Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Hag's Hovel

Hey, if you are gonna be forced to live in a one-room shack in a festering swamp. You might as well build it on the back of a giant turtle! Amiright!?

H is also for hand-drawn maps. If you are interested in how I make my maps. It's really straightforward. I start with a printed sheet of graph paper, and a mechanical pencil. I sketch out the basics of my map and then fill in the pencil lines with either a cheap ball-point gel pen or my .5 mm micron pen that I picked up from my local art store. Once I have the lines all inked, I add shading with my three gray pens. They are 20%, 50% and 80% cool gray. That's it for the hand drawn part. After that, I just scan the image into Photoshop on top of a parchment background. I change the map layer from "normal" to "multiply" which turns the white bits transparent. Then I add text and save. Simple as that!

This is all you need to make a great map...
in fact, all you really need is the paper and a single pencil!


  1. Thanks for the explanation, that's great! Very interesting work. Do you write books for these maps to go in, or will you sell them?

    Keep Calm and A-Z
    An A-Z of learning English
    Round the world from A to Z

  2. I love that it is on the back of a giant turtle! Very cool.

  3. You make it sound so easy, but you left out two details: creativity and talent.

  4. This one is my favorite so far!

  5. I love graph paper. When I was an au pair in Switzerland back many moons ago, they used graph paper a lot more than the lined paper to which we are accustomed.

  6. I have done a search for graph-paper and can not find any resembling anything like the one you are using. Surprisingly there are few at the scale I would like to try my hand at mapping on.

    Where did you get that one?

    1. I actually print it using a graph paper generator found here. I set it to the following: Line weight (L=1, M=1, S=.5) Grid size (L=1, M=1, S=4)

    2. Awesome! Thanks for the link, and awesome maps!


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