This is my foray into map-making since high school. With the exception of the poles, all of the outlines were drawn and scanned in. Everything was later twisted 15 degrees and I had to start over. I've followed along with RobA's tutorial, with really minor alterations such as palette and using brown and green, rather than green and green/etc. The light water is his dirt layer reversed, more or less.
The latitude and longitude lines are marked off in degrees of ten and correspond with Earth. I'm still having difficulty visualizing how big that makes each land mass. For example, at its widest point, the continent on the equator bests the States.
The pink lines are where mountains are currently planned. Some may be moved because I very, very much want a savanna. I realize the desert I have on the equator is not horribly common, but I am hoping that a slight elevation (not too much, since hot is still necessary) and the rain shadow from the mountains will allow a small desert that grows when the savanna (yellow-green) is over-grazed.
I need help making sure that the climate zones make sense and what else I'm missing in my inability to appreciate the size of the land. (Any easy ways to make a fast and dirty globe so that I can see where places are and the more relative sizes?) Do I need more mountains?
My next steps are to add the actual mountains and then try to figure out the major rivers that would show up on the world map. I'm thinking about doing layers of bump maps for the mountains so that I can get elevation without making it seem like one peak covers miles.
Please let me know what to fix or what else I ought to be thinking about.
(Note: Actual map is 3312x3024 (the numbers divided nicely for my long/lat). These are both scaled down.)
Here is my first attempt with the layered mountains. Not very satisfied.