First Regional Map (CC3) - Need some help with forests (and other critiques)
By way of introduction - I'm a PHd student with some downtime over the summer and started up playing D&D again after a decade long hiatus. Decided that i'd try my hand at creating some maps for my campaign and bought myself CC3 a few months ago. Since then it has quickly become a favorite hobby of mine and much of my time is spent on this site marveling at all the excellent work that this community produces (along with other tips and tutorials).
I've made a few dungeon maps, but wanted to try my hand at creating a map of the country where my players are situated. Thus far, I only have a back story for a couple points of interest and some rough ideas about the area in general. (I plan on filling in villages/cities/etc as I move along) In classic D&D fashion, my players have begun in a foresty area with lots of rivers and what not. I also established a cave and mountain range in the story. And I plan on having them potentially migrate to a desert type region on the other side of the mountain.
So, here is my work in progress - comments, critiques, and suggestions are really appreciated for everything. In particular, I could use some help figuring out how to do a nice mix of dense and light woods and the transition to the scrubland before the mountains. (I've read several tutorials on placement and realize that ideally the desert should be on the opposite side of the mountain chain - but I don't want my desire for some degree of realism to mess up my existing story.) In the bottom right of the map are a few tests of forest stuff I've tried. There is a batch of "Tree Thing" stuff and other assorted symbols obtained from the CC3 symbol set. Any thoughts on what you think looks better or what I could try are appreciated.
Thanks in advance