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Novel Map: The Shirring, from Everreed to Guston
By XianPryde   |   Watch
156 20 9K (2 Today)
Published: February 15, 2014
© 2014 - 2019 XianPryde
This is the first completed map for my forthcoming novel, The Calligraphy of Demons. I also use this world as the setting for my ongoing D&D campaign (though it's set centuries in the future from the novel, so as not to cause conflicts). This is just one very small section of the world of the Thread.

The vast majority of the work was done on the iPad with an Adonit stylus, using the awesome app called ProCreate. I brought it into Photoshop at the end to add the typography.

Much thanks to all of the amazing and inspiring fantasy cartographers on DA, especially those who post tutorials. Also thanks to National Geographic magazine, for sparking a life-long love of mapping, and to J.R.R. Tolkien and Ursula K. Le Guin for instilling a life-long passion for fantasy.
Image size
2813x2500px 2.62 MB
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Comments (20)
ColemanRugh's avatar
Beautiful work!
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XianPryde's avatar
XianPryde|Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! This was the first big color map I did. From a couple years ago.
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Will-Erwin's avatar
Will-Erwin|Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is a well-done isometric map. I particularly like how the terrain labels seem to be lying down on the terrain.
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XianPryde's avatar
XianPryde|Professional Digital Artist
Thanks a lot. The text is all done in Photoshop, running along paths and spread out to mimic a National Geographic map style.
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Zireael07's avatar
Zireael07|Hobbyist Writer
I like the map style, the way the mountains and cities seem to pop out!
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XianPryde's avatar
XianPryde|Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! ProCreate lets me have lots of layers, and those layers can be in photoshop-style blending modes, and I use a layer each for highlights, shadows, and color cast. It's fun to turn the layers off and on and watch the mountains seem to pop and recede.
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abellius's avatar
Definitely like this map style!
Reply  ·  
XianPryde's avatar
XianPryde|Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! I've been using techniques that I came across in tutorials on DA, and trying to imitate--or emulate--the fantasy cartographers I admire. I love the problem-solving aspect of creative work...the need to figure out how to make something "look right" or "sound right" after you've found your own work lacking in some regard.
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abellius's avatar
I say keep on painting and showcase more of your style!
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XianPryde's avatar
XianPryde|Professional Digital Artist
Thanks so much!
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Fallen-Immortal's avatar
Fallen-Immortal|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Absolutely love it!  This is probably one of the most fantastic styles I have ever seen.
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XianPryde's avatar
XianPryde|Professional Digital Artist
I really appreciate that!
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magbhitu's avatar
Very nice attenuation of the Peter Felon style. This is like the baroque to his classic, good job. 
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XianPryde's avatar
XianPryde|Professional Digital Artist
Thanks very much! I admit I wasn't explicitly familiar with Peter Fenlon before your comment. I've since googled him, and I can see how he probably inspired the people whose work inspired me. My primary influencers, among modern, working fantasy cartographers, are people like Sapiento, Djekspek, and Torstan.
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magbhitu's avatar
awesome - well glad to fill you in, and now I have some names to Google myself. I got to meet Peter once when I did a free con map for ICE's Middle Earth rpg. He mentioned hiking in Virgina's Blue Ridge mountains as a major inspiration.
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arsheesh's avatar
arsheesh|Hobbyist Digital Artist
That turned out fabulously!  Congrats on finishing your first map.  I have only one small critique: The color of the rivers seems a bit off to me.  It seems too bright.  I think the map could benefit by changing it to a darker hue and perhaps adding a light stroke around it.  Otherwise amazing work.  Oh, and Ursula K. Le Guin is one of my very favorite fantasy authors as well.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh
Reply  ·  
XianPryde's avatar
XianPryde|Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! Yes, I have heard about the rivers from others as well, and it's on my list of things to tweak. I appreciate the good advice.
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arsheesh's avatar
arsheesh|Hobbyist Digital Artist
My pleasure.
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Wolf-Smith's avatar
Wolf-Smith|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Pretty cool :D
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XianPryde's avatar
XianPryde|Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! More to come.
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