Concept Art

by Annie Saxena on Apr 21, 2023

Concept Art

Concept art is a type of visual art that is used in a variety of media, such as movies, video games, animation, and comic books, to represent an idea or concept. It is frequently applied during the pre-production phase to create the appearance and feel of people, settings, and other visual components. Concept art is frequently used to aid the creative team in visualising and honing their ideas prior to production and can include sketches, illustrations, paintings, and 3D models.

Concept art is essential to the creation of visual media since it establishes a project's visual aesthetic, tone, and atmosphere. It enables the creative team to investigate many concepts and options before to choosing a final design, and it can be used to present concepts to stakeholders like producers and financiers. As a reference point for the finished product, concept art can also be utilised to motivate and direct the production crew.

Traditional art forms including sketching, painting, and sculpting are often well-versed in by concept artists, who also have a solid technical grasp of digital art tools and software. They frequently operate under strict timelines and budgets, and they collaborate closely with the creative team to generate concepts that are consistent with the project's overall vision.

The production team can be guided and inspired by concept art, which is an essential component of the creative process in visual media. It calls for a special fusion of technical and artistic abilities as well as a profound comprehension of the medium in which the art will be applied.

What is Concept Art?

Concept art is a type of visual art that is used in a variety of media, including movies, video games, animation, comic books, and ads, to illustrate or convey a concept, idea, or mood. It is a pre-production procedure that aids in developing the appearance and feel of characters, backdrops, objects, and other visual components.

The first concept art works were produced for films and ads in the early 20th century, which is when concept art first became popular. With the popularity of science fiction films and television shows during the 1960s and 1970s, which necessitated the construction of complex and fantastical designs, the concept art sector saw enormous expansion. Concept art is a vital component of the creative process for visual media today, and the video game and film industries make great use of it.

A certain set of abilities and procedures are needed to create concept art, which may incorporate both conventional artistic techniques like painting, sculpture, and drawing as well as modern digital tools and software. The artist must be able to visualise and produce designs that are in keeping with the project's overall concept and they must be able to work under pressure with limited resources and time. A concept artist needs to be highly technical in their understanding of lighting, composition, and perspective in addition to their artistic abilities.

Depending on the project and the industry, different concepts may have different requirements. Concept art for video games, for instance, can need for more intricate and interactive designs, whilst concept art for films might put more of an emphasis on mood and atmosphere. However, all concept art need to be aesthetically pleasing and do a good job of communicating the notion or idea that it is meant to represent.

It calls for a certain set of abilities, such as traditional and digital art approaches, as well as a profound comprehension of the technological facets of visual media. Concept art has a long history that dates back to the early 20th century, and in recent years it has become more significant and complicated.

History of Concept Art

The term "concept art" was first used by the Walt Disney Animation Studios in the 1930s. Mary Blair was hired by Disney to create concept paintings for the films "Cinderella," "Alice in Wonderland," and "Peter Pan." Disney films have featured the scenic, fantastical environments and characters that are known the world over thanks to the labour of many artists over the years.

Concept artists provide a visual representation of a character or setting that doesn't yet exist. Examples of this include movies, animation, and more recently, video game creation. Concept artists must have commitment, vision, and precise grasp of the role.

What are some concept art examples?

Prior to going into production, concept art is a type of illustration used to communicate an idea for a movie, video game, animation, or other form of media. Concept art examples include the following:

Character design sketches are sketches that show how a character might first seem and behave.

Environment art is an illustration that captures the appearance and atmosphere of a certain environment or area, such as a cityscape, a forest, or the interior of a spaceship.

Drawings of tools, automobiles, or other items that will be used in a scenario are known as props.

Storyboards are a collection of sequential drawings that show how a scene or the full story develops.

Drawings of clothing that will be worn by characters in a play are known as costume designs.

Illustrations of creatures that might show up in a movie, game, or animation make up the category of creature design.

Matte paintings are used to depict realistic backgrounds or scenery that would be difficult or expensive to replicate in real life.

These are but a few types of concept art that are available.

What is the concept art style?

The visual technique or style that artists adopt to create concept art is referred to as concept art style. There isn't just one type of concept art because different projects and artists may employ various methods and aesthetics. However, there are several universal components that are frequently linked to concept art, such as:

Focus on composition: Dynamic compositions are a common aspect of concept art, which helps to capture the atmosphere, tone, and general vibe of a scene or design.

Focus on detail: Since concept art must convey precise ideas and elements to the production team, it frequently contains a high level of detail.

Concept art is frequently used to explore many ideas and possibilities; as a result, it could have several variations of the same design or scene.

Use of colour: Concept art frequently makes use of colour to arouse feelings, build contrast, and create an environment.

Though not all concept art is exceedingly realistic, many artists make an effort to produce pictures that are plausible and rooted in reality.

In general, the overall look and feel of concept art can vary widely depending on the artist, the project, and the desired result.

The Concept Artist's Role

A concept artist's job is to visualise ideas and concepts for films, video games, animated films, and other types of media. They collaborate closely with the project's creative team, which consists of producers, directors, and designers, to assist create the project's visual aesthetic and overall appearance.

