Samp, your map have GREAT potential! Colors are nice, mountains cool and coastline in just perfect in case of real geography. So all you problems can be solved I think. Its better to wait advice from some real masters, who dwell here... But here my humble suggestions in graphic form. About sea and place names.
Last edited by Sergei Zybin; 03-30-2011 at 12:34 PM.
The landmasses look great. I would stroke the other islands as well for a more unified look. I also agree with Sergei on the placement of labels. A change in ocean texture would really finish this off nicely. All in all great work
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Even if I am correct, I would still advise you to follow your heart. This whole Cartographers Guild thing, it seems to me, is more about passion and skill and learning new techniques than it is about definitions and rules.
My suggestion, for now, would be to make the ocean lighter but take the current color and use that as the stroke instead of the black - gives it more of an atlas look. If you were going for satellite-style then I'd just darken everything and remove the stroke. As Sergei said, lots of potential...you already have a good grasp on what you want and a real good idea of how to do it. Everything from this point on is just style issues since this seems perfectly fine to me. Nice job, man.
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Hmm, thanks for the replies. I shall get down to work once I find the time!