View Full Version : November/December Lite Challenge Entry: Mt. Oros

12-04-2011, 09:33 PM
This is my first post of a map and my first entry for a challenge. Two-fer! Had some trouble uploading
because I'm a total newb, and also had some issues with the quality of my upload... yes because I'm a newb. I'm using a Hp photosmart c4440 to scan my original image. Nothing I do seems to bring out the colors of my drawing (copy paper, sharpie, coloured pencils). Help or criticism or suggestions welcome! Thanks

### Latest WIP ###


12-04-2011, 09:38 PM
Sorry, got a little excited. Mt. Oros. Not sure how to edit a title after the fact. BTW I finally dug down and got myself a memory stick / thumb drive and will try hard to add the background maps and some other work soon.

12-05-2011, 01:17 PM
Corrected the title and added a latest wip tag for the thumbnail so it gets picked up by the thumbnail page.

-Rob A>

12-06-2011, 09:17 AM
Thanks RobA. In the future I'll read more instuctions before posting. Just got a little over excited. Wanted to lurk less and contribute more. I'll contribute more in the future by not making any more work for you than you already have. :) Thanks again.

12-06-2011, 11:46 AM
I'll leave it to others to offer advice on graphic style and color, but offer a quick tutorial on WATER to help you with ideas on placement of features (since you seem to like drawing maps with mountains and hills and water bodies).

First a reference:

First, water starts as rain and flows down hill. It seems obvious, but this means that water will not flow down the side of a mountain, across a valley, over some hills and into a bay. The hills will deflect the water requiring it to either turn and follow the valley, or (if the valley forms a closed bowl) to fill the bowl and form a lake. At some point, the lake will rise high enough to cross a low spot between the hills and and the water will continue to flow downhill towards the ocean.

Second, water flows perpendicular to the nearest downstream contour, and flows straighter and faster down a steep slope and slower and more winding down a shallow slope. In the reference map, compare the spur to the valley. All of the raindrops that fall on the spur will tend to flow in every direction away from the spur as a thin sheet of water. All of the raindrops that fall anywhere along the sides of the valley will flow towards the narrow 'V' at the bottom of the valley (perpendicular with the contour lines). Once the sheet of water flowing down the side of the valley reaches the "V", it cannot flow up the other side and must follow the narrow valley downhill. The water will collect in the valley and form a concentrated flow (a stream).

Now let's look at Mt. Oros:
There are spurs pointing north, southeast, southwest and west from the peak. So water will flow as a thin sheet away from these points.

There are broad shallow valleys to the south, southwest and northwest that will tend to gather the water into a stream and direct it down the valley. Since Mt Oros is probably steep, the water will flow quickly and the streams will probably be dry except when it is raining ... but dry or intermittent streams are often shown on maps. The south valley seems to flow to a plain where the water can (possibly) quickly and easily flow to the ocean (unless you decide that something interferes with that flow, perhaps a natural depression creating a small freshwater pond). The northwest valley appears to maintain a fairly steep slope right to the ocean, suggesting that nothing there would interfere with the water quickly reaching the ocean.

The southwest quarter of the island has an interesting range of hills with an aparent gap between the hills and Mt Oros. From a water perspective, this is the most interesting part of the island. If the plain between the mountain and the hills is higher than the hills and slopes from the mountain to the hills, then the water will flow freely to the hills (perhaps forming small ponds in the hills) and in to the coast. If, on the other hand, the plain is lower than the hills with no natural path to the coast (a bowl) then the water from the mountain will form a lake at this spot. If the plain is flat and lower than the hills, but has a connection to the plain or swamp along the western edge of the island (you don't have labels yet, so I don't know which you intend this to be), then the gap between the mountain and the hills could be a swamp/marsh or a lake bordered by swamp or marsh shores.

A quick note on natural springs, many streams and some rivers are fed by natural springs. But water still flows down hill and the spring must be fed from some larger and higher source (often very far away and fed by an underground stream). If you want an island spring, then I suggest that Mt. Oros might want to be a crater lake, fed by rainfall with a small leak somewhere along the mountain-side feeding a stream.

At the risk of offering "too much information", prevailing winds (which you get to choose as the creator of your world) will tend to bring the rain from one direction, creating a 'wet' side of Mt. Oros and shadowing the opposite side of the island from rain making it 'dryer'. On the large scale, you get things like the wet California coast and the New Mexico deserts from the Rocky Mountains. On the small scale (like Mt. Oros) one side of the island would be more likely to have forests and swamps and the oppose side would be more likely to have plains or barrens.

None of this is meant as criticism (in the negative sense). I just wanted to share some technical knowledge that you can put to use in adding extra realism to your maps and point out some opportunities in what you have done so far.

12-06-2011, 07:33 PM
Thanks for the input atpollard. Never TMI. This was never going to be a truly "accurate" map in the topographical or real world sense, though much of the work on this site is of that sort. I didn't add much "flavor" text to the original post, figured I'd have time when I finished. The map is set in an RPG setting where most real world rules don't apply. The area it is set in is a hotbed of primordial and elemental chaos. I seem to remember reading somewhere though that water can be driven up in areas of volcanic activity, creating fracturing in the rock or hot springs. I'll try to hit the old drawing board again this weekend and update the map with a little more detail, but could really use some help with getting a "cleaner copy" to show. Thanks again for your help.

12-12-2011, 12:34 AM
Hit the drawing board again this weekend. Not sure if this is much better, but I gave it another shot. This is closer to what I originally had in mind for Mt. Oros. ### Latest WIP ###

12-12-2011, 01:09 AM
This will be my last update for this challenge. Mt. Oros is an island in the "Bay of Fifteen Islands" in an rpg campaign I am running. This version of the map was drawn completely in pencils (Derwent Coloursoft, a really old set of Kimberly water color drawing pencils, and some pencils from my son's "How to Draw Dragons" set). I've learned alot by participating in this challenge. This was meant to be a simple hand out in the campaign, but it helped me to look at what does and doesn't work on a map. Realism..lacking. Feel good drawing time.. right there. Thanks to everyone here at the guild. ### Latest WIP ###40556

12-12-2011, 02:38 AM
The last update is way better than what the sketch from the first post led to assume. You made this definitely a worthy contest entrance...

12-12-2011, 09:09 PM
Thanks! I still want to update this map to reflect my original idea for the campaign, and got a bit ahead of myself by jumping into this challenge. I think it helped also that I found some medium tooth drawing paper, instead of the copy paper
I was grabbing out of the printer to draw on. I've seen some of your posted work here, and your kind words have helped me with my APD (after post depression). :)