How to Draw a Map of North Carolina

By Ann LaPan
The coastline of North Carolina can be tricky to draw.

From the jagged coastline of the outer banks to the diverse topography, the unusual outline of the borders of North Carolina’s 2,000 square miles offers an artist a challenge to map. When drawing the state’s map, its largest cities, lakes and Interstate roads should also be included, as well as lakes and national forests. The border states of Virginia to the north, South Carolina and Georgia to the south, and Tennessee to the west should be listed so that the viewer can more easily place the location of the state on the country map.

Lightly sketch a rectangle that is 8 ½-inches wide by 3-inches tall on your paper.

Place your ruler on the top line, and mark a point that is 3-inches from the left. Label the point “A” – lightly- you’ll erase it later. Move your ruler to the dot and darken all but the last ¼-inch of the 5 ½ inches of remaining line.

Mark a dot on the left side of the rectangle that is 1 ½-inches from the top line. Label it “B.” Draw a squiggly line from B to point A. Draw a 1 1/4-inch line parallel to the long sides of the rectangle from point B to the right. Continue making this line go to the right, only now making it curve upward slightly and then downward, ending in a horizontal length of 2 inches.

Measure 2 inches below the top line of the rectangle and 3 ½ inches from the side where point B is. Mark this intersecting point “C.” Connect the curved line to point C. Draw a 1-inch line parallel to the long sides of the rectangle from C that goes to the right.

On the line at the bottom of your rectangle, place dots at 5 ¼-inches and 6 inches. Label them “D” and “E” respectively. Connect point D to the short line you drew after point C. Connect D and E with a slightly upward curved (concave) line.

Place your ruler on the top of the rectangle and measure 1 inch to the left of the upper right corner. Turn your ruler and make a dot 2-inches below that point. Connect E to that point with a slightly inward, concave curved line.

On the right side of your rectangle, indicate a point 2 inches down from the upper right corner of the rectangle. Label this Point “F.” Connect F to the last curved line you drew with another slightly concave curved line.

Draw straight line ½ inch up the side of the rectangle. Connect this to the point ¼ inch from the right of the upper right corner of the rectangle.

Add the inlets to the east side of the state and the mainland coastline that is separate from the outer banks.

Indicate the major cities - Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Durham, Fayetteville, Cary, Wilmington, and High Point.

Add the Interstate Highways that run north and south – I-95, I-85, I-73, I-77 and I-19, and then add the I-40 that runs through the middle of the state.

Erase guidelines and point labels.

About the Author

Ann LaPan travels exuberantly in body and mind via planes, trains, automobiles and superb literature. A webmaster, website designer, graphic artist, accountant and musician (Jill of all trades, master of a few), she writes Today’s Horoscope for Shooting Star Astrology.com.