As mentioned recently, I have been considering the question of why some things are easier to find the inspiration to paint than others, and wondered if having the background map defined would help with inspiration. While my recent painting has been for the (already well-defined) Middle Earth project, I noted that I had three larger 25mm fantasy armies, “fantasy Byzantines” (The Myzantine Empire, with a nod to Jack Scruby), “Easterners” (currently a mix of Ral Partha Moors and old Ral Partha Hyborian Age Turanians), and Orcs. So, I decided to take a stab at creating a map for them. I started one once before, on a larger sheet of watercolor paper, but it got out of hand and remains stalled and stowed away somewhere. This time, I tried to keep it smaller and to the point.
As with my Northlands campaign map, I used techniques from Jared Blando’s How to Draw Fantasy Maps, simplified to match my limited artistic skills (and to speed things up), starting with pencil work on cold press watercolor paper, and inking as I went.