It’s always a little daunting to take on a brand new style of map. When Steve Russell asked for an map inspired by the Orient for Heroes of the Jade Oath I took it on with some trepidation. After a ton of experimenting with textures, brushes and line-styles I came up with a version I was happy with, and this is the result!
Cities and buildings come up a lot in questions. I’ll put together a software specific tutorial on buildings, but today I’m just going to go through my philosophy when illustrating a featured building like a castle or a temple. The process is the same, regardless of software. In this case – ballpoint pen on sketchbook paper.
A while ago I was commissioned to illustrate a three story ruined keep, with a dungeon beneath, for Mongoose Publishing. This was in my pre-Photoshop days (2009). It makes me wince a bit to see the messiness of the linework in these, but they served their purpose for the job at hand, and looking at old work is a good way to gauge progress.
This isn’t quite as formal as previous tutorials. After I created the tutorial for drawing water, I carried on and quickly coloured and shaded the flagstones. Here’s the video of that process, which fills in a lot of my standard working method – base colour and then a collection of overlay layers to add detailed light and shade.
It’s often the case that you find that you have a map from an adventure that has labels on it. You need to remove the labels before you show it to your players or they’ll know where the bad guys are. On many maps this is actually pretty easy. Continue reading →
A couple of weeks ago I posted the world map for Lannithir, for the Illfrost adventure arc for Illusionary Press. The first adventure for the world of Illfrost is out now and I created the tactical battlemaps for it – and now I can show them off!