One of my random hobbies is collecting and looking at maps of places I love, and I suddenly realized how large my collection is getting. I looked at my stack of maps and decided I wanted to put that inspiration to use.
Despite how much I love my old maps, I had this relentless desire to do something more personal.
So, a while back, I started making various designs such as these:
I took a screen shot of Google Maps, traced it digitally, then inserted my photography within the bounds. It took a bunch of trial and error, but eventually I made something cool.
I was diggin the designs, but I still wanted something a little more artistic.
Next, I started playing with cutouts based on my watercolor paintings.
But despite how fun these were to make, the process wasn’t as fulfilling as I had hoped.
I am super passionate about my love for Scotland, and I really wanted to make something special.
Then an idea was born. Why not make a hand painted version of my favorite locations in Scotland, in “map” style?
As soon as I started, I was hooked. The process was pretty straight forward. But easier said than done!
To start, I transferred my outline to the watercolor paper using graphite transfer paper and a stencil I made.
Then I painted a base of “ocean” watercolor, including my favorite salt effect!
Next: a base layer of gouache then slowly building up the depth of the land.
I ended up really enjoying the process. I didn’t obsess over every little valley and river, I just focused on getting the general location of mountains. It was quite tedious, but really relaxing!
Next up: A full map of Scotland.
Then… who knows! Maybe the WORLD.
Middle Earth definitely needs to make an appearance too.
I think it would also be fun to make custom fantasy maps for DnD or other RPGs.
If you have any requests, please send me an email! :)