Art Journal: Making Maps in GIMP Tutorial

I’ve been a member of a site called The Cartographer’s Guild ( for several years now. It’s a great site if you like making maps–there are members who are professional artists, as well as amateur mapmakers. The community creates map making challenges, provides space for members to display works in progress, and has an excellent forum filled with tutorials created by members.

A member called “RobA” made a great tutorial on using GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) to create very artistic regional maps. I’ve used it several times and it’s great–but as a tech writer, I found several things that could be improved. So I decided to take it upon myself to update and revise RobA’s tutorial. I will be posting the results both at The Cartographer’s Guild site and here on my blog.

This is just the first part; I will post the rest as I get it completed. Please let me know if you find it useful!

Using GIMP to Create an Artistic Regional RPG Map Pt 1

EDIT: Here are links to the other parts of the tutorial, for your convenience:

  • Part 1  – (this post) basic landmass shape, some techniques for generating a random map
  • Part 2 –  coloring in your ocean/sea, coloring your landmass with textured grass and dirt
  • Part 3  – create mountains and forests on your map
  • Part 4  – create rivers and lakes, place icons for towns and cities, drawing roads on your map
  • Part 5 –  create labels for your geographical features, towns and settlements; create title banner; create legend banner; place compass rose; finish map with border.

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