View Full Version : WIP, Need some critique and suggestions please

05-22-2010, 08:42 AM
Well, hello everyone! This is my first post and my first map work, so i would gladly accept any suggestions concerning improving the coastlines, perhaps adding some small islands, or removing something at all :) . So far i feel that something is missing... in my inexperience i don`t really know what to add, or remove.
So, would gladly accept any critique :)


05-22-2010, 09:13 AM
Welcome aboard! Your coastlines look nice, I think they're fine as is. The whole set of them, though, looks a bit like they're crammed into the available space (I can almost see the callout boxes like they're close-ups or insets). If it were my map, I'd keep the biggest continent and remove all but one or two of the smaller ones. Also, you may want to either fill in or open up to the ocean the large inland sea; all that water wants to drain. All in all, great start, can't wait to see where it goes.

05-22-2010, 09:57 AM
hi Kyguar and welcome to the guild and thanks for posting. I agree with Gidde, it looks a little cramped - so delete some of the islands or let some of them get cut off by the map border - telling us that there is more :)
The huge inland sea seems a bit constructed and I have a difficult time seing that happening i a real world - however you may have a story that makes it totally possible. Looking forward to seing more :)

05-22-2010, 10:12 AM
The only real problem I see is the map itself. Is it a world map? If so, the north and south frames should be longer than the east and west frames. That should help solve the spacing problems.

Otherwise you could simply expand the map size (not the map itself) and then move the islands allittle further away from one another to reduce the cramping effect.

All in all, great start, though. Alot better than my first (or even my current) maps. ;)

05-22-2010, 01:27 PM
Thank you for all the kind words, and warm welcome!

Ive been thinking about all the things you told me, and so i made 2 different versions of my map.



Haven`t done the rivers, and sketched mountains, so far they are only in my head.
Well, which one of these 2 is better improved? :o


Alot better than my first (or even my current) maps.

Are not!, man your map looks awesome! I am far from that, but learning, and fast! :D

P.S. have a 3 version.. but for some unknown reason i cant upload correctly, in preview it is stretched for a half a screen.
P.P.S. Probably still have to reduce.... amount of islands....

05-22-2010, 04:50 PM
The second one looks good, I think. The main land mass is centered, and the secondary landmasses are under control. I especially like the stuff you have in the bottom right corner, it makes me want to look past the edge ;)

05-23-2010, 03:08 AM
I like the second one too - you do have a big area to the west that is empty ocean - but that leaves plenty of room for legends and stuff :)

05-23-2010, 05:35 AM
One of the most important things that I ever learned through art instruction was that negative space is just as important as positive space. That refers to the overcrowding in one sense but it also helps to define the shape...it is not just defined by positive space. Clever use moves the eye around the image and makes it more dynamic. The practical side is that you need empty space to put things like a title, a key or legend, a scale, and a compass. As to the two images I like number two better because it is more balanced but could use a tad more white space at the top to move it away from the edge or less at the bottom). Others have mentioned the shape and it's very strange but it's your world so do as you like with it but here's my two cents on that...the top has this big bulb on the one side and that part is really clashing with the giant lake. If you were to make the lake smaller you could make that bulb smaller.

Here's an example that I made up, you don't have to use it I just made it to illustrate some extra points: things happen for a reason. When making your landforms you have to think about the geology of the land. A lot of people think I do stuff totally randomly with clouds but, shh, we'll just let them think that because I don't want them knowing that I do a lot of thinking. Red are the mountains and green are the hills and gray is the rivers and lakes. I took your shape, made it a bit more jazzy, cropped off some shapes around the edges, put some mountains down the spine, hills trail off from the mountains and rivers/lakes form in the valleys. I also put some hooks on the land to give the eye some movement and the island chains that sprout from them help to continue that movement. Again, it's your world and do as ya like...just thought that I'd give ya a few pointers cuz I can't sleep tonight :)

05-23-2010, 07:33 AM
About those two new maps you made. I like the first one more, but the land in the bottom right corner of the second one is better than that of the former.

Like Ascention said, though, it's your map. ;)

(PS. Compare the coastlines of your map to that of mine. See what I mean? ;))

05-23-2010, 08:07 AM
Woaa, so much to think about. :)


This is the last last last one i think, took all the advices you gave me, merged it with my vision and here it is. Next step is finally rivers and mountains, probably small upgrade of the big sea thingy, will change its shape a bit + will add small minor islands (something similar to what Ascension showed).
From now on progress will go faster, hardest part for me is to decide how the whole shape looks like. Still if you have anything else to point out, ill be glad to hear it.

So far, big thank you :)

P.S. Rhotherian i suggest you try using Jezelfs tutorials http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?2557-Award-Winner-Making-maps-in-Photoshop really nice ones, helped me a lot.

Now back to the work! :lol:

05-23-2010, 08:44 AM
Thanks. ;)

Great improvement, by the way. Can't wait to see what it ends up like! ^^

05-23-2010, 08:17 PM
Looking good - the coastlines are nice. To get a different perspective on the coastlines/landmasses, you could invert the black/white (if the land is white, it might also be easier to see where you're laying down geographic features). Looking forward to seeing some geography; you're definitely heading in the right direction!

- Alizarine