Laura Moraiti

Illustrator & Watercolor Artist



Montevideo pencil map

Hi Tom and class! First of all, I've had this class FOREVER on my list and I didn't feel confident about taking it, now the time has comed and this opportunity to geek out over places, streets and names has been perfect to exit a weird funk. I'm a watercolor artist at heart but the digital world finally got to me so I wanted to make this 100% digitally.

The city I chose is Montevideo, capital of my country Uruguay. I chose it because my hometown is boring haha! but as a fun fact I love: both me and my kid were born in Montevideo (even though we haven't lived there) and we were born one block apart in two different hospitals). In my book that counts as a cool crazy coincidence!

This was my first sketch, I didn't need to adjust the city at all since it's already pointing south and has a symmetrical quality to the planning.

For the entire class I'm going to be using my own set of Photoshop brushes which are handmade from pencils woohoo (slight plug, they're a product and this was perfect time to test them with more intensity)


After figuring out the streets that I'd like to portray to show the main veins of the city, this was my second sketch - the hierarchy shows a bit more clearly and I tried to find "patterns" or ways to simplify the street grid, even if it may not be 100% accurate it would be easier to understand them.


Color were hard to choose!!!! I was going to use the traditional blue-beige-green but made the effort to step out of my comfort zone. Picked the blue for the water first and INSTANT LOVE so I grabbed the hue slider and started to move it around to find a suitable match for the land. Look no further - the lady who always uses pink is using pink again, but I would never have chosen that blue so I'm going to go ahead with this combo!


Before and after texture (also made with my brushes) and also realizing my streets were too narrow. All the letters didn't fit and Tom's map gave me the correction I needed, his streets were named on the inside and a bit thicker. Main roads are thick and a bit brighter, secondary roads are darker and thinner, highways in dotted baby pink, "rambla" in solid baby pink


Figured this baby needed texture and a focal point, loved the idea of making it sort of 3D (but not really, only visual enough to show volume). Also added some of the most famous neighborhoods in the water area using a line to signal the place since my water was looking very empty. For the compass rose I want to come up with a way to illustrate the east as "where the country's sun is born" because it's the description my city/province has. To be determined haha!


Here's the first icon, two different styles because I can't choose. I'm going to be working on the icons first and then probably come back to how I style them.


BTW mind blown on the clip mask tip using the pen tool ! that's genius stuff right there, that tip alone will mean I save lots of time going forward.


Edit 1 --------

Icon sketch, color palette and icon final version (I never do limited color palettes so I'm learning SO MUCH)


Edit 2 -----

Here are 4 and a half icons! (the small man statue is near the museum and it was a gift from a Korean artist to mu country, the man is bowing as its traditional and facing Korea - where there's another statue facing our way).

Wanted to turn the art of the stadium into something more, so the footaballer is "escaping" the wall where its painted :)



-- Update

When I was about to place the "Old city" - which features really antique buildings, gov buildings and our nation's hero mausoleum - I realized that the space wasn't going to be enough so it was time to shift the contour of the map a bit (before and after). 


Another update was to add the title, compass rose and some decorations for the water. The compass rose is very simple but the sun aligned to the East is a little easter egg for my province, located at the East of Montevideo "where the country's sun is born".


Will leave this almost finished map laying around where I can see it because I need to get a bit more inspired to add the finishing touches with supporting iconography :)




My social media handle is @laumoraiti.illustration I'm going to be posting details in my stories probably before I finish and get to post the whole map


Please sign in or sign up to comment.