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Fantasy Map TutorialxResources by calthyechild Fantasy Map TutorialxResources by calthyechild
2018 Edit: Too lazy to make your own map? Want yours cleaned up? I take commissions, see Fantasy Map Cartography Portfolio I'm MUCH better at making maps now but I haven't gotten around to creating a new tutorial and this one is still serviceable. :)

Other versions of brushes:
Converted to Photoshop 7 by :iconithilwenia: here.…
Converted to Photoshop 6 by :iconpiratelotus-stock: here piratelotus-stock.deviantart.c…

Edit: YAY! The obscene amount of work put into this tutorial has paid off with my first DD. THANK YOU! :love:

I'm working on my next ridiculously obscenely over the top resource pack: "Color Me Terrified: Creating the Ambiance of Horror", just in time for Halloween, containing everything you need to make creepy art. It should be live some time in October, so remember to watch. :D


Everything you could ever need to make your own fantasy map: the tutorial (should work with any digital program that supports layers), and all the resources you'll require to follow the tutorial available in a .zip folder. Just hit the download button, and view fullsize for the tutorial.

Please consider giving a fave if you download. I do not require any link/credit or alert rules for use of my resources: though all of this is appreciated, I like a favorite so others can find the resources.

I must give a nod to Jezelf, who made the tutorial from which I leaned to make maps. It's no longer online, and so I've made my own tutorial based on the method of "render clouds" for the jagged coastlines.

Resources in resource pack are not free to DISTRIBUTE, but can be used for any commercial, non-commercial, on/off DeviantArt use you can think of, which will probably be fantasy maps, but hey, if you have some other use for these, by all means.

While everything is free, if you appreciate my resources, please consider tossing a donation through my StayClassy page to NaNoWriMo, the crazed month of November Noveling that keeps me going. Your donation gives me a shot at going to their Night of Writing Dangerously, and keeps the fantasy coming!


One Tolkien inspired font containing as many European characters as I could fit! It's a crappy font, but you get what you pay for.

One dingbat font containing most of the map icons. I hope you like exploring because they're mapped to both uppercase, lowercase, and symbols with no rhyme or reason whatsoever. The only interesting bit is, the sea serpent pair is on the two "smart" quotes, so if your program doesn't support smart quotes, you'll get the tree or mountain that's on the regular quote, and you'll have to access the sea serpent via alt codes.

Three Photoshop CS2+ brush sets, which contain all the map icons. All of them are new sketch-style brushes, but can be used with my previous map brush sets.

(The images are included for those without Photoshop. As always, feel free to convert to whatever brush format you would like, upload to DeviantArt with a linkback, and link me to it... I'll add it to the list.)


15 parchment-style textures for use as backgrounds.

Two different sets of prefabricated maps, in black and white, lineart, and color for the lazy who just want to get going with the stamps.

Three files of "render clouds" jagged lines for you to assemble into your own continents.

Check out my free fantasy webcomic, Between Places.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2011-09-25
Fantasy Map TutorialxResources by ~calthyechild Suggesters Words: It's a wonderful pack for all the designers who dream about making their own fantasy maps . It contains everything you might need : Fonts , Brushes , Textures , and renders ..All combined with an easy-to-follow tutorial . ( Suggested by spring-sky and Featured by shelldevil )
MystoganMavis Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2018
You're a lifesaver. Seriously. It's taken me 4 days to hand draw a really, really awful layout. This is going to save me SO much time! THANK YOU
calthyechild Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
You're welcome. Maps can be pretty time consuming at first, yeah, and especially if you handdraw everything. :) I'm pretty fast now but only because I've made hundreds... xP
JediArgento Featured By Owner Edited Dec 22, 2017
Can you pass a link or something in the description, please? The Download button doesn't work properly.
Messinground Featured By Owner Edited Jun 4, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I made this last Summer using your tutorial, thanks a bunch! Love how this turned out!

The Map of Iltanda by Messinground
Edit: Sorry, wrong link, haha
wwwPaiThancom Featured By Owner May 24, 2017   Artist
Ayi82 Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2017
used here for the map:
kaeatuk2 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2017
Amazing tutorial, thank you so much for sharing this to the creative community!  Shoot me an email at and I will forward you a free digital copy of our upcoming Issue #1 next month!  We are always looking for Tidbits of fun like maps, weird diagrams, recipes, and other masterpieces that pause a reader from turning the page!

Editors, Gathering Storm Magazine
samejimachich Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you for the tutorial!
I used it as a reference for my making.
if you don't mind, please check my making.…

so thanks!
levens-software Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2017
I wanna say thank you very much for this very detailed tutorial..Thanks for the share too..
just-trish Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you SO SO MUCH!!
shannonoakley Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Glad I stumbled across this. Definitely am going to go and play around with this.
Artandcreation4you Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Do you have a download link for CS4?

