The inkwash map

I have finally finished off a new map to share with everyone!

The inky islands

This is entire ink and ink washes, applied with both pens and brushes. It’s mostly black ink, with a bit of brick red for those cryptic labels.

These mountains are in a new style, too. Their shapes are more blocky and angular, and I provided all the relief with ink wash rather than hatching. The coastline also departs from my previous maps, where I favored a double line with a thicker landward line. Here, the line is no different from any other, but I drew in some icons for breakers and focused the washes on the water side of the line.


The labels have a sort of funny procedural story to them. They don’t consist of much; simply a few random scribbles with suggestions of ascenders, descenders, and diacritics. I always intended to do something tiny and random rather than making precise characters. What’s funny is that I let this map sit forĀ months between when I finished with the black ink and when I sat down for the quarter hour it took to put in the labeling. In all previous cases, I’ve had something very careful in mind with my labels; this time, I went in wanting to scribble randomly on my map. In ink, that scribbling becomes permanent. (I can scrape off ink with an x-acto knife, but that leaves some slight damage on the paper and isn’t feasible on a large scale.) Eventually, I just had to bite the bullet and see what came out the other side of the process.

Then I could call the map done.

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