Ah, such an insanely delicious collection of hand-drawn maps. One of their crowing glories? Their individual imperfection, contrasted against their collective magnificence.
The ability to draw a map by hand is on open display in this collection. Surely, this is the envy of all mankind.
It's a lot like looking at a thick menu, when one is very hungry and ready to eat. There's a smorgasbord of interest scattered across this cartographic collection. The fact that some of them stretch back across time, to years of less experience, warrants special commendation. It is good to see how your skill sets in individual areas have progressed over a span of time. Mountains, for instance, your skill has grown considerably. It's not just that your skill in drawing individual mountains has improved noticeably, but rather, your skill in how you place mountains overshadows your later maps.
Some of the maps evidence an appreciation for color. That part of it is the dessert on this menu, for me. It's not the bulk of the menu, but where color rears its head, it's fairly well subdued. It tempts me, though it but a picture be. I want to see more of your use of color, though I know that to do so would be a fattening experience, indeed. You use color, not as the primary vehicle for representing your cartographic vision, but instead, it lies calmly and quietly in the background, even when it is in the foreground and on full display.
Take the following two examples from your collection, for the purpose of considering how you use color.
The first example is a quintessential example of how people typically approach the task of coloring a map. The trees/forests are green and the water is blue. Lacking any semblance of actual artistic talent, that is the approach that I would likely use, if I were to try to sit down, tomorrow, and create a map. Mine just wouldn't look as good as yours.
The second example demonstrates how color, more effectively used, can make a map more beautiful, more aesthetically pleasing. It's there. There's lots of it on the map - yet, its true beauty is a subtle one. Color doesn't have to be used to shout at the observer of the map. It doesn't have to be vivid and in your face, in order to accomplish much more. In the hands of a trained or self-trained master, color is a force multiplier. It multiplies the impact of the end result.
You take time to create actual mountain ranges. How much greater the world is, when entire mountain ranges thrust up across a vast space. Your skill with mountains are the lifeblood of your cartographic talent. They command the viewer's attention. They are there, and they shall be seen.
The vivid dark tips of the mountain tops in the following map are not your finest moment on the mountain top:
That particular map is a better demonstration of your growing skill with color, than of your mastery with mountain engineering. Those vivid dark tips strike my eye like thorns - too much emphasis in too localized an area repeated ad infinitum across the map. You went to all that trouble to painstakingly draw all of those beautiful mountains, and then you simply couldn't lie content to let those mountains and their ranges speak to their own grandeur. In your bid to top them off, you tore them down, in a visual sense. Granted, everyone has their own opinion on such things, but that is mine.
Here, in the map below, you demonstrate some of that same affinity for vivid touches on the mountains:
But, here, the technique has more visual appeal, but I am still left with the feeling that you are over-using it. It is, after all, a form of both color and emphasis. If you were to use it more sparingly, though not abandon it altogether, I think that the end reward would be greater for one and all.
One of my personal favorites of your maps, as it pertains to your skill with mountains, is the following image:
Not because the individual mountains in it are your best hand-drawn efforts, when it comes to mountains, but rather, because you imbue your map with cartographic life between ranges of mountains. Where the mountains are, they are vast and ranging creatures. Even still, they are not solid masses of nothing but mountains. Again, it's a good example of where less mountains equal more impact for you on the subject of mountains within a given map.
The map below is unfinished:
The vast forest on the left is a collection of trees, a mob, more than it is a forest. That forest doesn't beckon unto me. It's just a blotch of trees massed upon the cartographic field of battle, one where the various terrain features contest for the attention of the map's beholder.
The mountains on it, though, that's another story. The mountain range grabs the eye, and trounces the forest. Just below the approximate middle of the mountain range, two taller spires stand out. Those spires have individual identity. They look noticeably different. They command my attention, no matter how small a relative percentage of the overall number of mountains are on view on this map, simultaneously. My attention is disproportionately drawn to them. The shaded/shadow mountains in the bottom half look visually more attractive than the mere outline mountains in the top half of the map.
Anyway, just a few thoughts on your map collection and your cartographic skills off the top of my head.