[WIP] As Yet Untitled World
Having been out of work and bored, I decided to have another go at my old mapping attempt. Having always been stymied by the more "traditional fantasy" artistic style, I decided to go with more of a political map look. I am a graphic designer by trade rather than an artist to begin with, and for the purposes of my novel the political things are much more important than the geographic features. I may at some point try to figure out a simple way to represent the mountain ranges on the map, but it will be exactly that: simple. Any ideas on how to accomplish this would be much appreciated :D
Much of my inspiration for this style came from this map, as well as my history with mapmaking for modern setting cooperative worldbuilding. All of the techniques I've used in building the start of this map are my own experimentation over a late night last night excepting the text, for which I borrowed the ink bleeding technique from Gidde's Hand-drawn Maps for the Artistically Challenged tutorial. If anyone was interested, the tools of my trade are GIMP, a Wacom Bamboo tablet, and Adobe Fireworks for the text, because I feel it does a much better job than GIMP with curved text. The font is Imperator by Paul Lloyd, acquired from dafont.com
Since I haven't (re)named the world yet, I did not yet bother to create a legend. Solid black lines are rivers. Dotted black lines are sovereign state borders. City names in small caps are capital cities/city-states and lowercase city names are subject cities. The main continent (not counting the unexplored lands to the south) is somewhere in area between South America and North America. The Empire of Athanon is roughly equal in area to the Macedonian Empire at its height. The Kingdom of the South, the red which I forgot to label, is about equal to the Qin Dynasty of China. I didn't bother to calculate the areas of the other states yet.
World finally named! Calmera (land and seas)
It's been a couple of months since I last updated this, but it hasn't been completely dead. I've been trying to refine a mountain technique and come up with some of the naming languages, both of which have been quite a challenge. One thing I did settle on is a name, Calmera, which is a rehashing of the name for a previous map I worked on here for the same book. That map is gone, but I like the similar name. But here is the real reason for my post. I've finally figured out a way for making mountains that fit in with my map style but don't take over the whole map. Since the focus of this map, for me, is the political and geographic aspects that are much more important to the story, I wanted to create mountains that were apparent but not overwhelming. By using and extensively adapting RobA's Simple Mountains tutorial I feel I may have succeeded.
Please note: these are NOT the final mountains. They are rough copies just to test the style before I go all out and spend a lot of time on this. First, they are far too uniform the way they are now. Second, I want to make some height differences both along the ranges and between ranges, to add some variety to them. But I wanted to throw something simple together to get opinions on the general style.
I'm not really happy with how the Irha Mountains or the Pestula plateau turned out, and if I do use this style I'll have to redraw most of my borders (which is okay as long as I end up with a good map). Otherwise I am reasonably satisfied given my lack of artistic talent. Any criticisms, ideas, and changes are welcome.