How to Concept Art? The 5 Step Guide to Creating Your First Piece of Concept Art

How to concept Art? We all know that creating concept art is important, but it’s difficult to find good tutorials online.

Most of the time you have to wade through a lot of useless content before finding some useful info.

This guide will help you learn how to create concept art faster and easier than ever before. You’ll get step-by-step instructions on how to draw characters, environments, vehicles, props and more! The book also includes over 200 pages of reference material such as anatomy charts and color guides.

Castle in the Ravine by Tim Kaminski | Environment concept art, Environment concept, Castle
Castle in the Ravine by Tim Kaminski | Environment concept art, Environment concept, Castle

How to Concept Art?

Concept Art: Crystal Core by Tim Kaminski: ImaginaryPortals
Concept Art: Crystal Core by Tim Kaminski: ImaginaryPortals

Concept art is a form of illustration that incorporates imagination and creativity to portray information that usually pertains to movies or video games.

The main goal of this type of artwork is to establish a visual representation of an idea and expand on it so that the creations made reflect those ideas as closely as possible.

The most commonly known concept art is what we call “concept design”. Concept artists usually illustrate characters, creatures, environments and anything else pertaining to stories and their settings.

Since this form of art is used as a guide for other artists, they usually employ shapes, colors and textures that are understandable at first glance.

What Is Concept Art?

Concept art is a form of visual development that helps an artist to realize their creative vision. It may be used in video games, feature films and advertisements.

Concept art is both beautiful and functional within the design process, while often bridging the gap between idea and final product – sometimes even surpassing other types of artwork in terms of detail and creativity.

Why Concept Art Is Important

Concept art is the first step of a five-phase process to create a film or video game. A concept artist uses the script, director’s notes, and sometimes a treatment to come up with concepts for sets, characters, props, mood… anything that will be considered important in the final film or game.

History of Concept Art

The term concept art has come to describe a number of different types of visual development work. Originally, the term was used within the motion picture industry for an artist who creates designs which inspire other artists working on films.

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Concept art has also been used in magazines and advertising as well as game-development studios that build 3D characters, vehicles and backgrounds for end product visual media.

In a video game development studio, concept artists are responsible for the visual representation of characters and environments that help to influence other members of the production team as well as marketing/publicity.

Examples of Concept Art

Character Concept Art: From Initial Sketch to Final Design | Charlie Bowater | Skillshare
Character Concept Art: From Initial Sketch to Final Design | Charlie Bowater | Skillshare

Character Concept Art

Justin Goby Fields, a Skillshare instructor and artist from the art community made his first character concept by just following some of our favorite artists on Pinterest. He found inspiration in insects that helped him create this final product for animation production company Robert K Sutton Jr., Ltd.

In class he explained how when you get your head right it all falls into place–so don’t be afraid to start anywhere!

Equipment Concept Art

The process of concept art creation usually starts with looking for inspiration and references from Google Images or Pinterest.

World-Building Concept Art

World-building is one of the most complex tasks in concept art. Giant cities, detailed landscapes and imaginary realms alike can require thousands upon thousand individual pieces to bring them all together for your viewing pleasure or gaming experience!

Develop Your Own Fantastical Setting

I’ve been giving a lot of thought and consideration to the concept and idea of “writing what you know” or, at least, approaching your fiction from a place of realism.

The advice really took root for me when I started writing my own books and stories – because let’s face it: we’re not all Bruce Coville , we’re not all Rick Riordan, and we’re certainly not Stephenie Meyer.

Besides having an active imagination, what separates the great fantasy authors from the rest of us is their immense knowledge and understanding of one thing:

Fantasy . Not just dreams and stories and fiction, but also fairy tales and folklore. Even if you don’t believe in the otherworldly and the strange and fantastic, you can’t help but be curious about other cultures and their belief systems.

What Does a Concept Artist Do?

A concept artist creates both the look and feel of a game. Though there are many different types of artists that contribute to a video game, a concept artist plays a key role in creating the title’s visual design.

Concept artists often help generate ideas for other departments, such as producers or programmers . They present their ideas through sketches and paintings which tell the story of the game.

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A concept artist’s job can be challenging because they need to constantly understand what works and what doesn’t, even when there is no clear answer.

They must generate new ideas quickly, yet be able to judge their merit accurately . And since creatives work together in teams, the artists must also learn to interact with others inside and outside their studio.

How to become successful concept artists?

Concept artists are artists who visually develop ideas to construct the initial images of imaginative concepts. These visuals are used for anything from film, video games, animation, or comic books.

Though all of these fields require the skillset of a concept artist, some studios have employees specifically devoted to on-screen visual development before other departments turn it into something more concrete.

Concept art is integral to the development of any project, since it’s meant to be the first impression given to studios or producers.

If you want to become a successful concept artist, you must consider yourself not just an artist but also someone who can be relied upon to provide ideas for narratives and worlds. Concept artists should be able to work with their team towards a common goal.

Tips for creating a great concept art piece

Improve your concept art skills in Photoshop | Creative Bloq
Improve your concept art skills in Photoshop | Creative Bloq

Idea generation

When I first decided to create a piece, I wanted to convey an image of power.  I wanted to show someone who was so powerful that they could destroy the planet if they wanted to.  So I came up with this idea:

This is what I started out with.  As you can see, it isn’t very concept-esque.  The colors are bland and the pose is very static.

A little color and styling 

I decided to go with more of a humanoid shape for this character.  This helped me visualize the idea in my head better than it had been before.

The colors I use are mostly dark and gray, but there is some brown that keeps the image grounded.

Creating the atmosphere

Now it was time to make this idea more cohesive. This involved using Photoshop’s dodge/burn tools to create depth in the silhouette of the figure. I also used the smudge tool on some of the edges to make it appear like the wind was blowing around him. Here’s a comparison between images:

Make it pretty

Now for this last step, which is not always necessary, but can really set your piece apart from others that lack this step.

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