Sunday, 20 April 2014

Striving for a unique style

When I decided to create maps to enhance my storytelling I tried several different styles, none of them particularly original, until I decided that as my signature style of writing is one of descriptive detail then the maps should be also. I was definitely not going to hand draw a crude map and scan it, and I was not happy with tracing existing maps and scanning them either. I wanted not too much detail so as to bury the message, but enough to engage the readers imagination. 

My artistic interpretation of the Macquarie Pass*, one of the land routes to Canberra, up the prehistoric sea cliffs of the Mt Kembla escarpment in New South Wales, is hand drawn digitally using a mouse and Paint Shop Pro version 1 (It may be inferior to Paint Shop Pro 8, but I am familiar with it.) Unlike the maps of  imaginary 'Vormundberg' in Germany or real life Moruya, further south along the NSW coast, the Macquarie maps are at a slightly oblique angle as I wanted to avoid using contour lines to emphasise hills on otherwise 'flat' maps.  You will of course notice that the maps detail of the ground does not faithfully mirror that of the real area but instead it compliments the story as I saw it unfold in my head.

The file size problem which I described in earlier posts brought some priceless help from Adrian Robinson with regard to image compression whilst retaining quality, and now Poofy Koshi (a nom de plume) on a source of high definition but low byte size map symbols, for which I am truly grateful also.

* Code for - Not to Scale :)