Here is what I have so far, compared to the old one:
Attachment 58482Attachment 58481
In Paint Shop Pro 8 I used the Freehand Selection tool to draw the shape of the river. I then modified the selection with an Inside Feather of 2, and then deleted it. Then I duplicated the layer and applied a small black drop shadow (Opacity 100 / Blur 4.00) to the one underneath. The water texture went on a separate layer underneath both of those, and I just did some quick adjustments with Colorize and Curves to get the colour/darkness that I wanted.
Your latest version is looking tons better! :D
And here is my attempt at following all of the advice in the thread, from the color and effects, to the drawing of the rivers being more natural.
Tell me if it still needs to be improved significantly.
It looks much better
That looks soooo much better! Love the new shape of your rivers too...much better than my quick example, which were a bit too irregular I think. Try a few various shades darker than what you have now and see which one you prefer. I personally think a darker blue might look better on this map. :)
I tried redrawing the rivers to be more isometric, to fit with the rest of the symbols, as someone suggested in this thread.
What do you think, compared to the older version?
Here is what it would look like with a darker blue
That's really looking nice! I love the perspective, and the color of the rivers sits very nicely in the image. Keep at it; I want to see the entire map done up like this.