This is a four part series, so hop back and check last week’s if you haven’t already and come back for parts three and four!
Create BordersIf you’re working on a large scale (creating a continent or a whole planet) you’ll want to create borders for your different countries, kingdoms, realms etc.
If you’re working with something with a historical vibe, your borders will usually follow some sort of geological formation, and they usually won’t be straight. Maps for “newer” civilizations will very likely have straight lines based on things like longitude and latitude, or walls/fences.
Ink OutlineAt this point, since you’ve got everything figured out place wise. It’s a good thing to set the lines with ink. I’ve used sharpies or G2 pens to do this most often. Fine-point felt pens are also a good option.
Rough Draft Geographical featuresThis is a step you can skip. Sometimes, you just aren’t going to have any. Or they’re not important enough to the story to go into any detail with.
In this instance, I needed to get a rough idea about a few specific forests, and some specific mountains. I still need to add a table rock, a coral reef, and several rivers, but this is the start.
Add ColorThis is a fun part. You can add color in lots of ways. For this map, I chose to use watercolor. For another, I’ll be using colored pencil (that’s largely a decision made based on the weight of my paper).
Color it how you want to. As for me, I’ve made the forest mainland green the water blue (who’d have thought) and the sand bars brown, while settling on gray for the crowded island city.