Sunday, February 2, 2014

Paper Project - Map of Alagaesia for the Fantasy Adventurer in all of us!

For week 3 I thought I'd visit a project I completed last summer for a fantasy party we had to celebrate the birthday of the author [Christopher Paolini] of some great books, [The Inheritance Cycle]. 

I created a large map of the world of Alagaseia, the land where Elves and Dwarves have kingdoms, where Dragons live, where Evil Kings rule and are overthrown, and where Eragon learns to become a Dragon Rider with his soul-mate-dragon, Saphira. 
 I took a lot of pictures during the process, here I began with a black and roobios tea blend to age the paper. I made copies from the books to use for added interest. I completely saturated each page, wrung it out, and then flattened it again, not worrying about any tears, and making it very wrinkled. All this adds to the ageing process.


 It took a long time. I did each and every sheet of paper that I used in the map. I photocopied pictures from the book covers and pages from inside, and I used all kinds of textured paper, but primarily just copy paper. 

 I let them drip dry, and then began gluing layers together often while the pages were still damp. If they dried out it was fine, cause the glue softened them back up to be easily adhered to each other. I used elmer's glue mixed with a little water. [I used a wooden board that I usually use to tape down my watercolor paper when I do paintings. This time I wrapped the board in saran wrap to keep the wet glue soaked paper from gluing itself to the wood].

Then I further aged the paper using a very thin wash with water color paints.

These kinds of details were fun to add. The authors name, pages from the book, and the picture of the Dragon Glader to be disguised as the island off the northeastern coast.  

 I used some cardboard to give a dimensional look/feel to the compass design on the map, I overlay this with more distressed paper later. 

The map thus far: 

Begin adding detail locations to the map with watercolor paints.

When I began to add the rivers and lakes at the other end of the map was when I realized that my proportions were off. I had to extend the map long ways or Du Weldenvarden, the Beor Mountains and the Desert would all be way too small comparatively. But I kept painting in details, thinking it wouldn't be too obvious. 

With the below detailing filled in, and checking back to the original map from the books, It was painfully obvious to me that the map was too short. So I wet the paper just on the line in the center where I wanted to add in length, and tore about one whole quarter of the map off the right end.

And added more paper in between with more glue and paint to match the ageing. 

Then I began repainting all the details of the forests of Du Weldenvarden and the Beor Mountains.

I had a photo copy of the original map to refer to constantly. 

Below, you can see how I layered paper around the island of Vroengard over the image of Glader the Dragon. Then while painting in the sea, I outlined rest of the shape of Glader's head and neck in a darker blue then the surrounding sea. So there is a hidden dragon head on the map, included in the island where the dragons and dragon riders all lived during the height of their time. 

Almost complete. Just a little bit of detail work. I added some hand stitched cross stitches to add texture and interest. I used buttonhole twist thread, so it was thick and noticeable.  

 Thanks for your interest!! Feel free to pin or share away. And let me know if you decide to try a project like this, I'd love to see your creative results!


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