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Thread: North America, a long time ago

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  1. #1
    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Lingon's Avatar
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    Wip North America, a long time ago

    I got a rather random map idea, and couldn't stop thinking about it, so I began working on it today. It will depict the North American continent as it looked some 90 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period. I found (well, followed a link on Wikipedia) this amazing site with maps tracking Earth through 600 million years:
    Global Paleogeography

    I have no idea how accurate they are, or if some kind of accuracy even is possible for these huge spans of time or if they are just speculative, but I decided to trust dr. Ron Blakey and his impressive 20 years of research, and use his reconstruction of the Cretaceous continents as my starting point. I ran it through G.Projector to get an Azimuthal Equidistant version, and since I'll be painting this map by hand I drew what I saw on screen:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's in A4 size, the finished will be twice as big. I just wanted to get a reference that doesn't require my computer to be on while I paint.

    Then I began with the paper effect. Just slapped watercolor randomly on some heavy A3 paper, but I'm quite happy with it.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Feel free to use it if you like it. I have a bigger sized scan, about 10000x7000 pixels, if someone wants it.

    Next I'll copy the longitudes and latitudes and landmasses from the sketch, and then comes the fun part

  2. #2
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    This should be cool; looking forward to updates!
    "I like a look of agony, because I know it's true."

    -Emily Dickinson

  3. #3
    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Lingon's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    Yesterday I drew the graticules and landmasses onto the parchment-y paper, and today I began painting the coast lines. I decided that inking them would look to stark, so I went to the watercolors right away and mixed a nice dark grey-brown from Lamp Black, Burnt Umber and Yellow Ochre. The coasts of the western of the three main parts is pretty much done:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Holy crap, somehow I didn't get before that you're PAINTING this. Wow! Props, man.
    "I like a look of agony, because I know it's true."

    -Emily Dickinson

  5. #5
    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Lingon's Avatar
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    Haha, thanks! I wish I could do digital painting like most of you guys, but I'm to impatient to learn advanced programs, so I'm stuck with my brushes and paints

    I wasn't satisfied with the color transition between coast and open sea, it looked to gray to me, so I worked some more on that with pure Burnt Umber. Then I painted the other landmasses' coasts the same way.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    If you notice that the colors change slightly, it's because my scanner doesn't quite capture the real colors so I have to tweak them afterwards (pretty much all image editing I can do!). I think the previous WIP, the one with only the western island/mini-continent outlined, is closest to the real colors.

  6. #6
    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Lingon's Avatar
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    Drew in mountains, rivers and forests:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Trying to decide wether to draw some dinosaurs there as well before I color the new elements. Kinda like the sea monsters on old maps, but the actual animals of this time period. I'd like something more than just the landscape, to make the map more interesting, but I'm worried that putting T-Rexes in the forests would look like something you'd find in a children's book rather than an old-style map. What do you think?

    Also, if anyone wants mountains, here are some practice mountains I drew before placing them on the map. I have no idea how you guys use elements like this, but if you need a higher resolution or a different file type I can fix that.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Lingon's Avatar
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    I got a commission job so here is the last update on this map before a break. Colored the forests and rivers, and shaded the mountains.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I've also made up my mind about monster icons, I think a single pterosaur flying over the southeast part of the ocean will make the setting clear without being too much.

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    great idea and really cool seeing a hand-drawn map

  9. #9
    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Lingon's Avatar
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    Thanks, Vorropohaiah! It may not show much in this map, but your work is a huge inspiration to me. Just wanted to say that

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    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Chashio's Avatar
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    I look forward to seeing where this goes. Very nice job, Lingon!

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