How to do concept art? The Guide for Beginers

I’m starting to learn how to do concept art, but it seems like the only resources are books that cost over $100.

I don’t have a lot of money and can’t afford expensive books on concept art. There have got to be some free or cheap resources out there for beginners!

This article is going to be for those of you who want to do concept art as a career, and not just as a hobby. This is what you would call a “crash course” of the concept art world, and by the end of this article, you should have some more concrete ideas of what you need to do to become a concept artist.

What Is Concept Art?

Concept art is the technique of developing rough illustrations to convey an idea for use in films, video games, animation, or comic books. Concept art is also referred to as visual development and/or concept design.  A concept artist creates a design for an element of the project, such as a character, weapon, vehicle, structure, or setting, based on the initial idea.

Concept Art was used extensively throughout the production of Disney/Pixar’s Brave, for example: Behold the “doodles” that helped create Merida’s curly hair! , The sketch of two characters Tom and Jerry of Walt Disney Animation Studio…

What Is Concept Art?
What Is Concept Art?

What Does a Concept Artist Do?

Concept artists design the appearance of characters, settings, and objects that do not yet exist. They develop the visual look of a film from scratch, working closely with the film’s director, production designer, and producer.

A concept artists’ work may be produced as a 2D drawing or painting (for example, in traditional animation), as a 3D model of sculptural work (for example, in CGI animation), or as a video clip.

Their sketches and paintings reveal the director’s vision of the final scene by illustrating camera angles, lighting, scale, and mood. The concept artist creates artwork in any medium but usually paints with acrylic or gouache. Concept art can also appear in 3D form using 3D modeling software, but the results are usually realistic rather than illustrative.

What Does a Concept Artist Do?
What Does a Concept Artist Do?

How Do You Become a Concept Artist?

Improve Your Basic Art Skills

The first thing that you should do is come up with some sort of a plan. This will come easier to some than others, but for those of you who lack a concrete plan, it is going to be very difficult to get anywhere. You need a plan that is going to tell you what you’re going to do every day and a way of measuring your success.

 For example, let’s say your plan is to maximize your output of work over a 90-day period. In that case, you would need to create a set of daily goals for yourself. For example, you might say “I’m going to do 3 concept sketches every day,” or “I’m going to do 30 minutes of digital painting every day.” You should also plan out your goals for the long term. 

For example, you might say “I’m going to get my work done by September 1st of this year.” These are just two examples, but the idea is that you need to come up with a plan of action that you can actually follow through with. If you don’t, then your journey will be like mine was – full of false starts and randomness.

Think about specializing.

What you should plan out is going to be based on what you want to do, so how do you figure out what you want to do? Well, first of all, go ahead and look into what it is that concept artists actually do. Many of you will probably do this anyway, but for those of you who need a bit more guidance or want ideas, check out this article.

After you’ve done that, you should start thinking about what it is that interests you the most. Is its environment? Is it characters? Is it a vehicle? Is it some other aspect of the art field? Once you’ve figured out what interests you, then that’s going to be what you focus on when deciding what you want to do for a living. And when I say “deciding,” don’t think of this as something that you’re going to do overnight.

This is something you should think about for a while before making your final decision because once you decide on what it is that you’re going to do, you can’t change it.

Create a Portfolio

To become a concept artist, you’ll need a portfolio of work, just as you would for any other sort of art. Your portfolio will show off your ability to recruiters, and it prove that you are suitable or not for the jobs you apply for. You should show about 15- 20  pieces of your greatest work. 

Even if you have your own distinct style, it’s generally beneficial to include a few words that represent the style that the client is looking for when applying for a given project. 

This can also help you exhibit your adaptability in different environments. That impress employers a solid impression of your personality, abilities, and potential

Make Connections

Attending industry events and conferences, where you’ll have the chance to meet other professionals in your field, can also be beneficial.  Consider building online contacts as well. Share your art on social media, where you’ll not only be able to connect with other artists and get admirers.

And always update your profiles on Linkedin or your portfolio on art pages to connect more with your community and employers. This could help you catch the attention of art directors looking for new talent

How to Create A Concept Art

Step 1: Start with a strategy.

Basically, the first step is to create concept art for what you are planning on doing. For example, if you are making an animation then you have to create concept art of that. You just have to take some time and draw the stuff that pops into your head, don’t worry about the flaws and all.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; everybody makes them! As well as this everyone learns from their mistakes, which might even help you later on in life.

Step 2: Do dynamic research

The next step is to come up with the design that you are going to use for your animation. It’s best to get somebody else’s opinion on the design before you get too far into animating it, or else the animation could get very messed up and unprofessional.

If you’re struggling with making your character walk then it’s best to look up some tutorials on YouTube or to look up some help on Google. You can also ask somebody if they know whether or not you should be.

Step 3: Designing a Concept

If somebody has helped you with your design to make it better, then you should be good to go and animate your concept art now! As long as you have the animation planned out in your head then you will do fine and you will be able to make an awesome animation! You just have to complete step 2 and then all that’s left is to start animating.

How to Create A Concept Art
How to Create A Concept Art

Step 4: Fine-tuning the art

If you have made some mistakes during the whole process, don’t worry because everybody makes mistakes! Just look at these mistakes as a learning experience and you’ll be fine. People always say that mistakes help you learn, but if they were never meant to happen then we would not learn anything!

Step 5: Value, lighting, and texture of your concept art

The success of your color composition is determined by the value composition. Make sure you control the lightness or darkness of a color. 

The lighting and texture of art also define your value of work. They are necessary to create a mood in idea pieces, increase readability and realism in your work, and make storytelling through the medium more effective


Why Concept Art Is Important?

Concept art aids in the communication of a design’s look, feel, and emotion. It’s used to capture and communicate a project’s general design idea before anything goes into production, rather than trying to articulate everything in particular words at the start.

Examples of Concept Art

There are a variety of different types of concept art. Here are three types of the most popular concept art that focused on characters, equipment, and entire worlds. 

  • Character Concept Art: the art of developing characters including people, animals, or fictional characters.
  • Equipment Concept Art: like weapons, armor, and shields for characters. 
  • World-Building Concept Art: It means that designing entire settings or worlds for films and video games. This can be complex and change constantly, can include thousands of individual details and elements. 

How do I start my concept art?

Life drawing is the best technique to practice and progress quickly. If you can draw/paint a real item in front of you, you’ll be able to do it from your head eventually. Then you can use your imagination to draw characters, settings, cars, and whatever else comes to mind.

You can learn through free video on Youtube or free courses on Drawabox that includes classes developed by a professional artist. Proko is the best option for video classes, especially his extensive course on figure drawing. This may seem like an unusual place to begin, but it teaches you the principles of drawing imagined shapes as well as life drawing.

The key concepts of art are a commonly agreed-upon definition of what it means to be an artist and the basic vocabulary for talking about works of art. While there is an ongoing debate in the art world about what the definition of art should be, there are some things that are generally accepted. If you want to learn more about how to create concept art, be sure to subscribe below. We will keep you updated on the latest trends in design and illustration!


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