Tag Archives: map

ATC Tutorial: The Making of “Neverland.”

Take a peek at how I made  “Neverland.” Many of my ATCs use a somewhat similar thought process. While I’m sure you are capable of all these techniques, I always find it fascinating to see how other artists work, so I thought I’d share. And who knows? You might learn something. Also, there is a mini-tutorial on drawing a compass rose included. Enjoy! 🙂

ATC Tutorial: The Making of “Neverland.”

Neverland Step 1Step 1:Choose a suitable page of text, preferably one that is nice and yellowed, like the one pictured. Using an extra-fine tipped felt pen, draw your map. I used my brown “Le Pen” pen, but the Steadtler fine tip pens in the picture would work, as would one of the new sharpy pens. As you can see, my map looks pretty pathetic right now. Just have faith and continue on. Trust me. I was worried too. Also, ten points if anyone can recognize what book this is from.

Neverland step 2Step 2:Using a medium to light brown colored pencil, shade the edges of the land (essentially, all the beaches). I shaded about half a centimeter in, then let the color fade out. Don’t forget to shade the islands too. Also, I shaded the sides of the mountains for dimension.

Neverland step 3Step 3:Using a tan colored pencil, shade towards the interior, starting where the previous color began to fade, then lighter towards the center

Neverland step 4Step 4: Using a dark brown pencil, shade just inside the lines, giving the effect of blending the linework into the colored pencil. The shading should be only slightly wider than if you were drawing rather than coloring.

Neverland Step 5Step 5: Shade in the forest areas using a light green. It shouldn’t be much more of a tint, so don’t make it too dark.

Neverland Step 6Step 6: Shade the perimeter of the water, along the beaches and around the islands using sky blue. Fade the color as it moves further from the edges.

Neverland Step 7Step 7: Using a slightly darker shade of blue (even though you can’t tell in the picture for some reason, the pencil is a different color blue) outline the edges of the water, like you did with dark brown on the land. If needed, make and touch ups to the map (I did more shading with tan, and extended my sky blue further down so there would be enough for the card) and then set it aside.

Neverland Step 8Step 8: Using your ultra-fine tipped felt pen, draw a compass rose. Now, if you are trying to draw one without a reference, its pretty intimidating. However, with a bit of guidance, its really not so bad. I created a mini-tutorial to help you along.

Neverland Step 9Step 9: Using the dark brown pencil, shade in the darkest parts: the undersides of the East and West points, the center facing parts of the SW and SE points, and the undersides of the NW and NE facing points. Concentrate the darkness towards the center. Also, shade a bit of the North doo-dad (I forgot and had to go back and do it later).

Neverland Step 10Step 10: Shade in the lighter shadows using the light brown. I shaded the right side of the North and South points, the top of the SE and NW points, and the tips of all the darker points.

Neverland Step 11Step 11: Using tan, shade all metal parts (star points, rings, and North doo-dad) with tan, coloring over the parts already colored.

Neverland Step 12Step 12: Lightly color over all metal parts with orange and yellow to warm up the colors some and make them seem more like gold or bronze.

Neverland Step 13Step 13: I am a naughty tutorial maker. I should have done this in two steps, but I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t take a picture until this point. Oh well. First, I used blue to color in the center background segments, and then shade the edges of the outer background segments. Then I colored over both with robin’s egg blue, touching up with blue where needed. Then, I used robin’s egg blue to add just a bit of shading and dimension to the metal parts, mainly shading corners and darker areas.

Neverland Step 14Step 14: Check to be sure your compass looks done. I darkened some of my shadows, drew in “creases” on the main star at NW, NE, SE, and SW, and lightly shaded the letters. Once you are satisfied, cut out, leaveing some edge around the letters and compass. You may also want to ink the edges, but do so carefully.

Neverland Step 15Step 15: Here is where things start coming together. Cover the ATC base with the map drawing. Decide on placement of the compass (don’t be afraid of overlapping or letting parts hang off the edge)  I already had an idea in mind, but I discovered one problem: the compass faded into the map too much. I tried blue tissue paper first, but the blue I had was too bright. I then tried a bit of white, and it was a perfect balance of translucence and visibility, and the wrinkled/torn look added to the feel of the card. So I arranged the two, and glued them down.

Neverland Step 16Step 16: I tried folding back the excess edges (don’t cut! It leaves raggedy edges) and I noticed the eye was wondering right on out of the top corner. Can’t have that! So, I used another scrap of tissue paper to provide a barrier. The bottom right looked a little bare, so I chose a fleur de lis style flourish stamp and stamped it in brown. I stamped it faintly in the top left corner too, but you can barely see it.

Neverland Step 17Step 17: Through the whole project, I was trying to choose a quote, and I wanted something related to adventure. The first part of this kept coming into my mind, but it said blue to me (like flying in the sky…) not maps and such. I had a few other ideas, but when I went searching, and I saw the full line, and I decided it was perfect afterall. Now is the time to write it out. Decide on where you want it broken up (each word? each letter? phrases? if so, which?) and write it out as such. Make sure you write it small enough. Also, if you’d like, tint the paper. When I wrote it the first time, I tinted it a light blue with prismacolor markers, but it was too large. The second time, I decided I liked white better.

Neverland Step 18Step 18: Last step! Cut out words, ink the edges with brown, and decide on placement.  I chose to have mine somewhat follow the torn edge of the white tissue paper, and group by phrases (as two phrases were split into two segments.) Play with it till you find something that looks good and reads right. Glue everything down. Fold any excess edges from tissue paper or compass onto the back and glue them down as well. Finally, ink the edges with brown. Voila! Done.

I hope you enjoyed it, and maybe found a bit of inspiration. As always, I’d love to see anything you make. Drop me a link and I’ll take a look.

P.S. Take a look at my other ATCs.

Happy Birthday Dani! A Peter Pan ATC

Dani and I had creative writing classes together since freshman year, and from the start, I loved her writing. I really got to know her more towards the end of the program (it always seems to work that way…) but I count her among my dearest friends. She has a passion for J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan (yes, this is the same friend with whom I made the treasure box) and so I decided I’d make an ATC for her birthday featuring the homeland of her imagination– neverland. However, she is away visiting her family’s homeland– the Philippines– so she won’t get it until she gets home. I hope she might see it on here though 🙂


I took pictures as I worked, so a tutorial will be coming.

See my other ATCs.