Duchy of Galbrin
I don't do enough regional maps and I hope to change that. I have been working on this and something just doesn't look right about it.
There are no roads or labels or anything like that on it yet. I can't seem to get it to look right though. So I wanted some opinions. The image is 50% of actual size.
My first thoughts on looking at this Larb:
--the trees might benefit from having some shadow or trunks beneath them;
--perhaps increase the contrast between the rivers/lakes and the surrounding grass (or give it a stroke to let them show up a bit more);
--perhaps a bit of a grungy/rough texture could help too. The mountains, for example, look rather 'clean' (the texture on the forests I think is great, by the way);
--the mountains in the lower left don't blend very well at this point, but I assume you haven't gotten to that bit yet;
--the swamp doesn't quite work in my opinion. Maybe you could small hills, water channels and islands, or make the edge of the lake and the swamp blend together.
--most of all, it just looks a bit sparse, especially with the large amounts of forest you've included. If you could add interesting details to the forests (in the absence of named places, perhaps just large trees, occasional clearings or ponds, rocky outcrops, or more intriguing features like giants/dragons/ruins etc.) I think it would work better.
Hope those comments are useful. I really like the cities (which you could perhaps make more visible/obvious) and the clouds around the tops of the mountains.
Overall, the only thing I think 'doesn't look right' with this map is that it isn't finished yet.
well... to be REALLY nitpicky, (which, surprisingly, most people here don't seem to mind?)
1. The river to the NE looks like it's flowing over the treetops
2. There's a plateau south of the central mountains... it *almost* looks like the trees are growing down onto the plateau from the west.. I think it's the placement of the village that puts it at that angle? (this one was only after staring at that spot for several minutes, so I could just be tired)
3. some of the hills are mountain-sized
4. I REALLY like the cloud effect on the mountaintops, but on some of the larger ones, it's *too* bright (effect of snow + clouds, maybe?)
5. The south-west marshy-area is growing *away* from the water source... kind of weird, that...
6. Blend the riverbank into it..
7. More texture on grass/mountains?
But honestly, that's all little stuff, that no one but me would probably notice, cause I'm a little nuts
I think this map has loads of potential. Overall I really dig the style. About the clouds over the mountains, it strikes me that it would be more consistent with the hand-drawn style of the map if you actually drew these rather than just applied a light airbrush haze. Great work so far.
Looking great so far Larb! Though I agree with THW comments, he summed it up very well.
Are those little blocks indicating villages/cities, or something else? If they're indicating settlements, you might want to think of throwing in some color in there, and maybe a few varying rooftops. I do dig the idea though, and your hills as well.
This also reminds me I need to actually finish something isometric, rather than going back to top-down or doing sideviews.
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'll try some of those suggestions tonight.
By the way those little blocks aren't towns or buildings. =P They are supposed to represent large clusters of columnar basalt which has an important role in the story of this world. It's hard to make out because I reduced the size of the map by 50% to upload it.
All the towns and roads and castles and manors will be icons and such. None of that is on there at the moment though - I'm just trying to get the base map right first.
I like this alot! Rivers seem to smooth. Need some river banks maybe. Otherwise I really like this.
I would love to have a little insight into your map making process. It's significantly different than mine and frankly I wish I could do something more similar to yours. Have you posted a tutorial anywhere?
gspRooster: I am sort of making this up as I go along.
Here is the current state of it. I made the forests s a bit more defined. And did proper clouds. I couldn't find a way to make the marshy area look any better.
I am currently using ICONS and spotted roads. I'm not sure if I like it - I may just use SPOTS and err... liney roads instead. There are actually more things in that huge forest too, by the way (it is called the Whisperwood and is largely unexplored).
Maybe I am agonizing over it too much.