I’m giddy! Why? Becaise it’s time to talk maps. Since I started scheduling at least one hour per day to work on the Tremjara map the progress has been astonishing, so much so that I have to force myself to return to editing (and I actually like editing). Anyway, I’m doing monthly updates and this is my first. SO excited.
Okay, enough of that, let’s get to it…
The “Little” Stuff that isn’t so Little
I’m always reviewing what I’ve already done for a couple of reasons. First, experience leads to improved skill and often I see areas I could have done better. In December I backtracked and blended colors better in parts of Forstava and Mythwyll. In Carrdia I deepened the forest colors in the southeast and the Wilder Hills along with enhancing the Granite Highlands.
The second reason to review is sometimes inspiration strikes, as already happened when I enlarged Lake Radiance and created an ice wall in the Frozen Lands. More recently, I made substantial changes to the continent’s east coast.
It was my month of island making.
There a couple of peninsulas that became islands. For some reason they look more natural to me now. Another change, but one long overdue, was to add a tiny island far off the east coast. It will now be the Isle of Kron. For its intended purpose, the old one was far too large. I liked the old one, though, so it’s still there.
Because I have the power! *evil laugh* Ha ha ha…
Last, and most beloved, are the changes off the northeast coast. Since first creating Sancthor Island it’s fascinated me and so, over time, I’ve enhanced it. Last year (in one of those moments of hindsight inspiration), I doubled its size. Now, I’ve made it an island group called the Tri-Islands where Sancthor is the biggest. Yes, I know, there are also other islands, but the three main ones are by far the largest.
*I sometimes give locations quirky names. I grew up in East Northport, for instance. Ever climb Mt. Dora (a real place) in Florida? I’ve seen bumper stickers proclaiming people have. No doubt the number of islands in the Tri-Islands will be a running joke.
Anyway, I’m so excited about the Tri-Islands that they’re first on my list to colorize this month (I’ve already started). Second on my list is Primagon in the distant northwest. At that point I’ll be undeniably over halfway on the map.
The Primary Task
Ah yes, the real reason for this project: colorization. My goal for December was to complete the western half of the Key River drainage basin (not including already-completed Carrdia). It didn’t turn out that way.
I completed both the western and eastern halves!
That’s a huge chunk of the continent. There were a number of unexpected challenges, one of which I don’t consider to be completely resolved. I loved how the knife-edged peaks turned out, but remain dissatisfied with the chasms I tried to create. What looks like chasms in zoom looks a bit like giant worms or chromosomes out of zoom. For now, they’re there.
I had more success with the jungles of Braithen-Allar and the grasslands of Sannose. The marshes turned out to be another zoom issue, but only because they too closely mimicked the water’s color. More experimentation is required.
I love the challenge. Sounds like I’ll be visiting Pinterest to ponder the work of more skilled cartographers. Too, along the way I’ve been experimenting with continent/island borders and am pretty sure which way I’ll go. I’ll update those when colorizing is done.
Other enhancements? I’m considering a massive sinkhole in the Juka Desert. It just has SO many story possibilities. Another I’m certain I’ll make is to add fjords to Ash Wood in Forstava.
For now, there’s the Tri-Islands and then on to Primagon, which is an oasis between frozen islands to the north and volcanoes to the south (great expanses of ash and flowing lava). I simply can’t make a map without some lava somewhere!
Feel free to talk about mapping in the comments. You might be a newbie with questions or a cartographer with insights, it doesn’t matter. It’s all exciting.
And now it’s time for me to shut up and create!