Skullkickers World Map
Here's a poster map of the world of "Skullkickers" I recently completed in collaboration with author Jim Zubkavich. It illustrate his darkly humorous fantasy series Skullkickers, published by Image Comics.
I'm really enjoying forced perspective and isometric mapping styles recently. I'm also enjoying a move towards a more classic illustration style while giving my inks and color washes a little more freedom and spontaneity.
As for process, my inks and colors are technically fairly simple. For the line work, in Photoshop I just set my pressure to control minimum diameter and turn on dual brush to get a nice sharp tip. Beyond a few other setting tweaks, it's all in the wrist. For my color layers, I like to start with a loose and broad application of my principal colors just to fill and tint the background parchment. If you set the property of a layer of loosely painted base colors to multiply and then paint with similar colors to a normal layer on top, it can give a nice naturalistic bleed transition. Beyond that, I just try to mix up my brush tips and keep the painting energetic, refining the details towards the end. I also tend to frequently switch my brush and layer settings from normal to hard light or multiply depending on whether I'm shading or highlighting an area.
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Love the style. Thanks for mentioning a bit on how you do your work. I use multiply a lot myself but I will have to try it your way as I tend to duplicate and multiply which doesn't get the same effect.
Lovely style there! I just adore how you made the trees/forests, simply amazing! :D
That is a fine map. Take some rep!
Oh man, have to spread first. :((
This is one of those maps where I immediately think to myself, not my style but friggin beautiful! Admittedly, friggin may not be the actual word. Impressive work with a heckuva style.
I saw this the other day via a link to either you site or g+(more likely), and LOVED the names of the places. Dem Mountains, Hither, Yon, Little Wet, Some Wet, All Wet, Day'n Jur Mountains, etc. That all cracked me up! I was just hoping to see a high res so I could read all of the names when I first saw it, and now that you posted here, it is higher res, so THANKS for uploading it here...
Oh, and the scale bar is just frickin awesome!
One of my favourites so far. Fantastic style indeed!
Have some reputation.
I really want to pick your brain on what kind of brush settings you use for the painting, to get the digital pens and inks looking so, well, non-digital!
I'm the other way. I love the map style but those names are just awful. But then I am particularly picky when it comes to "comedy." It reminds me of those Terry Prachett wannabe authors who write books with terrible names based around a pun.
Originally Posted by jfrazierjr