Monday, July 20, 2015

Coastlines of A'tal: a map commission

This post is Part 2 of a series to augment the Fictional Cartography by D.N.Frost available for free download. Start with Part 1 here.

This and other map commissions are gathered in my Portfolio Directory for you to explore.

Find more guest-inspired content in my Guest Directory.

After Morgyn sketched A'tal in Part 1 of this series, I started working on a render. Morgyn had very specific travel times for her world, so first I transformed her sketch to the right dimensions in Photoshop.

I overlaid a grid on her sketch and shrank the width and height until they matched her travel times. With everything in the right ratio, I enlarged the whole sketch in proportion to fill the page.

Check out this Fictional Cartography by D.N.Frost for more maps!

Certain travel times were due southwest, so I made a slanted grid to space them properly.

I chopped pieces of her sketch and dragged them to match the distances Morgyn needed for her stories.

With an accurate outline in hand, I sculpted her coastline and added the mountains, foothills, and river as she'd drawn them.

These were sketchy for her reference, so she could confirm the basic placement of things. I overlaid her re-proportioned sketch over the render, which Morgyn printed out to draw her changes right onto the render.

Morgyn added an east coastline, moved around some settlements, and added a few more ports and another river.

She also drew a more natural curve for the foothills to follow.

I rendered a cleaner version of the mountains and foothills with a more natural undulation.

Then I spent some time cleaning up little overlaps between mountains, and I colored the mountains gray. Using their dividing line, I colored the red deserts of Daharsha.

The hues were still in quick-color mode, a bit more vibrant and full-force than the finished map would be, but I was looking for tones that would blend well together when antiqued, and for a green and red combination that didn't feel like Christmas.

That's it for this post! Up Next: Adding the towns and tribes... Soon.

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1 comment:

  1. Hello there! My name is D.N.Frost, and I'm a fantasy author, cartographer, and world-builder. My love for storytelling drives me to build the Known World, map its lands, and tell its tales. Let me send you my free ebook at!


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