How to Draw a Map of an Island

Written by susanne koenig
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How to Draw a Map of an Island
Carefully drawing your map will make it an interesting and useful illustration. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

If you're wanting to illustrate a story -- such as Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island" -- or make a detailed map of an island locale, then you may want to learn how to draw a map of an island the right way. Choose your paper and tools carefully, since a quality map is only as good as the tools with which it was made. Take your time and carefully record the topography in detail for the best map possible.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Find the centre of your paper. Mark the halfway point on the top and the side of the paper. Draw a line across the page to both marks with a very light pencil. Where they meet in the middle is where you will want to centre your drawing.

  2. 2

    Lightly sketch the outline of your island from a photograph, satellite image or your own imagination. Begin to draw the topography and any important landmarks.

  3. 3

    Keep up with scale. Make sure your map is accurate by creating a representation of the relationship between distances on the map and corresponding actual distances. For example, an inch on the map could be equivalent to a mile, or ten miles, of distance between actual locations. You can adjust the scale to suit your needs.

  4. 4

    Add roads and any streams or rivers that are on your island. These will help you judge the scale of your work and the placement of the island's features.

  5. 5

    Use shades of grey to illustrate topography such as hills and valleys. Play around with this technique and try some cross hatching to see how it adds to your map's illustration.

  6. 6

    Decorate your map with a compass rose to indicate direction, and create a legend to define any topographic symbols.

  7. 7

    Ink your map with a fine-point marker or artist's pen. This will add a bit of distinction to your map and will make sure that your pencil lines will not be smudged, which could make the map unreadable.

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