And thank you for one of the best tutorials I've ever seen on DA! :)
Time-Dancer Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2016  Student General Artist
I began to use this resource for a map I'm making for an up and coming role-play group, but I switched laptops when I moved to college, and the dorm internet doesn't allow me to download it. Very sad, was hoping to finish my map, but without access to the icons doesn't look like that will happen. :(
calthyechild Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Well, I don't have everything in my Dropbox but I do have a backup copy of all of my Photoshop brushes in my Dropbox. It has more than just my map brushes, but it's got all the map brushes too. Maybe downloading it via the Dropbox will work?…
Time-Dancer Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2016  Student General Artist
Thanks, I'll give it a shot! If not, I'm just going to try to freehand it - hopefully my new tablet will arrive soon, would make it easier than a mouse
calthyechild Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Well, you could always freehand your own brush set too. :D
Lonewriter76844 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is fantastic, thanks so much. I'm going to get good use out of this. This will help me make my map map for my novel.
Birdhousebirdy Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the help!!
Lost In Your World: World Map by Birdhousebirdy
anthorian Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2015
Been using your brushes for a while now and forgot to say thanks so.....Thanks!!
SeraCross Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What size document do you start with?
calthyechild Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Any size you want? I usually do a standard printer paper sheet size (8x11.5)
WalterOGrimm Featured By Owner May 26, 2015
Just caught this on pintrest! Wish I would have seen it back in 2011; thank you!
calthyechild Featured By Owner May 29, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
WHAT? I'm on Pinterest? I'm famous now omg. I had no idea it was there!

I remember the first time I found someone else linking this tutorial on another site for other people and I was like "waaaaaaaaaaaaat". I really gotta redo it sometime and make it even better.

You're welcome.
RussianBlues Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2015  Student Interface Designer
Map of Nayavu by RussianBlues

Thank you SO much for the tutorial and resources, it was super helpful and fun. I'll definitely be making more maps in the future~
metal975 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2015
This seems complicated for someone who hasn't ever used Photoshop. I'll try. Wish me luck.
calthyechild Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Well, good luck! If you run into some hurdles, send me a message with any questions.
Meirelle Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2015
pianofortedesigns Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2015  Professional Writer
I used this tutorial to make a map for my novel Rook and Shadow. It was so helpful! Thank you so much! I thanked you in the Acknowledgements section of my book and included a link to your page. :)  Here's my map. pianofortedesigns.deviantart.c…
Terror-From-Beyond Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
It would have been nice to know to not actually use the eraser to create the rivers so that coloring your landmass still works :(
calthyechild Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Hm? I use the eraser to create my rivers these days, I color the landmass with a 'clipping mask' usually. I can't remember for sure what instructions I gave in the tutorial but you certainly didn't bung it up if you used the eraser!

If you have it like this

Layer: land
Layer: water

And you erased the rivers from the land layer, create a clipping mask layer over the land layer, and put your texture/color there.

Even if the landmass is on the same layer as the water, just make a layer underneath the same color as the water, and merge it. Use the magic wand selector tool to select the water color, keep the selection on, make a new layer, and fill it. Invert, make a new layer, and fill it. You now have your land and water separate. Let me know at what point you're at on the map and I can help you out.
Terror-From-Beyond Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
I got around it eventually but it caused a sudden halt to my map for a while because the wand wouldn't select the erased river portions for the longest time. Just was a surprise at first is all.
slavandria Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014
thank you so much for this!  I am trying to make my own map and everything you've included here will help me so much.
NovusIgnus Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014
This is awsome, will definitely be using this in the future. Thank you very much :)
Valeaves Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2014
I use some of the textures (and of course your technique *-*) here ( ) *-* thank you for sharing this tutorial! Credit is given here (… ) (:
calthyechild Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Bitte. Danke für die Kredit/Link. :)
iwillburnyou Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Student Digital Artist
This is incredible. Thank you so much for your hard work!
apocalipsis666 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2014
nice tutorial, anxious to put on practice
tiagoccarvalho Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014
Love your page! Excelent Resources! Thank You
satirique Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2014
This is so cool, thanks :)
cp3a Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014
Fantastic :)
Smudgefactor Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is soooo great!  Thanks you!
Valeaves Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014
Greatest thank you!! This tutorial is perfect AND easy! *-* Thank you!
Tothem Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013
Amazing! Thanks a lot!
Lihlo Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Used it here:septembersongstress.deviantart…

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! :iconbrohugplz: :iconbrohugplz:
Dart-Black Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013  Student Writer
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! You are wonderful! :D
daylightsdauphin Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013
Cool - thanks!
han-maxi Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot for the inspiration :)
TinManSam Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This helped me understand a few techniques I had not even thought of before. Thank you!
rosebfischer Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you for all the work you put into this.
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Submitted on
September 15, 2011
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