Mapmaking

Back in 2010 I had mapped out a rough sketch of The Realm in Notability. It’s served as the geography of In The Land Of The Penny Gnomes ever since.

Now that I’ve finished the first draft of my first story in The Realm 1, and have six chapters mapped out for the sequel, I thought it was time to work on a better map for the series. My budget for such a project is based on how much money I’ve earned from my writing 2, so I wasn’t sure how to go about getting this task accomplished. I have several friends who are capable of this kind of work on a computer, and my daughter is more than capable of painting this vision on a canvas, but I felt weird asking someone to put in a lot of work on a map for which I couldn’t offer compensation.

Saturday night, however, I came across an excellent YouTube tutorial on creating fantasy maps. The tutorial’s creator is an excellent teacher, and after watching the first episode of the tutorial I was inspired to try my hand at making an updated map of The Realm.

The tutorial is done entirely in Photoshop, but it can be modified for any number of graphic applications without much effort. I actually began my map on my iPad Pro, drawing with my Apple Pencil in Procreate, and then moved over to Photoshop on my MacBook to begin adding mountains and forests. I deviated somewhat from the way the tutorial works out, but I’m pleased with the results thus far. The map isn’t complete, as I still need to add cities and roads, as well as labels for the different locations, but I was so excited about the process I wanted to show how it was coming along. What do you think?

Update: Even though she doesn’t ask for credit, I do also need to thank Cathy E. Child for making the excellent Photoshop brushes which I used for the map details and for making them free of charge!

A Map of The Realm


  1. Stories which take place in this world will be referred to as “Realmian Adventures” moving forward, by the way. 
  2. That is, zero dollars. 

2 Comments

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  1. Neato map! I’ve never been good with maps, though I have a line of stories coming up where maps will be required for world-building process…ugh…

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