The previous post that covered information on biomes is merely for reference. After all, we’re creating our own world, so while the distribution of Earth’s biomes is useful in map-making, we need not follow it as if it were law. This is because your world (including an apocalyptic or dystopian Earth), will likely have different wind/weather patterns, more or less open ocean, not to mention whatever magic or technology that’s at play. This will affect not only how ecosystems arose but how they currently function.
So let’s take our map with our continents and see if we can’t create some biomes.
On the following map the ocean has been removed, and a few additional landmasses have been added. In addition, the poles have also been expanded. So now’s the time to fine tune the look of your continents. Add little islands and that sort of thing. Then we’ll add the mountains. Once the mountains are in, you can add lakes and rivers. Rivers often flow out of mountains from snow and glacier melt-off (or form from rain) and then into lakes. From here water flows into seas/oceans.
Here is a good article on how to get your rivers in the right place. Remember, without the proper technology, cities (especially large ones) will need to be close to a major water source. Also, some sand dunes were added for a few of the major deserts, and as you can see, mine are near mountain ranges. For my world they happen to fall on the leeward side of these mountainous areas (rain shadows) and are near the equator, which makes them subject to the particular global wind circulation patterns of my world. Smaller deserts can be added later with coloring.
From here we can begin to add the various biomes and give color to our map. Map 1 shows my world (Zenita) with biomes and color added. Map 2 is Earth’s biomes as a reference for Map 3, my world, shown with Zenita’s distribution of biomes.
I would create a separate layer for each biome category (forests, grasslands, deserts) or at least a separate layer for your biomes. You may even want to create a separate layer for each individual biome.
Note that grasslands are colored and not drawn on my map. Trying to draw grass is difficult and often doesn’t look right, although I did it in my CC3 map, so you’re welcome to try. On my map (Map 1) you’ll see a purple area. Those are the Vendrian Plains (obviously the grass here is purple). The deep-red shaded area is the Red Plains of Hordon. Grass (red) dragons prowl here. Next to the Red Plains is the Vendrilika Forest. The Great Kuloomas have orange leaves so that’s why the forest is orange -colored.
You can color your grasslands or forests any color you want. It’s your world after all.