested in the translation key for the map labels.

This map is a conception of a habitable exoplanet tidally locked to a red dwarf star. Planetary scientists call the situation I depicted "eyeball Earth," where there's a disk of liquid-water-supporting climate at the point directly under the star, and everywhere else on the planet is ice. One of my previous maps was a view from orbit of this planet (that map and a writeup I did about the geology is on my blog here). This time I zoomed in on a few regions to do more traditional fantasy-style maps with labels in four different constructed languages.

...and, yes, I'm super excited to see Spirit Island. I can't wait to turn those tiles over to the canonical island side!


Rabit
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Love this, Trajector! Really impressed at the amount of work you put into this. Wonderful work of art, on many levels!

I used to do a lot of hand map work for my tabletop RPGs, but have taken to using Fractal Mapper for most of my work, anymore. I might have to dig up some of it to share... And I should probably scan/photograph my older material. I have an island I created that I'm especially happy with that I really need to capture before I lose the originals.

Thank you for sharing this!

 


"See, this is another sign of your tragic space dementia, all paranoid and crotchety. Breaks the heart." - Mal

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VisforYoshi
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Have you ever heard of Dawn of Worlds? I think you may find it enjoyable if you like making maps


"A delayed game is eventually good. A rushed game is bad forever"

-Shigeru Miyamoto

Trajector
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Thanks, Rabit! I've been doodling maps since I was a kid, but in the last several years I've brought my latent knowledge from drawing, geology, and linguistics classes to bear on it. My big projects have been getting better and better... I'm glad you like this one - and I have more if you want to see!

I sometimes think about using software for this, but after a day sitting at a computer in my engineering job, I'm ready to spend my free time doing things with physical objects. Hence: pen and paper and board games!

Viz, I haven't heard of that. What is it?

VisforYoshi
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It's a tabletop where you and some friends work together to create a world (typically in the medieval theme, but any theme works).

http://www.clanwebsite.org/games/rpg/Dawn_of_Worlds_game_1_0Final.pdf


"A delayed game is eventually good. A rushed game is bad forever"

-Shigeru Miyamoto

Comrade Bubbles
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I'll second the Dawn of Worlds hype. It's so GOOD!


The space/time continuum was broken when I got here. Honest.

Trajector
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Yeah, that is interesting. Having multiple people compete to build the world would make it evolve more dynamically.

Trajector
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That first post was a big project, here are two I recently finished that are much smaller. The kingdoms of Abrantoc, Meletoc, Kebrenek, and Sudroc:

And the sleepy frontier towns of Upper Erthal province:

dshields
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I Play FF Star wars RPG, Wish I had your talent, Would make some of the worlds more intersting.

Trajector
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Thank you! Most of my skill comes from practice - you could definitely get there. :) The trickiest aspect is plotting things out beforehand, to make sure that I fit everything into the map. (Lots of people over on the Cartographers' Guild use GIMP or Photoshop, and so can move objects around after the fact. I made that harder on myself by drawing by hand.)

dshields
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Trajector wrote:

Thank you! Most of my skill comes from practice - you could definitely get there. :) The trickiest aspect is plotting things out beforehand, to make sure that I fit everything into the map. (Lots of people over on the Cartographers' Guild use GIMP or Photoshop, and so can move objects around after the fact. I made that harder on myself by drawing by hand.)

 

Now I may be able to do something in photoshop, but not by hand, even my stick figures look bad LOL. But it is good work. and it looks more Real, like something they would pull out of thier bag.

Belle Sorciere
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Hmm, I used to draw fantasy maps by hand all the time, but I haven't done that in ages and I haven't really clicked with any of the map-making software I've tried.

GIMP is a pretty nifty program for any kind of artwork, I used it to make some comic strips for/about my WoW guild several years ago. 

Trajector
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I finished my latest, a New England-inspired island for a collaborative project on the Cartographers' Guild:

My neighboring country Wulfgar, to the northeast, is by the person who did the Spirit Island map. I'm in good company!

Trajector
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I realized I haven't shared a map with this community in a while. I recently finished a cool one for a Cartographers' Guild challenge - we had to make two maps of a place, showing it in different seasons. I decided to make a Myst/Riven type island for a hermit's steampunky workshop.

Every now and then I think of doing Insula Primalis...this might be a cool style.

rjc917
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These are really cool!  Thanks for sharing!