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August 11th, 2008 #1
Torstan's sketchbook - New Maps - May 2011
First post over here. I've been playing with digital art for some mapping commissions I've picked up and that's got me back into sketching again. Thought I'd start a sketchbook over here to try to force me to get into the habit of sketching and improve. My life-drawing has gone down the chute after a few years off.
First off - a thumbnail for the thread heading. This is one of the maps I've been working on:
Edit: Ditched the original images in this post to allow the thread image to be edited more easily. They weren't much to look at! Hopefully the work will pick up a little and they won't be missed.
Last edited by torstan; May 17th, 2011 at 04:27 PM.
Hide this ad by registering as a memberAugust 12th, 2008 #2
Here is some finished stuff. It's maps rather than portraits I'm afraid, but I hope it is of interest to people
The plan is to take the skills I'm picking up doing maps across to doing more traditional art. We'll see how that goes....
Last edited by torstan; January 11th, 2010 at 03:35 PM.
August 12th, 2008 #3
Those maps are awesome! I've tried maps before and never got close to the quality of yours. With the sketches, try longer more confident lines rather than the short lines. The diver, like you say, is out of proportion. But if youre like me, you start drawing at the head or torso and work your way down. If so, try working with the whole body at once to make proportions a bit easier. Excellent work!
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August 12th, 2008 #4
That's an interesting idea. I'd never really concentrated on the fuzzy lines I use to sketch. Hmmm, I'll have to have a shot at that. I've noticed some lovely clean lines in the other sketch books - do people really lay those down first time or have they been rubbing out behind the scenes?
Okay, another map to keep the eye candy rating high. This is a recently finished commission for an upcoming adventure called the Living Airship by Rite Publishing (www.ritepublishing.com). Note that this one is a commission and so is rights reserved, though Rite Publishing allow private use.
Last edited by torstan; August 13th, 2008 at 12:50 PM.
August 12th, 2008 #5
Really interesting. I haven't seen many map drawings on art sites but they are pretty cool. Definitely a less trodden area than something like character design, not that there's anything wrong with it, but you found a niche and that's great. Keep going with the figure drawings, I'd suggest checking out Bridgmans, thats like the bible for some.
August 13th, 2008 #6
Thanks for the tip. That sounds like a good purchase when I am back in the UK.
I took on board the advice about line quality and tried to do some cleaner linework sketches this morning while standing in the visa queue at the US embassy. The other queuers provided the unwitting subjects (hence the view is mostly from the back!). Have to say that I found it pretty hard. Definitely going to try some more static photo refs next time.
August 13th, 2008 #7
August 13th, 2008 #8
Yep, most of the sketches were done on planes or in queues. It forces me to draw when I've not got an excuse not to.
The ship was done for a challenge in which we had to create an image of 1280x1040 pixels and a filesize of under 75kb. It was a challenge, and one thing that got a bit lost was the contrast when the competition deadline loomed.
The attacking dragon skethc above was done on a bus, hence the many dots. It was a bumpy bus so it kind of forced a more loose and dotty approach!
Oh, and because I am trying not to post without posting an image (managed so far!), here is a rough digital of a dragon attack on the same theme as the pen and paper one above.
August 13th, 2008 #9
Maps, cool bro.
I never saw these here, good drawings man.
But i think your coloring lacks a little bit of contrast, its too smooth and digital. Try to use harder brushes!
Other than that, cool stuff man...
Keep it up!!
August 14th, 2008 #10
Hey I know nothing about digital paintings but i really like the maps and the sketches are good too. I always find practicing drawing from life improves all your drawing as it hones the eye to what you are really able to see.
August 15th, 2008 #11
One old and one newer - this is an acrylic painting:
And my first digital portrait from photo reference. Not as much of a likeness as I'd hoped I'm afraid. Better luck next time.
August 15th, 2008 #12
very nice) keep training
August 15th, 2008 #13
Like the maps here very differant to what you normally see around here and yes the skills will cross-over!
August 15th, 2008 #14
Ah well, first post without a sketch - but then I did manage to get two up earlier today
@Carbono and Kidult: Check out the Red Epic here http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=51286. He posts here as Stormcrow135. His maps are awesome and his other art ain't half bad either.
