Did you ever draw a pirate map when you were a kid?
I was transported back to childhood doing this project and thoroughly enjoyed it. When I was a kid my favourite books were the ones with a map of a mythical world in the front of the book. You knew it was going to be a good story if they started out with an unfamiliar map full of strange place names, hinting at adventures to come.
I started by stamping the quote on a mottled parchment paper and then masked off the edges of the paper and stamped various travel words from the Steampunk Travel and Steampunkery sets with Adirondack Pesto ink. I took the mask off and drew a sketchy border around the masked area then carefully covered over the quote and splashed the stamped words with water. Adirondack dye ink bleeds when wet, so the words became blurred and patchy. It needed to look more worn so I decided to add some distress inks and set to with Bundled Sage, Old Paper and Antique Linen – all pretty subtle colours. I may have added a hint of Brushed Corduroy as well.
I distressed the edges and crumpled the paper around the border before adding stronger colours and water. While wet, I rubbed a Rusty Hinge distress pad over the creases and misted with more water then when that was dry, I flicked droplets of Distress Stain and water over it quite liberally.
This evolved over several evenings as I kept putting it aside to dry and coming back to it. I began to pick out splodges and draw round them with a fine liner to create islands. I used Copic markers to add a blue line around the outside edge of each island and an ochre tone to the inside edge of each island. I used Copics as a water based marker of any kind would have blended the Distress colours on the paper more, but Copics or Promarkers won’t move water soluble pigments around. Some of the larger ones got some little mountains on them too, then I came up with the idea of a sea monster.
I dug out an old stamp set – Here be Dragons – and applied a little masking tape before stamping him (I practised on scrap paper first to get it right). I then drew in little waves around the masked line and coloured him in lightly with pencils. I think he makes quite a convincing sea monster.
This is a treasure map, but you won’t find an X on it anywhere. The real treasure is in the words – a super quote from Steampunk Travel by Mark Twain (hence the American spelling). It’s got me inspired to create another map with place names on it now – Embellishment Bay, Bling City, Distressville … hmmm, I can see lots of potential here… So what would the treasure on your map be?