View Full Version : [WIP] High and dark fantesy map for book I'm writing

Dominic Hipsher
05-21-2012, 04:01 PM
My first map I'm doing for my book I'm writing.

Dominic Hipsher
05-22-2012, 03:16 PM

05-22-2012, 05:14 PM
There might be a reason why this thread does not get many comments yet... I guess most readers are as confused by it as I am.

Your style is at least.... wierd. It is as if you wanted to make a map in the way Van Gogh would have painted it. Possible, but if that it your intention, you need to put a lot more effort into it.
This style makes it also very difficult to identiy the elements of your map. Ok, there is land. There is water. There seems to be a river coming from a lake. Are the grey lines south of the lake supposed to be mountains? Cliffs? What are the blue lines in the north meant to be? What is this red-white-black something? A volcano? A city? I could not say.

Perhaps the best advice I can offer: look through the many different tutorials offered on this forum, and try a different style.

Dominic Hipsher
05-22-2012, 05:39 PM
Finenaly some feedback and the blues lines in the north meant to be an glacier receding leaving and lake then go down and cliff (the grey lines.) and flow out into the ocean also the "red-white-black something" the black part is an stronghold the white is salt (To have high contrast to help spotting of attackers.) and the red is lava. Also I never looked at any tutorials and I wanted it to look like its painted it poorly (hence the white in the ocean.) I'll post the updated version.45017

Dominic Hipsher
05-22-2012, 05:40 PM
Adding new land around the new land also.

Dominic Hipsher
05-22-2012, 05:44 PM
Prologue We
came to an grand mountain pass. It looked like cloth
drawn over an mountain. It was riddled with holes but two stood out. The holes were archways opening to an artificial cave. Connected through an labyrinth of tunnels underneath. When I walked into the the left entrance I heard an clang of amour and steel. I jumped,calmed myself down and yanked my sword for its sheath. As I rounded the corner, the cave beckoned me of my death, when I came to the cave an humanoid looking creature with an bow drawn was trembling. The reason was I had an magnificent sword with every swipe would make the enemy burn. The humanoid known that because my sword always lit the way. As I advanced into the strange cave I acted as if I didn’t notice the creature. Then I ran to him the light became streaks and the cave became a blur as my sword sliced through the creatures head with an ease that was unimaginable. I searched him he had an note it stated “For if you behold the sword of light douse the flame both of the human and the sword.” It was signed by the war lord of mauka. “That.” I sighed. “How dare he try
to slay me.” I protested with anger.

Chapter One I
awoke from slumber in an stupor I walked to my cellar
for an block of cheese. As I walked down the hallway that was as foul smelling as an public trough I heard something rustling in my armory. I turned and opened the door as quietly as I could so I could catch this thief.
“Who goes there?” I said. The thief turned around and said “Uh,um” he stammered. “Well speak before heads role like his wife.” I said. “Ok,ok I was trying to steal your sword.” he cried. “Who sent you?” I asked. The thief didn’t answer. “I said who sent you?” I asked. “Well I aught a.” I protested. “The war lord of mauka sent me.” the scum sighed. “So where is this “War lord” staying?” I asked. “Um,uh.” He said. “Well spit it out or I'll do it for you.” I demanded. “He living at his fortress about uh,one months journey on foot and an half a month
on steed.” said the thief. “Now leave before I yell for the guards.” I sighed. As he left I done an inventory on my items. Nothing was missing. “He was an honest man afterall.” I thought. I put on my amour and strapped me sheathe to my hip. I walked down the hallway before grabbing my supplies for the journey. I opened the door and walked through though it was an humid morning I could bear walking all day. I went to the local market to buy an dagger. I was met by an strange looking fellow asking me if I wanted their special “You look like an lad that's in need of an sword.” “No thank you.” I said.
“But it's fifty zimmbers off.” he insisted. “I said no!” I yelled. “If you want to scam me off a couple of hundred zimmbers well fine but I'm an sharper than the average tool.” I exclaimed. An crowd gathered around us. I jerked my sword form its sheath. “See this?” I asked. “This in an enchanted sword, That my father gave to me.” I yelled. “It's on fire now isn’t it?” I screamed. “Yes,yes.” The teller cried. “Now all I came here is for an dagger, do you have any?” I asked. “Yes we do” “We have an bronze,copper,iron,and steel and all of them can be hardened.” He informed. “Yes I'd like an steel dagger.” I stated. “That would be One-hundred zimmbers.” he said. I gave him the zimmbers and he inturn gave me the dagger. Everyone looked at me as I stormed out of the city of Grynd. As I walked out of Grynd I saw rolling hills and off in the distance I saw an massive forest beckoning me to explore it. As I didn’t have a steed I was forced to walk clad in amour that seemed as heavy as a mountain. I still yet of found an place for my newly acquired dagger although I planed to hide it in my undergarments incase I got capture or my sword broke.
I put the cold dagger in an inside pocket I made. I thought why would an war lord want me slayed? Zimmbers, my sword, or something of my ancestry.
Maybe my family and his fought an war. Or got in an fight with one of my family. It doesn’t matter he tried to kill me now I have to defend my self. I set up camp for the night. I couldn’t start an fire because it give away my location,so I slept in the dreadful cold of the night. I woke up to an noise in the dead of night. “Who are you?” I asked staring blankly at an bush. “Have you been following me?” I said. An figure stood up. I couldn't make out much of the person features. But what I could make out was ghastly. He wore an mask with an cloak clad in dark blue. “So you know to travel in blue not black at night.” I stated. “Um, Yes,yes I'm Sir Grauk of the land of glaciers.” the figure stated. He tried not to make it obvious but he was mentioning my homeland. “So, You come from the land that I hail?” I said. “How did you know?” the figure asked. “Theirs only one group of glaciers in the known world so where other place.” I said. “I came here to protect you from a war lord.” He said. “Stop playing dumb I know that the war lord of mauku Is trying to kill me so don't try to fool me.” I stated. “I don't even need your protection.” I exclaimed. “But you don't know of what their sending against you their sending two fire and water bound assassins.” he said. “I did not know anything of this you couldn’t just told me to skip much of this conversation.” I informed him. “Now why are you here and not somebody else.” I asked. He conjured a light spell to illuminate the night.
“Don't do that you'll give out location away.” I pleaded.
“It's ok only we can see the lights illumination.” He said.
“The reason they sent me is because I'm an mage.” He said. The was interesting because of the fact of the clothes he was wearing. “Now why are you wearing theses clothes when you cloud cast a spell to hide your self?” I asked. “You don't understand, casting an spell is like running in full amour for an days walk.” He stated. “It just doesn't come at no cost.” “Also the more you use it the weaker you get and the shorter you live.” “So if you want to waste an life go ahead I won't save you.” He said. “alright,alright just make an bed so I can get rest” I
sighed. “Right.” He said.


