Hello all!

As I posted in my introductory thread, I'm working on a rather large map for the campaign world I'm GMing. If you stop by my introduction, you'll be able to see how I first started out.

Since then, I've been off into all sorts of directions themewise, as well as learning all sorts of useful techniques (making a hill brush and a forest pattern are two).....not to mention all the time spent/wasted trying to figure out a lot of stuff barely related to the map (trying to make my own font is one, luckily I managed to put that on hold for now).

I've always been a fan of the maps I found in the Lord of the Rings when I read that many years ago, and it sure is influencing the direction I'm heading, it seems.

And now I'm at a point where it's natural for me to post an update, since it seems I have to choose a direction soon. Here's how I started out:

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It's maybe a bit...cartoonish (?), but I like the ice especially and overall I feel it looks good with the way I like to draw (I still didn't get around to buying a tablet, but I drew some of the mountains (in the upper right corner) with my mouse and replaced the old sketches). I spent a lot of time working on the map in this style, but I went overboard after a while, adding more and more...noise...to the map in the way of map symbols etc. Oh, and btw, I know the coastlines are a bit messed up, but that's noting a bit of work with layers can't fix.

So I ventured off in another direction, going more for the drawing on an old parchment (thank you, jezelf, for a great tutorial.), which is closer to the traditional lotr style I love so much:

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As mentioned earlier, I messed up my scale early on. So the map is quite large (one grid is 500 kilometres, not 50 as I wrote in my introduction. So I thought I'd see how big a planet I would have to make if I ever decide to expand the map later:

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Urgh....

Anyway, my partner thinks the water looks better coloured, so I tried that, too:

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And then I just can't decide which direction to go for. The thing I absolutely hate about the old parchment style is my rivers (there's also an ugly swamp in the middle of the map that has to go). I have to go back and redo them all if I'm going to do it in that style. And I'm thinking the blue water ruins the whole look....but I have no idea if that is a bad thing or not (hmm..and that canvas texture, bad or not?)

So, this is where I want suggestions on which way to go, what needs to be improved, what is horrible and must be dealt with and what is actually fine. That last one is important. I've always had problems telling myself something is good enough, only to end up ruining the whole thing trying for perfection.

So let me have it, good and bad. And no sugarcoating, please. I'm new here, but have a thick skin.