Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
Balfour's Map by mlmjr Balfour's Map by mlmjr
This is a map of the underworld setting from my fantasy novel BURN IN HADES. [link]

This is the very first map I've ever created so I'm not a cartographer by any means. And in certain respects, I still consider it a work in progress.

Initially, I drew the first draft by hand on a series of 36 sheets of letter sized (8.5" X 11") paper all taped together. Each sheet of paper represented on entire realm of the underworld. Mostly, the first draft was just the coastline, islands and some basic sketches of terrain. Then, I scanned all 36 sheets one by one into Photoshop CS5, reassembled them, and continued building the map from there.

Download the map to get a full view of everything and zoom in on even more details. :)

Font used:
Holy Empire Truetype Font for Windows version 2 [link]

Brushes used:

Sketchy Cartography Brushes by ~StarRaven [link]
Tolkien Style Map Brushes by ~calthyechild [link]
I Want More Mountains Brushes by ~calthyechild [link]
Fantasy Brush Set Mega Pack 2 by ~mawstock [link]
Hand draw map brush part 1 by ~I-A-Grafix [link]
ShardsMapBrushes [link]

Compass Brush Pack by *silverbeam [link]
Ankh Brushes by [link]

Stains & Smudges
Waterstains Photoshop Brushes by ~redheadstock [link]
Fingerprint Brushes by ~chain [link]
Spazz Splatter Brushes by ~Spazz24 [link]
Cracked Brush Set by ~anodyne-stock [link]
Cracked & Stained by Miss M [link]
scrtachsm (?) Unable to locate creator.
Grunge (?) Unable to locate creator.

I tried my best to keep track of all the brushes I used, but I may have missed some. I apologize for those that I missed. If you see your brushes used in this map, let me know and I'll credit you.
Add a Comment:
Gralenfae Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2012  Student General Artist
I absolutely love this map. I have been in the process of world-building, but I don't think it's a contest when I look at yours! May I ask how this map looked so authentic?
mlmjr Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2012  Professional Writer
Very kind of you to say! The only answer I have is that I spent a great deal of time on it. And I also studied maps that I liked such as the various iterations of the Lord of the Rings maps, [link] several maps over at the Cartographers' Guild, [link] and there's plenty of advice on the Internets. Try this series of YouTube videos from Zombie Nirvana: [link] And then combine all the ideas you've gathered into something that fits your map. :)

Also, I strongly suggest to start on paper first. Sketch out the basics of your map(coastlines, waterways, terrain), and then if possible, scan that paper image into some software like Photoshop to trace around your sketch. once your sketch is in the software of your choice, I suggest working in pieces. For instance, get your coastlines exactly the way you want them first before moving on to the waterways and terrain, which you should also do separately.

If you have any more questions, let me know.
ExLibrisIesous Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I like how you did your waterfalls, they give the land a sense of suspension over the sea - or is that a plateau of water?
May I ask what kind of scale applies to the map and how long you spent working on it?
mlmjr Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2011  Professional Writer
Thank you for the kind words and asking excellent questions. The waterfalls actually drop into an abyss of nothingness. There's absolutely nothing there, so the falls simply vanish into the void. Drawing them that way was my attempt at showing that there was in fact a void there. I also tried to use the largest of the islands as a way to distinguish between ocean and void as it sits halfway on the ocean (directly on Anima Falls) and halfway over the void. The islands of Mag Mell are floating above/within the void. It may be a little curious as to why those islands float in thin air while the water does not, but I'll leave open to interpretation for now.

I didn't apply any scale to the map other than loose figures that don't really add up to anything measurable. I'm not what you would call and expert in that area. But the tone I intentionally aimed for was something rugged in style and approximate, as if someone drew the map from memory, using their best guess as to where everything was located.

I spent about a month working on the first draft on paper and then about two months working the digital/final version.
ExLibrisIesous Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Very cool, I originally thought the water was flowing southward from Anima falls, now that you mention it I can see how there is water along the south shore but not north. Those islands look awesome in my head - I love surrealistic vistas.
silverbeam Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
wow this is an excellent map! Very professional looking. Great job for your first! Now I am interested, hmmm may have to try your book, do you have a preview chapter or the like? I read a lot of fantasy, and the plot sounds interesting. A nice twist to the reason on getting to haven.
mlmjr Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Professional Writer
Thank you for the kind words. :love: Amazon allows you to view the first two chapters and a couple pages of the third. Simply click on the book cover and you're all set. [link]
silverbeam Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
righto! Thanks, I'll check it out.
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
November 25, 2011
Image Size
26.4 MB


15 (who?)


Creative Commons License
Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.