I've been lurking for a while and experimenting with the various Gimp tutorials made available by the very talented individuals here. I'm not an artist, and I'm not a cartographer. I just wanted something nice to use as a reference for a fictional setting I'm working on. Then I realized how much fun it is!
My attempts at an antique-looking map have not necessarily failed but have definitely gone wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.
I began with the Gimp version of Ascension's Antique-style map tutorial for my current map (the one by Candacis). The setting draws inspiration from Central Asian, Persian, Japanese, and Native American folklore/mythology/legends. The fonts I managed to scrounge up online either looked too stereotypically Asian or too stereotypically 'Fantasy' so I went with Arial and Georgia for lack of 'good' fonts. I didn't like what Gimp did with the HSV noise background, I didn't like the look of the diagonal lines through my countries, and then Gimp crashed when I was making my mountains so I experimented...
And ended up with a very clean, modern-looking atlas-style* map. Very much the opposite of what I was going for.
Before I go any further, I thought I'd run it by you fine folk and see if anyone had any suggestions as to what I could do in Gimp to give it more of an antique feel and for a critique in general.
Things still to do:
-Add the mountain range names
-Add important town names (currently only one is named)
-Add roads? Add important roads?
-Figure out if roads are necessary
-Figure out if a compass rose is necessary
-Figure out scale (because LOL what is this i don't even)
-Figure out how to place a grid or if grid is necessary
-Pull out hair
-Cry, eat a tub of ice cream and start all over for the eleventy-billionth time
*I'm not sure if that's the term I'm looking for. Cartographer, I definitely am not.
(FYI - All names were randomly generated via Astrosynthesis and an online name generator, so they aren't supposed to translate into English - and I hope they don't!)
As an aside: I tried out RobA's parchment tutorial and ended up with something that's close but nothing I'm proud of. (I admit I had a little too much fun with the kanji and various Asian and Arabesque handwriting brushes I downloaded from DeviantArt.) Ignoring the over-zealous amounts of brushes and grunge, I don't think the map overlay looks good. I think it might be the font, but I'm not sure. I brandished a grunge brush eraser at 30% or so to lighten up the outlines around the countries, but I'm not sure it helped. Unfortunately I saved the wrong copy of my parchment paper file and saved the merged layers so I can't get rid of the layer with the brushes or edit it really. I'd have to make a new parchment file if I wanted to put my map back into it.