A Beautiful Parchment Fantasy Old Map
With this cartography commission, I aimed for a particularly old map style. I’m particularly proud of this map’s forests and their subtle color changes. There were also quite a lot of different border types to assimilate into the image, so again, another thing with which I am quite pleased. I think it works, without being too much.
I took inspiration from several different maps from the 16th century to try get an appropriately historical feel, matching the sense I got from this author’s writing. Also, I took pains to match all of the location illustrations with descriptions given in their writing. Finally, I tried to make art that seemed appropriate to have been created in that time period, and by those people. There are a few bits of my stylistic digital art flare, with high contrast colors or glows. For the most part I tried to create a more natural, watercolor style blend to the coloration. So we have this blend of medieval old map inspiration and modern digital art.
Normally I do the ‘water echo’ edges, but I went for something a bit different with the waves on this map. It was a last minute finishing touch to add the subtle wave texture around the trim.
The border accidentally came together when I picked the wrong font, and I just kind of went with it.
This map is intended for print, for a private collection. It’s not uncommon for dedicated roleplaying groups to get a feature map to hang on the wall as a testament to their story and a convenient reference point. They wanted something which could be rolled out over a table by lantern light and examined by monocled men. Registering as something not quite high fantasy, but not steampowered either. I like it. It ended up with a good old map feel. Like you might push some army tokens over it in a tent by a sputtering lantern.