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So, I’m drawing up a city for the upcoming Dead Rat Productions magazine. Instead of just posting the final work, I figured I’d let you all in on the process involved.

This particular map I’m drawing in a medium-sized booklet – roughly 8.5 x 5.5. The goal is to have a map that sits nicely horizontally on half of a page, so I can then put an ad on the page also. Or text. But really, it’s for the advertising space. Honest.

Stage 1 Complete!

Stage 1 Complete

Here’s the beginning of the city. I drew out the coastline, roads and major fortifications in pencil first, and then starting inking. I don’t bother roughing out the buildings as they will fall into place as I ink. So this scan is slightly after the inking has begun – the coastline and fortifications have all been inked, and I’ve started on the city proper, within the city walls for now.

Stage 2 Complete

Stage 2 Complete

This part was drawn while half-watching the original season of Dr Who (100,000 BC). The city has filled the city walls and is starting to reach out beyond them. Some farmland is making an appearance, and I’ve re-drawn the coastline much thicker and added water.

You’ll also note that roads are starting to appear that didn’t appear in the pencil rough. These are the ones that are formed just by the shapes and placements of buildings – alleyways, paths, and minor roads that aren’t part of the city plan or the “recognized” roads of the city.

Stage 3 Complete

Stage 3 Complete

Not really a lot of change here. I’ve finished off the coastline finally, and most of the details of the areas outside the city wall are done, and I’m finally working on the areas on the other bank of the river. I decided to go without a bridge in this city – probably a choice the city planners made in order to make the city more easily defended.. but then the damned civilians started using boats to cross the river and are living on both sides of the river now. The western side of town is clustered around a port fortress, but is definitely less safe than the main town within the city walls.

That said, the city hasn’t seen much conflict for a few generations now. This is evident by the number of buildings outside the walls in general. While the region may be dangerous, the dangers have learned to leave a wide swath of safety around the city… probably because at some point there were some powerful adventurers based here who taught the local bad guys a lesson or two in how to keep their heads down.

Production Draft!

Production Draft!

And here’s the final product as I sent it off to Dead Rat Productions for approval. I’ve added a screen for the water, more details of hills, beaches, trees, grass and farms, and a few more buildings.

If this draft is approved, expect to see it or something quite like it in the upcoming inaugural issue of Dead Rat Production’s magazine!