So this is a bit of an unusual book review. I was browsing Amazon and saw this book, HOW TO DRAW FANTASY ART AND RPG MAPS by Jared Blando. I always wanted to draw maps, except I suck at drawing. This isn’t false modesty. I suck at drawing. You should’ve seen my awesome map of Hugh’s castle. OMG. ::shudder::
But then Amazon kept helpfully suggesting this book every time I would log on. Hey, do you remember you looked at this book? Would you like to buy this book? What about more books on map making?
I finally gave up and bought it. Because why not, right?
In my experience art books go like this:
So I didn’t have high hopes.
I was wrong. Jared starts with a blank page and gives very simple instructions. Draw a blob. Anybody can draw a blob, right? Refine your blob with some wiggly outlines. Refine a bit more. Oh look, you got a continent.
Draw a triangle. Draw more triangles. Draw some lines on the triangles. You got a mountain range.
Draw some squiggles around your blob. Congratulations, here is an ocean.
So behold, after much erasing and pencil sharpening and more erasing, my first attempt at a clumsy map. I took a picture with my phone.
Then I messed with it in Photoshop. I used some free stock images from Pixabay for backgrounds.
Things I’ve learned: I think I might get better results on a tablet. I am messy and the constant erasing resulted in some dark areas on the mountain range. I really would like to figure out if I can draw this on my iPad somehow.
Also, next time I will leave naming of towns and town icons until the Photoshop stage. I am clearly not precise enough to not screw this up.
Other than that, I had a ton of fun. So if you are in the market for a fantasy map how-to book, this one is pretty awesome.