A critic has arrived for your convenience! =D (I don't mean to criticize the whole the map or your skills in general, I am just pointing out some areas I feel need improving)I can clarify if you need me.
1. The river
Your river felt very forced. It was also plain, nothing was in it. There should be some rocks or mini islands or the sticks of the ripple feature or something. The fords were very fake looking and plain as well. Spice them up by not having all fords, make some gaps and put in some rocks or whatever to make it more realistic. There should not be a strip of boulders on the banks of the river. Where did they come from? You need a collapsed hill or something to justify their creation. And even so, it would look nicer to have them spread out and not just a solid length of boulders.
I am neutral to the shrubs; it is nice how you mixed the colors but they do not transition well into the other side of the map, they feel somewhat out of place.
3. marshy area
It is the best part of the map, but it would be better if you had some small outlets from the river that ended in the marsh to serve as a source of the marsh. The ruins felt unorganized and unrealistic, it would be better if they were arranged more like someone used to live there instead of semi random ruins. Also I feel like the multitude of trees in the marsh takes away from it, less would look better, and less boulders there too.
4. castle area
The rocks outside look like they were placed there after the castle was built, and it would be better if it looked the other way around, more realistic. The very thick wood sections are unappealing to me but that is more of a personal asthetic thing.
[Edited on 03/25/09 @ 10:48 PM]
Posted on 07/30/09 @ 01:20 AM
I would add one more thing regarding the river - water does not often flow in straight lines around the edge of high ground; give it a reason to flow where you want it, let it meander, and allow it to go where you didn't plan, so long as you don't *need* it to be where you planned.
Mapmaking 101 is especially good for hints on the rest.