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Thread: Small 16th century inspired map

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  1. #1

    Default Small 16th century inspired map

    I've recently bought a book with historical maps and I wanted to try to make a map inspired by a 16th century map of the Indian Ocean by Mercator.
    It's a small map, since it's just an exercise. I've got the ocean & the rivers. Next up are the mountains, then the towns, the placenames and the raster lines.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

  3. #3
    Guild Journeyer Sular's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    The Library of Babel


    I'll second Sapiento in saying that this is off to a good start. The coastline shape is interesting, the rivers have a nice taper to them, and the little squiggly "woodcutish" border to the land is nice. By the way, how are you doing that squiggly thing? With a pattern?

  4. #4


    I made a pattern myself by making straight horizontal lines and using the Filter-Distort-Wave in photoshop. I then added a layer of the pattern and a mask which hides everything but the coastline.

    I've just drawn the mountain shapes. I'm going to use these as brushes to form the mountain chains. The map I'm basing this on has mountains like this with the colour simply painted over the mountain range.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5


    I've put the mountains in. I noticed that the colouring in the original was done with a single brush stroke, so I coloured the mountains in the same way.
    Not really sure about the towns yet... What do you think? (Obviously they're not in the right place yet )

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Saule; 01-03-2012 at 10:11 AM.

  6. #6
    Guild Adept Freodin's Avatar
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    Oct 2010


    I prefer the towns from the northern side of the river. Wider shapes give a better impression of a town than the single tower shapes. The colouring seems to be a little strong. Also you should try to keep the size consistent.

    I just love that style. Can't wait to see it finished.

  7. #7
    Professional Artist Sapiento's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Salzburg, Austria


    I think the upper icons look better. Maybe some crosshatching on the shady side.

  8. #8
    Guild Member Facebook Connected
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Pennsylvania, USA


    What is the scale of this map? This is similar to the style I've been working on for mine, and I've been thinking for a while that smaller icons might look better. If the scale is similar, I may make some smaller brushes and get to work.

  9. #9


    I haven't really thought about scale much... Basically just kept the same ratios as in the original I'm trying to imitate. (Some of the towns are actually larger than the mountains ). It's a map including India, Arabia and east Africa, so it's actually pretty big

  10. #10


    I've created more towns, mostly in the style of the ones above the river , put them in and made the red a little less bright. I also put in little red circles as they were in the map I'm using as inspiration. I've also started on the place names.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Saule; 01-05-2012 at 04:52 PM.

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