After my post Let’s get Real About Concept Art from early february Paul Richards – concept artist on the Darksiders series and Halo 4 – pointed me to a tutorial he posted on his blog. Browsing through his site revealed he released quite a few tutorials already… and damn, so much great advice, all with easy to understand samples, nicely structured, step by step.
He focusses on designing with a pen – from drawing basics to complex rendering and construction. The full package for beginners and even seasoned artist will snatch some goodies there as well. Here is a small digest in recommended reading order:
How to draw?
The first two articles, I’d like to recommend to you are about his drawing techniques. Many concept artists use digital painting techniques or overpaints, start with a rough 3D model or photo manipulation – all valid approaches. Richards on the other hand is comfortable starting off with a pen and a blank page, constructing and fleshing out his designs with lines.
He focusses his tutorials on drawing designs with volume and depth, turning 2D lines into 3D shapes, while keeping it freehand. Expect tons of tips on how to construct, shape, sculpt, mold, build, scale, squeeze and stretch creatures, mechanical design and characters with a pen.
What to draw?
Okay, so you worked your way through the first two? You know, with doing sketches and all, not just reading them? Nice!
So, now that we know, how to create anything we can imagine on paper, how does a concept artist go about imagining interesting designs? This is what Richards tackles in the next two tutorials. From research to composition, to fine-tuning, this should give you plenty of input.
I suggest you take some note cards and write down some core ideas from each tutorial and store those cards in your current sketchbook, so you always have something to challenge and inspire yourself, when drawing and doodling. It’s important to leave your own comfort zone from time to time to push for some progress. These tutorials should provide plenty of challenges to do so.
Even I – doing this for more than 8 years – found quite some fresh approaches for my own work. Normally people would have to buy a book for this kind of content, so drop by and say hi.