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The making of a Custom Watercolor Map

Hello Friends,

I often get questions about what is involved in ordering and designing one of my hand drawn and painted custom maps. I thought I would share the process of designing Kelsey and Eric's "Carmel-by-the Sea" map, as an example.

11" x 14" Carmel wedding map

Christy contacted me about ordering her custom Carmel-by-the-Sea wedding map after seeing one of my maps (pictured below) at her friend's St. Simons wedding. She was looking for a personalized gift for her soon to be sister-in-law's bridal shower.

11" x 14" St. Simon Island, GA map

Carmel is one of my absolute favorite places, so I knew this would be fun! I suggested she start selecting the different locations (up to 8) she would like to include, and gathering the specific photos to use as reference for the illustrations. After receiving her photos (about 10-15 in total) along with her completed map questionnaire (emailed directly once we started working on the piece), we were ready to go. Christy opted for one of my larger 11" x 14" size maps which allows for more detail and illustrations than would be possible in a smaller 8" x 10" map.

Below are some of the photos sent for the location illustrations, including the wedding venue, reception, rehearsal dinner, the bride and groom's favorite Carmel sites, along with the golf courses that surround the stunning coast line.

Then I got to work on the map layout. Fitting in the locations while still leaving room to paint the surrounding landscape, which makes for a beautiful watercolor, is always a bit of a puzzle. The first image I sent to Christy was color pencil sketch of the map below.

Looks good so far, but we had room to add a couple tiny illustrations to make it even more fun and personal for the bride and groom.

For example the tiny bride, groom and their glorious green and tuxedo clad wedding party.

The final watercolor map with the addition of the 16 members of their wedding party in the chapel, fluffy sheep at Mission Ranch, and flowers next to their names were the perfect final touches.

Kelsey and Eric's custom watercolor map was given to the bride at her shower and they were then able to use the image for additional printed items on the wedding weekend.

The gift that keeps on giving, so to speak!

If you would like a custom watercolor map of your very own, or as a gift for a special someone, be sure an contact me at least 8 weeks before the date to make sure we can capture all the details.

Until next time...


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