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Thread: Could someone explain the difference between illustration and concept art?

  1. #1
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    Apr 2009
    Bay Area, CA
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    Could someone explain the difference between illustration and concept art?

    What exactly is the difference between illustration and concept art? Would it be that illustration is a style of drawing where the focus is a a feeling or a scene from a story, where as concept art is focused on showing a physical thing or character?

    I mainly ask this because I recently made an online portfolio which is mainly for concept art and I had the 3 portolios separated into "Illustrations" "Paintings" "Sketches" and all 3 has characters in it but the completed drawings were all in "illustrations" but i'm not sure if that's accurate.
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  3. #2
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    Oct 2006
    Toronto, Canada
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    Concept art is illustration.
    It would be more accurate to separate it as

    - Book Illustration
    - Concept Art
    - Info Graphics
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  5. #4
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    in brief, concept art is a subgenre of illustration where the artwork is not intended to be a final product, but a step towards a larger final product. Typically, concept art is not as finished or polished as illustrations done for advertising or book covers and it is not intended to be shown publicly. Standard illustration is created for the purpose of selling a product and intended to be shown publicly.

    those are the key differences in my mind
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  7. #5
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    the point of concept art is to serve as a stepping stone towards a final product. Its intent to reveal a design, ensure its readable, convey a mood, in short point towards a direction. It can be a full blown beautiful illustrated piece of work, or a sketch done with a ball point pen - the point is to demonstrate a particular design while ensuring readability, however which is way is necessary.

    Illustrations are refined images where composition and aesthetics are the chief concerns, in addition to story elements, emotions and feelings conveyed by the viewer - think book covers.
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