Art: Concept Art 101
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    Concept Art 101

    So you like drawing characters, and monsters, and swords and guns and space-ships. It has come to your attention that there are people who do this professionally for movies, television, and games. You’ve got a sketchbook in your hands, and you are wondering how to get from the sketchbook to the job. What sorts of things should you draw? What sorts of mediums should you learn? Should you draw from photos? From life? From other artist’s work? From imagination?

    I can help you with these first steps. My name is Michelle Clay. I work at a company called Turbine, where I make 3D art assets for games, and (more recently) have been working as a designer building game levels. I’m not a concept artist, but I work with concept artists, and for a while in college it was my goal to become a concept artist. I graduated from RISD’s illustration department in 2000. So, I can’t tell you an awful lot about how to get a concept art job once your skills are ready for that, but I can tell you quite a bit about what you need to do to bring your skills up to that level.

    This thread is a classroom. I will be posting information and assignments. As far as possible, I will assume that all you have at your disposal are a sketchbook and a pencil, but a few will involve color. The assignments won’t be any particular order. Feel free to skip to the assignments that will help you the most! If you want to participate, feel free to post your results here. Or post your questions or comments. Or, if you are a professional concept artist, feel free to share your knowledge!

    For those interested, over in the Employment Discussion forum I have a similar thread on the games industry. The information there is more advanced and specialized, and includes assignments that require 2D and 3D art programs, but some of it is fairly low-tech, too.

    Okay, here we go. . .

    Table of Contents

    What is Concept Art?
    From Life to Imagination
    Assignment #1: From Still-Life to Imagination
    Assignment #2: From Self Portrait to Imagination
    Assignment #3: Half-Imagined Environment
    The Use of Photography in Illustration
    Assignment #4: Concept Art from Found Photographs
    Assignment #4: Concept Art from Your Own Photographs
    Art Direction
    Assignment #5: the Art Direction Game
    Perspective, From the Beginning
    Assignment #6: Cube Contortionism
    Assignment #7: Cube in 3D
    Atmospheric Perspective
    Assignment #8: Atmospheric Perspective Still-Life
    Assignment #9: Atmospheric Perspective From Imagination
    Perspective from Life
    Assignment #10: Furniture from Observation
    Assignment #11: the Back of the Building
    Color
    Color Assignments
    Assignment #12: Night and Day from Observation
    Assignment #13: Night and Day from Imagination
    Skin Tones
    Assignment #14: Self Portrait in Arbitrary Colors
    Drawing Humans
    Assignment #15: Researching Anatomy
    Assignment #16: Adding Bones to a Mastercopy
    Assignment #17: Constructing Humans from Spare Parts
    Still More about Drawing People
    Assignment #18: Sniping
    Assignment #19: Figure Drawing Class
    Assignment #20: After Figure Drawing Class: Costumes
    Assignment #21: After Figure Drawing Class: Spare Parts
    Some Ideas for Still-Lifes
    Power-Leveling for the Busy Artist
    Composition
    Assignment #22 - Studying Existing Compositions
    More About Composition
    Assignment #23 – Finding Compositions Within Compositions
    Assignment #24 - Non-Representational Composition
    Assignment #25 - Build a Composition with Perspective from Life
    Assignment #26 - Build a Composition with Perspective from Imagination
    Assignment #27 - Build a Composition with a Character from Imagination
    Communication
    Assignment #28 – Mood, Non-Representational
    Assignment #29 – Mood, Representational
    Assignment #29 – Acting, Facial Expression
    Assignment #30 – Acting, Body Language
    More on Perspective
    Setting Goals for Yourself
    Assignment #31 – Analyzing Art
    What Should I Include in my College Portfolio?
    Value
    Assignment #32 – Many Ways to Render Value
    Assignment #33 – Making Value Decisions
    Assignment #34 – Shading Non-White Objects
    Assignment #35 – Fun With Value
    Digital Painting Example
    Acrylic Painting Example

    Last edited by Seedling; July 10th, 2007 at 12:47 PM.
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

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