View Full Version : Hand-drawn personal fantasy campaign setting map

11-15-2012, 09:29 PM
So, as my first REAL project in mapping, I decided to create a map that will become the setting for my personal Pathfinder fantasy setting. It won't be too big, but definitely large enough to have everything I want.

I also decided, by a friend's suggestion, that I will try something different this time: a hand-drawn map. The catch is that I'm not exactly a good artist - I'm not even average, actually. So there is a lot of practice involved, and it will hopefully help me improve a lot. :)

First I started drawing various features, just to try and decide the overall style of the map. This is what I got so far:


I'm still drawing a lot of trees, mountains, cliffs, dunes, etc. I'm having a difficult time with dense forests, so if anyone has any tips, I would appreciate it!

Also, I started sketching the overall coastline shapes, mountains and forests locations, rivers, etc. Here is the rough first draft:


Both were drawn by hand and scanned. I'm also planning a lot of other stuff for the setting, but most don't really belong here, so I'll just leave it at that for now.

Well, that's what I have done at this time. Please feel free to criticize (I need it a lot)!

See ya!

EDIT: I'm also going to be updating this project on my blog (http://fantcartographer.wordpress.com/), so please check it out!

11-15-2012, 10:57 PM

If u using Photoshop and can use montains not like one under other tell me, my montains arent like i want...
Wanted one covering the other that is back, maybe a brushe setting i dunno

11-15-2012, 10:59 PM
and man... I am from Brazil too :D

(Fala ae brow!)

11-15-2012, 11:42 PM
Fala cara!

Anyway, thanks for commenting!

About your problem, I'm not sure I understand what it is. Do you mean you are having problems with overlapping mountains? If so, as I'm just getting started as well, I'm not sure. I'm probably going to use brushes for my mountains when I take my project to Photoshop, but I will likely have to edit some sections by hand to make it as I want. Not sure.

If that's not what you mean, send me a PM in portuguese if you feel you can communicate better that way!


11-16-2012, 01:28 AM
A few more tests on mountains, cliffs, and dunes, a few very badly drawn foothills, and a completely failed attempt at defining a style for rivers and coasts... maybe I should do this on a separate piece of paper, with more space! XD


That's all for now! See ya!

11-16-2012, 02:16 AM
Well for some mountain examples in the style you seem to be doing, you can check out my Challenge Map Win November 2007 (http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapping-challenge-archive/1105-november-entry-superstition-valley.html).

Here's another map with similar mountains, but more Tolkien-ish, from back in October 2008, Slave Traders Map (http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/7450-slave-traders-map.html).

Not so much for the mountains, but for one look at coastlines, here's my September 2008 Challenge Win, Archaen Trade League (http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapping-challenge-archive/2858-september-entry-archean-league.html).

I don't think I have any good cliffside coastal drawings. Though you should use that, perhaps consider other types of coastlines as well.


11-16-2012, 02:42 AM
Awesome, Gamerprinter, those will definitely be useful! Also, thanks for commenting! =)


11-16-2012, 06:16 AM
A few more tests on mountains, cliffs, and dunes, a few very badly drawn foothills, and a completely failed attempt at defining a style for rivers and coasts... maybe I should do this on a separate piece of paper, with more space! XD


That's all for now! See ya!

Overlaping, ty, the right term for this!
Yes u got it, making small groups of montains. Will lower the frequence of the overlay

Ty GP going i am just posting in one of the thread now!

11-16-2012, 09:08 AM
Some more tests:


I think its about time I start to actually work on the map itself. Also, behold what is likely the most awesome Compass Rose you'll ever see, featuring the inverted 'E'!

See ya!

11-16-2012, 09:59 AM
I thought if was an f. North West South and Feast! :)

11-16-2012, 10:27 AM
Well, my E looks like an inverted F, so...

And Feast sounds like a direction I would love to follow!

11-16-2012, 11:12 AM
Started creating the parchment texture I'll use, take look:


And here is a simple test using my last drawing tests:



EDIT: Just having some fun:


And yes, I do tend to get sidetracked (it's quite a problem, actually!)

11-16-2012, 11:17 PM
Hey, that looks really great with the color thrown in there. Nice job, keep going!

11-17-2012, 11:34 AM
Thanks, Diamond!

Progress is kinda slow today, but going. I'll probably hava an update later, though.

Also, I updated my blog (https://fantcartographer.wordpress.com/). If you want to know about the setting more than the map-making side, check it out! :)

See ya!

EDIT: the setting has been named: the continent of Thyrdain!

11-18-2012, 03:09 PM
Hail, folks!

I haven't been able to work on the map much lately (finals coming soon, you know how it goes), but I do want to share what little I've done.

First of all, for those who didn't check my blog, the setting now has a name: Thyrdain.

About the map itself, as I've said, I haven't managed to work much on it beyon more and more tests. I'm now tracing the coastlines on the computer, and trying out a style for them:


wich is kind of inspired by this map of Middle Earth:


I'm trying different styles, but for now that's what I've come up with!


11-20-2012, 10:04 AM
It looks like you're making good progress. I like the look of your mountains.

For river style ideas, here are some possibilities:


For your shorelines, here are two ideas for the ocean:


11-21-2012, 02:47 PM
Hi priggs! Thanks for the references, they're pretty useful!

Anyway, this week and the next I'm having my finals, so the project has been progressing a little slowly. I have more time to write about the world than to draw the map, and even that is pretty limited.

But it IS still going, so I though I's show a little teaser of what I'm currently working on:


Currently drawing all the mountains and rivers! After everything is drawn, I'll give the parchment a slightly more worn look (not nearly as worn as my last text, though).

Anyway, that's it for now. Thanks for stopping by!

See ya!

11-22-2012, 03:11 PM
Some more progress:


11-22-2012, 03:29 PM
This is looking nice so far gbsilverio. In terms of constructive criticism I think the hatch marks you are using to represent shadows on the mountains could be a bit more uniform. Otherwise I'd say you are off to a good start.


11-22-2012, 04:26 PM
In terms of constructive criticism I think the hatch marks you are using to represent shadows on the mountains could be a bit more uniform.

Haha, that's mostly due to my terrible drawing skills!

Thanks for commenting!

11-26-2012, 05:49 PM
Some more progress:


11-26-2012, 08:01 PM
Well the image resolution is somewhat small, so I can't get a close look at it, but so far this looks really nice!


11-26-2012, 09:07 PM
Oh, you can see it closer by doing the right-click > copy image URL thingy.

Thanks for commenting!

11-26-2012, 09:19 PM
Coming along quite nicely. One thing that bugs me is the trunks of the trees. They kind of curve away from the mass of the forest, kind of makes the whole thing look like a plateau, like the trunks are the walls.

11-29-2012, 09:03 AM
Seems like the beginning of a very beautiful map, but I must agree with Diamond, those tree trunks look weird... If you correct that small issue though, this already great looking map will look even better. :)

11-29-2012, 10:02 PM
Thanks for commenting guys!

Just here to note that I lost some progress on a rollback I had to do on my PC. On the bright side, that does mean it will be easier to redo the tree trunks (yes, I agree with you guys about them!), since I hadn't drawn them in the first place.

See ya!

12-03-2012, 02:01 PM
This is really cool! The rivers in the southeast of your map dont seem to have any clear source, so you might want to put some hills/small mountains there.