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Schley
06-10-2009, 10:02 PM
Hey Guys,
I know it's been a long time since I've posted here but I've been crazy busy lately. No rest for the weary I guess.

Anyways, here's one of my more recent maps done for WotC's 4E Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Anyone familiar with the Moonshae Isles will recognize the area mapped and hopefully will get a kick out of the level of detail I included. The Realmslore article this appears in is titled Sarifal and the author, Brian R. James, did and incredible job fleshing out it's tasty tasty flavor. You can check out his website at Loremaster.org (http://www.loremaster.org).

We also worked jointly on the Cormyr Realmslore article for Dragon a while back and will hopefully be tapped for many more Realmslore articles in the future since we seem to complement each other like peanut butter and chocolate. :)

Some of the stylistic choices I made for both this and the Cormyr map were influenced by previos Forgotten Realms cartography. For instance, the heavy use of colored inks and the hill illustration style. Beyond that though I generally tried to shoot for a map that incorporated a high level of detail without becoming busy or confusing. This can be seen in the way I illustrated the submerged features like the reefs where the pallet stays close in value and hue to the color used for the shallow water areas.

The entire map (Other than the rough provided by the author) was produced in Photoshop CS3 with a Wacom tablet and took about 4 days to complete. Typically I'll flesh out the finished inks and text before working on any color application. The process is actually very similar to the way comics are digitally inked and colored.

Well, let me know what you think. Crits are, as always, greatly appreciated.

Mike

Feralspirit
06-10-2009, 10:59 PM
Very nice work. I looked at the map before I read the text. I was immediately impressed by the style and pallette, and then I began to recognize some of the names. The Moonshae Isles are my favorite region in FR. Congradulations on this and hopefully many more commissions. Job well done.

guyanonymous
06-11-2009, 12:12 AM
Stunning. Thank you for the inspiration!

Aegeri
06-11-2009, 01:16 AM
This is an absolutely fantastic piece of cartography and really inspiring map. I really really wish you had done the main map for Forgotten Realms based on your work here.

Dain
06-11-2009, 01:58 AM
Very impressive!
I especially like the palette you 've used. A master piece.

Can I ask you to reveal the size/ resolution you work on? Sometimes, it's hard to know how to start. The map seems huge. Do you work on 2000x2000 resolution? More than that?
Thanks for your answer ;)

Steel General
06-11-2009, 09:06 AM
As a Jr. High School Science Teacher of mine used to say... "Neater Than Sneakers" :D
(He even had a little ink stamp)

Redrobes
06-11-2009, 09:13 AM
Super map as always. Some of the names seem familiar out of the FR context too...

DungeonMasterGaz
06-11-2009, 11:02 AM
Another fantastic map, Schley! I saw this in Dragon 376 before you posted it here and immediately recognised your style from your previous Cormyr map (which was the best map of Cormyr I’ve seen).

I agree with Aegeri’s comment on how you should have done the 4E FR map. The watercolouresque style of the map in the 4E FRCG lacks the engaging detail of yours, and I prefer your style because you’ve kept the basic style of the 3.5 FR maps but improved on it beautifully.

There is one thing though, and it sprang out at me when I was studying your map in Dragon – I would have liked to have seen a map key. I’m not sure what the difference is between the square settlements and the circle ones. I imagine towns/villages(?) but don’t know which is which, and are the crescent moon symbols moonwells? I’m guessing here because my knowledge of FR is only limited and I imagine it would be very confusing to anyone reading your map who has no knowledge of FR lore.

Thanks for another great map posted. I love the expanded size and feel privileged to get my hands on an extra large copy (compared to the size published in Dragon) and I hope to see you mapping, and posting, more FR maps in the future.

DMG

Schley
06-11-2009, 11:40 AM
There is one thing though, and it sprang out at me when I was studying your map in Dragon Ė I would have liked to have seen a map key. Iím not sure what the difference is between the square settlements and the circle ones. I imagine towns/villages(?) but donít know which is which, and are the crescent moon symbols moonwells? Iím guessing here because my knowledge of FR is only limited and I imagine it would be very confusing to anyone reading your map who has no knowledge of FR lore.
DMG

I guess that without the Realmslore text accompanying the map the symbols can be a bit confusing. Sorry about that. The conventions used here are pretty standard but I'll make sure to include a small key somewhere on all upcoming regional maps like this one. Filled squares are ruins, filled white circles are villages, filled black circles are cities, filled black circles surrounded by a white circle are large cities, black stars surrounded by a white circle are capital cities, moons are druid groves or Moonwells, and black X's are points of interest.

Hope this helps,
Mike

NeonKnight
06-11-2009, 12:38 PM
Welcome back Schley!

One question as my contact with the Moonshaes is very old, I notice Karador is in the middle of Myrloch, is it on an island or is it a sea elves enclave?

Leonal
06-11-2009, 12:43 PM
Ooo, very nicely made. I love your stuff (Red Hand of Doom in particular), but you should make for Pathfinder and not for D&D. ;) (both works too)
Map added to inspiration folder.

torstan
06-11-2009, 01:23 PM
That's a lovely map. I like the use of dark blue for the coastlines - that works really well. Just one question, what's the forest like area in the sea off Caer Moray? A kelp field?

DungeonMasterGaz
06-12-2009, 11:28 AM
The conventions used here are pretty standard but I'll make sure to include a small key somewhere on all upcoming regional maps like this one. Filled squares are ruins, filled white circles are villages, filled black circles are cities, filled black circles surrounded by a white circle are large cities, black stars surrounded by a white circle are capital cities, moons are druid groves or Moonwells, and black X's are points of interest.

Wow, thatís actually more variety than I first noticed, and I never imagined that almost every settlement on Gwynneth was a ruin! The last I read about the Moonsheas was Darkwalker on Moonshea back in the late eighties, so no wonder I was confused. I think Iíd better go read the Sarifal article and find out what happened!

Thanks for your reply.

DMG

lab205
06-12-2009, 07:23 PM
Wow, I saw that map in the Dragon article. The map is amazing, I can't believe it only took four days; I guess thats why your a proffessional.

Schley
06-12-2009, 08:07 PM
Welcome back Schley!

One question as my contact with the Moonshaes is very old, I notice Karador is in the middle of Myrloch, is it on an island or is it a sea elves enclave?

Actually, Karador is the ancient capital of the LeShay. The small island it was located on sank into the Myrloch around -500 DR but rose again recently with the rebirth of the Sarifal kingdom.

ravells
06-13-2009, 08:14 AM
Absolutely stunning as always! I love the wiggly waves just off the costlines - well I love it all really.

Depassage
06-30-2009, 12:55 AM
Really good work. I'm definitely a fan !

Nightwish_
06-30-2009, 03:36 AM
Oh! This is awesome!!! Compliments!

mmmmmpig
06-30-2009, 02:22 PM
Love the water. Love the forests and hills too, but that water is just kicking

silverhead
06-30-2009, 05:45 PM
Impressive! Are there any hints that you could share on how you did this, so the less talented of us can learn something, or is it only superhero drawing skill?