Starting to work on a encounter set just off shore in a wide river. At the moment only the base is done but I will continue to update the post as I add to the map.
Looks more like a surrealist painting than an encounter map! I love your sea texture and colour. That rock in the topright appears to be floating up above the sea or else sailing away; it needs to be more grounded somehow.
I was trying a new look for this map. Have stuck to photo-realistic before but I have found that sometimes the detail can get in the way of actually making sense of figures / spells / effects etc. I want to see if I can do something a little stylized that will look good but not be as busy.
I think I may scrap the rock and start over. As I look at it more I think it needs to be a small clump of rocks rather than just one. I think I also want it to look a little more jagged and foreboding.
I like the rock, if it was just some small rocks or nothing it'd be way too boring. It only looks as if it's sailing away because of the land under the surface around the rock. aybe if that's more defined, or it's more widespread throughout the map, it'd look less like a floating rock.
The best maps are the ones we like the most after looking at the longest.
You nailed it! The map no longer looks like a Salvador Dali with floating rocks - very nice. Your coastline is a little rounded however - the lines of dark and pale overlay just back from the coastline give the illusion of even more curvy roundness to the coastline and perhaps you might shake this up a bit. But the sea part of this map is absolutely perfect and lovely. I'm not 100% convinced of that Portuguese Pavement as a texture.
Due to the dropshadow, the coast appears to hover over the docks ..
Aside from that, I have to confess that I'm impressed by how you managed to create a nice map, that is not too distracting (which is important for an encounter map!), by using very simple techniqeus
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