05-22-2012, 08:02 PM
Hi Dominic, welcome to the Guild. First off, you have picked a difficult style to work with: namely, a hand drawn (painted) style. It usually takes time learn the techniques to pull off this style well. It looks like you are just stating off on the path of learning this style and could use some pointers on technique. There aren't many tutorials here on painting, but there are some on drawing/painting maps by hand. Here are some you may want to refer to:

DJ's Step By Step Tutorials (v. Thus the Android will behave in various situations much the same way we do, even though the process of the environmental inputs into final behavioral outputs goes via a highly organized set of Chinese citizens rather than a brain)
Torstans Assorted Tips & Tricks (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?16819-Assorted-tips-and-tricks) and Drawing Hand Drawn Maps (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?2035-Award-Winner-Drawing-hand-drawn-maps-in-Gimp)
Ironmettle's Hand Drawn Map Elements (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?5664-Award-Winner-Hand-drawn-mtns-and-other-stylistic-map-elements-for-use-in-PS-GIMP&highlight=hand+drawn+map+elements)

There may be more, but these are the ones I'm aware of. At any rate, I think they will offer you some pointers on ways to improve your map.

As to my own comments, I can't tell what kind of brush you are using, but between the brush strokes and the smudge tool, the geographical details of the map all look blurry and out of focus. Nothing really looks well defined in the map. You may want to try using smaller, cleaner brush-strokes to distinguish, say, the land from the sea. Anyway, hope the tutorials are useful.


05-23-2012, 06:03 AM
... I wanted it to look like its painted it poorly
I don't know what kind of experience you have with digital painting, but it seems to me that you are trying to start your cartographer career with a rather difficult feat: you try to do a map that is to look as if it was done differently, and by a different person.

This requires a certain amount of planing and ability.
First you have to consider just what style and method your fictional cartograper would use. What is his intention with this map? What tools does he have at his disposal? Just how did he do it?
Then you personally would need to have the ability to "fake" this style and method in a digital way.

If your painter uses pencil, brush or quill, if he paints in crayon, chalk or oil colours... you need to be able to reproduce this on a computer. Your map, no offense meant, looks too digital.

I am definitly the wrong person to teach you about digital arts, but if you want to continue your map in this style, I am certain you can find helpful tutorials elsewhere on the web.
Personally I can only ask you to consider starting over, and trying to do your map in one of the many different and quite easy to follow ways that this forum offers. I found Darklingrisen's (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?14211-Fast-and-Easy-Artistic-Maps-in-the-GIMP) , Gidde's (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?10655-Hand-Drawn-Mapping-%28for-the-Artistically-Challenged%29) or RobA's (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?1142-Award-Winner-Using-GIMP-to-Create-an-Artistic-Regional-RPG-Map) to be excellent tutorials to start with.

06-15-2012, 02:00 AM
Some tips for painting a map by hand...

Large file size: Paint it mostly zoomed out, so you get the whole picture; high resolution also helps keep the image from becoming pixelated; using as large a brush as possible for your details keeps it smoother; if you need more detail in a specific area - don't use a five-pixel-wide brush - use the rectangular selection tool to grab the spot you want to define and copy it to a new file, enlarge that image 2-3x and use the bigger, smoother brush to make it all fancy before selecting the whole thing and shrinking it back to the original size to copy back into the original place on the original map.

You might try painting your map in grey-scale, so the values (light to dark and everything in between) remain solid and pleasing to look at. Things won't jump out as much. You can overlay color later on if you want to, on a different layer, or more, so you can play with many combinations to get the best look. Also, if you start with a mid-grey color as your background instead of white, any show-through will be less jarring.

Composition and space: Your map, at the moment, feels squished, since you have so many smaller areas of interest at the corners and edges. Give it some breathing room.

Shading: If you depict your map, especially top-down, as if the sun were shining from closer to the horizon (shadows on the opposite side of things), you'll give more weight to the shape of the land and buildings, etc.

That should be enough to start with. =)