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Thread: Dispatches From A Cartographer - The Beginning

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  1. #1

    Map Dispatches From A Cartographer - The Beginning

    Greetings from an Australian.

    I have been lurking around the Guild for some time, and finally decided to step out of the shadows, and join my map-making brethren. This will be a short introduction Ė Iím not writing my autobiography.
    Iíve been making maps and building worlds for almost 20 years. I do not do it for a game or for a novel, but as an activity in its own right. Now, I want to create maps not as a hobby, but as an artform. From what Iíve seen during my lurking, this is the place to do it. Iíve seen some incredible maps on this forum, and followed many of the tutorials. No disrespect to the tutorial-writers, but for my maps to seem arty, I canít afford to adopt anyone elseís style. I also want to start posting straight away, so I have attached my first map for online publication (i.e. putting on this site).

    Let me give a brief overview of what Iím trying to do (not too much, though Ė I want the real story to be told in the maps themselves). My maps will be part of a series, called Dispatches from a Cartographer (or DC for short). They will encompass a variety of scales, from towns, to whole regions, and will combine PS with hand-drawn elements. Each map will show a different part of the world, as seen through the eyes of the wandering mapmaker, Larithas Stone. You will get to see the lands that Larithas has visited, and his comments about what he found there. Depending on the response and feedback I get, I will try to post maps on a regular basis. Think of it like a comic book or graphic novel. Each map will be a finshed product, although any feeback I get will contribute to enhancing the overall style.

    Lastly, as an aspiring artist, please respect my intellectual property. I hope I wonít need to attach a detailed copywrite caveat, but if my work is being abused, I will do so.

    On that negative note, I think that thatís probably enough from me. Iíll try to let Larithasí voice be the main one you hear from now on (I can answer specific questions if anyone has any).
    Enjoy the map(s).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Map of the Gulf of Reptinse.jpg 
Views:	359 
Size:	4.22 MB 
ID:	47858  

  2. #2
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor Korash's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    Montreal, Canada


    I for one like this map a lot . I get the feel of watercolors on weaved cloth. Waiting to see more

    As this is your first post and for including a very nice work of Mappy Art with it, I here by dub thee, Reputed! *bonk*

    and Welcome to the Guild, the Mappiest Place on the Web
    Art Critic = Someone with the Eye of an Artist, Words of a Bard, and the Talent of a Rock.

    Please take my critiques as someone who Wishes he had the Talent

  3. #3
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor arsheesh's Avatar
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    Oct 2009


    Yes, a very nice way to introduce yourself TheHoarseWhisperer. I look forward to seeing more maps in this series. Have a bit more rep.


  4. #4


    lovely first map and as the others have said a great introduction! Not sure if this was intentional, but it may be worth considering distressing your text and labels so it looks like they were written when the map was drawn (and aged with it) rather than written perfectly on top of it and aged not at all, which suggests that it's all done on a computer and (IMHO) kind of destroys the beautiful weathered hand drawn effect you have for the rest of the map. The font you've chosen for the text and labels (again a very personal choice, I appreciate) is quite 'wedding invitation' Have a look at fonts like Humane Jenson, Francisco Lucas or JSL Ancient Italic which might be good alternatives to consider - they're a bit rougher than the one you're using but that may be to the good. Also it often helps to avoid pure black when writing labels and text on maps you want to give an old, slightly, hand drawn look to. A very dark desaturated red is usually quite a good alternative.

    Have some rep for a great intro and a great map!

  5. #5


    Thanks for the comments everyone, especially Ravells. It was to get feedback like that that I joined the Guild.

    Despite what I said about these all being finished maps, I have gone back to the original and made some changes - it's my first publicly available map, so I need to get the style right anyway.

    As ever, I would appreciate people's comments. All comments are welcome, but I'm particularly keen to know if people find the text readable, or a bit too blurry. During my time as a lurker, I was very impressed with the quality and frequency with which people comment on these forums.

    The latest version is attached, and, if all goes well, I'll post the next installment soon.

    -- the Hoarse Whisperer
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Map of the Gulf of Reptinse 3.jpg 
Views:	199 
Size:	4.47 MB 
ID:	48009  

  6. #6


    This is looking great, HW, since the text is such a major element of the map, check out this thread here, which will give you some tips on how to give the text the appearance of ink bleeding into paper.

  7. #7
    Guild Adept Facebook Connected Blaidd Drwg's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Weert, Netherlands


    Beautiful map! And nice to see you've decided to leave Lurkland. Looks like you'll get to contribute some great work

    No disrespect to the tutorial-writers, but for my maps to seem arty, I can’t afford to adopt anyone else’s style.
    That's the best way to do it, I think. The tutorials are great to learn various techniques, but in the end you have to do what suits you personally.
    "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'"
    - Isaac Asimov

    My place on DeviantArt

  8. #8


    I be liking this, and as the new newbie here I'll be following along on Larithas' journey V

  9. #9


    any updates?

  10. #10
    Guild Master Facebook Connected jtougas's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    Wales Massachusetts
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    Wow is that incredible. I am so glad I found this. I can see me pouring over all the text and all the details. Repped !!
    I am the breath of Dragons...The Song of Mountains...The Stories of Rivers....The Heart of Cities.... I am A Cartographer....

    Finished Maps
    Kingdom Of Shendenflar Campaign Setting (WIP)

    Everything I post is free for use and redistribution under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence, except where noted otherwise in the thread.

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