Monday, September 15, 2008

Coloring an old Treasure Map

For those of you who aren't familiar with new holidays, this Friday, Sept. 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. I've been celebrating this day for many years, and I figured this would be a fun theme to color around this week. And the first thing any good pirate needs is a treasure map.

Coloring Old Paper
Old, weathered pirate maps usually are yellowed with age, grayed from the damp and mildew, faded from the harsh Caribbean sun, and generally ill-treated.

Yellowed paper
When coloring any shape I tend to start with the largest, light areas and layer from there. You can always add details, but in general work large to small, light to dark. In this case, the paper underlies any other colors on the page, so everything gets toned an old yellow. For my base color I used E41, a pale brown, then added the YR31 for the stronger yellowing at the edges and creases. this doesn't have to be perfect because it will all get faded later.

Map details
Next I add the colors on the map, since all the fading from the sun, mildew, and burns came after the map was drawn. I'm sticking to really pale colors from each family since we want the final hint of color, but nothing overwhelming. Again, it doesn't need to be perfect since we will be fading this whole sheet of paper still. The only color that is strong is the red, since the X is the most important element on the whole map.

Faded from the Sun
Now we can fade all the colors with our colorless blender. I'm carefully fading each color area distinctly, so I fade all the water first, pushing the colors towards the land. Then I fade the land, mountains, etc. Last I go back and unevenly leave blotches with the blender marker to add texture to the paper. All the colors I added in the last step wash into the faded yellow of the paper now, and they don't look so harsh.

I picked a light source that allowed my red X to be on a lighter side of the paper, so the light is coming from the right. Because my paper is a warm color I'm adding shadows with my warm grays. I also know that my base colors end in 1, so for a gray to show up it needs to be higher than a value of 1, so I chose W3. The fold opposite my sun is shadowed and also the table surface the map is resting on. notice how I kept the shadows stronger at the edges to accent the other fading and weathering.

Final touch
For my final area I waned to simulate faded, burned edges, and what better to show burns than by adding actual charcoal? Notice I saved this for last, since charcoal would clog my marker tips if I used it sooner. A bonus of using something besides marker for the last detail is that I can use an eraser on charcoal areas I need to clean up, but the eraser won't erase my base marker colors underneath (you'll want to protect the charcoal once you're done). Now my map looks old, weathered, shadowed, and burned. Have a swashbuckling day! Image: Drawn with 0.3mm Multiliner Paper: Color Laser Copier Paper Other: Charcoal


craftyteaspoon said...

Another timely post! Wonderful.

How about one on coloring snowmen? I know, I ask so much. :o)

Becky said...

Arrrrgggghhhh matey, I be a pirate wench meself. As a matter of fact, on our honeymoon my hubby and I had our pictures taken at one of those old time picture places, and we dressed in pirate garb.

Thanks for the great tutorial. Snowmen would be great, also, as craftyteaspoon requested

Dawn said...

Great post! I knew Pirate day was coming!! Woo!

Definitely agree with the snowman request. =)

marianne walker said...

I know you want snow, ice, and snowmen! Have patience, I have that post scheduled for later this month :)

craftyteaspoon said...

Yes! I knew you wouldn't disappoint us Marianne!!!

Nicole said...

AHOY, Ms. Marianne! ARRRRRen't these just the bestest tips I evoy heard? HA HA!

I never thought about yellowing, aging papers and such, great tips!