Teaching Talia

Digital Illustration for Concept Art

Posted on: March 14, 2010

Digital not meant to replace hand drawn concept art. Both have pros and cons, and each artist needs to find what works for them.

Two types: Vector and Bitmap.


Vector graphic is made by mathematical calculations.


Bitmap graphics are constructed from a series of pixels. To minimise pixel distortion it is always good to plan and start your image in the right pixel dimension.

For print purposes you will need to have around 300 dpi (dots per inch) to make the printed image appear sharp and crisp. You will only need 72 dpi for web purpose images.

Mixed Media

The real definition of mixed media is a combination between two or more different mediums to create an artwork

Makes me think of the scan art I do, or the scrapbooking I’m looking at doing more of…

Digital Colouring

In this technique, most line art is being left out as a part of the concept art piece, and the colours are usually done in different layers to make editing and erasing easier.

This style is used widely in the 2D animation and comic concept art industry

Common digital tools to use for this technique:
Selection tools
Brush, Pencil and Paint bucket tools
Gradient tools

Digital Painting

In order to apply this technique at its fullest, artist must have a strong understanding in regards to design elements, like line, tone, value, colour and lighting.

Common digital tools to use for this technique:
• Different brush types (Custom and Default ones)

Digital Collage

One excellent example can be seen in the pre-production process of ‘The Incredibles’ movie by Pixar, where concept artist Teddy Newton designed a series of collage concept art (Figure 14) for characters, objects and various environments in the movie.

Common digital tools to use for this technique:
Selection tools
Talking Point 2: About Digital Techniques
1. Discuss at least ONE of your favorite digital techniques from this lecture. Explain why you like the technique/s, why you think it is effective, and how you find the technique/s useful for your work. Do research and try to include web links to concept artists who use your chosen technique/s.
I really like digital collage. I have some experience in this are already, and find it to be a really expressive technique. You can really portray techniques and ideas in new ways that are more difficult or not possible using other techniques.
I think it also creates great texture in the concept art- another dimension that is not always shown in more ‘traditional’ methods.
It’s quite difficult to find good examples of this technique, but this pieces from Rowan Tree Designs shows it well:

THE SPECIMEN JAR 2x1in Domino Tile Digital Collage Sheet - 0062

Also of interest: http://www.linesandcolors.com/2008/12/14/anamorphic-art/

I also like the digital colouring technique, because it’s quite similar to hand coloured/drawn concept art. I found these great videos on colouring in photoshop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuOLfwdRCxA and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-X5Mas_Z_Q&feature=related

Randis Albion

2. Do you think there are techniques other than the ones listed in this lecture?

I would have thought a valid technique would have been just line drawings (not necessarily vector). This is personally a favourite style of concept art for me, and great for the basic level of concept art.

By Brian Crecente


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Just finished my Graduate Certificate in Cross Disciplinary Art and Design with UNSW.




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