Beginning with sketches and drawings of the characters, settings, objects, and other production aspects is a common practise for concept artists. In order to convey their concepts and ideas to the rest of the team, they might also produce mood boards, storyboards, and other visual aids. They might grow and improve their ideas as the project goes along, producing illustrations that are more polished and in-depth.

Collaboration with other members of the creative team is one of the key responsibilities of a concept artist. They must be able to adapt their designs in response to criticism in order to fulfil the project's objectives. They must also have a thorough awareness of the production's technical requirements, including the medium's constraints, the resources at their disposal, and the budget.

In general, a concept artist's job is to use visual narrative to assist realise a project's creative vision. They are essential to the creation of a production since they help to define its general aesthetic, emotional tone, and atmosphere.

Vitality of Concept Artists

The creation of movies, video games, animations, and other types of media depends heavily on concept artists. Here are some explanations for the significance of concept artists:

  • Concept artists are able to transform abstract ideas into tangible visual representations, which aids in the visualisation of ideas. This aids the creative team in understanding and communicating their concepts more effectively. It can also aid in the early detection of any problems or difficulties during the development process.
  • Concept artists are in charge of establishing the overall look and feel of a production. They define the visual style of a project. They contribute to establishing a project's visual aesthetic, colour scheme, and mood, all of which are important to its success.
  • They offer a production guideline: The rest of the production team follows the direction of the concept art. It aids in setting up the design of characters, settings, and objects and can also serve as an inspiration and source of ideas for other production-related elements.
  • They save both time and money: Concept artists can help to avoid expensive errors and redesigns later in the manufacturing process by producing intricate visual representations of concepts and ideas.
  • They inspire and motivate the team: The remainder of the production team might be greatly inspired and motivated by concept art. Visualising how their concepts come to life may be a powerful motivator and helps keep the team motivated and engaged.

In general, concept artists are crucial to the growth of a production since they help to define the visual style, tone, and ambiance of the work as well as serve as a guide for the rest of the team. Many productions would be much less interesting and profitable without concept art.

Tools and Software for Concept Art Creation

Concept artists make their artwork using a wide variety of hardware and software. Here are a few of the most typical:

  • Pencil and paper: Before using digital media, many concept artists first draw out their ideas on traditional materials like pencil and paper.
  • Digital tablets: Concept artists frequently use digital tablets, such as Wacom tablets, as they enable more accurate and realistic-looking drawings in the digital realm.
  • Software for drawing: Digital sketches and illustrations are frequently produced using drawing programmes like Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, or Clip Studio Paint.
  • Concept artists frequently utilise 3D modelling programmes like Autodesk Maya or ZBrush to create 3D models of people, places, or things that they may then use as a guide for their 2D concept art.
  • Painting software: To produce more realistic and intricate digital paintings, painting software like Corel Painter, Krita, or Procreate is utilised.
  • Compositing software: To produce and modify visual effects for movies and animations, compositing software is used, such as Adobe After Effects or Nuke.
  • Collaboration software: To share their work with team members and get feedback, concept artists frequently use online collaboration platforms like Google Docs or Miro.

In general, concept artists' choice of equipment and software will be influenced by both their own tastes and the needs of the project they are working on. For the best outcomes, a mix of conventional and digital equipment is frequently used.

Various Forms of Concept Art

Concept art comes in a wide variety of forms, each with a distinct function and aesthetic. Some of the most typical varieties are listed below:

  • Character Design: Concept art for character design is used to develop images of the characters in a production. The character's appearance, personality, and history can all be shown via sketches, illustrations, and 3D models.
  • Environment Design: Concept art for environment design is used to produce visual depictions of the settings in a production. This can contain rough draughts, illustrations, and 3D models of the environment's scenery, buildings, and other features.
  • Concept art for prop design is used to produce visual representations of the props and other items utilised in a production. Weapons, tools, vehicles, and other objects may be depicted in sketches, illustrations, or 3D models.
  • Create visual representations of the attire and accessories worn by the characters in a production using concept art for costume design. The costumes' texture, materials, and other specifics can be shown via sketches, illustrations, and 3D models.
  • Key Art: To produce the production's primary promotional image, key art concept art is used. This is frequently a well finished and intricate picture that highlights the primary people, places, and ideas of the play.
  • The plot, characters, and important situations are all represented visually in storyboards, which are works of concept art. Storyboards, which serve as the production's blueprint, are sometimes made using sketches or pictures.

Overall, concept art can be created in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons, from making rough sketches and ideas to producing intricate illustrations and 3D models. The creative team may better comprehend and convey their vision for the project and bring it to life in a visually captivating way by employing various types of concept art.


To sum up, concept art is essential to the creation of movies, video games, animations, and other types of media. Concept artists create a blueprint for production, aid in the visualisation of ideas, set the visual tone and atmosphere of a project, and inspire and drive the rest of the crew.

 To create various types of concept art, such as character design, environment design, prop design, costume design, key art, and storyboards, they employ a variety of tools and software, including pencils, digital tablets, drawing software, 3D modelling software, painting software, and collaboration software. Concept art is a crucial step in the creative process since it helps to give ideas life and makes sure the outcome is interesting, beautiful, and successful.