Earthsea map WIP


Master Member
I've been on a bit of a map binge lately and picked up some awesome fantasy maps from sellers in the JY. There's a ton more maps I'd love to have to go on my wall - Beleriand, the Shire, Earthsea, etc etc. Thank god for Photoshop for us penmanship-challenged types, heheh! I guess nobody's too likely to do a prop-style job on Earthsea, so I thought I'd have a stab at it myself.

I love those books, but unfortunately there's no map 'prop' in the Studio Ghibli animated film, and only one in-world map is used in the 2004 Sci Fi adaptation (which is a freakin' abomination). The map is quite nice but only a small area of it is seen in detail. There's also a map under the opening credits but it's simply the author's map on a parchment texture, with some navigation lines and a compass rose added.

So instead of trying to copy those I just started from Le Guin's redrawn map from 2001 and adapted it approximately in the format of a mediaeval portolan chart (pre-Renaissance navigation chart - Earthsea being such a maritime environment, I thought that'd be appropriate).

I still need to add a lot of scales and place names and such; also there's a ton of placeholder elements on this, but it's still a bit more cartoonish than I'd like. And my lettering is atrocious, which is why it doesn't appear here. :lol I haven't tried to do anything in the way of paper props since I was a kid. I think I'm gonna have to go analogue and do more with coffee and calligraphy pens (ugh!)

Any thoughts? As I say, I know it's a bit cartoony; if anyone has any suggestions (other than 'scrap it, it's ****!!!') I'd be all ears... :)

Thank you! It's kinda intimidating posting something like this, it's not really my 'thing' and there's so much serious talent around. Makes me feel like an interloper, lol.

I've got a long way to go before I'm any rival to Magnoli, jheilman et al. :D
It's really very, very good.

I've thought about drawing a small city map in Illustrator, but it's still a daunting task to me.

Thanks again, SSB! You should definitely give that a go. Layers are your friend; they hide many sins. :)

After a bit of a lapse - I was mainly drawing this during my recuperation from an accident - I've taken it up again as I finally found a script that I'm happy with for the legends. It was staring me in the face for ages! It'll be fun to see if anyone recognises it, I know some people here would.

I was mucking around with various runic fonts, none of which look 'right'. Hardic may be written with characters named runes in the books, but Le Guin never indicated what they look like. Turns out that an angular script intended for carving just looks wrong on a map.

The font I found isn't angular at all, but I'm super happy with it. Will post an update as soon as I finish all the names, probably tonight.
Gah, that took longer than I thought. Still a lot of fixes needed but here is how it looks now...

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