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Making a map, part 2

September 2019

Today I can make a start on the physical illustration. One surface I love working on, which I think lends itself well to the style I’m looking to create, is a hand made paper by Khadi papers. This is made from recycled cotton at Khadi’s paper mill in South India. It has a rough, textured and absorbant surface, perfect for ink illustrations.

The paper also has a lovely deckled edge, a great look for an old map.

The first job is to draw the border. I still find this quite time consuming, ensuring I get the lines and angles as accurate as possible. Throughout the process, any minor errors I can resolve with a putty rubber and scratchbord knife, to gently remove ink without damaging the paper. A major error would be another matter, but touch wood, I’ve yet to deal with one... ︎

Once the border is done, I use a pencil to mark out a 5cm grid, which I use to help guide me from the digital mockup.

I can then work square by square to draw the main route line. ︎

Don’t be deceived, this gif is sped up from what took around 5 minutes! ︎

Once the route is in place, I’ve got a frame to start filling in some of the detail. Probably the most time consuming part of an illustration like this - hillshading. While it can take a while to create, I love the result that this technique creates when I’m mapping an area like this.

2 hours of ink wash painting, using various dilutions of black ink leaves me with about half of the mountains still to complete. ︎

More of that and then onto some text tomorrow.

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