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View Full Version : Kolmara, a Japan-inspired island



Lingon
01-24-2014, 10:27 AM
Here's my latest finished commission, an island called Kolmara. It's for an RPG group with a Japan-inspired setting, so I tried to make the mountains and settlement icons a little Japanese… The island itself is bigger than Japan though, I didn't get an exact size, but it's meant to be almost a small continent. It has no labels, they wanted to add that themselves, but villages, towns and ruins are marked. The red towns are "Homeland cities", great abandoned cities that where important to the story.

Most of it is watercolor, with icons made in Illustrator, and the font in the title is Letter Sseungi (http://www.dafont.com/letter-sseungi.font).

Commissioned by Gavin McClements – thanks!
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rwaluchow
01-24-2014, 10:56 AM
I love this map. It has a great painterly quality that really evokes Japanese watercolours. My only gripe on an otherwise gorgeous map is the town symbols; they don't really seem to fit the rest of the map, hovering over the otherwise isometric depiction. Perhaps lowering the glow would help this?

Bogie
01-24-2014, 11:28 AM
Great map Lingon. I have to agree with rwaluchow. The high contrast black & Red clash with the nice soft watercolors. If you change them to softer colors like grey and brown it might work better.

rgcalsaverini
01-24-2014, 11:38 AM
Very nice map! It does evoke Japanese watercolor. But I think I must agree with the rest, maybe hand-drawn (at least in style) icons?

- Max -
01-24-2014, 12:19 PM
Nice map Lingon. I agree with the others, I'm not convinced by the icons that clash a bit with the overall style.

Jalyha
01-24-2014, 01:12 PM
I think it's more the color of the icons than anything.

Like.... all your outlines are a soft, dark gray/brown. All the paint is soft watercolor, then you have bold black icons. I wonder, if you stroked them with a softer brush in an off-black, if that would fix the issue?

foremost
01-24-2014, 02:25 PM
Hmm, I have to disagree with everyone else
and say I like the icons. You could blend in
some a bit more, but I think they fit with the
map fine. I'm not sure what you could do
differently that would make it look better.

arsheesh
01-24-2014, 02:48 PM
I sort of had the same impression as many folks about the icons. However from what I've seen its common for traditional Japanese paintings to use red and black for the calligraphy and characters (example 1 (http://calligraphy-expo.com/EditorFiles/image/JapanesePainting/3053bae1-c318-4015-b763-383490bda8db.jpg), example 2 (http://mc7540a.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/japanese-art.jpg), example 3 (http://slodive.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/samurai/img003.jpg)), so I think you are in keeping with the tradition here. What I think looks problematic perhaps is the the contrast between soft translucent watercolors and bold opaque colors. If you look at the calligraphy of the last image it looks softer and more faded. I think something like that would look better for this style of map, it would give the impression that these symbols were painted onto the map.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

lostatsea
01-24-2014, 03:14 PM
I agree . The map is really nice But ! The icons look Mechanically produced in contrast with the Organic (Painted) style of the map. I don't see a problem with the colors per se. The icons clash because they are so "Crisp", Uniform (Mechanical) and opaque. If they were stamped on the map after it's creation that might explain the uniformity but there would still be some variation. Slight smearing blurring different angles.etc . If you watered it down some "opacity" it would bleed into the underlying painting. If not mechanically applied then then they should look painted on with all that implies ! Still really nice looking Map !

Lingon
01-24-2014, 05:09 PM
Oh, yes, the icons. I should have mentioned that the they where requested to look like that, sorry! The client had an example map with icons he wanted something very similar to. I'm not too happy with them either to be honest, I'd have preferred to paint them on the map or at least lower their opacity a lot, as you all suggest, but… you know :)

Anyway, nice to hear you like the rest! Thanks everyone!

Domino44
01-24-2014, 05:23 PM
I always love your color choices! Great map!

Veldehar
01-24-2014, 05:48 PM
I get what folks are saying, but as mentioned, they do tend to fit an eastern look. What I would suggest, if getting picky and patient enough to do it, would be to take each individual mark and give fine imperfections, so that it looks like the symbols were done with ink and carved stamps. When in China a few years back I bought some custom name and address carved stamps and they always give a certain rustic, imperfect, less than digital feel which would fit the tone of the map better.

Bogie
01-24-2014, 06:50 PM
Yep, the client is the boss even if they are wrong!

Ilanthar
01-25-2014, 09:13 AM
By Lingon
I'm not too happy with them either to be honest, I'd have preferred to paint them on the map

That would have been awesome I'm sure! Lovely map despite the "icons's question" :)

Lingon
01-25-2014, 09:52 AM
Thanks guys!
Veldehar, that's good points. I should have done the imperfections. If it had been a personal piece I'd probably have gone back and added that, but now the client was satisfied and i don't think I was paid enough to do another revision :P Still, thanks for the suggestion!

Veldehar
01-25-2014, 10:46 AM
Yeah, for a personal or well-paid map... LOL. I'd be curious to see it down and whether it would look as cool as it does in my head. I would guess its been done somewhere, might have to poke around when I get a chance.


Thanks guys!
Veldehar, that's good points. I should have done the imperfections. If it had been a personal piece I'd probably have gone back and added that, but now the client was satisfied and i don't think I was paid enough to do another revision :P Still, thanks for the suggestion!

Sharpes
01-29-2014, 11:09 PM
Ah, these are the icons you were referring to. I like it! The mountain style and forests are really great as well. :)

cricio
01-30-2014, 08:48 AM
very nice work, well i need a map like these for my d&d campain can i contact you man?

Lingon
01-30-2014, 01:18 PM
Thanks, I appreciate it :)
(Responding to Cricio in PM.)