WOW! Well done!
This map is a Slave Charter given to various slave merchant houses in the procurement of Celtic slaves from the recently discovered region in the east called Dernallion.
Link to WIP in WIP Forums: Not a Challenge Map...
Since I retired from the Monthly Map Challenges, I did hint if I saw a challenge that interested me, I might do an off-the-record entry in the WIP forums, which is what I did for this one. Besides all the work on my coming publication with all those Japanese maps, I wanted to do a side project that had a different flavor.
In this map, first I created the Celtic knotwork border. Its not hand-drawn, rather it is a font I paid for and haven't used much, basically letter combinations have the various knots used, but not all match, so without knowing all the "combinations" its trial and error to get what you want. Then I went searching for Celtic knotwork samples and found the two I used for the symbols of Ambrathas and Dernallion. I recreated them by tracing them in Xara, then colored, applied bevels, shadows and stacked into a grouped object.
After which I decided since the knotwork was Celtic, I'd do an old style map, in this case, the entire map linework is hand-drawn. The WIP shows the steps I had taken, the changes, and the fact that the mountains; coastline; escarpment, river, Grimwode and Dernallion are all drawn as separate elements all composited in Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0
After drawing, I scan it in PS, then import to Xara for map composition and coloring, I also make each scan transparent for use in layers against a parchment background.
With the complex border, all the hand-drawing, and the major changes made, this entire map took me about ten hours altogether - which is a long time for me the normally hyper speed mapper!
Since this map is not intended for publication it is CC licensed, free for personal use in your games!
WOW! Well done!
Looks great! Repped and rated.
So, all proud of myself for this map, I posted it in the Art Forum at Penny Arcade, but then I started getting a slough of suggestions or changes. Some I did, some not so much.
One suggestion was "it would look 100% better if it was hand-lettered." Eww! My hand-lettering isn't terrible, but consistancy, judging how much space I need versus size of letters - its way too much work, and in my opinion can't match my skills at drawing, so I didn't do that one.
However, some suggested dropping the Celtic knotwork, as it seemed too digital compared to the rest of the map, plus it eats lots of real estate versus the size of the map itself. Taking out the drop shadows and halo shadows also would make it more hand-drawn, than digital. Also asked to place a scale bar, and make the compass rose more visible.
This is the result. Consider this as an optional version of the map, not to turn this into a WIP.
I much prefer this new version to the original. I thought it looked great before but now that you've changed the border I realise that it was bothering me slightly but I hadn't realised. For me I don't think that it was too digital as much as, too bright. Too much colour.
Anyway, for me the changes work.
As "just a map" I like the second one better.
But, unless I'm mistaken the first was supposed to be more of a 'government document/decree' than "just a map". In that case I think the additional border decorations were appropriate (though maybe something different than celtic knot work would work better)
My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.
Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.