View Full Version : March Challenge Entry - The Land of Danor

03-16-2012, 01:27 AM

I have not been in a challenge since first joining the guild back in 2008. I have always loved black & white maps (the kind found in storybooks). I have been working on a new set of custom brushes and this map is made with them.

I tell a bedtime story to my kids called "Megan & the Alchemist" and this map is part of that world.

I still need to do some work on the labels and make a border... I always seem to have a hard time with borders... also, I am not sure if I like the "huts" and "tents" but for now they will do.

Good luck to all in this challenge!

I give you "The Land of Danor"

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03-16-2012, 06:35 PM
So, as I was looking at the map and trying to make the labels show up better and fit in to the look of things... I got fed up with the water and made some changes. The water now still needs some work but I like it better.

Now for some more labels...

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03-17-2012, 01:13 PM
Well, I feel like I am getting close to finishing this one... I have added more labels and the path that Megan and her father "the Alchemist" take during the story. I am still working on the border... but so far the simple lines seem to look best.

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03-17-2012, 01:29 PM
Cool... Personally, I don't like the regularness of the woodcut effect, plus there is a visible seam that combined with the regular pattern really hurts my eyes. Straight up from the 'n' in Gavin is where I first noticed it zoomed in and then I could see it everywhere.

03-18-2012, 01:09 AM
I know what you mean. I have tried several types of "wave lines" most look even worse. I am not an artist in the traditional sense of the word. I don't draw well and thus try to find ways around doing things completely by hand. Zoomed out that last one was quite bad...

I have been working on some rivers, as every good map needs some "land water"... I think I will stay away from adding lakes for now as I did not have any in the story... We will see. I did make a new woodcut that I am hoping is better on the eyes.

P.S. I am glad to see the other maps coming along, This will be a good competition! I am always in awe of the talent that is here on this site.

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03-18-2012, 03:14 AM
Something was missing, and it was really bugging me trying to figure out what it was. Rivers! Duh! Looks awesome, rpgmm. I love the little yurts and teepees.

03-18-2012, 12:47 PM
Better, but personally, I still don't quite like the woodcut. Perhaps it's the uniformity of the distance from the shore and that especially messes me up in the large open bays. plus it also looks to regular still to me. Maybe it if the pattern filled most of the negative space? or perhaps it had some breaks in it...

03-18-2012, 03:28 PM
Yeah I know what you mean. I have done some tests that have breaks, and others that fill more of the sea area. I think your point about the uniform distance from the shore is helpful. I like the hand drawn look you are doing with your map, but I am not sure I can put that off with my drawing ability.

I think I will go an search for some more old woodcut maps for inspiration and try something else. Thanks for critique!

03-18-2012, 03:56 PM
I think the biggest issue with the woodcut as an effect is the limitation of the challenge itself. This would be quite a bit easier if you were not limited to pure B/W since you could to some opacity tricks as well as other distortions to break up the pattern. Unless you hand draw all of the woodcut or make the pattern much larger, I don't think you will find anything that will break it up enough... And of course, the hand drawn part is much harder if you don't have a tablet....

03-18-2012, 08:24 PM
Well, my brain power is about gone and I have messed with this so much I am not sure what looks good and what is harming it.

I added new water and some boarders for the different lands. I am not sure what I will do for a compass on that water though.

I think I will come back to this after a break to see if I still like it. I am glad that I entered this competition. It has given me a goal to work towards.

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03-19-2012, 01:58 AM
Yeah... so I took one more look at it and just could not go with that water... still not 100% happy but it did make a nice border.

I have been playing with the image size too. Trying to figure out what the best viewing distance is to get the most out of it, without being too close.

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03-19-2012, 05:02 AM
Very striking map. I suspect that the dominance of the sea/ocean pattern will be a talking point. I really like it. It is dominant but it 'fits' with the overall style really well.

03-19-2012, 09:07 PM
I really like this map. But unless the land formations are going to be cut off at the box border, their should be a little more distance between the land and the edge of the box. Otherwise, the map is great!:)

03-19-2012, 10:05 PM
Thanks y'all

I have had quite the time with the water area but from the start I was hoping for a dominant sea to pull your eyes to the land. The "negative white space" if you will. I do need to fix the edge of the land touching the boarder... good call dangerdog15!

I will post an update soon... I was distracted by my work on the "UnderKeep (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?17996-WIP-quot-The-Underkeep-quot-iso-Dungeon-Map-amp-Map-Tiles&p=180398#post180398)".

03-20-2012, 12:41 AM
I like this quite a bit... I did the same thing with the patterning in the oceans and found the effect too overwhelming. The only remnant of it that survived on my map is in the title box.

03-20-2012, 01:39 AM
Just a quick update to fix the centering problem... I have been trying some other shadow effects but nothing I like so no need to boar all of you with that :-)

I would like to add more and different structures/towns but I am not much for drawing... I will do some more test as see what happens.

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03-20-2012, 03:09 AM
Looks great!

03-23-2012, 12:54 AM
Well, this has been a learning experience for me and I must say that it was hard to stay motivated to finish once some of the other maps started coming together :-)

I have added some details and made a custom compass rose. I am not sure if I am finished or not... I would like to do more but at the same time I like the way it looks as it is now.

For now, this is the...

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03-28-2012, 01:16 PM
Wow, very nice final map! And the Underkeep is looking great.

03-28-2012, 03:08 PM
I didn't get around to commenting before, but I really like your trees and the various bits and bobs. There isn't really anything to add to a map like this and I think it's a good idea to stop when you're done :D <-- advice I don't always follow myself.

03-28-2012, 04:38 PM
For me... I have started so many maps that the idea of being 100% finished is an odd feeling. You are right that not many "novel/book" maps have "more" too them so for me this map is finished. I just wish I had bought my new digital wacom tablet before starting this map.

Thanks to all for the positive feedback and good luck during the voting.