@Carbono. You're dead right about the soft brushes. With maps the relevant information is in the outlines of features so it is generally better to have hard outlines and soft colours. I'll have to break that habit now I'm trying to draw things again.
@Verehin I intend to. This site is an inspiration.
@Hades_Dream Yep, having a sketch bok handy makes those dull trips on buses much more interesting.
It's great to have such a warm reception from everyone. Now I just have to see whether I can keep up the sketching and improve a bit!
August 15th, 2008 #15
New sketch from photo reference
August 16th, 2008 #16
A sketch for a steampunk era heli-bar. This is the first of a WIP that I've decided to embark on to try and develop some digital drawing skills. Let's see how that goes!
August 18th, 2008 #17
A bad portrait. Really need to get the dimensions nailed down before blocking in the values. Wow, that nose is bad, but I'm not too unhappy with the rest of it...
August 18th, 2008 #18
So I decided that posemaniacs was a good lunchtime drawing exercise. This is my first attempt, and is pretty shoddy. Hopefully this will improve soon. The first two are 30 second poses, the rest are 60 (but it took me a bit to move around the canvas for each as I was drawing on the computer).
Anyway, fewer excuses, more sketches:
August 18th, 2008 #19
i like your drawings the fine ones in special
August 18th, 2008 #20
Here's a small sketch with ideas inspired by the DSG idea for soldier with mini-gun. It all got a little mecha....
August 20th, 2008 #21
Hmmm, as far as I got with the DSG sketch before RL took over.
August 20th, 2008 #22
Exeter college chapel, Oxford.
August 21st, 2008 #23
hi torstan thx for the visit
so you are doing posemaniacs studies as well I see nice job!
and nice sketches.
August 21st, 2008 #24
I find the craft of drawing Maps to be very powerful and interesting. two things on that first map:
-The river is a little to straight curved; nature is a beast!! ;-) of course this depends on the scale of the map. but looking at the size of the mountains i would say: wilder rivers!!
-The Dark lines on the snowy Mountains look like the paper is somehow ripped. I think a white tone only would do the job.
But anyways, nice stuff, keep working at it! Things like Browser-based games are on the run and I can imagine see your kind of maps in one of those! Keep up and working on your fundamentals, too.
oh, and you have to attach your image with the attach-manager in order to appear as thumb for the thread heading.
August 22nd, 2008 #25
@Agostinuke: You're welcome. That's dome nice stuff you have in there. I'll be happy when I can get something usable from the 30 second sketches! Still a way to go yet on those. Your Pirates stuff has shown an amazing improvement.
@Kfeeras: Good catch on the river. It should definitely wind more than it does. It does seem that there is a bigger market for maps these days - the other driving force is the release of a new version of D&D which is creating a lot of opportunities from 3rd party publishers.
I definitely need to sort out that attachment in the first post. A job for a quiet moment later today I think.
August 22nd, 2008 #26Registered User
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nice studies man! keep on practicing! i guess some anatomy muscle-function study-stuff would really help you!
i like the chapel! nice work!
December 10th, 2008 #27
So I moved country twice and got married - hence the silence. Here's a map done for a private commission. The full res image (in devArt gallery in sig) is sized to print out at 11" by 17" at 300dpi. It was fun to play with a pen and ink style without any colour.
December 10th, 2008 #28MY SKETCHBOOK
I know it's all been done before, I want to do it again. I want to do it again.
December 14th, 2008 #29
the last map is really awesome. i like the stonehengy rocks in the east ;.)
February 20th, 2009 #30
@Kfeeras - thanks! It was called Dolmen Isle, so I wanted to make sure the standing stones were clear and read well. Seems like it worked.
@Kasper_P - I am trying to clean up my sketch lines. I now have a moleskine and use it on the subway most days. Haven't had a chance to scan anything recently, but I am now drawing every day. I want to get to the stage where my lines are fuzzy from the subway motion rather than bad habits!
Right - an update. Here's a big image from a recent commission:
The actual file is twice the size and three times the resolution, but this should give a good sense of it.
It's a world map for an upcoming game. It's an A1 map at 300dpi and will be used by the designers as the construct the world. The cogs support the planes, and the outer planes represent the elements and the seasons. For those with sharp eyesight, there are thee cog planes below as well.
I promise to get access to a scanner soon and put up some actual sketches.