Hatching Experimentation, part II

I posted a map I made a few days ago and one visitor commented on my use of the Dyson-style hatching. His comment:

…why use hatches instead of developing your own type? When I did the map for The Gardener I just did some swirled branch-things, and it worked for me.

I really like Dyson’s map technique, but lately it just seems that people believes that style to be the way to do maps “properly”. I would love to see more personalized maps!

I have to say, he is exactly correct. Looking over many of the maps I have produced (even some of the zine!) are sort of a poor man’s copy of another persons work.

So, I went back to work, determined to devise something more original, something more mine.

First I started with something similar to what Dyson had used, simply because I like the ‘feel’ of his style. It says old school to me and I want my hatching to evoke that same response, in me, as well as others. As you can see, I wrote my thoughts on the particular style there on the map for reference later.


Next up, I tried something else. Dirt has rocks in it right? I had seen something similar in some other maps others have produced, but I always thought it presented an image that is just not as clear as the first example. I like it, but this style is missing something. It looks too open for me and it makes it difficult to really distinguish the inner areas of the dungeon and earth areas.


So I struggled for a bit, unsure where to go from here. I had drawn the above images using layers and I was flipping back and forth, testing each. Flipping back and checking the other hatching style. Then it hit me, combine them! A little experimentation and I got to this result:


I will not say this is entirely original since it combines elements of other styles, but I have not seen it looking exactly like this. I really like how this turned out and will be using it on a few upcoming maps I will post to the blog when they are complete.

What do you think?


This serves as another entry for the RPG Carnival hosted by Dysos Logos this month as well as an entry for the A to Z Blogging Challenge.


16 thoughts on “Hatching Experimentation, part II

  1. Nice!

    I have been moving towards the rocks and hatching myself. A bunch of my recent maps include rocks, particularly in side-views. Inspired by maps in old Chaosium Stormbringer modules, in my case.

  2. Yeah, I had seen yours and that (sadly) is where I got the initial idea from. I am just glad I found an easy way to replicate this on my iPad. In seconds I can cover all my hatching needs.

  3. Thanks for stopping by David! I am hoping start making some geos for your mapper using this style here down the road. Got a few bigger projects I am working at the moment, but once that is done, geos all the way!

  4. Apologies if this has been asked before, but what do you use to draw on your iPad with? I’ve tried using my finger and found the lines to be completely all over the place.

    I too like the third map, though they all look good.

    – Neil.

      1. Apologies, I didn’t make myself clear. I meant do you use some kind of stylus or just your finger? Maybe I’m cackhanded but I can’t seem to get a decent straight line with my fingers.

        – Neil.

      2. Gotcha, I strictly use a stylus. A tarsus stylus to be exact. Also the App I use has a tool to draw lines, boxes, polygons, etc so that helps with straight lines.

  5. Seems like a whole sheet of Rocks + Hatching would be easy to use as a layer under the white layer, then selectively use transparency on the white layer to

    Are you doing anything like that? A whole sheet of cross-rock-hatching would rock.

    1. I’ve got one that I’ve used for a couple of my maps in the past (just straight cross-hatching, before I started mixing in the rocks).

      But the honest truth is that I much prefer the actual process of the cross-hatching. It feels therapeutic and relaxing and I do it in the middle of drawing the map so it gives me time to think about how the map is going to “evolve”.

  6. Love your maps! I really became intriqued with the last couple of articles on hatching.

    I picked up Artstudio and within 5 min had made my first dungeon map! Great tool!

    Would you consider creating a tutorial for these maps?

    What stylus have you used/recommend?

    1. Thank you sir! I have made most of my maps since discovering ArtStudio and absolutely love it. I could do a tutorial, not sure it would be real helpful, but I will certainly think about it. I use a simple Targus Stylus, got mine from Bestbuy.

  7. A tutorial would be most welcome if you get a chance. We could all learn alot.

    I read lots of reviews of different styluseseseses(?). The proof is in your maps. Targus Stylus it is then.

    Thank you.

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