What do you think of smth like this? (I've got 2 variants...)
Is the coastline ok? Should I improve the colors and textures somehow?
I tried to play with different mountain brushes... Even tried to make some... Now my wrist aches :?
They just don't look good, when i place them on the map.
They seem too dirty... too complex... (especially when the image is zoomed out) I think I should simplify them a bit. Or do I miss smth else?
to me the brush seems to big for the map size... i'd try even half that size, and i'd make an entire range not just some random bits.. with the mts they look best together, not apart. not sure if these brushes are hollow in the non-black parts, but it's best to overlap the mts, back to front, close together, breaks up the repeating brushes and allow you to build new shapes. as far as how it looks, it'd be hard to tell without more use.
wrist pain? welcome to cartography :) digital and pen/paper, we all suffer from that :P
There is another variant. I thought: the mountains will be TINY on the final map. It means they should be simple. Yes, I know, that the 1st version of the mountains wasn't good. But, after all, this is my first map and it definetly won't be a Cartographers' choice. :) And I don't want to die before i make my 1st map.
Remember, that this is only a part of the map. Whole map is going to be about 8x8 inches - this part will be 4x3 inches.
Either i leave the mountains like that - without shadows at all, or i try to make the shadows better than in the 1st version.
I actually really like the mountain brushes you made above, although they could definitely use some refinement. I have a feeling that you're pretty good with a pencil; if that's true, then consider drawing some nice mountains on paper, then take them to Kinko's and have them scanned. Unless you have a scanner at home, of course.
Some more smudgy shading rather than detail would probably be a good course to take, given the scale issue.
I feel I should point out that your coastline looks an awful lot like Middle Earth.
edit: I just noticed you're in Moscow, so you may or may not know what Kinko's is. If not, it's a shop that offers printing, binding and mail service. I assume there are businesses with similar services in Russia.
I've tried to reduce the amount of detail a bit. Used some rubber. Still they should look like pieces of one puzzle - definitely not like Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves all put in one big barrel.
And it seems I'm not so good with a pencil after all :D I made this with a pencil, photoghraphed it, and then used it as a sketch in Photoshop (trying not to implement too much detail). I think now there too little detail... And they're too dark... I'm no artist:
If you're not going to use more textures/color work on lands, more simple outlines will match better in my opinion. More detailed mountains are harder to blend with a light and pale color texture/background. You can try a simple outline (like the one you did in post #16) with a very few diagonal hatch lines to simulate shaded side.
The darkness is easy enough to fix: Just turn down the opacity a bit. I agree with - Max -: at the size you're going to be showing these, the simpler icons will work better. Do a Google Image search for Pete Fenlon and check out his hill symbols. His mountains are a bit complex, but his hills are so beautifully simple.
I do still like those sketchy mountains, though, especially the gently sloped ones with the smudgier details. They may not work for this map, but I hope you find a place for them in another.