Some people say art is subjective, even for concept art. I say that for the most part, it’s not. Not for us. We take inspiration from reality and we try to mimic it, so we need to learn it’s fundamental laws of appearance.
These are things that you cannot really break if you want to achieve good designs and nice looking artworks. Obviously, you are encouraged to go crazy with some of these and break the rules to achieve more interesting design and art, but we are making concept art here, and not abstract art. Concept art relies more on realism; it is based on how reality looks like and behaves, while abstract art isn’t.
Then after drawing properly, getting your perspectives right and you have a good flow in your line art, you have to render it out with some of the following aspects:
- Paint strokes
These are all things that you use for your presentation, or basically what it is you want to show your audience in the end.
Always reduce each of these steps to their basics. Don’t over-complicate or overthink it. Keep it simple. You don’t need to do line drawing to an absolute perfection, just a somewhat quick sketch with good line weight and flow is enough to start basing your painting out of.
For lighting, it’s the same thing: keep it simple! Bring the light down from an angle above, or very low sunset light for harder contrasts.
Design-wise, only use a few inspiration sources and mix them together. Take inspiration from real engines of modern airplanes, and mix them with old antique wheeled vessels, steam pipes with spaceships, a catfish with buildings (maybe a catfish mouth as an entrance for a temple), and so on. But that’s for another time, this is about fundamentals.
Fundamentals are simple and elegant, but they don’t come on their own just because they’re simple. You need to practice them, and the way to do that is to keep it simple. If you keep it simple and you’re open to learning, it will go much smoother painting cool designs in the future.
But just knowing about the fundamentals won’t make you much better of an artist – actually practicing them will.
Until next time!