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Thread: The Continent of Kastaari (finished)

  1. #1
    Guild Expert Facebook Connected Caenwyr's Avatar
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    Default The Continent of Kastaari (finished)

    Hey peeps! So this is another personal project. My main goal was to practice drawing a somewhat more alluring frame than the boring black thingy that I usually go for. In order to spice the map itself up a bit as well, I threw in some volcanoes and a number of weird artefacts. Added a mini-backstory as well to spike the viewer's imagination.

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    So! Did I succeed in creating an evocative frame? Or is it just some distracting clutter fouling up the bottom corners? Be harsh, be absolutely brutal if you need to - I need to learn. Also, any other remarks are of course welcome as always.
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  2. #2
    Guild Journeyer Ifrix's Avatar
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    I really like the frame, it's a nice way to incorporate an illustration of one of the areas of the world
    Is it of a particular place on the map?

  3. #3
    Community Leader waldronate's Avatar
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    Some rambling thoughts while looking at the piece. The detail is a delight to the eye, but the thumbnail leaves me a little unmoved. It feels off.

    The map is nice and the ornamentation illustration is nice, but I don't feel that they are part of the same composition. There's a solid bottom edge of the map, but nothing to keep my eye from wandering off the top edge of the image except a very slight vignetting. The illustration and compass rose sword give good upward motion to the edges of the map, but the flat top and triangular shape of the landmass feels heavy. Maybe it's having three completely different perspectives on the map with nothing to join them that's making me uneasy or comparative darkness of the lower-left illustration. I would say that some sort of explicit framing around the whole composition (maybe just one or two thin black strokes or maybe a thick whitish one) that goes behind the artwork would make it feel more finished and contained. It would also allow for some small additional ornamentation in the upper edge of the map where the strokes meet (setting-appropriate scrollwork or simple badges).

    I'm also not sure about what feels like two completely different styles of labels. I understand that one is a title and one is general description, but the contrast between the exposition and its background makes it hard to read. Maybe it's just that the text is so small at this resolution. Almost everything on the page is (very) nice handwork and then there's this blob of tiny mechanical stuff that's from a different-sized pen that feels jarring.

    I wonder if adding a neatline and breaking the title out of its box to ride under the top line would push toward a better balance?

    Looking at the thumbnail, I think I see it: the feeling of the color gradient bottom-to-top feels off. The bottom corners where the illustrations are feels too dark compared to the really light top part. The light background of the title box and the light plume of smoke just push the bottom edges down. The whole thumbnail feels squat against the promise of elongation of the map elements. The bottom says "up, up" and the top says "nah, bro". Perhaps making the overall composition taller (add top ornamentation), killing the box and white background for the title, and lightening the dark cliffside on the bottom left (all other ornaments are pretty bright) would help?

    Edit: I looked at your WIP thread and I would say that the dark parts (cliff shading in the lower left, dark shading on the arrow, and dark gray blob of text) are what's throwing it. The last WIP where the illustration is the same color as the solid title feels much more balanced because of the large white blobs at both top and bottom.
    Last edited by waldronate; 11-24-2022 at 10:41 AM.

  4. #4
    Guild Expert Facebook Connected Caenwyr's Avatar
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    That. Is. Awesome! Thanks for that critique Waldronate! You are of course entirely right. Tons of avenues to learn new stuff, and nothing I disagree with. Thanks again!
    Caenwyr Cartography


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  5. #5
    Community Leader Kellerica's Avatar
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    The islands look beautiful, I especially love how you drew the cliffs! I have so many questions about the inverted pyramid...

    I think Waldronate made a lot of good points, especially about the way the border feels a bit imcomplete as it is. The idea behidn it is excellent, mind you, so I definitely would keep at it.
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