December 13th, 2013

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How to Illustrate a Fantasy Map

Here's an excellent post about making a fantasy map for a book.  Lovely job of describing the illustrative process.

My maps tend to look a lot like the author's sketch.  I don't do them very often, because I'm not an artist, but sometimes I do.  And when I do, they're detailed and carefully thought out.

If I'm thinking on a large scale, I am thinking about the biomes of a continent or the continents of a planet.  If I look at someone else's map, then that's also what catches my attention first.  I look for signs of plate tectonics, ocean and air currents, weathering, that sort of thing.  This is what lends verisimilitude to a map: it "looks right" when people see it.  Of course, for a world with different underlying laws, sometimes the map winds up very different.  But usually those are the rules.
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The Real Face of Jesus

Forensic anthropology reveals what Jesus would have looked like

This is really well done.  I would've expected the cheekbones to be a smidge narrower and the nose a bit more arched, but I can look at this and say, "Yeah, that's Jesus."  Such is not true of the white Christs that are the prevailing portrayal.

His appearance matters,  because it can influence how people respond to each other.  So that's one reason why I write things like "Sharper Than Nails."  If the guy in this new picture showed up in today's world, he'd get a downright hostile reception.  Again.