Learn to draw your own game maps

Every game designer or adventure writer reaches the point where they need a map. You can sketch it in a notebook and find an artist to draw it for you, fire up your favorite graphic program and do your best, or try one of the dedicated map-making apps on the market. Or you could learn to draw your own cartography.

Jared Blando is a veteran fantasy cartographer, having worked for Wizards of the Coast, Fantasy Flight, Ubisoft, Mayfair, and Paizo. His new book, How to Draw Fantasy Art and RPG Maps: Step by Step Cartography for Gamers and Fans, teaches you the techniques and tricks he has learned over the course of his career.
The description says the book teaches how to draw:

  • Landscapes. Add depth, balance and plausibility with rocky coastlines, towering mountains, dark forests and rolling plains.
  • Iconography. Mark important places–towns and cities, fortresses and bridges–with symbolic iconography for easy-to-understand maps.
  • Typography. Learn how to place readable text and the basics of decorative script. Bonus instruction teaches you to create fonts for Orcs, Elves, Vikings and dragons.
  • Heraldry and shield design. Depict cultural and political boundaries with shields and colors
  • Advanced cartography. Includes how to draw landmarks, country boundaries and political lines. Build roads to connect merchants and troops, troll cairns and dragon lairs. And complete your maps with creative backgrounds, elaborate compasses and thematic legends.


  1. Avatar
    Timothy Connolly

    Prior to 2013, I never really saw myself as much of a cartographer. A lot’s changed since then, even though I’m still a novice. Jared Blando’s work is exemplary. Would love to meet the man and shake his hand. Us cartography novices sure can learn ALOT from pros like Blando.

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