What began as a quickly fudged map using other peoples' brushes and a lot of mistakes has turned into a lot more work entirely. Once I found this forum, and browsed some of the most amazing fantasy maps I have ever seen, I became dissatisfied with my own creation. It wasn't good enough, not nearly as good as what it could be, if I put the effort in like so many other people had for their maps. The members of the Cartographers' Guild have inspired me to do better with my, admittedly first ever, map.
So, please regard this work with a grain of salt and the knowledge that I'm rather new to this whole cartography thing. Having said that, I'm definitely looking for constructive criticism on this map so I can make it better (cue river police?).
Without further ado, attached are some bits and pieces that I have been working on over the past 3 days (about 22 hours spent on all this so far, not including reading the many useful tutorials of this website).
The purpose of this map is as an aid to a LARP campaign that I will be running 3 years from now, after the campaign that I'm currently running. It will be a sword and sorcery game, but I wont go on about that further than to say this is a map for medieval fantasy purposes. The map will be A2 size when I'm finished, so I can print it out when I'm done with it, for myself and for anyone who wants to order prints from the game. I'm working on the landscape at A1 size so that the landscape has detail, and will shrink it to A2 before adding the icons and names.
The continent preview is a much shrunken version of the draft landscape plan. The grunge brush streaks in grey represent a crude height map, and the green is roughly the forest distribution I'm aiming at. I've only given cursory consideration to tectonics, climate, and rainfall at this stage because it's a single continent, rather than an entire world, and the main intended audience of the map probably wont pick up on errors in such things.
The mountains, hills, and land forms are inspired by the amazing map of Colorado at The BIG Map Blog, and the Imperial Worldmap of Arden right here at the Cartographers' Guild, and a few photos courtesy of google image search. I drew my own land forms mostly because I wanted mountains and hills that looked more realistic than the standard issue iconic representative fantasy map triangles for mountains (I have nothing against them, they're just not my style). The buildings are somewhere between generic basic buildings and Nordic architecture (there are also a few more in the works). The trees were referenced from photos, and while I'm not terribly pleased with them, I figure they'll do the job (although I may redo them before I use them).
Having done all this, I figure it's time I give back to the forum that I have lurked on and learnt so much from, so I'm sharing this with you all. For anyone who is interested, I have turned all of the sketches into photoshop brushes. Should anyone want them, I'll upload them in another post.