Just saw the progress on this map myself. I'm very happy to have been a (small) part of the creative process! The new mountains look fantastic and I agree that the shaded ones are the better of the styles.
I'll be the first to admit that my brushes aren't perfect, but hopefully they served their purpose. You may have better luck using them if you made them smaller. The original brushes were done quite large and don't take on a very hand-drawn appearance until they are relatively small. It helps with all the smooth edges.
I didn’t have any difficulty distinguishing water from land in the first images and can't imagine anyone would have trouble with it now. I was also concerned with the resolution and pixilation of the borders but once I saw that it was simply part of a larger map those fears melted somewhat.
I would just keep plugging away. You seem to be finding what works slowly but surely. I've been down (still down?) that road.
I'd give more specific advice, but I'm really only familiar with photoshop. Good luck!
I think it looks pretty gosh-darn good, myself. That's the style that I'm usually most comfortable with - lots of icons, 'artsy' mountains, etc, so you've got one big fan here.
Thanks guys. Wag, I think your mountain brushes rock but I was struggling to find a style of mountain that fitted with the map I was drawing and I think for this map, this style works quite well and (with a bit more practice) putting them down shouldn't take too long at all.
I'm begining to find that making convincing and pleasing hand drawn symbol type mountains depends on three things: Scale, placement and character.
If the scale is tiny (i.e. the area of the landmass is huge) then symbols should be small to reflect this (mutatis mutandis if the scale is larger.)
In terms of placement, I think that a range should be no more than 2 or 3 symbols wide. Any more than that and the effect starts looking a bit dodgy (see the mountains on the top left of the map for an example) - narrower ranges seems to be more pleasing than wide ones. On small scale maps (tiny symbols) maybe no more than 1 or at the most 2 wide.
Character is the hardest thing for me to nail down. That means making the mountains look similar but different and introducing features like cliffs, cyms, gradations to hills etc.
I might put this all down in a tutorial, but I fear that it might just be a case of stating the obvious.
I've now got a commission to test this style but I'm not sure how easily it will port as the size of the landmass is huge (about 5 times the size of North America).