I like this version much much better!
But try this:
Select the colour of the land and the sea and look at their HSL values. I'll bet you anything the saturation values are close to 100% (or 255). Play around by desaturating everything into the 70% range. You'll keep your hue but the colours will appear to be much softer and your map will look much better with that one easy step. Then work on adjusting the saturation of the other colours in the map so they fit.
Using high saturation is great for small areas you want to draw attention to but if it's overdone in large areas it jars - it's a bit like the difference between listening to a choir when one voice soars above the rest and when everyone is the choir is singing their loudest for the entire piece - in the latter example there's no contrast.
Oh...adding a texture to the wharfs might be worth a try too.
all the best!
okay, so i added some farmland, don't know if i like it or not. the land has been tweaked as well. damn you all for making me be more creative and pushing me to experiment! i have been working all morning on this and i need food. :)
anyway, the wharves are next. i tried playing with them a little bit but didn't like anything i came up with. also, i'm still working on the water effects, so if anyone has any ideas, let me know.
You might want to loose the drop shadow on the fields/farmland. Or make it light to imply a depressed area, rather than a raised area.
Looking great, BTW..
okay, worked on the water effects and sand beaches. took out the drop shadows from the farms.
What a HUGE improvement from where it started! It is really getting nice. You should still do something with the docks, but I think that would be it to call it done.
finished the docks, did the stream, covered bridge and added some layering to the water to add depth. i love my wacom pad!
anyway, ideas, thoughts, etc.? now on to labelling and scale and describing the town as i see it.
this is as about as done as i can get it. if anyone has any other suggestions, let me know. i'm open to it. this is probably the most i've ever done on a map with textures, bitmaps, and all that. really had to push my creativity and work with the trial and error method since i'm not that great an artist here. i'm also going to convert it into an old time parchment player's map but that will probably take a few more days. maybe just get it in under the wire.