The story is quite a simple one: I was gifted a few sheets of papyrus and after a long time of contemplating a use for it, D&D made its way back into fashion. I might not be a player myself but the increasing need and supply of vintage maps finally inspired me to experiment with this rough-looking medium.
My research on suitable techniques did not deliver any results, so I had to improvise and test in the true sense of creativity. The very first thing I tried stuck immediately: simple black ink.
The only adjustment I made between the very first try and the final map was omitting the use of any water. This resulted in a more old-fashioned look, in my opinion.
As a point of reference I went to vintage city panoramas and maps one would usually find in museums or townhalls. I then loosely based some techniques on old copper etching artwork, which was very popular among German artists way back when. I combined this with the knowledge I gathered from a comic drawing course on Kadenze. Since both maps are fanworks, I did of course use books, movies, wikis, and video games for reference as well. I believe, that should make these pieces by definition truly eclectic.
Hogwarts Grounds Map
Let me take you on a tour through the grounds of Hogwarts’ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Your eyes are probably immediately drawn to the centry of the landscape, the castle itself. To its right we see the Hogwarts crest and only a few more steps in that same direction we see the Whomping Willow. In front of the castle lies the Great Lake, which is greater than the lake in the back. Submerged in said lake is the ship of Durmstrang’s wizarding school with its crest to the left.
If we leave the castle to the left we find an indication of a stone circle. Going further downhill we find ourselves at the Quidditch Pitch and finally – hidden from the castle’s view – Hagrid’s Hut.
Lets take a boat across the lake and we arrive at Hogsmeade’s train station, a little outside town. I’d image the settlement is a bit older than the castle and might have been a fishing village until the lake lost a bit of volume, putting the town a bit far from the water. Besides, I’m sure the kraken and merpeople living in the lake had something to do with even wizards avoiding the water for the most part. Somewhat far from the main town is the Shrieking Shack, once probably the major’s residence, but now ruinous.
Naturally, we would be tempted to explore the forbidden forest but from this angle we would find nothing but the Thestral Clearing. At the right-most edge of the forest we would however find a tunnel-like structure with an unnatural amound of spider webs inside of it. It does lead to the surface of a mountain but the webs on the exit seem unbroken.
Lastly, let’s explore the background of the map. Far behind the castle we find the Dragon Arena. It had to be located quite far from the school for the safety of the students and secrecy of the tournament task.
Far from the scene, on the horizon we spot the Beauxbaton Carriage against the sky with their crest to the right.
The Fine Art of Cartophiguration
Of course this map will appear in the latest issue of the Quibbler. You can read all about the Fine Art of Cartophiguration and the origins of the guild in the issue of winter 2020.